By Debby Stricker
Fifteen years ago Mike O’Rear started collecting knife steels because he thought no one else collected them. “ I wanted to collect something unusual,” he said.
O’Rear searched antique malls and went to auctions to buy the tools used for sharpening knives.
Knife steels are not all that rare and usually cost only a few dollars. Decades ago they were used on every farm for butchering.
At first, O’Rear thought his collection was unusual. Then, through the internet, he saw that there are hundreds of other collectors across the country.
Though he could buy knife steels on-line, that would be too easy, O’Rear said. He buys the old fashion way – in person and one at a time. “Every purchase has to have a story behind it,” he said.
Read more about it in this week’s issue