We have people admit from time to time that they find sharpening a challenge. Here are some videos from Lee Valley about the how to and videos about the different types of sharpening media available to use. This might be helpful to clear the issues up for them. I started out with a water stone but I rarely use it anymore. I prefer diamond stones because they are long lasting, stay flat, and require no maintenance but I also use very fine sandpaper at times too. I use some 2500 grit carbide paper for lapping the backs of chisels and irons flat and going that fine does make a difference.