Sharp tools are important for a couple reasons. First, they require less effort to use. Second, because it requires less effort when cutting something, a sharp tool is less likely to slip and cause an injury than a dull tool.
When I was a kid my father taught me to sharpen knives using Arkansas bench stones. I used them exclusively up until a couple years ago, when I tried a couple of other methods. The first was sandpaper on top of a mouse pad, to create a convex edge. The second was a Spyderco Sharpmaker. I have found the Sharpmaker to be an excellent tool for sharpening knives as long as the edge wasn't too dull, or damaged. However, its stones are too fine for major reshaping of an edge.
Recently, it became necessary to sharpen a Wustoff paring knife that had become very dull. However, I could not get an acceptable edge on it with any of my existing sharpening implements. I decided to pick up a couple DMT Dia-Sharp bench stones from Amazon. I bought two, one coarse and one fine.
The DMT "stones" are really 8" x 3" steel plates with one side coated with industrial diamonds. Each weights a couple pounds, which helps keep them in place on your workbench. They also come with rubber feet. DMT says you can use them dry or with water as a lubricant, but not to use oil. I found they worked beter with some water than dry, as it helps to keep the swarf from clogging the surface.
The coarse stone allowed me to put a proper bevel on the paring knife, after which I was able to get a semi-decent cutting edge with the fine. However, it wasn't as polished as I wanted, so I used my Sharpmaker to get a good cutting edge on the blade.
Compared with a hard Arkansas stone, even the DMT Fine is a bit coarse. I will probably buy an extra-fine grade DMT Dia-Sharp stone for final edge polishing when using them.