When you are outfitting your kitchen it can be tempting to get it done all at once – it’s easy to buy kitchen knife sets that look like they have everything you need but when you actually use some of the knives you realize they don’t work as well as you’d hoped or they don’t fit nicely in your hand. Most cooks have a favorite two or there knives they’ve acquired over a lifetime of cooking; professional chefs always buy knives on an individual basis. It’s also not likely that a standard knife set will include a santoku style knife which is essential for basic food preparation.
The design of the santoku style knife originated in Japan; the name actually means “three virtues” or “three uses” since the knife is crafted to excel at slicing, dicing and mincing. The santoku's blade and handle are designed to work in harmony by matching the blade's width/weight to the weight of blade tang and handle and the original Japanese santoku is considered a well-balanced knife.
Most knife sets only include one paring knife if they even include a paring knife at all while most cooks use two or three parings knives on a regular basis. If you are preparing a meal you might wish to pare potatoes and carrots or work with garlic or onions and then cut fruit or citrus; it’s much easier to have a few paring knives instead of having to stop and rinse the knife between uses to avoid flavor transfer.
Tomatoes can be a challenge to slice; a serrated edge tomato knife makes it easy to work with even the ripest tomatoes. Most standard knife sets do not include a tomato knife.