I wonder whether sharpening woodworking blades is like religion? We have our individual beliefs, but common basic principles. I believe that the single most important things in sharpening chisel and hand plane blades are:
* Flatten the back carefully.
* Set the bevel angle consistently and precisely. It must be the same - exactly where you want it every time. Some people prefer micro-bevels, others prefer single, full-face bevels. I won't argue for one or the other, as long as you can set your desired bevel angle consistently every time. That's the challenge!
For chisels and hand plane blades, I use a jig, diamond stones, Japanese water stones, and a leather strop.
With the diamond stones, I go back and forth. With the Japanese water stones and the leather strop, I go backwards only, pulling the blade away from the sharp edge. Otherwise, the sharp edge of the blade will gouge and dig into the water stone or leather.
For knives and turning tools, I use other, completely different methods:
I renew the edge on the kitchen knives using the steel that came with them. I hold the steel in my left hand and angle the knife edge by sight. When I need to sharpen the kitchen knives, I use ceramic "crock sticks" that form a "V" in a small wood holder. I use the crock sticks as little as possible, only when truly needed, so that the knives last a lifetime. They are the common German-made, over-hyped, over-priced, "hard steel", consumer grade kitchen knives; good enough for our level of cooking skills. (My parents and my in-laws both ground-down and killed their kitchen knives by using electric knife sharpeners. The original blades are hardly recognizable. They didn't know any better.)
I hand-sharpen pocket knives on a set of Arkansas stones, using honing oil. I "eyeball" the honing angle. It works.
I sharpen the woodturning tools using a Grizzly wet grinder and Tormek jigs. It works well enough, but I would not recommend it to others, and I would buy different equipment if I had to start over.