Silicon carbide (SiC) based ceramics have received significant study for optical applications due to high specific stiffness, high thermal conductivity, and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). Reaction bonded SiC ceramics, which are composites of SiC and Si, are of particular interest due to large size and complex shape capability. The behavior of these ceramics is very much affected by the grain size of the SiC phase. The present work examines SiC grain sizes ranging from 6 to 50 μm, with the goal of optimizing properties and finishing capability for optical uses. Microstructures are reviewed; physical, mechanical and thermal properties are presented; and post-polishing surface roughness data are provided. In particular, results demonstrate that properties can be tailored by SiC particle size selection, and that measureable enhancement in surface roughness can be achieved by moving to smaller SiC grain size.