Blade Finish Poll


Gold Member
Jul 3, 2001
I'm curious. Which finish do you prefer on your blades and why? Mirror, brushed/satin, bead blast, etc.?

Bead Blast!

I just like non-reflective blades....not really sure why.

It's my favorite blade finish from the Buck Custom Shoppe.
- Polished on a pocket, light-duty user (like a SAK) or on a "wall hanger". It just says "clean".

- For anything else, a finish that is functional AND matches the handles (I guess that should really be, the handles match the finish). I like Bead blast and/or coated in a "rugged use" blade.

I don't like brushed in a user becase it doesn't protect the blade and (to me) it isn't very rugged. I don't care for it in "art" or collector knifes because it doesn't look "finished".

A well done hand rubbed finish is a thing of beauty.
Depends on the knife and its intended use, the steel, and the maker. Here's my favorites in the custom arena:

Working knives: D-2, 440V, S30V: Tony and Reese Bose ground finish. You can use them, and they come right back with a scotchbrite wheel.

Collecting only: ATS-34 Hand rubbed to such a fine finish you can't believe it was done by hand: Tom Overeynder, Rick Browne, Gene Shadley, Bill Ruple are all exceptional. But Rick Browne's blades and the entire knife have an incredible mirror finish.

Finest finish on a working steel: Tom Overeynder puts a hand rubbed, almost mirror finish on 440V that rivals most of what I've seen on ATS34. I can actually see my reflection in the one I have.
Stonewash or fine ceramic bead blast.

Both resist fingerprints, don't show scratches too much (the stonewash really doesn't), and can be cleaned and polished without ruining the finish too much.

Danbo said:
A well done hand rubbed finish is a thing of beauty.

Amen. I spend too much time wiping fingerprints off anything mirror polished and bead blast is just fugly. If I'm worried about scratches on a user ( :confused: ), then Tungsten-DLC is the way to go.
satin, shows scratches "lightly" and is still nice to look at. Mirror, is nice, but once you really start using it, it becomes a little "unsightly". Brushed is okay, but satin is a nice "middle ground".
I'm not the biggest fan of a mirror-polished blade...but I did see a flat-ground bowie earlier this year that had been machine-polished to a flat-as-glass mirror finish, and bow was it shiny....just amazing. Like holding an actual mirror. But that's beyond the realm of most knifemakers.

I really like a fine scotchbrite or hand-rubbed finish. Has a certain mystical glow to it. Magical.

I'm starting to warm up to the idea of a bead-blasted finish....seems pretty durable for when you don't want a shiny blade or a blued blade. Next time I see a unit on sale...I'll probably get one.

My second most favorite finish is an aged finish. Just love it.
On a traditional knife either satin or mirror for me.
Patina or coated for me - sheer practicality wins out. I do like mirror polished blade a lot, though. Oooooooo shiny!
Working knives: no frills satin finish.
Collectors: either satin or mirror - depends on the materials and quality of the knife.
Katanas, Wakizashi and Tantos: High satin/near mirror finish to show off the temper line.