In this study, measurement of the chip-back temperature developed during cutting was investigated using an embedded thermocouple into the cutting tool. AISI 1117 steel was used as the workpiece material and a K type thermocouple was used for the temperature measurement. The cutting tool used was uncoated and without chip braker and in the form of SCMW 12 M508-S217 according to ISO 1832. This cutting tool was fixed on a tool holder in the form of SSBCR 25 25 M12 and the side cutting edge angle during tests was 75 degrees as suggested in ISO 3685. The cutting tests were carried out on a Johnford TC35 CNC turning center. In selecting the cutting parameters, the reference values indicated in ISO 3685 were used. In order to locate the thermocouple on the cutting tool, a Flir Systems Therma Cam thermal camera was used. The results showed that increasing cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut resulted in increase in the temperature at the back rake surface. However, cutting speed had the most influence on the temperature. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.