Machining of Inconel 718 (In718) remains a challenging task for researchers and practising engineers in the shop floor for quite a long period. In the past decades, many researchers have explored various options with an objective to improve the tool life during machining of In 718. In this research work an attempt has been made to evaluate the machinability of In 718 under various machining conditions. Machining experiments has been conducted under dry, MQL and Flood cooling conditions with selected cutting parameters. Design of experiments has been done using Taguchi's orthogonal array and machining experiments were conducted on an ACE Micromatic CNC Lathe with spindle speed range of 50 - 4000 rpm. Three levels of each cutting parameters namely, cutting speed (50, 75 and 100 m/min), feed rate (0.06, 0.08 and 0.10 mm/rev) and depth of cut (0.2, 0.5 and 0.8 mm) were considered for the experimentation. Subsequent to the experimentation Analysis of Variance was performed on the experimental data to identify the significance of the cutting parameters on the tool performance. The performance of PVD TiAlN coated carbide, whisker reinforced ceramic and cubic boron nitride cBN inserts had been evaluated in terms of cutting force encountered during machining, flank wear developed on the tool and surface roughness on the machined component. © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.