Doing about 98% of your cutting, a reliable chef’s or Santouku knife is almost the only kind you’ll need. Yes, the knife culture can be pretty obsessive, and thus, pricey. But don’t let that intimidate you from cooking. If you’re building your kitchen arsenal from scratch, don’t worry too much about getting a top of the line knife that cuts through everything from melons to countertops. Just get anything that looks decent on Amazon or at your local Target. Beware though of when they go dull. The cheaper knives (without surprise) lose their edge faster than the quality ones. Just make sure you at least get a cheap sharpener to go with it.
After you’ve been cooking for a while, you may feel compelled to return to the world of knives and upgrade to some good steel. You’ll swear you’re a samurai in search for the sword of your destiny. It becomes a real personal thing – is it the right balance, is it the right length, how comfortable does it feel in your hand? Especially if you get in to sharpening the edge by hand with a sharing stone.
Rest assured though, once you move up to a quality knife, you’ll see the difference in the edge, the feel, and the fit as you slice up them onions.