Polish, Buff or Plain?
Plain: Plain finish hardware is exactly that. This is stainless steel in its natural finish.
Buffed: Buffing is a process using a high speed machine similar to a wheel grinder. Instead of a hard grinding wheel, cloth "buffs" are mounted on the spinning spindle. Using various emery compounds, surface material is stripped away and smoothed, leaving a high luster finish. All head markings and surface imperfections on the fastener remain visible. Fasteners are buffed one at a time, by hand.
Buffed stainless is an excellent cost reducing alternative to polished stainless. In many applications, especially smaller items and parts without head markings, buffed parts may have the finish you need.
Polished: The polishing process is a labor intensive process that produces an unblemished mirror finish on flat and curved stainless parts. The part is both machine and hand sanded in several stages to remove head markings, machining marks and other imperfections. Once the sanding is complete, the part is then put through the buffing process. The result is a beautiful mirror finish. For show quality items, and for hex head and socket cap screws, there is no alternative.
Whatever your needs, you can purchase fasteners plain, buffed or polished here at StainlessBits.