When I was a senior in college, I shared a two-bedroom, one bathroom, microscopic kitchenette suite with three other girls. We all loved to bake and cook but were fully aware that we were in for a crowded year. We needed to use space efficiently, which meant carefully picking what kitchen equipment was absolutely necessary. As a full knife set was out of the question, we settled on a Shun Classic Ultimate Utility Knife whose praises my father had sung for a long time.
This knife truly is the ultimate. If your budget is only big enough for one good knife, this is that knife. If your kitchen drawers are only spacious enough for one good knife, again, this is that knife.
Why, you may ask? Firstly, it has a rounded blade, which easily allows the chef to mimic the rocking motion of a chopping (chef's) knife, but it is also scalloped which allows it to work as a serrated knife, too. It is petite enough to act as a paring knife for peeling garlic cloves and segmenting grapefruit—but also sturdy enough to act as a butchering knife for chopping bones as a base for a stock or jus.
In this video I'll take you through the many different wonders of the rounded utility knife.
Though I can only personally vouch for the blessed Shun brand, any blade that is both scalloped, rounded, and relatively petite should do the trick. (Or it will certainly make a tiny kitchenette shared between four girls much more comfortable!)