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From time to time, my carving tools need a tuneup on a 4K water stone then the leather strop with chrome green.
Otherwise, I use 1500 grit W&D paper (dry) and chrome green for all the crooked knives and spokeshaves. This seems entirely adequate for carving in both softwoods (cedar/pine/spruce) and light hardwood such as birch.

If and when you develop a very fine, polished edge, I do agree that it should cut well. However, I'm thinking that such an edge is much more vulnerable to crumpling. Next, some woodworkers believe that the wood surface must be progressively shredded with sandpaper.

While the metal may appear polished, one peep through a 20X loupe and all you see is a scratched surface that you can't resolve with your buck-naked eyeballs.
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