If the edge is bad, I use a kitchen steel first. Then a ceramic "steel" and finish it on a leather pad impregnated with jewlers rouge. Now my edge is shaving sharp and usually only needs to be touched up with the leather, or after a long workout, ceramic first.
On my heavier duty knives, large bowies, Kukri's, etc. I only go as far as the ceramic. It is still shaving sharp although you can feel a bit a pull you don't get with the other method I use for my smaller (under 8" blade) knives.