Coblation® is an electrosurgical technology which employs electrically-excited electrodes in the presence of saline solution to produce a localized and ionized plasma that can cut, ablate, and otherwise treat tissues for many different surgical needs. To improve our understanding of how Coblation plasmas develop from devices made from different electrode materials we describe several experiments designed to elucidate material effects. Initial experiments studied simple, noncommercial cylindrical electrode test devices operating in buffered isotonic saline without applied suction. The applied RF voltage, approximately 300 V RMS, was sufficient to form glow discharges around the active electrodes. The devices exhibited significantly different operating characteristics, which we ascribe to the differing oxidation tendencies and other physical properties of the electrode materials. Parameters measured include RMS voltage and current, instantaneous voltage and current, temporally-resolved light emission and optical emission spectra, and electrode mass-loss measurements. We correlate these measured properties with some of the bulk characteristics of the electrode materials such as work functions, standard reduction potentials and sputter yields.