© 2020 The AuthorsElectrical discharge machining (EDM) is a non-conventional machining process which was developed to machine hard to cut materials for the past few decades. In addition to this, it also used to modify the surface characteristics of the material through the EDM process. In this process, the conventional electrode and electrode made through the powder metallurgy route are being used to enhance the machining performances. In some cases, the powder particles are suspended in the dielectric medium for improving the machining efficiency. In this paper, a detailed discussion was made about the surface modification carried out on the materials during the EDM process. The influence of powder particles present in the dielectric fluid on minimizing the formation of recast layer and crater formation was discussed. During the machining process, a particle from the compacted electrodes is migrated to the workpiece and reduces the formation of microcracks, voids, recast layer on the surface of the material. Moreover, the microhardness, surface finish, wear resistance, and corrosion behavior of the material are enhanced by these surface modification techniques. This paper presents a comprehensive review of various techniques adopted to improve the performance of the materials by the EDM process.