The only three knives home cooks really need are a chef’s knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. Once you get into deboning ducks and fabricating pork quarters, then you can add a boning knife and cleaver to your knife rack.

I don’t recommend buying a ceramic chef’s knife because they’re fragile, but I do like the new Kyocera 3-inch paring knife. On a recent Saturday, I used it to halve cherry tomatoes and slice shallots for a farro salad, and combined with the ceramic vertical double edge peeler, it made quick work of peeling and chopping cucumbers bound for a gingery brine. The paring knife stays sharp longer than stainless or carbon steel, feels good and ergonomically correct in the hand, and features a rounded tip so it won’t break off easily.

On the fence about ceramic knives? Here’s your gateway knife—and peeler.

Pick up a Kyocera Paring Knife & Double Edge Peeler Set for your own kitchen ($30,

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