The development of the capability to machine glass materials to optical quality is highly desirable. In this work, the deformation characteristics of brittle materials were analyzed by micro and nano indentations. Diamond cutting of optical glass BK7 was performed in order to investigate the tool wear mechanism in machining of brittle materials and the effect of tool vibration on material removal mechanism. The tool wear mechanism was discussed on the basis of the observation of wear zone. Ductile-mode cutting has easily been achieved with the application of ultrasonic vibration during cutting of glass. It was confirmed experimentally that the tool wear and surface finish were improved significantly by applying ultrasonic vibration to the cutting tool.