Surf ace finishing of magnetic recording head materials, such as ferrites, by diamond grinding and lapping results in a residual compressive stress on the surface. Residual stresses alter the magnetic properties of the ferrite causing the recording head performance to deteriorate. Hence, they need to be minimized. This paper considers the role of two processing techniques—annealing and chemical lapping-in controlling residual stress in ferrites. The effect of these processing techniques on various mechanical and physical properties of finished ferrites and the mechanism of residual stress control are discussed. © 1988 by ASME.