In this study, face-turning trials were performed on carbon-fibre-reinforces plastics (CFRP) using sintered carbides (P30 and K20). The cutting forces were measured using a piezo-electric type dynamometer. The worn-out tool edges, the machined CFRP surfaces and the chips were examined under the scanning electron microscope. The force measurements have revealed the existence of a critical velocity for each tool during machining. The machined CFRP surface has a more uniform surface texture with insignificant fibre pull-out. The present study was carried out to generate data and to create a basis for understanding the process of the machining composites. © 1992.