The types of surface blade finishing

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The types of surface blade finishing The types of surface blade finishing.

The surface finishing types of the blade are one of the aesthetic and functional aspects of the knife blade and exposed surfaces.

When buying a new knife, the type of knife blade finish can offer several advantages, especially in the field.

There are several but the top 10 are:

  • Hand Satin Finish
  • Brushed Finish
  • Mirror Polished Finish
  • Blasted Finish
  • Coated Finish
  • Stonewashed Finish
  • Hammered Finish
  • Knapped Finish
  • Hamon (Hamon Finish)
  • Damascus (Damascus Finish)

Here’s a quick guide to understanding what each blade finish offers and how it can add strength, durability or improve the appearance of a knife.

The types of surface finishing

Hand Satin Finish :

A hand-sat surface finish involves sanding the blade in one direction with increasing degrees of fine abrasive (usually sandpaper).

You can make it grain 400 – 600 – 800 – 1000.

A satin finish shows the bevel of the blade, showing the lines of the knife while reducing the reflective reverberation.

Hand satining is generally performed on high-end, high-end knives.

The finer the abrasive, the more even the line.

Satin finishes can also be used on the handle or fittings to improve the appearance of the knife.

A beautiful satin hand takes time and increases the cost of the knife.

 Surface blade finish

Brushed Finish:

A brushed finish with an abrasive mola that creates a satin finish pattern.

Overall, it offers an attractive work finish without the cost of a hand-sated finish.

You can have a blade with a brushed finish and worked with appliques in hand-satin finish.

 Surface blade finish


Mirror Polished Finish:

A mirror polished finish of the blade is done by hand, polishing the metal until it gets a highly reflective surface.

Although it looks nice and offers better corrosion resistance due to the smoothness of the blade, this type of finish requires a lot of polish to maintain its bright and reflective appearance and its reflective quality may not be ideal in the tactical field.

The amount of hours and skill (not a simple operation) required to achieve this finish often results in a very expensive blade and custom knives for collectors or exhibition models.

A mirror finish is quickly scratched when the blade is used and that is why it is often an aesthetic finish for high-end knives for collectors.

 Surface blade finish

Blasted Finish:

Blasting is achieved using abrasive glass or ceramic beads and the finish is performed by blasting the high-pressure materials against the metal, resulting in a uniform and grey finish.

A compressor and a blasting gun are used with grains of different sizes and materials.

A sandblasted finish reduces reflection and glare thanks to its matte uniform surface.

The creation of a sandblasted finish is a basic level or a user-level finish on a knife blade.

The blasting creates a larger surface area and the micro-abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion.

A sanded blade, even in stainless steel, can rust at night if left in a very humid environment.

 Surface blade finish

Coated Finish:

The burn is usually black, flat dark earth or gray, a coated finish of the blade that reduces reflection and glare reducing wear and corrosion.

However, ALL coatings can be scratched after intense and continuous use, and the blade should be coated again.

Generally the harder the finish is, the more resistant to wear and more expensive to add to a knife.

High-quality finishes are electrically, chemically or thermally linked to the surface rather than simple paint-like drying paints or chemical burnwith liquids.

High-end coatings such as The Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) require the blade to go into a special coating system for physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) application in a vacuum environment.

Interestingly, before being coated, most blades receive a sandblasted finish to have the maximum adhesion surface.

Coatings can prolong the life of a blade (especially with carbon steel) by preventing corrosion or rust.

Quality coatings add a cost to a knife, but offer more corrosion resistance, less reflexes and require less maintenance.

It is often a finish used on tactical and military knives.

 Surface blade finish

Stonewashed finish:

A stonewashed finish refers to rotating the blade inside a container filled with an abrasive material in the shape of cones or stones.

This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin blade.

There is a wide variety of stonewashed finishes based on several factors:

  • the abrasive shape of the stones,
  • rotation movement and
  • on the type of blade finish before it enters the tumbler.

A “ston stonash” or “black stonewash” finish is a blade that has undergone an acid icmletor that darkens the blade before it undergoes stone wash.

Acid oxidation improves the rust resistance of a blade by placing a stable oxide barrier between steel and the environment.

A very positive advantage of the stonewashed blades/handle is that they are low maintenance and retain their original appearance for a long time.

The stonewashed finish hides the scratches that can occur with use over time.

The types of surface blade finishing

Hammered finish

This finish is made with a hammer with round head of a certain size (depending on the desired effect) or a chisel with the tip of the punching shape that you want to get on the knife.

They can be larger or smaller and finer signs.

It provides a rude aesthetic appearance to the knife and tends to hide the imperfections of the knife.The types of surface blade finishing

Knapped Finish

This finish is made with the round file or with molettes that create designs on the plate of the blade giving it an aesthetic appearance that tends to hide the imperfections of the knife. Surface blade finish

Hamon (HamonFinish)

It is a finish of the blade obtained by a process of hardening the knife coated with cement.

It makes the blade take on an appearance with a shadow that take the form of how the cement was distributed on the blade.

 Surface blade finish


This surface finish is bonded with damask steel.

Today the welded Damascus technique is used for the artisanal production of artistic knife.

Packages of different steels are prepared looking at both chromatic contrast and mechanical functionality, the packages are brought to the temperature of “boiling”, 1200-1300 degrees Celsius depending on the steels used, and beaten with hammer and anvil or malin or presses.

With hot typing you get an autogenac welding of the various layers of steel, the elongated package, folded, twisted, engraved and retorted with the most varied forging techniques allows you to obtain almost infinite aesthetic variations while maintaining the blade functionality.

The Damascus designs are varied and of the highest quality.

It is a finish that is used on custom knives for collectors and valuable knives.The types of surface blade finishing



Overall, each surface finish has its advantages and disadvantages but is often just an aesthetic choice related to the taste of the maker.

Depending on the use of the knife and what it is used for, the finish should be chosen, which can still help maintain its appearance or durability.

The surface finish of the knife blade influences the overall cost of a knife and must reflect the purpose of the knife.

A blade finish is both an aesthetic choice and a practical choice in the evaluation of knives.

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136 shares, 136 points
Andrea F

Maker and Enthusiast of Knifemaking. Other: Engineer / Professional Blogger / Bass Player / Instructor of Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! State Of Love And Trust!


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