In recent years, the machinability of magnesium alloy is concerned more and more by the public. In this paper, a study on the cutting properties of magnesium alloy AZ91D when dry turning with kentanium cutting tools is presented. It shows the cutting force measured by a data acquisition system which is made up of Kistler9257B piezoelectric crystal sensor dynamometer, Kistler5070A10100 charge amplifier and computer. The effect of cutting parameters on cutting force was studied, and the experimental formula was built. The tool wear and chip characteristics were observed with KYKY-EM3200 electron scanning microscope and EDAX PV9900 alpha ray spectrometer, while the surface roughness of the workpiece was measured with 2205 profilometer. Results showed that the cutting depth was the main influence factor on cutting force, followed by feed rate and cutting speed . The main form of tool wear showed to be diffusive wear and adhesive wear. The feed rate had the main influence on chip form and the workpiece surface roughness, cutting speed was less effective, the cutting depth was the least.