First, welcome to the forums.
Yes, chips will take more time, and if they are large, a set of the diamond stones will save some time for certain.
Re: serrations against the stone, the trick is that when you are bringing the knife down against the rod, use light pressure and try to keep the serrations straight up and down vs. the rod. For a lousy visual, see this:
| <---rod viewed from side of SM (should appear quite vertical)
| ^---Serrations (keep the blade aligned so the points and the edges of the scalloped serration cuts all point straight down from the body of the blade)
now you drag the blade, keeping it straight vertically (or perpendicular to the base), very lightly so the serrations stay aligned (as these are done by hand on special wheels shaped against the blade contours the direction may vary a little per blade but all serrations should point more or less in the same direction even on a curvy blade like a hawkbill), down the rod. slowly drawing the blade so the butt of the handle is in toward you. Rinse, lather, repeat.
The instructions in the booklet and on the video/dvd should be sufficiently detailed, but I think I noticed the proper way to draw the blade across myself. Don't remember it being in the video clearly, though I could certainly be wrong.
hope that helps.
Welcome to you as well. The sharpmaker is one of the easiest sharpeners to learn and use and is effective for pretty much every
knife ever as well as most other items that require sharp edges or points to function properly.