The objective of this research is to better understand the mechanisms of material removal in the polishing process. This study is aimed to establish a material removal rate model for metal polishing to predict the result of metal polishing process. This research conducts theoretical study to investigate the material removal rate and its mechanism during the metal polishing process. The present study proposes a material removal rate model for metal polishing based upon a micro-contact model which considers the effects of the abrasive particles located between the polishing interfaces. In addition to such operational parameters as the applied down force, the present study also considers the consumable parameters rarely investigated by previous models, including workpiece surface hardness, abrasive particle size and the standard deviation of abrasive size distribution. The current results show that the material removal rate increases as the average abrasive particle size. In addition, the smaller standard deviation of abrasive particle size distribution can increase the efficiency of metal polishing process. This study also provides physical insights into the interfacial phenomena not discussed by previous models, which ignored the effects of abrasive particles between the polishing interfaces during force balancing.