About Us - KnifePurveyor.com
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office: (919) 295-1283
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Michael A. Donato

Michael A. Donato, owner and President of KnifePurveyor.com, has been on the forefront of the custom knives niche market since 2001, buying, selling and promoting a wide range of custom knives.  Michael views each knife as an individual work of art and every knife maker as an artist with steel being his or her canvas.  The exotic materials, unique designs and superior craftsmanship of the knives that Michael procures rival, and at times surpass, the finest watches, jewelry and pens available on today’s market.  Very few people, outside the world of custom knife collectors, even know that knives of this caliber exist. It is Michael’s goal to promote and educate those who are interested in fine collectibles to the custom knife world.

Michael graduated S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh College in 1998 and then participated in a Work Abroad Program in Dublin, Ireland. After living in Dublin, Michael backpacked for four months throughout Europe and Africa.  During his travels, Michael visited many of the finest museums in Europe including the Louvre in Paris, Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Prado Museum in Madrid and many others.

It was through these cultural experiences that Michael fell in love with the fine arts.  Upon his return to New York, Michael became a member of the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Wanting to deal with high quality items and high quality collectors, Michael started reading “duPont Registry” and “The Robb Report” to gain an understanding of what serious collectors "collect".

One evening in 2000, Michael was meeting with fellow art collector, Richard Mattei, and was introduced to custom knives.  Richard had a unique and varied collection of knives that was simply breathtaking.  This meeting was the catalyst that began Michael’s journey and established his place in the custom knife industry.  Each knife was a true work of art; each one appeared nicer than the last; each one truly unique.  To discover one of man’s oldest tools developed and refined in such a sophisticated way was a life changing event.  Richard recognized Michael’s enthusiasm and invited him to attend the East Coast Custom Knife Show.

While attending the East Coast Custom Knife Show , Michael's "knife education" began. He was amazed by the large number of talented makers and the unique qualities of each knife. The artistry, craftsmanship and designs were incredible.  With Michael’s interest further piqued, he wholeheartedly engaged with, and committed himself to, the custom knife world.  Michael immediately began studying the content of the three monthly custom knife magazines “Blade Magazine ”, “Knives Illustrated ” and “The Cutting Edge”.  He subsequently discovered that there were many custom knife shows all over the United States, with the premier show being the “Blade Show” in Atlanta, Georgia.  After an intense period of exposure to, and education on, the industry, Michael decided that he was committed to this new endeavor and would exhibit at the Blade Show the following June.

Michael conducted extensive research on makers, pricing, demand and market saturation.  He diligently interviewed knifemakers to learn about their turn-around times for knife orders, current prices as compared to year over year pricing and a wide range of other factors affecting the market.  Through Michael’s continuing education in the knife world, he started to develop a business plan/model.  His initial exhibition at Blade Show in 2001 featured an assortment of forty knives by various makers and officially started his custom knife career.

In 2004, "Blade Magazine" featured an article on Michael which focused on his visionary business model to purchasing custom knives. "The System" was a three- pronged approach on how to identify premier handmade knives. This article was released during the 2004 Blade Show and was well received by the custom knife community.

Michael has become a leading expert in the custom knife field and is often cited as an expert contributor to articles for his insight into market trends.  Michael was further honored by Steve Shackleford (Editor of Blade Magazine) in being appointed one of the judges at the 2015 Blade Show.

Over the past eighteen years, Michael has traveled extensively in connection with the custom knife world, attending numerous shows and meeting hundreds of makers and collectors.  He is a regular fixture at the premier knife shows each year in the United States.  In addition, Michael has traveled abroad in search of custom knives and collectors. During a recent trip to St Petersburg, Russia he spent time with the Curator of Edged Weapons of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

He continues to share his insights and knowledge in helping many collectors build their custom knife collection as well as helping many collectors appraise and sell their knives.

Developing and building long lasting relationships are the fundamental "keystones" of his business model.  He especially prides himself in providing "second to none" customer service as well as offering a fine assortment of custom knives in many price ranges by many different makers.

Michael has been featured in several publications including:

American Hard Assets August 2014:

"The Knife That is Art"

Blade Magazine “The System” August 2004

"The System"

"Excalibur" French Knife Magazine in 2013

Not only is KnifePurveyor.com Inc. a premier locale to buy custom knives, it is also an avenue for many collectors and makers to sell their knives. We go above and beyond in order to ensure that every deal we construct is a success for the consignee, buyer and seller. The following link will take you to Customer Testimonials that have been submitted to Michael.

We look forward to fulfilling your present and future knife needs.