Ernie Swanson

I am mirror finishing a blade right now, I currently am using the small buffing wheels in my drill press, I have white and brown compound.

I want to get some wheels for a buffer I have and some new good compounds.

What wheels are best and what compounds should I be looking at getting.

Also what is your method to get awesome mirror finished and also good buffs on wood and other handle materials?

Carey Quinn

Ernie, buffing is almost an art in itself.

A couple of things to consider. The buffing compound does the work not the speed of the buffer; therefore, go with an 1800 rpm buffer if you can. Like grinding belts, most folks try several different buffing wheels and compound combinations before settling on what they like the best. Scratches don't buff out of steel. They become ripples and little bitty wavy lines that you have to go back and sand out. It's just another learning process that we have to go through.

As I recall, Tracy did a tutorial on making three knifes in which he shows how he get a deep mirror shine. It would be a good place to start. In addition, the buffing supply area of Midwest Supply has some real good info on the different compounds and wheels that are available.

Time to go back to school buddy.

Have fun, be careful, lock your elbows on your hips, and always buff off the trailing edge.



Dealer - Purveyor
Ernie I mirror polish pretty much everything I make . I have 2 buffers set up and a third ready to go and a forth needing to be built as I have all the stuff just no space right now . In my opinion you need 6 buffing discs min I only have 4 but do things different. I ll explain say I grind a blade Ill go 60 120 220 400 600 1200 then I go to the buffer the 600 and 1200 grit belts are the structured abrasive finishing belts really good and the blades are very close to finished .I can mirror finish and send to H/t or leave the buffing til after I havent noticed any really difference most the time there is minor scratches after H/T so youll need to resand at 1200 then ill go to 3000 grit and back to the buffer. I use only 2 metal polishes green cr ox and the white rouge excellent on stainless in my opinion. I use brown rouge for handles and a plain clean disc to high gloss handles and clean off crap. I buy the 8 and 10 inch sewn disc and you ll need a rake to clean the disc very important. Buffers are to say the least the most dangerous tool in any shop . I hold every knife tight and wear a leather apron not just for debree but flying knives. I had one tore from my hands 4 days ago never even knew where it went if it hit me I might not be feeling to good with a knife in the throat or chest. Usually when A knife gets torn from your hands it goes around the buffer once and bounces right back at you. My advice is my small buffer is better 1/2 hp because if I press hard it stalls the 1 hp takes alot before it stalls. Another way lots of guys get to a mirror finish is to use greaseless compounds I have several grits but never tried them as its messy but suppose to work real good getting scratches out. Hope Go look at the last stainless knife I posted you can see the camera reflection . I only buffed that knife for no more than 2 min but sanded to 3000 grit first. Hope This helps if you Ernie . Kellyw


Well-Known Member
View attachment Buffbook.pdf


The attached is an interesting read. When I "mirror" polished A2, it came out with a shine but "orange peel". This article addresses that as the result of bad technique. Well not sure this .pdf file is attached. you can get it at caswellplating.com.