The article deals with experimental testing of the cutting ability of exchangeable cutting inserts. Eleven types of exchangeable cutting inserts from five different manufacturers were tested. The tested cutting inserts were of the same shape and were different especially in material and coating types. The main aim was both to select a suitable test for determination of the cutting ability of exchangeable cutting inserts and to design such testing procedure that could make it possible to compare and evaluate the cutting ability of the selected cutting inserts. After the testing the necessary calculations were performed for comparison of the cutting abilities and recording the tool-wear using a microscope. The cutting ability was compared and discussed.