This is a hard truth to swallow, and honestly there's only so much I can take. But to the extent that I am willing, time sharpening is always time well spent.
Even (or especially) when you don't feel like you know what you're doing enough to not mess up your tools.
Now I get it. You buy a very expensive knife, and it's WAY sharper than you can think about making it. So you don't sharpen, and it gets worse and worse, but slowly, and it's still better than you think you could make it. So you don't touch it.
What's the game plan here? Is the plan really to buy an expensive knife and then use it until it's dull, and then what? Buy another knife?
I know what I'm talking about because that's exactly what I did with Mora 106s for several years. And for me at the time, that was an expensive knife.
But sooner or later you have to get into the pool and swim, and it might as well be now. So yes, maybe buy a cheaper knife to practice on, but PRACTICE. And recognize that eventually you are going to HAVE to sharpen your expensive knife. And in fact, the longer you leave it, the more difficult that becomes.
If it helps, I have a number of sharpening and stropping videos on my IGTV channel on my instagram feed. Start there. Watch all of them, write down what you are going to do, what you need to pay attention to, what supplies you need to do it right. Once you have the process in your mind well enough that you can articulate it, and you have all the things you need to begin, watch those videos one more time.
And then jump in. You've got to swim sooner or later.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.