There is a myriad of kitchen appliances, tools, gadgets, pans, and knives out there. The most useful kitchen gadgets to own are the ones that get the job done reliably, every time.
They are not necessarily the most expensive or the most well known brand name. They are the Tools you return to time and time again, because they get the job done. For example, my pasta machine is certainly not the most expensive, nor is it the best known, brand. It is, however, a very good one and it works perfectly every time.
Cooking and baking are all about time, temperature, and precision with ingredients. If you don't measure you are not going to be precise. If you are not precise it is going to make it near impossible to replicate your results. With that in mind the best possible results are going to come from weighing your ingredients.
While there are a variety of kitchen knives available chef's, bread, cleavers, paring, turning, utility, slicers, and others - you truly only need four. That's right, with four knives you can accomplish everything you need to do in a kitchen. When choosing knives for your kitchen buy the best you can afford, ideally buy professional kitchen knives.
The best pots and pans are not a brand they are a manufacturing process. They are made from three different layers of metal, and some are made with 5 layers. Typically, the outside is stainless steel, the middle layer is aluminum or copper, and the inside layer is stainless steel again. These are items that are worth spending a little extra money on, to get good ones. If you buy really nice pots you will have them for the rest of your life.
The list of small kitchen appliances is a seemingly endless list. However, you only need a stand mixer, a decent blender, a food processor, a stick blender, a pasta machine, and an ice cream maker. Because, what's comfort food without homemade ice cream?