In this study, the correlation between corrosion behaviour and formations, and topographic characteristics of machined surfaces of stainless steel AISI 304 is investigated. Face turning was performed for combinations of cutting conditions, leading to four differing surface patterns owing to regular chip formation, very small chip thickness effect and built-up-edge formation. To simulate industrial and environmental corrosion two corrosion tests were applied i.e. alternate immersion method and exposure to FeCl3 solution. Different corrosion behaviour was revealed through stereoscopic examination of the surfaces with regard to machining conditions and the best global anti-corrosive performance was exhibited by the surfaces generated under regular chip formation.