The first and most important kitchen tool you should have in your raw food kitchen is a good quality chef's knife. When you buy a high quality knife, you are giving yourself the gift of a well-balanced, ergonomic instrument that glides through your food with ease.
Most high quality knives are made of composite materials and have a full tang (the part of the blade that extends into the handle). Your chef's knife will be your kitchen workhorse, so buy one that is built to last. Use it for cutting, slicing, chopping and mincing.