This study modified the surfaces of three kinds of TiNi-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) by dry electrical discharge machining (EDM) in nitrogen (N2) and acetylene (C2H2) gas mixture. The effects of composition of the dielectric medium and work-piece on the machining performance and surface characteristics were investigated. Increasing the ratio of acetylene gas in gas mixture was beneficial for improving the material removal rate (MRR). However, adding a large amount of acetylene gas resulted in unstable discharge. A recast layer, comprising nitrides and carbides, which well adhered on the EDMed surface exhibited high hardness. Among Ti50Ni50, Ti50Ni49.5Cr0.5, and Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA as a work-piece, Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA has the lowest MRR owing to it possessed the highest melting temperature and thermal conductivity. The recast layer on Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA, comprising zirconium nitride, exhibited the highest hardness and adhesion among all the SMAs. However, the high-hardness recast layer deteriorated the shape recovery of the SMA.