The production of cutting blades for agriculture in the form of scythes and sickles was a specialist industry. Scharnstein became an important centre for it after four workshops were built on the River Alm between 1585 and 1588 by Helmhart Jörger of Scharnstein Castle. In 1875, Simon Redtenbacher expanded production and made Scharnstein the leading producer of scythes in Austria-Hungary, exporting its products worldwide. The mechanization of agriculture and foreign competition led to closure of the factory in 1987.
The museum was created by volunteers in 1992. It preserves a late-nineteenth-century scythe factory intact. The single-storey building stands next to its source of waterpower and has three forge hammers operated by waterwheels. There is also a working pneumatic hammer. Blacksmiths demonstrate the use of forges and tilt hammers. An exhibition shows a film of the factory still working in 1987 and displays examples of the many types of scythe produced. A 2.4-km path takes visitors along the river.