A Knife Blade Finish isn't the same as a Blade Coating. A Blade Finish is the final polish of the Blade and is accomplished by repeated sanding with ever finer grit sandpaper to produce the desired sheen. A Knife Blade with a shiny, high-gloss finish looks nice but is probably not the best choice for the finish on a survival Knife. In reality, the final Blade Finish on a Blade is simply a matter of personal preference since the Finish does NOT have much affect in the way the blade functions.
Some Knife Blades are finished with a high gloss and some with a satin Finish to reduce glare. To produce a satin Finish, the sanding process is different from that which produces the high gloss Finish. Another Finish which has gained popularity is the bead blast Finish. Bead blasting consists of small glass beads sprayed onto the steel under high pressure to produce a matte finish in order to reduce glare.
There are 4 Blade Coatings which are consistently used on Knife Blades. Although a Blade Coating can be produced in any color, the vast majority of Blade Coatings is black. For several reasons. A black Blade Coating coincides with the color of tactical gear, reduces or eliminates glare, and because the public LIKES the way a black Knife Blade looks, ... well ..."BAD." In other words it's a simple marketing tactic. Nothing wrong with that really, since an all black Knife definitely has tactical advantages over a shiny one. If you can sell more Knives because J.Q. Citizen likes the way the Knife looks, that's part of the free enterprise system.
POWDER COATING : Powder coating has been around for a long time. It offers corrosion protection, looks nice, and reduces glare. It's probably the least effective method of Coating a Knife Blade.
ZINC OXIDE COATING: This type of Coating provides good corrosion and weathering protection and also provides increased protection against salt-water and solvents.
TEFLON COATING: A very popular and effective Blade Coating, Teflon offers good protection against corrosion, looks great, reduces glare and makes cleaning the Blade a snap.
TiNi COATING: Titanium Nitride is an extremely hard ceramic material and actually improves the Blades surface properties. It's alleged the Coating can actually help hold a Knife's edge. Regardless if that's true or not, TiNi is definitely an exceptional Blade Coating. Particularly for tactical, military, or survival Knives.