Brushed Stainless Steel

Brushed stainless steel is a workhorse in the metal industry, with varied use cases across many industries. Between #3, #4, and #6 finishes, brushed stainless steel products are among the most commonly seen finished metals. 

At Polished Metals, we supply high volumes of #3, #4, and #6 finish stainless steel products, such as sheets and plates, as well as tubing, channels, pipes, and more. As with all of our stainless steel finishing, we can process several varieties of this metal, including 304 and 316 stainless steel alloys. Request a quote today for all your brushed stainless steel needs!

#3 satin finish stainless steel

What Is Brushed Stainless Steel?

Brushed stainless steel refers to stainless steel that is finished using an abrasive material, resulting in a rough appearance, a grooved texture, and a less reflective finish overall. Brushed finishes are among the most popular for this metal, as the resulting appearance can disguise many forms of wear and cosmetic damage while providing an ideal surface for cleaning.

Our Brushed Stainless Steel Finishes

Brushed metal finishes can be categorized depending on the grit and typically fall into one of two groups: #3 and #4 metal finishes. #6 is also considered a brushed finish. Here at Polished Metals, our metal finishing includes expertise in all brushed stainless steel finishes.

#3 Finish Stainless Steel

A #3 finish is achieved by polishing the metal on a wide belt machine using coated abrasive belts. Traditionally, this results in a coarser appearance as the final polishing is done with a 100–120 grit abrasive belt. The #3 finish is most often applied to 304 stainless steel for use across a wide range of industries.

#4 Brushed Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is commonly manufactured using a #4 (or simply 4) finish. The texture of this finish features very short, parallel lines across the surface of the metal, which are produced using a higher grit than with the #3 finish. Among all matte finishes, this brushed finish is the easiest to maintain, making it especially popular in situations where the stainless steel may see frequent contact or use. This includes the food service industry as well as for elevators, escalators, and other high-traffic areas.

#6 Finish Stainless Steel

Finally, the #6 finish is similar to #4, but polished using an even finer grit than the previous two finishes. Typically #6 metals are finished with an abrasive belt ranging between 240–320 grit.

Brushed vs. Polished Stainless Steel

When it comes to stainless steel finishing, you may hear the terms “brushed” and “polished” used in different situations. These are both common forms of stainless steel finishing, but colloquially the terms tend to be used in different situations. 

The main difference between brushed and polished stainless steel is the reflectivity and the overall surface appearance. Where brushed stainless steel has a grooved, matte appearance that only dully reflects light, polished stainless steel has a smooth surface that is highly reflective. Stainless steel may even be polished to a mirror shine, in some cases.

As mentioned above, brushed stainless steel (as well as rolled stainless steel, another form of satin finish) is commonly used in more functional situations where damage is more likely. Brightly polished stainless steel, on the other hand, is generally used for decorative purposes, such as for interior design elements, entryways, or even artwork.

Reach Out to Polished Metals Today!

Polished Metals is known throughout the world for our best-in-class metal finishing services. Our expansive inventory of metal types, the quality and consistency of our finishes, and the level of customer service from order to delivery is unsurpassed in the industry. 

You know you are working with the best when you work with the Polished Metals team. If you have questions about a particular metal type, product availability, or metal finish, please reach out to us.


“Plain and simple, we could not do what we do nearly as well without the consistent quality and support that we get from the entire team at Polished Metals Ltd. Your metal is top-notch, and the service that we get from David and Mary is even better! Our team has always enjoyed working with you guys, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

Architecture and Design

“I have worked with Polished Metals periodically throughout my 18 year carrier in the custom metal fabrication industry. They have been a consistent, reliable vendor for me both in regards to informational needs and as a product supplier. Quotes are often required to be turned around by me very quickly and Bob Gunther at Polished Metals sends me pricing and lead-times extremely fast. Our product arrives when we are told it will and if there are any delays (which does not happen often) we are informed ahead of time, which is appreciated. Product arrives undamaged and is of good quality 99% of the time and when there is an issue with damage or defects Polished Metals responds quickly and makes things right quickly. I highly suggest using Polished Metals for your quality metal needs.”

Architecture and Design

“Mary, It has been a pleasure working with you over several years. A fabricator is only as good as his suppliers, that is why we worked with you. You are one of the best in the industry.”

Architecture and Design

“When it comes to metal companies there are loads of companies that talk a good game, but Jay Isherwood from Polished Metals helps you make it happen. Polished Metals has offered us a great service with unparalleled consistency and amazing quality control. He has given us the confidence we needed to make an accurate timetable with our clients and each time, delivered as promised. Looking forward to the next project and working together again, thank you.”

Architecture and Design

“Our company produces and installs complex high-end projects in New York City. Procuring the materials for projects like the Edge Observation Deck at Hudson Yards can be extremely involved. Polished Metals exceeded our requirements for all our architectural metal needs on this and many other demanding NYC projects. Over the years they have provided everything from raw material to complex fabricated components for our installations. The key to our relationship has been outstanding communication and trust. As anyone in the construction industry knows things can change in an instant, how a company responds to those changes is critical. Mary and the whole team at Polished Metals have shown that they not only respond but have come through for us time and again.”

Architecture and Design

“Working with Polished Metals is always a pleasurable and exceptionally professional experience. Their range of capability is nearly limitless and in the fabrication industry they are extremely helpful in making sure a top quality product is delivered every single time. The sales team is nothing short of professional, they are very knowledgeable of the industry and they deliver top shelf service every time. Material range is everything we could need and they are surely a top choice when it comes to purchasing material for a project, large or small. If you want a top quality product and an enjoyable experience in receiving it, choose Polished Metals!”

Architecture and Design

“Polished Metals has been a Preferred Vendor of ours for over a decade. Our corporate philosophy dictates that we have Alternate or Secondary Supplier for all product, with the exception of #8 Mirror Polished Stainless Steel. We’ve tried to qualify other suppliers to no avail, as none of them can compete in any of the critical categories. The Customer Support provided by Bob Gunther cannot be replicated, pricing is fair, delivery is always on-time and quality is fantastic. As the Corporate Purchasing Manager for the last 7 years, not once have I had a negative experience with Polished Metals. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Architecture and Design

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