Freehand is the best for those willing to learn how to sharpen freehand. I first started when I was about 12 so it's pretty much all I do, but some people have a knife or two that they like and can't be assed to learn how to properly hand sharpen those knives. It is also for those that use knives for some specific purpose, which is why these sets like to hang out by the hunting and fishing area. While I'd never let a knife intended to skin anything touch a Lansky, a lot of hunters I know lay out their stuff at the start of the season and might as well be sharpening lawnmower blades for all they care. The same people carry pocket sharpeners and like pull through sharpeners as well... those are the biggest crime ever committed against cutlery... lol

It also seems that those who like to freehand and find it therapeutic are the ones that love their knives. If there is no love for the knife, there is no desire to "waste" the time needed to learn to sharpen it freehand. Just a theory though, mainly because I love my knives... which fortunately my wife accepts even if she may not understand. lol