Dumb sharpening questions

Nov 19, 2006
I collect fighting knives (folding and fixed blades), but I I know nothing about sharpening them. I'm not even sure where to begin to learn about sharpening, or if I'd be better off paying someone to do it for me. Here are my dumb questions.
1. Can a person who knows nothing about knives/sharpening pick up a knife, look at and figure out how to sharpen it?
2. How do you tell if a knife needs to be reprofiled?
3. Are there places where I can mail my knives off to be sharpened that do an outstanding job?
There is a learnig curve to sharpening. Start with a "beater" and practice till you feel like doing one of your better knives. Sharpeners like a Lansky can give the novice a good edge without much skill compared to learning to use (and buying) hones properly. I use a Tormek followed by paper wheels. There was some learning how to use a machine compared to hones or fixture type sharpeners. I now sharpen 20-30 knives a day and it is more like a part time job. Being a tactical folder collector I am concerned with a good looking edge as well as a razor sharp edge. Email me if you have any other questions.