Sandblast, bead blast, wire texture brushes, satin finish wheels...
All produce various levels of some flavor of matte or textured
finish. All these finishes are different. On some work, they may be
almost interchangeable in terms of what works best. On other work,
they are totally different.
The wire texture wheels produce a finish that's somewhat more akin
to what you get with a mizzy wheel or other grinding tool. Somewhat
directional, and sparkly. And importantly, they reach exposed flat or
convex surfaces, but don't get down into detailed recesses well (same
as satin wheels on your buffing machine). A sandblaster or
beadblaster's finish is totally non directional and uniformly matte.
It can be dull, have a low sheen, or sparkle depending on the
abrasive or glass bead used. And unlike the various wheels and
brushes, it can get down into the tinyest details and recesses, under
things, into tight corners, etc. This does have one limitation to
keep in mind though. A texture put on with a brush or a wheel, if you
change your mind, can be reached with buffs to remove it, unless it's
too deep to buff off without damage. A sandblast, if down into
details you can't reach, can be much more difficult should you
change your mind...
You should also know that bead blasts, and sandblasts, are not
always substitutes for prefinishing a surface. They put a good matte
or texture on whatever surface shape is there, but that doesn't
always hide defects in that surface. Sometimes it can even make
defects look more prominant. Heavier casting porosity, file marks,
nasty solder scars, and other problems won't go away with a
sandblast finish, they'll just get textured.
Also be aware that sandblasts, and bead blasts do have one other
limit. Think of them as thousands of tiny hammers impacting the
surface. On thinner metal, this can stretch and deform the surface.
It's actually possible to cause serious warping and shape change with
a sandblaster or bead blaster, especially with larger abrasive sizes
and higher air pressures. Back in grad school, I did a number of
pieces that deliberately used the bead blaster as a forming tool,
more than just a texture tool. I got shapes that would have been
quite tricky to form in other ways...