The objective of buffing is to make the rough surface became smooth. Surface finish is an important element in any specification of stainless steel regardless of the intended use. For those applications where appearance is important, finish is a design element and must be specified. In non decorative applications the surface finish may have implications for friction, wear, and maintenance or corrosion resistance and must, therefore also be carefully chosen and clearly specified.

There are a wide range of decorative finishes available; therefore it is important to pay close attention to the selection of the most appropriate finish for the application required. For visual appearance of polished stainless steel there are a number of functional considerations. In sanitary applications, correctly polished stainless steel not only looks good but it helps to reduce the risk of bacteria being retained by the material.