This article appears in the July 2022 issue of KNIFE Magazine. Premium Online Members can read the whole thing by clicking the blue button at the bottom of the post. We will be publishing a post with videos from Del demonstrating his techniques on the free side of things soon.
Mirror Finishing -by Del Corsi
One of the most spectacular looks on a knife blade is a well-done mirror finish. For some reason we are really attracted to bright, shiny things that produce reflections. A mirror is never very far away. When it comes to knives, a mirror finish done well is a thing of beauty – but poorly done, it highlights every blemish. I read somewhere that the first man-made mirrors were made of polished stone such as black volcanic glass obsidian. I know that obsidian makes a terrific knife or tool, it has an exquisite shine as well. Is it possible that these were the first mirror finished knives?
Personally, I love the look of highly polished blades, and especially relish the challenge of bringing a knife to a high-level finish. I am eager to provide a look into a few methods used to achieve this type of finish. This could simply be a how-to story on a few different ways to polish a blade, but it is so much more. Don’t get me wrong, there will be a wealth of basic and next level information for those interested in learning how to accomplish, or perfect the process. The goal is to showcase two very different methods of achieving a polished finish, but another aspect is to highlight the artistic nature of this process. While there is no chrome plating involved, as you will see, we do use a whack of green chrome polishing compound!