1. Buy Good Quality Knives
The quality of stainless steel varies. Knives made of quality stainless are easier to sharpen and keep sharp. Good knives can cost a fortune. If you're on a budget, look for inexpensive knives marketed to chefs and butchers. They may not be pretty, but they are built to work.
2. Store your Knives Properly
Buy (or make) a knife block to keep your knives from getting dull and damaged in a kitchen drawer. Always wash your knives by hand and dry them before putting them away. Bouncing around in the dishwasher can ruin your knife, and harsh detergents can corrode the stainless steel.
3. Hone your knife
When you see chefs whipping their knives across a steel rod, they are not sharpening their knife, they're honing it, making the blade face the correct direction. Honing keeps a good knife working well, but it's difficult to sharpen a knife on a honing steel, which is why you should...
4. Buy a Sharpener
Knife sharpeners are an easy and safe way to keep your knives in shape, but there are a lot of bad ones on the market. To keep an edge on the blade, you must remove a little metal, but removing too much will destroy the knife. Do a little research before you invest!
5. Seek Professional Help!
Taking your knives to a professional once or twice a year is worth the investment. For a small fee, they can grind your knife to a sharper edge, work out any chips, and sharpen the point.
6. Use a Stone
Stones vary in coarseness, or grit. The type of stone you need depends on what type of knives you have, so ask a professional at a knife or kitchen store. They should also be able to show you the basics of how to use the stone.