Stainless Steel Metal Polishing Guide

With the PTX ECO SMART and the below guide you can accomplishing anywhere from a matte to a mirror finish and many phases in between.

The PTX ECO SMART linear finishing machine can be used to grind faulty parts, for example scratches, without problem and a whole section can be polished corresponding to the original finish.

For returning a workpiece to its original finish, we recommend the following operations:

  • Removal of scratches with the sanding flap wheel:
  • The next process is made with the sanding/polishing flap wheel, 80/100 grit (P/N 47312)

By this operation, a matte finish results which corresponds to the grain standard 180.

If a matte finish with the grain standard 250 is required: 

  • Another operation must be added, that is with the sanding/polishing flap wheel, grain 180 (P/N 47313)

Should the required finish be light-brilliant:

  • The stainless steel now has to be worked with the fine grinding wheel. This is a soft rubber polishing wheel made of rubber compound interspersed with abrasive, 60 grit (P/N 45061).

If mirror-bright is required:

  • Another operation is necessary. Start with the TZ pyramid belts on the expansion roller (P/N 47005) and use the following TZ Belt Grits in order 320 grit (P/N 42265), 400 grit (P/N 42245), 600 grit (P/N 42230), 1200 grit (P/N 42206), 2000 grit (P/N 42206).
  • After all scratches are removed use the white polishing paste (40013) then blue polishing paste (P/N 40014) polishing compound with super polish sleeve 42013N. Ensure that different superpolish sleeves are used for each level of polishing compound.
  • Utilize brightex non-caustic compound (P/N 40028) after each step of polish to remove any excess polish from the surface.
  • Last finish with polishing cream (P/N 40015) on a cotton buffing wheel (P/N CS2410).

Of course there are differences in stainless steel (VA – metal). Therefore, this application guide is only a suggested method and a fabricator will need to test how they can obtain the requested brilliance in the best way.

The sanding/polishing flap wheels, Fleece Mop Grinder (P/N 47312) are especially suitable for dulling and finishing. For this reason, we include this abrasive with every PTX ECO SMART. 

The  PTX ECO SMART is the ideal surface finishing machine for many applications including cleaning welds, graining, polishing, deburring, dulling, roughing and more.

For further tips regarding stainless steel metal polishing please call to talk to our surface finishing experts 1-800-700-5919 or 203-853-9522.

Do you have round surfaces to polish?

Try the PTX ECOSMART with our open and closed loop belts.
Or for more regular use, upgrade to the PIPE-MAX pipe polishing machine. All of the same abrasive grits in the above guides can also be found for the PIPE-MAX here.

Do you have rotary metal polishing needs?

The VARILEX rotary polishing machine can be a versatile tool for rotary finishing. All of the same abrasive grits in the above guides can also be found for the VARILEX here.

Tips for stainless steel metal polishing:

Now armed with all of this technical guides for stainless steel metal polishing, the next question is, “What can go wrong?”

  • The customer’s expectations are crucial. Finishes that are simple, such as a grain that runs the length of a rail, have a lower time-cost factor than a difficult finish, such as a grain that goes around the circumference of a square tube or pipe.

  • Before assembly, ensure that all pregrained pieces have a consistent pattern. When welding two or more pieces together, make sure the grain patterns are aligned as closely as possible. A mistake early in the process is almost impossible to correct later on.

  • Always choose the correct application-specific tool for the project. This will increase productivity and decrease total costs.

  • Use the finished spot as a starting point, and work toward unfinished areas. Going the other direction leads to mismatches. 

  • Haste makes waste. The best finish is achieved with time and patience. Hurrying can lead to using a material that is too aggressive to start, applying too much pressure, or using tools at a speed that is too high for the application. The result often is a surface that has deep scratches, requiring rework.


Want to read more about stainless steel metal finishing? Check out these articles below.