Stainless Steel Hairline Finish – The Complete FAQ Guide

This guide will answer all your questions about stainless steel hairline finish.

So if you’re thinking of adopting this technology for your stainless steel electrical enclosures, then read this guide.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

Stainless steel hairline finish

Stainless steel hairline finish

Normal stainless steel surface

Normal stainless steel surface

Stainless steel hairline finish refers to a decorative texture effect of stainless steel surface stripes resembling human hair.

The human hairline-like surface processing technology is attained by endless grinding lines extending uniformly along with the length of the sheet of coil.

It is well distinct directional finish, which comes with a long and refined taste of art.

What Are The Advantages Of Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

A typical stainless steel hairline finish offers a wide range of benefits in various applications it is used, such as the following;

  • It is non-reflective thus ideal for different applications where light reflection is a concern.
  • You can find it in a wide range of distinct choices, which is essential since it broadens your options in ensuring you get the best fit for your application.
  • Stainless steel hairline finish is visually appealing since it is available in different colors and texture coatings. Moreover, it is relatively shiny, features characteristics of modern styles, thus attract people’s attention.
  • It hides scratches and fingerprints, thus an ideal choice for many applications where human traffic is a concern.
  • Relatively affordable since you can find it different designs, colors, and textures, which makes it easy for you to choose one that fits within your budget.
  • This surface processing technology is relatively durable and can last for many years under abusive conditions without wearing out. Of course, this is advantageous because you get value for money and also save a considerable amount you’d otherwise spend on replenishing or replacement.

How Do Stainless Steel Hairline Finish Compare With Polished Stainless Steel Finish?

Polished stainless steel surface

Polished stainless steel surface

Stainless steel hairline finish

Stainless steel hairline finish

These two types of surface finish are pretty common on stainless steel materials and tend to be relatively distinct.

However, they feature different conceptual and application characteristics, including the following;

  1. The surface hairline treatment on stainless steel tends to reflect the texture of metal materials. Ordinarily, the grain of drawing board surface features straight and random grains.

On the other hand, a polished stainless steel finish is mainly used to polish fluid through polishing equipment on stainless steel to create a clear mirror-like luminosity.

  1. Stainless steel hairline finish has a relatively matte surface, which means it is not necessarily reflective. It has a finish featuring long and short lines making the surface non-reflective.

Polished stainless steel, on the contrary, has a shiny surface, thus reflective.

  1. It is comparatively easy to clean a polished stainless steel finish than a hairline stainless steel finish.

Ordinarily, the latter forms some tiny cracks on the surface material, which easily allow dirt to hide hence require intensive cleaning, unlike the former.

  1. Hairline stainless steel finish hides scratches, and fingerprint marks, given it has a design construction featuring tiny cracks. Polished stainless steel finish, on the other hand, has a soft, shiny surface making it susceptible to scratches and fingerprint marks.

What Are The Main Applications Of Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

This specific surface processing technology on stainless steel materials is used in a wide range of applications across different settings.

The common applications where you can find footprint of hairline stainless steel finish include the following;

Electrical enclosure with hairline finish

Electrical enclosure with hairline finish

  • Electrical enclosure
  • Automotive parts
  • Architectural cladding
  • Machinery
  • Exhibition
  • Cookware for commercial and residential applications
  • Interior cladding
  • Elevator panels
  • Escalators
  • Signage and interiors
  • Home and commercial appliances

How Do You Remove Rust From Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

Technically, stainless steel hairline finish has a visible grain, which forms a matte surface.

Of course, like any other stainless steel finish, it can rust over time once the protective surface layer starts to wear off.

However, removing rust from this surface finish is quite straightforward and allows you to restore it to its original state.

An ideal way is to use mild cleaning solutions, which remove the rusty compound from the surface material without damaging the finish.

Alternatively, you can use a paste from mixing water and baking soda or a cleaner containing oxalic acid.

Use a soft microfiber cloth and a soft-bristle brush to scrub the paste on the surface material in the direction of the grain.

Repeat the procedure until you eliminate all the rust compounds from the surface material of hairline stainless steel finish.

Which One Is Better Between Bead Blasting Stainless Steel Finish And Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

Technically, the better choice between these two stainless steel finish is entirely fraught with subjectivity.

In essence, it means they are ideal for different applications, given they feature unique characteristics.

For instance, stainless steel with bead blasting treatment is a suitable choice for components used in marine and food industries.

 Sand blasting stainless steel surface

Sand blasting stainless steel surface

Stainless steel with hairline finish

Stainless steel with hairline finish

You can also find it in a few automotive parts.

Ideally, this specific surface treatment makes stainless steel relatively dull, thus removes discoloration.

While at it, bead blasting finish retains a smooth and natural surface without necessarily altering the underlying surface.

Stainless steel material with a hairline finish, on the other hand, is common in a wide range of applications, primarily for aesthetic purposes.

Nonetheless, it is also used in stainless steel materials in different automotive, household, architectural, and machinery applications.

It provides a cosmetic finish, which enhances the overall aesthetics of the specific application.

As such, the better option between bead blasting stainless steel finish and stainless steel hairline finish depends on your applications and preference.

What Fabrication Techniques Can You Use On Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

You can fabricate stainless steel metals with hairline finish using various normal techniques.

Some of the common methods you can always use include the following;

  • Press braking
  • Drilling
  • Punching
  • Roll forming
  • Welding
  • Bending

What Factors Do You Consider When Buying Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

When shopping for stainless steel material with hairline finish, it is important to figure out several elements to ensure you get the best option.

Some of the core elements you need to consider include the following;

Actual application – Ensure you determine the specific project you want to use the stainless steel hairline finish on. Mostly, they are designed to suit different applications hence the need to determine the suitable one for yours.

Size – These materials are usually available in different dimensions depending on the specific application. Thus, you need to establish the actual dimension of your project to enable you to attain the best size.

Gauge – It essentially refers to the thickness of this material. It is also an important consideration to factor in, and mostly, it depends on the particular application.

Color – Typically, you can find stainless steel hairline finish in different color shades. Thus, you need to choose the right hue depending on your taste and preference to attain the best results.

Quality standards – Never overlook the quality standard certification of stainless steel hairline finish when purchasing the respective sheets. It allows you to establish whether it meets the respective requirements for your application.

What Are The Main Types Of Stainless Steel With Hairline Finish?

Hairline finish is applied to many stainless steel variants containing a wide range of different iron-based alloys.

Ideally, any iron-based alloy containing at least 10.5% chromium can be treated with the hairline surface finish.

The common types of stainless steel with hairline finish are categorized as follows;

  1. Austenitic – This is a group of stainless steel materials containing elevated chromium, nickel, and molybdenum levels. Hairline finish enables this stainless steel variant to be relatively versatile and exhibit exceptional malleability and strength.
  2. Martensitic – It contains elevated carbon content of up to 1.2% and can be hardened to a large extent. Most martensitic stainless steel with hairline finish is used in making medical tools and surgical instruments.
  3. Ferritic – This is a stainless steel variant containing low carbon consistencies of at most 0.1%. Ferritic stainless steel with hairline finish offers superior resistance to stress corrosion cracking and temperature oxidation.
  4. Duplex – It is a stainless steel variant combining ferritic with austenitic to form a stronger and lightweight metal. Hairline finish on this variant increases its corrosion resistance even in demanding conditions, thus ideal for marine applications.

What Are The Best Tips For Cleaning Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

Retaining the original hairline finish on the surface of stainless steel material is one of the ideal maintenance elements.

It is a straightforward process, which requires a few simple steps and does not necessarily require expensive products or special tools.

You’ll need ordinary household cleaners provided you clean the surface appropriately.

Technically, stainless steel hairline finish looks best if you clean it frequently with plenty of water and drying it afterward to eliminate streaky marks.

Routine cleaning prevents relatively stubborn stains from building up.

Moreover, wiping with a damp cloth is not necessarily effective since it can smear dirt on the surface without removing it.

Primarily, for routine cleaning, you only need plenty of water, mild detergent, and a soft brush.

After washing, rinse the surface with clean water, then wipe it dry with a soft, absorbent cloth where applicable.

Avoid abrasive detergents since the finish can easily discolor if left in contact with acids and salts for extended periods.

Nevertheless, for relatively large-scale outdoor applications, rainwater, if plenty, can be enough to clean stainless steel hairline finish.

What Are The Ideal Methods You Can Use To Attach Stainless Steel Hairline Finish To One Another?

You can always attach stainless steel material with hairline finish to other materials using different techniques.

The standard methods often use commonly include the following;

Welding – It is a technique, which uses high heat to melt parts together before allowing them to cool to cause fusion.

The choice of welding technique depends on a host of factors such as the specific material is it welded to, thermal conductivity values, and other properties.

Brazing – This refers to a metal-joining process, which involves melting and flowing a filler material into the joint. Characteristically, the filler material must have a lower melting point than the adjoining metals.

Adhesive bonding – It is a process involving joining two surfaces with creating a smooth bond.

Depending on the features of the bonding materials, it may use epoxy or glue, which bonds either through solvent evaporation or curing via time, heat, or pressure.

Mechanical connections – You can always use a wide range of stainless steel fasteners in various grades suitable for most applications.

Some of these connections include rivets, washers, and dowels among others.

What Are The Available Color Shades For Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

You can find stainless steel hairline finish in a wide range of color shades.

In essence, this is fundamental because it allows you to have broad options to choose from and ensuring you get what suits your taste and preference.

The common color shades nonetheless include the following;

Different colors of stainless steel hairline finish

Different colors of stainless steel hairline finish

  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Gold
  • Rose gold
  • Diamond

How Much Does Stainless Steel Hairline Finish Cost?

Several variables determine the actual cost of stainless steel hairline finish you are purchasing.

Ordinarily, their price is pegged to numerous factors such as the following;

Size – Often, the bigger the sheet, the more expensive the finish, and vice versa.

It merely means that the finish will cover a larger surface, which of course, increases the overall cost.

Order quantity – In many instances, manufacturers usually provide higher discounts when buying stainless steel sheets with hairline finish.

Thus, you are likely to purchase them at cost-effective rates when buying in bulk than when purchasing a few pieces.

Customization – If you are going for customized pieces, you will likely pay higher rates than buying a standard stainless steel hairline finish.

Brand – Ideally, different manufacturers price their products differently depending on a wide range of factors.

In most instances, reputable and popular brands tend to be relatively expensive than less known companies.

This, however, does not mean products from little-known companies are of substandard quality.

What Are The Quality Standards For Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

They are quite several and often dependent on a wide range of factors revolving around the specific application of the stainless steel sheet or coil.

Most of these quality standard certifications are approved and published based on how they influence different application elements.

Nevertheless, these quality standards usually apply differently depending on the country or region.

The commonly used ones include the following;

  • ASTM International – This standard is instrumental in classifying, assessing, and specifying material chemical, metallurgical and mechanical properties.

ASTM International guides metallurgical labs, product manufacturers, and end-users in determining a proper application to ensure quality towards safe use.

  • Underwriters Laboratory – Often known as UL, this standard tests products, assesses components and materials to evaluate whether they are environmentally sustainable.

It is a US-based standard but partners with national standards bodies in different countries to build a safer and more sustainable environment.

  • ISO 9001 – It is a standard issued by the International Standards Organization, which specifies requirements for a quality management system.

Essentially, it shows the manufacturer exhibits the ability to produce products that meet customer and regulatory standards consistently.

  • EN 755-9 – This standard specifies the tolerance on dimensions and forms of stainless steel and the specified related alloys.

It applies to stainless steel hairline finish used in a wide range of applications.

 FDA – It refers to Food and Drugs Administration, which is primarily a standard confirming the benefits of the product’s intended use outweigh its known risks.

It is common for stainless steel hairline finish used in food production and handling.

 RoHS – This quality standard certification is an abbreviation for Restricted of Hazardous Substances Directive.

Essentially, it is a compliance certification designed to reduce amount of hazardous chemicals used in manufacturing of different components, most electrical.

What Are The Shortcomings Of Using Stainless Steel Hairline Finish In Your Project?

Ordinarily, some people believe this stainless steel hairline finish is primarily suitable for construction projects only since it is aesthetically appealing.

Even so, it is vital to know some level of variation can happen due to manufacturing process.

As such, hairline finish is relatively less resistant to corrosion, especially in coastal areas since the atmosphere contains numerous salt particles.

Moreover, this finish processing technology is unsuitable for high humid areas such as those surrounding swimming pools.

In such instances, the groove in the finish increases the risk of rusting.

Also, stainless steel is relatively difficult to clean since the grooves tend to hide some debris, which can go unnoticed for several months.

How Long Does Stainless Steel Hairline Finish Last?

Generally, the technology used to infuse stainless steel hairline finish allows it to last for many years under ordinary conditions.

However, the specific durability of this finish processing technology depends on a host of variables.

For instance, the specific environmental and mechanical conditions it is exposed to significantly determines the actual longevity.

Ordinarily, if used in relatively hostile environmental conditions, it can have a shorter lifespan than one exposed to mild conditions.

Also, the overall quality of the infusion method used determines how long this finish will last.

Ordinarily, superior quality application technique guarantees more extended durability.

Substandard application method, on the other hand, reduces the longevity of this surface finish.

In general, there is no definite durability of this finish processing technology since it depends on several factors.

What Are The Features Of Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

Technically, stainless steel offers a wide range of structural and functional features.

The main features, nonetheless, include the following;

  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Incredible durability
  • Visual attractive appearance
  • High tensile strength thus cannot break down easily
  • Environmental friendly
  • Relatively low maintenance

Is There Size Limitation For Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?


The ideal size of stainless steel sheet with hairline finish depends on your requirements.

In many instances, different projects require various sizes of these sheets.

Thus, you need to establish the accurate dimensions your project needs to ensure you get the right stainless steel sheet size with hairline finish.

Additionally, hairline finish stainless steel is easy to cut to size, allowing you to reduce it to the ideal dimensions if need be.

Moreover, you can join it using different techniques if your project requires a relatively large piece.

Is Stainless Steel Hairline Finish Weather-Resistant?


This specific surface processing technology offers excellent weatherability features making it weather resistant.

And this is fundamental because most of the applications of stainless steel sheets with hairline finish are used outdoors.

Thus, they offer efficiency, reliability, and durability, which is necessary for most of the applications it is used.

What Is The MOQ When Purchasing Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

It depends on the specific manufacturer you are purchasing from since different companies have various MOQ policies.

When purchasing these items, inquire from the specific manufacturer before committing your order.

Many manufacturers offer flexible MOQ terms; thus, it is easy to negotiate and agree on what suits you.

Of course, this is important because it allows you to get what suits your needs based on your budget and project requirements.

What Is The Production Turnaround Time For Manufacturing Stainless Steel Hairline Finish?

 Color hairline finish on stainless steel

Colored hairline finish on stainless steel

In many instances, the production lead-time for creating stainless steel hairline finish is dependent on several elements such as the following;

Size and quantity of the sheets – Ordinarily, when you order several stainless steel sheets, the production turnaround is likely to take longer and vice versa.

Of course, more quantities require more time to produce accordingly.

Design – Stainless steel hairline finish is available in different patterns, both standard, and custom.

Essentially, custom patterns would take more time to figure out and implement since they are relatively demanding than standard patterns.

Manufacturer’s policy – The manufacturer you are purchasing from can also have stipulated production turnaround timelines for these products.

You need to establish when making your order to have a rough idea of the exact period you need to wait before receiving your order.

In essence, there is no definite production turnaround time for making stainless steel hairline finish.

It depends on several factors, including the few mentioned above.

Just in case you need an electrical enclosure with hairline finish, KDMSteel is here to help.

For any questions or inquiry on stainless steel hairline finish, contact us now.

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