A rapid, iterative method is presented for computing the distribution of temperature at the tool-chip interface. Calculation shows that the maximum temperature occurs at a point near the trailing edge of the contact when chips are produced at conventional feeds and speeds with sintered-carbide tools. The heat-flux distribution at the interface is also obtained. The analysis reveals that, under the usual conditions, heat is being conducted from the tool into the chip over a small region close to the cutting edge. It also has been found that the thermal conductivity of the tool material has only small influence on the mean cutting temperature. Relatively more significant is the effect on the temperature distribution. The role which the interface-temperature distribution plays in the formation of crater wear is pointed out.