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Let's cut right to it: There is nothing more important in your arsenal of kitchen equipment than a good, gleaming, sharp, sturdy knife — or set of knives. If you can't slice cleanly through your heirloom tomato or marbled slab of steak, then the rest of your recipes might as well be discarded to the scrap heap. Chefs are so attached to their favorite knives, some cart their babies home in protective knife carriers for safekeeping, only to return to the restaurant with those knives the next day. The first three types of knives are the most essential. But if you can buy only one quality knife, the chef's knife is the one to get. It's the workhorse of knives, and you want it to feel comfortable, heavy, and durable. A chef's knife is one of the most multi-use knives you can have in your kitchen. Go for a classic 8-inch blade in brands such as Cangshan, J.A. Henckels International, Wüsthof and Victorinox Fibrox, which make well-reviewed versions.