Yes, I know, the subject has been thoroughly covered, and by experts. I just want to add something that might not have been covered in the past. I'm new to the site so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. Anyway, here's an idea for maintaining your knives with maybe about $10. If you go to Lee Valley Tools, they sell micro abrasive sheets. They come plain or adhesive backed. The 15 micron sheet is roughly equal to a 1,000 grit stone. The 5 micron sheet is about 2,500 grit, and the .5 micron sheet is about 9,000 grit. Personally I use these as my convenient grab in the kitchen. I have my sharpening supplies in my workshop (DMT diamond plates, water stones, etc.). I took a piece of 1X2 pine about 15 inches long and made it into a paddle. Using a jig saw, a rasp, and some sandpaper, I fashioned a handle at one end. I cut a strip of the 5 micron sheet and put it on one side of the paddle, with a .5 micron strip on the other side. So, when the knife is no longer restored from using a steel I reach in the drawer and pull out the paddle. Obviously you use it as a strop rather than slicing into the micron sheet. With this system I find that I'm only going to the stones about every 3 months.
BTW, I agree with the experts here that most steels are too coarse for knives that have been sharpened and polished up to 6,000 grit and above. F. Dick sells a polished steel that is totally smooth. I use it as well as a borosilicate rod. I have no preference. Also, I might add that when it comes to the advice against using a steel on a Japanese knife, I didn't know any better, so I steeled my carbon steel nakiri for over 20 years--never any chipping, never any problems. Now I mostly use the borosilicate rod and/or the micron sheets on it.