The paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes inferred from shifts in lake sediment geochemistry require reliable, efficient and cost-effective methods of analysis. The available geochemical techniques, however, suggest that different analytical approaches can influence data interpretation. X-ray fluorescence core scanner analyses (XRF-CS), field portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) were concurrently applied to provide a multi-method geochemical appraisal of a 6000-year-long karstic sediment record (Lake Ighiel, Romania). The comparison between techniques was based on a set of elements that are widely employed in environmental reconstructions (Ti, K, Fe, Ca). Descriptive and statistical approaches were used to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each method and assess their optimal use in karstic environments. Our data display similar downcore patterns, with strong to moderate correlations between the datasets. The discrepancies observed between method-specific downcore multi element behaviour are related to the preparation steps and sampling. To best capture the complexity of past environmental changes in karstic settings, a combination of quantitative and qualitative geochemical methods would be the most appropriate approach to reliable data acquisition and subsequent paleoenvironmental interpretation of lake sediment data.