13%Cr stainless steel has good comprehensive performance, which makes it suitable to work under the condition of high temperature, high pressure and corrosive environment, such as petroleum industry. It can be used as materials of petroleum pipes with buttress thread. Buttress thread turning is a heavy-load machining, which places high requirement on the cutting tool. Based on the cutting characteristics of buttress thread, the machinability of 13%Cr stainless steel is studied by turning experiments. Two kinds of inserts with different geometries were employed in buttress thread turning experiments. Experimental results show that less cutting force, longer tool life, better chip curling effect and surface quality was acquired for the insert with rake angle of 12° , clearance angle of 3° and chip-curling groove during 13%Cr stainless steel buttress thread turning process.