agreed. I used to use these cheap diamond rod pens, but they’d wear out so fast. The files last longer and get edges sharp enough for use.You can get a dang sharp edge real fast with a mill file and an old leather belt.
From this, I surmise I can use either water or oil on a stone
Nope...There are water stones and oil stones. Two different creatures. They wear out faster but my preference is for water stones just because they're not as messy and sticky.
I think maybe we should be drawing a distinction between sharpening and honing.
Honing is making an already sharp edge smoother on a close to microscopic scale. Some would call the result a mirror finish. If you look at a blade after 1000 grit, it will not reflect light very well. After 4000 grit, you'll get a bright reflection, after stropping on leather with a green or white compound, you can use it as a mirror. Honing, for all intents and purposes does not remove metal, so if your edge isn't sharp to begin with, it's pretty well a useless exercise.
Sharpening is getting your blade edge to a point if you look at the cross section. How sharp a blade is depends on how close you've gotten to a point. Think of a V shape compared to a U shape to simplify things. The closer you get to a V, the sharper the blade will be. The downside is that the point of the V is microscopically thin and as it's used goes toward the U shape. It needs to be brought back to a point.....HONING
Obviously, if you let your blade go too far to the U shape, you'll have to visibly remove metal to get back to a V shape. The moral of the story...Don't let your blade go completely dull
They are made by Redi Edge. Yes sir, the Bagram is the air base in Afghanistan. Bought a bunch of em from the PX when I was there 2014-2015 for $10 on sale each.Does Bagram on that hand sharpener refer to the airbase in Afghanistan, or is that just a coincidental brand name? I have a more basic version of that, not that brand, that seems to work okay. I'm trying to up my game without causing any permanent damage to my pocket knives. I carry a pocket knife daily for many small tasks, and hate it when the knives aren't reasonably sharp.
Interesting thread. When I was a cub scout, I learned to sharpen a pocket knife on a small stone with a thin coating of household oil, moving the blade against the stone with the blade edge facing me.