9 of 10
Come on, you gotta have these! Sure, there are more knives, like Santoku, those trendy Japanese knives that some cooks use instead of chef's knives. And we appreciate the skill of single-use blades, like grapefruit knives, cheese knives (how could those not be essential?!), oyster knives, and lettuce knives. But butter knives and dinner knives are the stuff everyday life is made of, whether you cook or not. These guys, usually stacked in your silverware drawer next to your spoons and forks, are such a staple that they should probably go at the top of the list. They're so obvious we almost forgot. Yes, they're technically two different kinds of knives, but they're both at the table during the meal. Whether you have a single butter knife for serving butter that everyone shares at the table, a butter knife for each person by his or her bread plate, or you use the table knives that you set to the right of each place setting, they either spread your butter on those dinner rolls, or do that plus help you cut your food during the meal at the dinner table. How else would you cut your pancakes or lasagna? They gather food to your fork. And they're great for soft cheeses too. Choose the butter knives, table knives, flatware, or silverware that you like best in a set. This is so subjective we can hardly tell you a brand. But probably no kitchen — even the barren kitchen of a person devoted to takeout, delivery, and dining out — is without at least one … or six.