So after a number of years shaving with a DE, and quite a few more years practice sharpening an edge I'm looking for a little guidance. On a great number of times i have sharpened steel to a razors edge using nary more than a flat river rock and a leather belt. However, I'd like to take the plunge into straights, and an easier method must exist. What say ye B&B for a bare bones stone and strop combo? I am looking for a good combo of affordability and ease of use. Just last night I took a trusty Benchmade knife to a razor hone using basic kitchen tools, but it took well over an hour. There must be a good quick and affordable way? And something that will serve as dual duty for other cutlery needs. Something that I can grow into rather than outgrow.
Do I need to shell out the big bucks for a Bi-grit/ dual sided stone with an accompanying english leather strop? Will a natural stone be rough enough to smooth out nicks in a blade?
My question is more focused on sharpening tools, rather than technique, or blades. But any and all commentary is welcomed.