Everyone who loves to cook needs knives. If you have the right equipment, cooking can be a fun hobby. Knives are not important for casual cooks. My mother and sister cook almost every day, so they're comfortable with a basic set of knives. These knives are crucial for someone like my professional chef brother or myself, who only cooks once per week, read this.
There are two major styles of professional knives, the Japanese style and the German style. They're both fantastic, but they are very different. It all depends upon what you enjoy. Wusthof (the professional J.A. Henckels" brand). Shuns, Global and many other Japanese knives can be used as examples. These types of knives can be used by professionals or amateurs. Some may own several brands. There are many places that you can touch knives. Some even offer them for sale. You might be best to bring them home with you. You might be able to try them out and get a better sense of their capabilities.
German-style knives are more heavy and solid. They are stronger and more durable than a German tank and can withstand severe punishment. A German chef knife is versatile, and can be used almost anywhere. These are the most common knives. Japanese-style knives weren't widely known in America until recent decades.
Japanese knives tend to be lighter and can be used for multiple purposes. These knives are not sharp enough to slice into bone. They have brittle edges that look a lot like swords from the samurai. Many Japanese knives are made up of layers of stainless steel, much like swords. German knives have more intricate knives. Japanese knives are much more similar to a Porsche and Lotus than German knives.