While I love the idea of a 3-in-1 avocado tool,  a pancake squirter, a cherry-olive pitter, and a pineapple slicer, I just don't have the space for those items.  Or the memory to recall which beautiful, single-use items I have for specific jobs.  With kitchen tools, I just keep coming back to the same few basics.
For me, simple tools that can do multiple jobs win.  And that's why my list of kitchen tool essentials is just that: essentials.  Feel free to add the avocado thingy and pancake squirter for your own kitchen.  

1. Bodum Bamboo Utensil Set
I love these bamboo guys.  These are practically the only utensils I use when I cook.  They are light and a smooth texture to hold, clean easily, and can be used on non-stick pans.  I think the whole set is $20, and it's so worth it!  Bamboo is also a very eco-friendly wood :)

2. Lemon juicer
This tool seems to fly in the face of my "no one use items" policy.  But I cook with lots of lemon and lime juice.  Tons of it.  And this juicer is very easy to use.

3. Microplane zester
This tool is not just a zester (along I love a good bit of lemon or orange zest in salad dressings).  It will also finely grate cheese, and my personal favorite function: mince garlic.  For recipes that call for fresh minced garlic (like brushetta) this guy does an amazing job.  The garlic gets minced so finely that there are no huge offending chunks, just the breath-destroying garlic essence.

4. Measuring cups
Essential for baking.  Or measuring your dog's food. Don't forget about teaspoon/tablespoon measuring spoons, too.

5. Oxo angled measuring cups
These angled cups are so helpful when measuring liquids.  I have multiple sizes of glass and plastic measuring cups, and I use them all.  Especially that little one.  It measures in tablespoons and ounces, which is fantastic for marinades, sauces, and salad dressing measuring.

6. Tongs
These are great for cooking meat and scooping veggies.  Very basic, but very helpful

7. Plastic spatula
Again, super basic.  I probably only really use one, but having a tiny version is also nice for getting little bits out of small containers.  It's also nice to have one that can withstand very high heats for use in cooking.

8. Metal spatula (fish spatula)
If you enjoy cooking fish, this tool is so handy.  But it also helps for jobs like removing cookies from a baking sheet.

9. Ladle
Very necessary for soup serving.

10.  Pasta scoop
Very necessary for pasta serving.

11. Flat slotted plastic spatula
I use this spatula for cooking pancakes, frying eggs, serving roasted veggies and much more.  Plastic means it can be used on non-stick pots and pans.

Several items are omitted because I use them less frequently, but also think about adding: a can opener, pizza cutter, wine opener, peeler, potato masher, and whisk.  Knives will come in their own post.

Please let me know what you think of the lists or if you have any specific questions!  More to come!

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