Cutting forces affecting the cutting tool during machining in metal cutting are one of very important parameters necessarily known to select the economical cutting conditions and to mount the workpiece on machine tools securely. In this paper, the effects of the feed rate in machining of nickel-based super alloy Inconel 718, used in aircraft and spacecraft industries, nuclear power systems and steam generators, etc., on the cutting tool stresses have been investigated. Cutting forces were measured by a series of experimental measurements while stress distributions on the cutting tool were analysed using a commercial finite element method (FEM) (ANSYS). The results obtained show that the feed rate is the most relevant cutting parameter affecting cutting tool stresses. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier B.V.