A utility knife makes a perfect addition to a chef's knife or santoku. This one, at nearly 6 inches in length is basically a short and thin chef's knife. It also excels as a short precision-slicer. I find this Japanese style of utility knife much more useful than the standard German utility and paring knife design, as this one has a deeper blade which is shaped more like a small chef's knife, and so you can in fact use it just like a small chef's knife. I use mine all the time at home now for dicing bell peppers and such, and I can now even do a fine dice of a single garlic clove (I don't like using a garlic press) just like I can an onion. It's also great for dicing ginger and any other small-ish item.
These knives really are very sharp, with excellent construction quality and they just look spectacular with the layered steel, hammered finish and gorgeous octagonal walnut wood handle in the traditional Japanese style. The wooden handle feels great in your hand and makes for a very light knife for easy and comfortable handling.
If you like the damascus layered steel look but don't like the artificially high prices by domestic knives and kitchen stores, this is a truly excellent choice. You get a super sharp and long-lasting VG-10 steel cutting core (this is a very hard steel and high quality knife steel, with a Rockwell hardness of approximately 60), with a 33-layer hammered stainless steel surface and a beautifully wooden handle.
NOTE: Handle colour/finish may vary from the version pictured here. It is natural wood, and so some are lighter or darker than others, and small imperfections are to be expected and are not considered defects. The wood is not sealed and so extra care must be taken to keep it dry and clean... do NOT leave it sitting in a sink or in water!! As with all quality knives, wash, rinse, hand-dry and store immediately after use.
I'd recommend the fine ceramic hone (see below) for regular/daily maintenance of the edge. As with any knife, use the hone regularly and you'll keep the edge in good shape for a LONG time before you need to think about doing any serious "re-sharpening" or real grinding and refinishing of the edge.
NOTE: This knife is sharpened 50/50 (equally on the right and left side), so it's easy to maintain and fine for right or left hand use. If you look carefully at the edge, you'll see a slight right-side bias, this is just because the final edge is so tiny and because of the way they finish the edge; it has NO bearing on right- or left-hand use, sharpening or maintenance and can be ignored, so you should treat the edge just like any standard 50/50 edge.