Two tips for those who struggle with sharpening: Use a honing guide and go up to 8,000 grit. Any way you look at it, honing by hand can be tricky for those who don't do it every day. A honing guide takes the guesswork out of the process: You can buy an inexpensive one, set a blade in it quickly, and get perfect results every time. Learn how to choose a good honing guide and set it up for best results. Then you can get back to woodworking and stop worrying about whether your tools are sharp, because they will be.

From Fine Woodworking #225