In this study, a strain gauge based dynamometer capable of measuring three-force components during metal cutting has been designed and constructed. In order to read and save the cutting force data automatically on a computer during metal cutting, a data acquisition system with the necessary hardware and software was also devised and connected to the developed dynamometer. Cutting force signals were captured and processed using a personal computer through operational amplifiers and analog-to-digital converter. Although the dynamometer was developed primarily for milling operations, it can be used to measure cutting forces during nearly all machining operations (turning, grinding, drilling, etc.). Machining tests were performed at different cutting parameters and the results showed that the dynamometer could be used reliably to measure cutting forces. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.