The word "spatula" describes a variety of very different kitchen utensils. It might mean the rubber kind of spatula that's used for mixing batters and scraping bowls, or it might refer to a hefty, long-handled grill spatula. There are wood spatulas and plastic spatulas and metal spatulas, spatulas that are slotted and spatulas that aren't, and all can be useful for different things. Any well-equipped kitchen will probably have several types. But if you have to get just one spatula, the most versatile, comfortable option for almost anything but baking is the one with the most specific name: the fish spatula, sometimes also called a slotted offset spatula, and not used for fish alone.
The fish spatula is an essential part of every chef's tool kit, and useful for all kinds of everyday cooking tasks. It has a short handle, a metal flipper with large slots cut into it, and an angled front edge with a bladelike bevel, making it more lightweight and easier to manipulate than the longer spatulas often found in home kitchens. That bladelike edge and thin metal flipper make it the best spatula for sliding under pieces of food without accidentally jamming into them; if a piece of chicken or fish is sticking slightly to the pan, these features can make all the difference between a clean flip and a shredded chunk of protein. A good fish spatula is just as adept at handling half-pound burgers or neatly flipping pancakes as it is at turning fragile fish fillets.