Grit blasting by definition tends to be undertaken using angular abrasive grit such as Aluminium Oxide as opposed to 'bead blasting' which is more used as a term when using glass or plastic 'bead' blast media which tends to be rounder or box-shaped.

Grit blast media is more angular than bead blast media so the impact is concentrated on a point of the particle or a sharp edge, generating an etched, matte finish that is characteristically bright, but non-reflective.

In terms of surface modification capabilities, comparing peened versus etched surfaces created by different-shaped particles, the contrast is not so much in the final texture or depth of impression, but in the nature of the indentations in the surface and its reflectivity.

Grit blasting is often used for industrial applications to remove investment and scale in the fettling of castings or to prepare surfaces before welding by removing scale, rust or paint.