The effect of experimental error in tool life testing on the determination of the minimum cost cutting speed (Vmin) is investigated by using the concept of statistical inference. It is shown that Vmin is not uniquely defined but lies within a probable interval of cutting speeds, and that this interval is affected by the cost and time parameters and the experimental range of feed in tool life testing. The selection of a specific speed from the Vmin confidence interval is illustrated by a decision rule based on the minimax principle.

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