Stainless Steel Brushed Finish

I’m in search of a good solution to refreshing and repairing the brushed finish on my all stainless steel barbecue grill. A little research has taught me that the most common finish on SS kitchen appliances, is what is know in the biz as a “#4 Sanitary Brushed Finish”. The #4 designation comes from the depth of the scratches this finishing method produces and is considered to be shallow enough not to hold food particles and thus the Sanitary part of the name. This finish is used universally in both residential and commercial SS appliances. While a highly polished finish is also considered sanitary, most of us know what a royal pain it is to keep clean and looking good. Thus a brushed finish is much more forgiving in this area.
Now back to my solution search. There are several companies that make drum style sanding and polishing solutions specifically for this application, including but not limited to, Fein and 3M. These are fantastic options but rather costly. I’m in the process of rebuilding my SS grill, but I just need to remove a few scratches and rough spots. While I think a drill or other rotary tool is the best solution for a quick inline finish such as this, I just don’t want to spend $500-$1000 to do so. Any ideas from the metal working folks out there would be appreciated.

without seeing the repair areas - and just a guess on the finish appearace.

The first things that come to mind are brass wire brush on a drill or dremel if a small area. Drill for a larger area.

With a nod to using a SS wire wheel on a drill also. I would try to avoid using a base steel wire wheel since it can flake off iron and other flakes which can then color the stainless over time. Which is a pain.

SS parts often once finished goes though a passivation process that cleans the iron off the surface of the SS. Take 318SS for example (also called 10/18 SS by some) has a little bit of Iron in the alloy and if there are iron molecules on the surface they will rust and color. If you ever see a SS item that has brown dots and streaks on it - this is most likely why.

So a bare steel brush might well leave this behind too. Brass brushes might not be hard enough to get your desired finish style but I think it might. If not use a SS brush.

Hope this helps