There is considerable interest in utilizing either dry or minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) as an alternative to flood cooling due to environmental concerns with flood coolant such as excessive misting and disposal of the used coolant. Dry machining can result in high tool wear and also built up edge problems on the cutting tool. The objective of this research was to study the effect of work piece material and tool material on the machining characteristics, in this case reaming, of aluminum using MQL. In particular, a high tin casting and three different tool materials: carbide, DLC and PCD were studied. The high tin casting was found to produce lower cutting temperature and lower spindle power. The PCD coated insert performed the best in terms of lowest temperature rise, lowest spindle power and highest part quality.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.