We've discussed the need for having a good set of knives in your kitchen. Now, let's discuss how to properly take care of them.
1. DON'T PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER! Wash your knives by hand, making sure that the blade is away from you at all times. And, please don't toss them in the dish water so that you then have to root around in soapy water to find them, all the while cutting yourself in the process.
2. Wash and dry your knives immediately after use. It will maybe take you 2 minutes to clean and dry your knives right away. First of all, you don't want anything to get stuck to them. The likelihood of you cutting yourself goes up with the amount of stuck on food. Also, don't leave your knives in a dish drainer to dry. Dry them with a towel and put them away. You have less chance of accidentally cutting yourself.
3. Sharpen them! Before you start your chopping, swipe the knife a couple times over the sharpener. You want to make sure your blade is up to the task. Be sure to always sharpen with the blade away from you. Our block has a sharpener built into the block, so there's no chance of cutting yourself. You don't look as cool when you're using it as you would with a traditional sharpener though.
We also just purchased the Wusthof Precision Edge 2-Stage Knife sharpener and have been pleased with it. We just run the knives through it a couple of times before we get started and things are much easier!