Stainless Steel vs. Brushed Steel

A kitchen with stainless steel.

The term stainless steel refers to a type of alloy used in the steel whereas brushed steel refers to a process used to finish the steel. Since the process of brushing steel comes after the steel alloys or components have been combined, a stainless steel item can have a brushed steel finish.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a metal that consists of chromium and some nickel alloys. It is commonly found in the following items:

  • Flatware
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Auto parts
  • Equipment
  • Some jewelry

Its strength and versatility makes it a widely used material.

Brushed Steel

Brushing steel is a finishing process whereby friction is applied to the steel, as in the case of a sander or grinder. This process is done with fine bristle brushes that leave a dull, non-reflective surface on the steel. This differs from other finishing processes such as electroplating or the use of a protective coating that leaves the steel shiny.

When a stainless steel item is exposed to a brushed finish it is referred to as brushed stainless steel. Choosing to have a brushed finish applied to stainless steel leaves the material with a dull, mat look that does not reflect light.