Naked or Clothed?

Nov 16, 1998
With all the blade finishes and coatings out there: (ex. Mirror Finish, Satin Finish, Bead Blasted, BT2 Coating, Black Ti Coating, Black T Coating, Buckcotes gold, grey, etc.), what is preferred?

I like one of the black coatings on my blade for the help of rust prevention but like the looks of a satin finish blade for seeing the grinds much better. For a working knife, I would rather have a coated blade myself!

So, who prefers Nude over Covered? Aye ....


" Knife Collectors Are Sharp People! "

I prefer a satin finish for several reasons:
1) Coatings tend to wear easily and make the blade look ugly.
2) Wear and tear on a satin finish blade can be removed with sandpaper (usually 200, 300, 400, and 600).
3) Coatings often tend to increase the friction when cutting stuff like boxes, whereas the naked steel tends to be more slick.
4) Looks better, IMHO.
First choice is mirror, second is satin. I am not a fan of coated blades. The coatings tend to wear and the blade ends up looking cruddy.

"Walk softly and carry a big folder... and a small folder... and a SAK... and a multi-tool..."
I don't know! I've had some satin finish blades get pretty ugly too.

I have notice though, when opening up boxes with that yucky tape on it, the tape residue doesn't cling to the blade as much if it has a coating on it like it does to satin or to uncoated blades. Mirrored blades are even worse for this happening. It is also much easier to get that tape junk off of a coated blade than a non coated blade as well!

Now I also ask you, isn't Beauty or Ugliness in the eye of the beholder anyways?

Depends on the knife, but I don't like black-t much, too soft.

"Every Dog Has His Day"

If you can bear the heartache of scratching it up, a mirror gives the best corrosion resistance of any bare steel finish. Bead-blasting is pure idiocy, pre-pitting a knife for rust to set in - but I think folks here all know that.

I don't care for coatings, they wear fast and get very ugly, and they don't protect the edge. That's the part that rusts most easily and is the most important!


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..."
sounds like something ugly people would say...
Seriously, I never cared for the coatings...I've seen too many come down the pike after much use....looking icky...Gimme a mirror finish anyday..
I prefer the stonewashed finish that comes on the CRK Sebenzas. Do any other knife companies besides Chris Reeve use this process? It is both attractive and highly scratch proof.

I just love that gray finish!
(Chromium Nitride).


Well if i had to chose between the different coating type finishes i would have to go with titanium nitride, the TiN is much more wear resistant. However in my opinion there isnt much need for a corrosion resistant coating on stainless, the closer it is to a mirror polish the better.
One fine looking coating, IMHO, is the gray stuff on some SOG blades(Seal Knife 2000, for example). Anyone know what that is? I don't know how scratch-resistant it is, or what kind of corrosion protection it offers. Beadblasted blades are usually OK when they are SMOOTH. Like in Boker Speed/Top Locks. When I handle knives with rougher beadblast, I wish they would have made it smoother or not beadblast it at all. And when a beadblasted blade gets oil on it...My CRKT Stiff KISS had some "storage oil" on it and it sent shivers down my spine every time I touched it until I cleaned it up.
Satin, nude heheeh -AR

- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.

I prefer high polished steel, but it is hard to find on most knives. Satin is next in line and far more available. It's my favorite.
Black-T or Benchmade's coating is certainly preferred over bead blast. In fact, bead blasted blades suck and I try very hard to avoid them.
REKAT and Reeves have an excellent "stone washed" finish that is both attractive and hides the scratches inhereted with use.
Thanks for letting me voice my opinion

If you're gonna use the knife on the battlefield or just like the color, go for a black coating. I've got a Project 1 and knew kalgard would wear faster than titanium oxide. So I considered getting it coated with titanium oxide for a long time, and meanwhile wore out the kalgard and scratched up the blade. I just had it refinished by Chris Reeve Knives, looks good as new! All the sudden I like kalgard a lot more. And it does wear well, I work mine hard than most and it took me a year.

That said, go for polished, but maybe not mirror polished, for civilian/non-asthetic purposes and just accept that it will get scratched up. A scratched knife shows you know how to use it, like a holsterworn pistol.

Scrathes are a reality of actualy using knives. Don't fear them. It's just part of the natural breaking-in process. When it gets real bad, just get it re-polished.
Anything but bead blast
1st choice,mirror polished
2nd satin
3rd black Ti

I have several different kinds of finishes and I think each has it's place. Of course, I'm not a "this is the only way" kind of person, so I don't choose one as superior over the rest. Sorta the way I am with the people I associate with. Like the folks here, OOPS, getting sentimental, never mind.
Naked is better. Satin beats beadblast. Can't stand beadblast. I hope MicroTech starts kicking out satin-or at least makes it an option. The Sebenza "stonewashed" look is also pretty cool.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)