Replacement knife choice
I've had my set of Henckel's knives for about 10 years now. Last year, my dear husband lost one of the knives in the set, so now I have the opportunity to fill that empty slot in my knife block. I could buy another 6" utility knife, but I also considered a Santoku style. Here are the knives I have in the set now; looking for suggestions on what would be the most useful addition:
paring knife (maybe 4"?)
I have a set of henckel's pro-s knives. I, also have a Santoku chef's knife. I think it is an 8 incher. The Santoku is my primary knife along with my 3 inch pairing knife. My utility knife is unused. I use my chef's knife very little. I use and like my bread knife, my 6 inch serrated knife and my boning knife. The boning knife is actually a Victorinox flex. I am actually thinking of getting an extra pairing knife because it gets dull faster than everything else so 2 would be nice. I have the shears, too.
Anyway, I don't use the utility knife so I would recommend something else like the Santoku. I got used to the Santoku so I like it better than my chef's knife. Other people would prefer the chef's knife.
I really like my flexible boning knife too. I am always boning out chicken. I buy a lot of the spit chicken breasts on sale for $1.00 per pound. It doesn't take much at all to butcher chicken breasts and throw the excess into a stock pot, separate out the tenderloins and make chicken cutlets.
Depends on if you have any needs that are unaddressed. As Chem said, a boning knife is useful if you break down much chicken or do a little work with meat. A filet knife is good if you think you'll find yourself filleting many fish. A meat cleaver probably wouldn't fit in your knife block, but would help if you think you'll chop through bones or open coconuts much. A long slicer or carving knife is good for roasts.
A santoku doesn't really let you do anything new and might not fit in the open slot. But there are some nice santokus out there (as well as a lot of mediocre ones). A nakiri kind of exaggerates some of the differences that a santoku offers, so it can be kind of a cool introduction to Japanese knife design. A Chinese cleaver definitely wouldn't fit and also serves the same functions as your chefs knife, but it's not too expensive and it's super fun to use.
But overall, I'm leaning towards suggesting you try out a petty (a Japanese utility knife with a small heel) and see if that gives you a hankering to try out some other Japanese designs further down the road. It will replace what you lost, but it's different enough that it should still feel like something new and exciting.
< Last year, my dear husband lost one of the knives in the set>
It depends what he lost. Is it the utility knife which your later statement semi-suggested?
As for what you should get, I think that depends what you already have.
paring knife (maybe 4"?)
If you don't have any of the knvies above, then a Chef's knife is a good choice.
Oh you have the four above. I thought you were considering the four above. Ok, a santoku is nice if you want to try something different. Beware that the Santoku and the Chef's knife have a lot of overlap. So if you like the Santoku, you will use less and less of your Chef's knife, and vice versa.
A boning knife is very useful if you like to debone chicken and meat. A carving knife can be cool on special occassion when you want to carve a turkey on those special days.