A very basic technique in sharpening is to use a coarse 'stone' until a burr is produced on the opposite of the blade all along it's length, do the same for the opposite side, and then remove the burr with finer 'stones'. Like in the Karate Kid; 'burr on, burr off' :^)
'Stone' can be a grinder (never use a power grinder with cutlery, when the term 'grinder' is used it means belt sander), diamond stone, natural stone like a Wa****a or black Arkansas, man made like a silicon carbide, ceramic, Japanese water stone, etc. The biggest problem that I see when people try to sharpen is that they try to sharpen typically dull knives with too fine of a stone.
You want a thicker edge for tougher use, like on your bear fighting Rambo survival knife, and a thinner edge for fine slicing, like on a boning knife. Stainless is more brittle than carbon/tool steels at the same hardness, so be careful about thin edges. Fine polished edges shave nicely, but edges with a bit of 'tooth' slice thru rope and hide better. In general wood workers who use hand tools probably seem to have the best sharpening skills, as cleanly shaving thin slices of hardwood end grain takes a very good edge.
I use a ceramic stick as a 'steel' for touching up the kitchen knives and the utility knives in the garage, and when needed will touch up the knives with a stone. I sharpen knives for people and find that most are very dull. I use to use sets of three coarse large silicon carbide stones for starters, I'd grind them against each other when needed to keep them flat, but for a couple of years have been using a 2in wide belt sander for the coarse grind. I then use a series of diamond and ceramic stones, and finish off with a strop charged with aluminum oxide polishing compound. With each set I provide some instructions:
Knife Care and Safety
Care - Proper care matters more than price.
*Always use a cutting board - a plate will instantly dull a knife.
*Don't wash knives in the dishwasher.
*Touch up the edges often using a smooth steel or ceramic.
*Protect the edges in storage.
Safety - Don't regret a careless moment forever.
*Think about what you're doing and where your fingers are.
*Put the knife down if you're being distracted.
*Keep the knives visible - don't hide them in sink of dirty dishes or in a cluttered drawer where fingers may find them.
*Never try to catch a falling knife.
*Walk with the knife held up high and visible.
*Warn others that the knives are sharp.
*Promote safe practices.