This article discusses the functions and chemistry of metal cutting or grinding fluids. It reviews the choice of cutting or grinding fluids that is influenced by the workpiece material, fluid characteristics, and machining operation. The article describes two application methods of cutting or grinding fluids: flooding and misting. It discusses and lists the American Society for Testing and Materials standard test procedures used in establishing control of cutting and grinding fluids. The article provides information on the storage, distribution, cleaning, and disposal of cutting and grinding fluids. It concludes with information on the health implications and biology of cutting fluids.