The raw materials used in thermal spray processes are a critical parameter in the finished coating because the variations in their size, morphology, chemistry, and phase composition can significantly impact coating properties. Therefore, it is important to test and characterize the raw materials. This article discusses various characterization methods for powders. Topics discussed include: methods for determining particle size and/or size distribution; powder and coating stoichiometry; particle chemistry; and phase analysis by x-ray diffraction. This article discusses the characterization of thermal spray powders which involves the determination of particle size and/or size distribution and phase analysis by x-ray diffraction. It provides information on preferential volatilization and rapid solidification that influence compositional differences. Wet chemical methods, spectographic analysis, and atomic absorption spectrometry are also discussed.