Title pretty much says it all. Not sure if any additional information is really needed to answer the question, but I'll amplify a bit anyway:
Several years ago I bought an Edge Pro Professional sharpening setup. Tried it a few times (exclusively on symmetric knives; didn't own any others) and was not at all happy with the results. Despite the many things that have been written here about the shortcomings of such setups, I'm inclined to ascribe my sub-par results with "user error." (Yes, I watched their video, and attempted to follow their instructions.) Anyway, the Edge Pro was relegated to my basement, and I made no further attempts to use it.
Now that I recently became much more interested in better quality Japanese knives (and have acquired a few), and their maintenance, I would like to learn how to sharpen freehand. I know there's no substitute for expert instruction (especially something like a DM class), but I'm hoping that with much practice, and after watching again many of the excellent sharpening videos (as well as a set of DM's DVD's that I am arranging to obtain from a current owner), I can learn to put a decent edge on my knives -- and then continue to learn much, much more, through a class or other means.
Anyway, my Edge Pro came with the following grits -- most of which seem far too coarse to be, as a practical matter, useful (assuming none of my sharpening practice knives don't need really major work, which would be beyond my ability anyway): 100, 180, 220, 320, 600, 3000. Seems to me the 600 and 3000 [tape] might be enough for practicing on my knives. But I suppose the threshold question is the one I originally posed: is there any good reason why I couldn't/shouldn't use the Edge Pro stones?
Even if the 600 and 3000 would suffice for initial practice purposes, is there nevertheless anything else needed as a "must have," e.g., a 1200, for purposes of learning and practicing freehand sharpening?
My intention would be to first practice on some of my relatively low grade knives, e.g., a Henckels, and then if I'm somewhat happy with the results graduate to something like my carbon "sab," and then -- with enormous trepidation -- try on one of my Japanese knives, like an Aritsugu. (Not sure I'll ever be sufficiently confident and courageous enough to try sharpening one of my better Japanese knives.)
I'd be grateful for any advice. (Please be gentle; I'm new to all of this.)