When I first got into quality pocket knives, I immediately wanted to know how to sharpen them.
I remember trying out my kitchen steel on my Delica 4 saber grind and not being happy with the results. So one day I told myself, "I am going to learn how to do this," and set about reading all the information I could on knife sharpening. I bought some different sharpening supplies to try out...everything from a ceramic kitchen steel, to a strop, to DMT diamond plates.
It took a while to sift through the information and find what works and what doesn't. There's a lot of bad info out there on knife sharpening.
It took a bit to get a feel for it and develop a steady hand, but before too long I was putting sharp edges on all matter of knives.
From there I read Cliff Stamp's writings, which led me to the world of reprofiling for more efficient slicing ability.
In the end, sharpening is as much of a hobby to me as knife collecting is. To me, a knife isn't "mine" until I've removed the factory edge and put my own on. Just like I wouldn't buy a pair of shoes from a store and keep the lace tension exactly as they came from the factory...I customize it to my own foot.
Over the last decade, I've noticed, surprisingly to me, a large amount of people do not share my fascination with sharpening, despite being into quality cutlery. Of the ones who do, less than half seem interested in free hand sharpening in particular.
In fact, I find it's very rare to see photos of knives posted on knife forums that don't have the factory edge on them. I'm not talking about the knives having not been reprofiled either...but the edge bevel clearly still has the same marks it did when it came from the factory.
So, I'd like to make a poll to see where the numbers fall.