If you have or are going to purchase knives for your kitchen here are the three you MUST have:
Paring Knife: This very small but very sharp knife is used for many, many things. You can peel potato's, slice very small items, core out tomatoes and other vegetables.
Serrated Knife: The serrated knife is used for slicing bread, rolls, baguettes. Chopping chocolate and believe it or not slicing tomatoes! I always use a serrated knife to slice tomatoes, it doesn't slip! Try it.
Chef's Knife: The Chef knife is used for all your chopping. Vegetables, herbs, cleaning melon, can double as a meat slicer if you keep it sharp!
So if you are heading out, get the basics... good basics. You can always add unless you can find a great deal on an entire set. Learn to use your knives and your culinary skills will improve!
Reminder: When chopping always curl your fingers under while holding the food, the knife blade will hit your knuckle and protect you from cutting your fingers!