The objective of the present work is to assess the effect of different coating materials on machinability in the turning of AISI 1050 steel. The cutting tools used in this research are PVD coated TiAlN, and CVD coated TiC + TiCN + TiN, TiC + AI2O3 + TiN and TiN + TiCN + TiN inserts (ISO P25). The type of inserts is DNMG 150608. During the experiments cutting forces, and flank wear values were measured throughout the tool life. The machining performance of different coating materials was evaluated. In addition, cost analysis based on total machining cost per part was performed for the comparison of the economic viability between the different coating materials. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.