Took me years to learn how to free hand sharpen. Never got really good to my satisfaction. Always use a bracket or some device to hold the angle. About 2 years ago I got some diamond stones and started to work on kitchen knives. After a period of time I got good enough to sharpen some custom knives without messing anything up and got a very keen edge.
Then a buddy who's a very good knifesmith told me about Steamboat Super Sharpeners. (add a . com for the web site) Now, I don't use my newly acquired free hand skill. This sharpener has a four ceramic sticks of two different coarseness held in a 'V' for the correct angle. They are really slick. I don't know how they'd work on my old really dull kitchen knives, but I don't see why they wouldn't. Just a little more work with the course sticks.
I used the sticks on some STOS broadheads that were pretty dull. After a couple of minutes, they were shaving sharp.
Product number 2 is a strop from KnivesPlus.com. I always used to use the old barber strop. No longer. This is a green piece of leather on a block of wood. Puts on a finish like I've never seen.
About 5 years ago my hunting buddy (same knifesmith) walked into the cabin and said let's see one of your broadhead arrows. When I saw what he was going to do, I remember thinking, 'don't insult him, you can re sharpen later'. I hate to keep proving myself an idiot, but he made that Snuffer sharper than I ever had it.
Those have been around for years. We used to have one setting on the knife counter in the store for customers to try when they came in. I didn't know they were still being made though. I'll have to pick up a set because I broke the set I had in a move.