The low thermal conductivity of titanium, together with the low contact area between chip and tool and the unusually high chip velocities, gives rise to high tool tip temperatures and accelerated tool wear. Machining speeds have to be considerably reduced to avoid these high temperatures with a consequential loss of productivity. Restoring this lost productivity involves increasing other machining variables, such as feed and depth-of-cut, and can lead to another machining problem commonly known as chatter. This work is to acquaint users with these problems, to examine the variables that may be encountered when machining a material like titanium, and to advise the machine tool user on how to maximize the output from the machines and tooling available to him. Recommendations are made on ways of improving tolerances, reducing machine tool instability or chatter, and improving productivity. New tool materials, tool coatings, and coolants are reviewed and their relevance examined when machining titanium.