The cooling applications in machining operations play a very important role and many operations cannot be carried out efficiently without cooling. Application of a coolant in a cutting process can increase tool life and dimensional accuracy, decrease cutting temperatures, surface roughness and the amount of power consumed in a metal cutting process and thus improve the productivity. In this review, liquid nitrogen, as a cryogenic coolant, was investigated in detail in terms of application methods in material removal operations and its effects on cutting tool and workpiece material properties, cutting temperature, tool wear/life, surface roughness and dimensional deviation, friction and cutting forces. As a result, cryogenic cooling has been determined as one of the most favourable method for material cutting operations due to being capable of considerable improvement in tool life and surface finish through reduction in tool wear through control of machining temperature desirably at the cutting zone. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.