We consider a chef's knife to be the main workhorse of the kitchen, and any serious cook needs at least one. The shape is very versatile, with a long curved blade, and a pointy tip, and can handle most tasks, from slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables, to cutting and slicing large cuts of meat. The shape dates back to the 1800's, designed to suit the needs of professional European and American chefs, and the Japanese started making a modified version, the gyuto, in the mid 1900's.
Generally, you can expect gyuto to be made with hard steel and ground with thin edge and best to use only on boneless meats and vegetables. They lack a bolster, making them light, and easy to sharpen by hand on whetstones.
The classic Western chef's knife will typically be a bit heavier and tougher and great for a wider range of tasks, although we find them to dull a bit quicker.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!