Looking back, knives were first used millions of years ago as essential tools firstly made of rock and flint. It was through technology that has evolved blades made from copper, bronze, steel, ceramics and titanium along with the flint's practicality as an effective cutting instrument. These have inspired the production of a very wide range of different modern blade patterns and styles that we know of today.
Generally, we see different versions of a knife following culture and origin, but even so, the knife's serviceable characteristic made it the best tool that spends time in the hands of cooks and chefs. Different types of kitchen knives provide different efficiency and accuracy in cutting different kinds of food, but little did we know, the biggest problem in almost all home kitchens is dull knives. A lot people find it the biggest hindrance in cooking.
Just about every friend's kitchen I go to, I see different kinds of knives but very few are sharp. The only kitchens I've been in where there are sharp knives are those of meat butlers who are selling meat and those where no one cooks and where the knives and cutlery are kept inside the drawers. If most of your kitchen knives are dull and you don't sharpen them on a regular basis, even on high-end cutlery, your knives are almost certainly dull.
Myth says a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. This is because using dull knife requires excessive force to cut the food which can slip off food and cause injury to the user. A sharp knife cuts food finely requiring only a little force, so cutting gets much easier along with a good control of the knife, and the user is more likely to be safe. Since kitchen knives become dull time after time, it is only necessary to take best care of them by regular sharpening. Besides it's one of the ways we can make our knives useful and long-lasting.
Another thing about knives myth says is it should have a full tang. This probably works for heavy duty knives obliged to cut coarse leather and firewood, but not for kitchen knives which are generally only designed for delicate cutting of soft ingredients for food. On the contrary, it will give you problems getting full tang knives as it is rare for high end kitchen knives, or even stainless knives with a full tang. In short, know the kinds of knives you are in most need of so you don't fall on marketing hypes.
Another thing that is both true and false is that knife sets are a better deal than individual knives. Although you get more metal in a set compared to buying same pieces individually, large sets usually come in a large number or knives that you will not use. On the other hand, you can use the other metals when your useful ones get dull, dirty, or broken. So either you buy a premium set of knives, cutlery and accessories, or get individual pieces of leading quality Chef's knife, small paring knife, carving knife and bread knife, both can be considered best deals.
Having professional series of knives, cutlery, graters, and mandolins in your kitchen, I don't think you will ever have a problem working with them. That's if you spend most of your life in the kitchen.