Modern knives are in general well made and hold their edge well. There are however a few simple guidelines which if followed will help your knives hold an edge for longer and will help them last longer.
It's better to be regularly sharpening your knives vs holding off until they are very dull before resharpening.
A dull knife is dangerous and will also take a lot of effort to restore the blade - whereas giving your knife a quick resharpen every week or so will only take a few seconds and ensures you will always enjoy your knives at their best.
Just have a small pull-through sharpener next to where you sort your knives. We make it part of the cleaning routine. Give the knives a scrub, a run through the sharpener and a quick dry - presto - beautiful razor sharp knives for the rest of your life.
Many knives are suitable to put in the dishwasher but our advice is that unless you are really struggling on time - don't.
Modern dishwasher detergents along with the high drying temperatures make for a less than ideal environment for a knife. You also risk cutting yourself while loading or removing items from the dishwasher.
Hand washing also prevents unnecessary microscopic dings on the blades’ cutting edge. Knife points can bend or chip when jammed through the racking.
Overall the blades on a knife will definitely dull quicker and the life of the knife be shortened if you are placing them in a dishwasher on a daily basis.
Placing a lot of pressure on a piece of frozen food to break it up will quickly dull a sharp knife. If you really must then you are best to use a serrated knife such as a bread or steak knife.
Or even better - defrost the ingredients in the microwave.
Don't delay cleaning until the next day. While modern stainless steel is durable it is not impervious to miss-treatment.
Leaving dried food on knives makes them more difficult (and hazardous) to clean and can also lead to staining. The best trick is to run them under water for a few seconds immediately after use and then give them a quick wipe with a tea-towel.
The same applies to putting away a damp knife - you risk wrecking the appearance of a beautiful knife.
There is nothing worse that seeing the tip of a good knife bent or broken off because someone tried to use it in the wrong way. Knives are designed to apply pressure in one specific direction and can be easily damaged outside of this use.
Using a kitchen knife to cut through cardboard, open packages or slice paper is a sure way to dull the blade and shorten their lifespan. There's a reason why box cutter knives have disposable blades - cutting through these types of materials is tough on a knife.
This really applies to cutting on any hard surface such as glass, stainless steel or ceramic. These materials are very hard and will quickly dull any knife. Always choose wooden or plastic chopping boards. Knives will still dull over time just from normal use, but not as quickly as cutting and slicing on a hard surface.
Avoid storing a bunch of sharp knives loose in a drawer where the blades can touch. Steel on steel will dull or chip the blades and it also constitutes a significant safety hazard. Properly store knives in a knife block, a magnetic strip or in a specially-designed drawer that separates them, or apply a protective sheath to each blade.
Ideally, you want your frequently used knives right in front of where you prepare food - making a knife block often the best choice.
Although make sure you don't use a knife block with vertical slots - as the knife rests directly on the blades edge. Each time you take the knife in or out you will be dulling the edge. Choose one with horizontal slots or if you are stuck with a vertical block place the knives up-side-down.
A great way to improve your enjoyment in the kitchen is learning what each knife is intended for and how best to use it.
Preparation time will be less, you'll be less likely to hurt yourself and your knives will stay sharper longer.