stylus condition and maintenance

I'm new here, and just starting to find my way around. I'm also trying to reacquaint myself with some of the finer details of audio components. To begin with, I have several turntable cartridges of various ages and quality. Is there a way a novice (myself for one) can determine the condition of the stylus? Thanks for any advice and referrals!

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Just use them!

They can last a very long time, however you must learn how to setup the turntable, arm/cartridge and stylus cleaning, which can be tricky!

Just judge the quality, by the sound of your system, and relax!

You may be on a LONG enjoyable trip.
another route is to get/borrow a 100x or greater microscope and look at the cantilever and stylus. That should tell you if they are straight and/or worn on one side or the other.
Listening though is the final test.
The suspension goes out before the tip many times so change cartgs. every 3-4 years to keep them in good shape. Using a 10 yr. old cartridge is not a good idea. The suspension just gets tired and wears out, and the compliance is not as new. I change every 3-4 years. Use tweak heavily on the styli and you will need to change every year. A small amt. is all that is needed, otherwise it will wick up into the cart.