I'm looking to start sharpening my own knives (Wusthof's) what grit whetstone would I need to do so? Recommendations on any specific brand or is each whetstone is as good as any? I'm under the impression that to get a good finish, I'll going to need more than one grit and work up
What stones you get depend on the current condition of the knife and how regularly you plan on sharpening it. If you are bringing the edge back on a dull knife, you will need to start with a relatively coarse stone (say, 240 - 600) to start the edge off. If the knife is still in pretty good condition, you can use something like a 1200 once a week to maintain the edge. You can also look at a very fine stone for polishing, like a 3000-5000. You can then use a standard issue leather belt for stropping/honing.
I would recommend you practice on cheaper knives first (and I mean a considerable amount), because improper sharpening can ruin a knife in short order. If you curl the edge there is little that can be done to fix it short of grinding off a lot of steel.
As a whetstone sharpener I don't want to turn anyone away from the practice. However, I am going to suggest an alternate approach. Whetstone sharpening is hard work and takes a good deal of practice. It is also more costly than people think. I've tried to teach a few friends and they were all crying by the end of their lesson in frustration.
If I had to make a suggestion to a friend, I would recommend buying a belt grinder along with a series of different grit belts. I would start with a relatively rough belt to form the burr (120 grit). Then move to a finer belt to refine the edge (I use 120 micron). Then use a leather belt loaded with some stropping compound to polish. Nothing is as good as a professional level stone sharpened edge, but the technique I've described is much better than the factory edge that came on your knife.
CONS: Overheating a knife on a belt grinder will cause the steel to soften or detemper. You will know if this happens when the steel turns a different color. The knife is not permanently damaged, just the outer steel which has discolored. Using light pressure or dipping the knife in coolant (water) between passes will eliminate the issue.