Aluminium alloy composites containing various particle sizes of 10 and 20 wt.% SiC particles were prepared by molten metal mixing and squeeze casting method under argon gas. The stirring was carried out with graphite impeller during addition of particle. The molten mixture was poured into a die when the stirring was completed and metal matrix composites were produced by applying the pressure. Optical microscopic examination, hardness, density and porosity measurement were carried out. Moreover, metal matrix composites were machined at various cutting speeds under a fixed depth of cut and feed rate using different cutting tools. It is observed that there was a reasonably uniform dispersion of particles in the matrix alloy. The density decreased with decreasing particle sizes, but porosity decreased considerably with increasing particle size. In addition, the tool life decreased considerably with increasing cutting speeds for all tests. Among cutting tools, the wear resistance of Al2O3 coated tools showed better performance than those of the other tools without chip breaker geometries in the machining of SiCp-reinforced composites. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.