Good kitchen knives are a necessity, and although a bit expensive, the Huff Post explains sharp knives are the essential tools a professional or home cook can own. Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern agrees, and he recommends five kitchen knives every kitchen should have.
The most important is the chef’s knife that’s big enough to cut through the fat and tendons of meat but is also used to cut up onions, carrots, and even herbs. Food Network notes that this wide blade knife is generally between six and 10 inches, and while Zimmern prefers an eight-inch knife, he suggests a six-inch for more control.
A paring knife is for those small, delicate cuts like slicing garlic, peeling carrots, and cutting smaller items like shallots. The Food Network refers to this knife as a "miniature" chef's knife that’s usually about four to five inches in length, and Cook's Illustrate describes it as perfect for poking at meat and roasting vegetables to see how firm or soft they are.
A serrated knife, often described as having teeth, or little peaks and valleys, requires less maintenance because it won't get used with the same frequency as the chef's knife. Zimmern says a big serrated knife can even cut its way through a watermelon, giving the perfect slices to serve.
The slicer is the fourth knife Zimmern recommends, which the Food Network lists as an "extra" rather than a priority, but notes that a 10-inch slicer has the capacity and flexibility to remove meat from a bone or cut up anything. The last is a good pair of kitchen scissors that Zimmern uses to cut up an entire turkey.