This was my first "nice" knife. Before it, I had only owned dull, cheap knife sets that were always such a frustration to use. When I received this one as a gift, it was quickly and effortlessly incorporated into most all of my food prep routines.
I particularly like this Shun's little 6" size. While it is a chef's knife, it's small enough that it's easy and unintimidating handling for a non-pro like me. And I almost never find myself needing to get out something bigger or smaller.
Now, I also must get around to this knife's looks. The handle is made of a very dark wood whose grains just faintly show. This perfectly complements the moire effect visible in the hammered layers of steel in the blade. Seems a little funny to so admire a kitchen utensil's appearance, but it's just another reason that this one's my favorite.
Related: Knife Storage: Five Ways To Store Your Knives Safely
(Images: Regina Yunghans)