Hold the bevel edge up to a very bright light and look at it. If sharp, you see nothing as there's no crumpled edge to reflect light.
As the edge gets duller and duller or outright damaged, flat spots develop which will reflect "sparks" of bright light and they are obvious.
Paint the bevel with black felt marker so you can easily follow your work.
As above, I'll begin with 600 grit if the edge looks banged up. Get rid of all the "sparks."
Then 800, 1000, 1500 to refine the new edge. Hone on box card with CrOx scribbled on it and my wood carving gouges are ready to go.
I've got some water stones, 1K and 4K, they are very nice for conventional gouges. Don't use them much any more with the sandpapers doing a good job.
For PacNW crooked knives and adzes, the sandpapers wrapped on mandrels are essential.