Short Run Pro - Manufacturer of metal parts, custom metal brackets and custom metal fabrication services provider.
  • Stainless Steel Finishes

    The standard finishes for Stainless steel are indicated by a numbering system established by the stainless steel material producers. The finishing requirements, methods and resulting appearances of the stainless steel vary throughout the specifying system. Below we have outlined the standard finishes and the expected aestetics of the finished stainless steel.

    While our list outlines the stainless steel finishes it should not be considered a comprehensive listing and different grades as well as different thicknesses of Stainless Steel will result with difference looks under the same designated stainless steel finish.

    In the production of Stainless Steel (in bar or rolled stock) the material is supplied in the annealed or fully softened state. The production process on stainless steel is a done at high temperature. If the stainless steel production process is not controlled it will result in a scaling on the surface of the material called scaling. A pickling process (incorporating acids) is used to remove the scale.



    Stainless Steel Mill Finish

    Standard Stainless Steel Mill Finishes


      No. 0 Finish
  • Processing - Hot Rolled Annealed.
  • Appearance - This stainless steel finish is not useful on products for general use. By hot rolling the plate and then annealing a resulting black scale finish is achieved. No pickling or passivating processes are used to remove the scale. This finish will also result in a limited or non corrosion resistent stainless steel material.
    • No 1 Finish
  • Processing - Hot Rolled Annealed.
  • Appearance - A dull look with a slightly rough surface.
  • Common Use - This stainless steel finish is most suitable for industrial applications.
    • No 2D Finish
  • Processing - Cold Rolled Annealed, Pickled, Passivated
  • Appearance - A Matt finish that is uniformily dull throughout the surface of the stainless steel. Common Use - This finish is used on part for industrial applications. It is also excellent for drawing stainless steel applications because the surface of the material retains the lubricants used in the drawing process.
    • No 2B Finish
  • Processing - Cold Rolled Annealed, Pickled, Passivated, Light Finish, Polish Rolled.
  • Appearance - Semi-reflective, brighter than 2D finish
  • Common Use - Because this stainless steel finish is the most common finish produced and called for on sheet material it is most commonly used in deep drawing operations.
    • No 2BA Finish (Bright Annealed Finish
  • Processing - Hot Rolled Annealed, Pickled, Passivated, Cold Rolled, Polish Rolled
  • Appearance - Smooth and reflective stainless surface, a mirror type finish is possible



  • Stainless Steel Mechanical Finish

    Standard Stainless Steel Mechanical Finishes


      No. 3 Finish
  • Processing - Grinding (80 to 100 grit)
  • Appearance - intermediate surface brushed finish
  • Common Use - Good finish when additional finishing is required for a finer stainless steel finish is after forming.
    • No. 4 Finish
  • Processing - Grinding (150 grit)
  • Appearance - Uniform direction brushed loo, not highly reflective
  • Common Use - This is a good general purpose finish. The stainless finish is often used on parts that will be in a service environment such as restaurant equipment.
    • No. 6 Finish
  • Processing - Cloth Buffed (Tampico fibre, muslin or linen)
  • Appearance - Non-directional finish with varying reflection
    • No 2B Finish
  • Processing - Buffed
  • Appearance - Highly reflective, Grit lines may be visible
    • No. 8 Finish
  • Processing - Extremely Fine Buffing
  • Appearance - Blemish free, clear image reflection, true mirror finish.
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