I'm asking less of a 'which is best' and more of a 'which is best for me' here. I don't collect knives, I have a set few, one pocket knife (currently a CRKT Drifter, although I am about to upgrade to a knife with a much better steel- see my 'help me choose a knife' thread), a small SAK, and a blade or two on my leatherman charge. I want something that will let me maintain, and in a pinch repair these knives. I also want to be able to do some (not insignificant) repairs/ refurbishments on my old kitchen knives and maintain them afterwards. I've read about a ton of different systems, and my criteria is the following: - Easy/ Low learning curve. I'm not looking to become a guru, and I don't have enough knives to gain lots of experience in everyday use. Sharpening is a definite necessity, but not a hobby. - Relatively quick. I'm not looking at this as sharpening therapy. I'm willing to spend 15 minutes or so every week/ whenever necessary to maintain the few knives I use, and an hour or two when some TLC is necessary, but I'm not looking to sit for hours. If I was bored, there's a chance I'd experiment/ learn, and maybe one day try to figure out the higher sharpness levels and mirroring, but it's not my goal. - Cost conscious. I don't want to spend a fortune, but I want to make sure I have what I need. Sets like Edge Pro/ Wicked Edge/ KME are out of my budget, which I can stretch if necessary to around $200 CAD (approx $150 USD), but ideally would be below that . - Effective. I don't need a mirror finish, though it would be nice. I don't need hair popping, though it would be nice. I'm aiming for shaving sharp. I've done a decent chunk of research and narrowed it down to the following: 1) Spyderco Sharpmaker +Diamond stones (approx $200 CAD): An obvious choice, dead simple, effective,and most importantly proven, but with the diamond rods it's at the very top of my budget. It also seems based on my research that even with the diamond, repairs/reprofiling is likely an unpleasant proposition. 2)Work Sharp guided sharpening system + upgrade kit (approx $140 CAD): On paper this looks perfect. Has it all, diamond stones in multiple grits, ceramic rods, leather strop+ compound, parts can be used as a portable kit, system built to make the curve and tip easier, and comes out to under $140 CAD. Good for sharpening, reprofiling, any steel. But it doesn't have the sharpmaker's track record or reputation, and none of the reviews/videos I've seen had it do anything more impressive than shaving sharp (nothing hair popping, for example, and I don't see any mirror finishes). Also not sure how easy it would be for more curved blades (spyderco style). At the end of the day not completely confident based one what I've read. 3) Work sharp angle sharpener KO ($94 CAD): functions like the sharpmaker, but MUCH cheaper and includes 2 diamond stone surfaces as well as a fine ceramic stone and rod. Can do multiple angles. Looks like a better value than the sharpmaker, but you can't use the stone edges, just the face, and I'm not sure how badly that hurts me (again, figure a spyderco curved blade, like the native or chaparral, and kitchen knives). 4) Work Sharp Ken Onion edition (approx $230) CAD: Looks like the most capable system of the bunch, with the highest possibility of catastrophic failure. Expensive, but I could probably swallow the cost, and not sure how good a solution it would be for the knives I have. It seems like people who use it really like it and get mirrored, hair popping results, but needs the highest amount of practice. I'm open to suggestions. Please don't suggest bench/water stones, you're right, I might be able to learn them properly, but then again I might give up and never use them. They have the highest probability of buyers remorse. Please don't suggest more expensive options than the ones listed above. I'm currently leaning most heavily in favor of the first 2 options, but I'm in no way decided. Thanks!