Conventional diamond cutting of ferrous materials is rarely economical due to the rapid tool wears which result from diffusion and graphitization of the tools. Conventional machining of hard-brittle materials like silicon and germanium results in surface and subsurface damage due to their brittle fracture. Although ductile mode machining (DMM) concept can be used to have a flawless machining on these materials but the mirror surfaces can only be realized on expensive ultraprecision machine tools because the critical depth of cut must be on the order of 1μm or less. Furthermore, there is a need to eliminate or reduce the use of cutting fluids during machining due to their attendant ecological hazards. However, grinding is one of the most difficult processes with regard to eliminating cutting fluids. Vibration assisted machining (VAM) can be used to minimize the problems enumerated above. VAM combines precision machining with small-amplitude tool vibration to improve the fabrication process. It has been applied to a number of processes ranging from turning, drilling to grinding. Therefore, this paper discusses DMM, the general overview of VAM, the basic kinematics of one-dimensional VAM; the advantages derived from using VAM and the ability of VAM to machine brittle materials in the ductile regime at increased depth of cut are described. Finally, the research directions in VAM are outlined.