Almost everybody has a collection of old ratty paring knives in their kitchen drawer. They are used for everything and all the time. They are quintessential in your kitchen prep. From peeling fruits and vegetables to more delicate tasks such as garnishing, they are always handy.
Think of a paring knife as an extension of your hand. The difference in a sharp quality paring knife and a dull one makes the difference between a happy kitchen experience and a frustrating one. The big difference is usually that the less expensive brands of paring knives are sharp for a bit but never again.