In face milling, cutting speed and feed rate affect the cutting forces and built-up edge tendency (BUE). In this study, three components of the cutting forces developed during face milling AISI 1020 and AISI 1040 steel workpieces were measured. For the cutting force measurements, a strain gauge based dynamometer was constructed. Depending on the chip cross-section and the cutting speed, the cutting forces and surface roughnesses were evaluated for the two steel workpieces, while the seizure on the cutting tools was examined using an optical microscope. Within a certain cutting parameters range, the increasing cutting speed increased the cutting forces while at lower and intermediate cutting speeds cutting tool BUE formation tendency increased. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.