I thought I would let you in on the secrets to knife care that I have learned over the years.
1 - You don't need lots of knives, or even spend tons of money - but it is worth the investment to have one good sized knife that is sharp. I have these and love them.
2 - The handle should be heavy. This tells you that the blade of the knife and the handle are one piece. That's a good sign. Also a good sign is if the handle is wood, you can see a metal stripe all the way to the base of the handle. (I would recommend a handle that can go in the dishwasher though.
3 - I know what you are thinking, "You can't put good knives in the dishwasher! It dulls the blade!" False. You can put them in the dishwasher. I did some research - it only damages the blade if it is near metal and bangs up next to it. So keep it away from some of those utensils and other knives.
4 - Paper or Plastic? Both! Boards that is. (Well, not really paper - wood.) Your cutting boards should be made of one of two things - Wood or Plastic. Plastic for raw meats, wood for everything else. If you have a good butcher block that is treated well, juices, oils, etc., should not leak through. No glass. None. No acrylic. Throw them away. I don't care how cute they are.
* Your butcher block should be at least an inch or two thick. That way you can sand it and treat it when needed. We will talk about butcher blocks another day.
5 - Do not use that "knife sharpener" that comes with your knife set. That is a wet stone and only really fancy chefs and other knife professionals should use these. If you use it and just the wrong angle, it will damage your knife. Use this beauty I bought for me and my mom. We each keep ours near the knife block. We use it before every use. It is not a sharpener - but a honer. I learned most knives are really dull, they are just bent slightly. This fixes that. Plus! It's only $20!
6 - Love them. Cherish them! Do not use them to open boxes or for sword fights. Just food please.