I would like to prefer two diodes for your own home amateur or professional lab.
Diode 1N4148 is highly recommended for high speed communications, This has 4nS switching time, which is very very fast, it is ideal for communication purpose as well as low voltage and current AC to DC rectification. Its maximum rated current is low as compared to 1N404x series.
Small General purpose Diode 1N4007 is highly recommended for lab general purpose, however you may use from 1N4001 to 1N4007 diodes, all these diodes have rated current upto 1A, the only difference between them is of maximum voltage ratings, I personaly recommend 1N4007 diode, which is best among 1N400x series, due to its maximum voltage level which is 1000 volts. all diodes from 1N4001 to 1N4007 comes with almost similar price.
3.6V zener diode is recommended, if your dealing with USB communication projects.
5.1V zener diode is recommended for general purpose use. It can be useful to produce 5.1V supply, as well as for reference voltage supply, It can be used in communication project where micro-controller pins are directly connected to external boards for keeping communication line voltage levels in between minimum and maximum voltage levels of micro-controllers (for this use connect cathode of zener diode to micro-controller pin and connect anode pin to common ground of micro-controller board)