On everything but our Traditions and Beansprout Banjos we offer two finish options:
This is our premium finish (in spite of the fact that it is less expensive than the gloss finish). It offers superior acoustics and playability.
The finish can have a large affect on acoustics. The oil finish is so thin and light that it has very little acoustic impact. And, the finish is so smooth that the neck plays very fast.
In terms of durabilty, it is a bit of a mixed bag. The oil finish is susceptible to scratches & marks, but, it is easily repaired by the owner and requires no special tools.
After hand sanding to 600 grit, we use 4 hand-rubbed coats of Tru-Oil with 0000 steel wool in between each coat. After the last coat of oil, we apply lemon oil to the instrument. We sell a maintenance package that consist of a microfiber cleaning cloth and a small bottle of lemon oil.
Some people like the look of a high-gloss finish. If you're of that mind, then this is your finish.