Knowledge of tool behaviour during intermittent cut machining of various work material is much required in order to improve the efficiency of the machining process. The tool-work impact and related effects of tool wear and surface roughness are often the subjects of interest. Even though, more work has been done to establish the relationship between cutting speed, tool wear and surface roughness during intermittent milling, there is no significant data available for AISI 1030 steel. To fill the gap, the machining of AISI 1030 steel using both coated and uncoated inserts were performed. Results were used to develop a linear regression model by which the relation between the machining parameters and the response were established. Results on tool wear patterns and wear mechanisms were compared between coated and uncoated inserts. Cyclic load on inserts and unstable temperature at cutting zone leads to flank wear and progressive chipping, which were the dominant failure modes observed. Coated inserts out performed uncoated inserts in terms of tool wear and surface roughness. The results also revealed that the feed rate was the dominant factor affecting surface roughness, whereas the cutting speed significantly contributes to the tool wear. Â© 2014 The Authors.