A few unintentional trips through the dishwasher dried out our wooden knife handles.
This set was one of the few wedding gifts we didn't return. I keep the handles silky smooth by wiping them with vegetable oil every few months.
My husbands sharpens the blades at home--a process that makes me very, very nervous!
If you don't have (or don't want to have) a sharpener, many independent hardware stores still offer this service. Locally, Hart Hardware runs a promotion in which you get a knife sharpened free for every can of food you donate.