There seems to be a lot of good information on these forums, so I thought I'd explain my situation and see if I could get some opinions from you.
I'm a total newbie here, though I've been lurking for the past few months. I just moved out for college, and am starting to put together the things I need for a kitchen. I'm not a chef - I don't even know the right way to hold a knife yet (pinch the blade, not just hold the handle?). But I do like food, even if I have to cook it first.
I'm finding that I like things that are slow / old world / craft / artisan. I bake sourdough bread from scratch every day or two. I like spending hours smoking meats (not that I can in the university dorms). I'm learning how to make espresso, hand tamped, properly ground, etc. I restore vintage cast iron skillets/etc - that's what I'm cooking on now.
In short, I like things that reward you for taking proper care of them. Now that I've moved out, I think I need some proper kitchen knives. And since I inherited a few old beat up knives, I'm thinking about getting into sharpening as a hobby.
About the knives
I got a few "LC Germain" knives (made in Japan, despite the name), and one heavy, unmarked knife (the one of the bottom with the wavy machining marks).
I'd also like to fix my mom's Wusthof (not pictured), which was once used by a maid to cut down a tree (!), then "professionally" sharpened such that the belly has a big concave spot that never touches the cutting board.
The LC Germain knives were owned by someone who loved sawing his knives through one of those V sharpener things. They need some serious work, but I thought they would be good knives to practice sharpening on. (I think you can click for bigger pictures - check out the super jagged edge in the 2nd photo!)
The other knives aren't any better. They all seem straight (not bent/warped), but they're sharpened all wobbly and chipped up like this.
As for what I want out of these knives... I usually buy boneless meat, and I don't chop anything harder than broccoli and celery. I might cut semi-frozen chicken breast sometimes, but I'm thinking that maybe I'll sharpen the fat, brown handled knife for heavy work like that, and I'll do a thinner profile on the LC Germain knife for slicing beef, potatoes, carrots, onions etc. I'm not sure that I care about extreme sharpness/performance, but I'd sure love to feel it some day. For know, we're "honing" our knives by rubbing them on the backs of other knives, holding them at some arbitrary angle that seems "about right." I'd really like to graduate from that.
Would I be wasting my time and money buying a $200 stone kit to try to fix knives like this? Should I just go buy some new knives instead? My hope is that I can at least practice on these, and have some fun while I'm at it. But I don't want to waste too much time/money on a lost cause.
As for sharpening kits..Any reason not to buy the chef knives to go "Knife Sharpening Complete 8pc Set?" Would that be appropriate for this knife, and for my mom's Wusthofs? I think the edge pro kits and Gesshin / Chosera sets are out of my budget (I am a college student, after all), but I wouldn't mind practicing sharpening by hand on this entry level stuff to wet my feet in the hobby.