Spatulas are great for everything from stirring sauces to sautéing vegetables. Make sure to purchase a heat-resistant variety.
Tongs can be used like an extension of your own hands. Use them for turning meats and vegetables during the cooking process, and tossing together pastas and salads.
Use whisks with eggs, cream, batters and sauces, and to combine dry ingredients.
Cheese Grater and/or Zester
While not an absolute kitchen essential, it's useful to have a cheese grater on hand. A zester can be used for zesting citrus, grating nutmeg, and finely grating small amounts of cheese.