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Cheapest I have seen a KME standard system without base was around $169 new. IMO it is the best system for the money. The Lansky is affordable but it has some major faults. The wicked edge is too expensive and really not any better than kme, only faster. Also IMO sharpening both sides at once like the wicked edge does, you don't feel for a burr... Without doing that you're sort of wasting material.
I just ordered a KME with a lot of accessories. I've used my friends Worksharp belt sharpener. It gets knives really sharp, really quick. I think for most people its fine for sharpening knives. I just like systems like the KME, Wicked Edge etc. because it letsyou get your edge to the next level. The ability to a convex edge, mirror polish, etc. It seems like more of an enthusiasts sharpener.
How did the big worksharp not get onto this list yet??? (Yes, it's a big investment, but it's portable and powerful, and it's not more expensive than most of the top-class guided systems.) I'd add Paper Wheels, because I know they're popular, but I don't use them.
I already have one so I'm just chipping it. A while back I called up Benchmade and asked them how to properly sharpen a griptillian. They suggested worksharp, had it for a few weeks now and it's an awesome system. Super simple. Super efficient.
I have a diamond sharpener and a whetstone as well, but this is the best option if you want to get the job done.
I'd vote for a freehand option if there was one. Like some dmt bench plates or spyderco stones or something.
Kme all the way
I've never seen the KME deluxe system for sale on massdrop. Does KME not offer a big enough discount on bulk orders?