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Thread Starter 
I just got my first real adult apartment, and lately I've been looking to upgrade my knives. Don't get me wrong, I've been cooking at home, and I've already learned not to leave your knives in drawers or water. I also know better than to go and blow my furniture budget on a brand new Damascus Kresser or whatever the current favorite is, so I've been looking at some gently used knives. I'm sure that makes some of you cringe, but right now I just want a knife I can learn good habits with and not be upset and out $300+ if I destroy it.

Finally to the actual point: What good habits do I need? I feel a little swamped by all the "rules" of nice knives. Wet, dry, oil? Sharpen every day or just send it to a professional? There's so much opinion, and I don't trust google all the time. I'm pretty sure I want a European style knife. It looks like the blade style and maintenance of the softer steel are best for me. What is a solid, no frills, budget way to maintain this blade? I'm willing to learn to sharpen, but as I'm going to be ironing out my technique and probably making some mistakes, it doesn't need to be hair splitting sharp, just pretty darn good.

I heard I shouldn't hack apart chickens or squash with a carbon steel knife like I do with my Victorinox. Is it crazy to have an actual beater chef? Do I need a different set of maintenance tools for stainless steel?

Any help would be appreciated, even if it's just pointing me in the right direction to a manual. Do knives come with manuals??