Tool life and tool wear, cutting forces and cutting temperature, surface finish, chip formation and surface generation were investigated when milling SiCp/2009Al composites at the cutting speed of 1200m/min using PCD tools. The results showed that PCD tool life was 150min when the 0.1mm tool wear criterion was chosen. PCD tool mainly suffered from tool grain breaking-off, chipping, abrasive wear, micro cracks and adhesive wear due to he very high-frequency impact and scrape of SiC particles. The peak value of the cutting force Fy (the radial direction) was over 1300N and the cutting vibration was very severe. The cutting temperature was 523.7°C. Pits, voids, matrix tearing and scratch were the main defects on the machined surface. The deformation layer thickness was about 20-35μm. The chip for the vol.20%SiCp/2009Al composite took the form of flow type and the mechanisms of the chip formation were the combination of dynamic behavior of voids/micro-cracks and adiabatic shear. For the vol.35%SiCp/2009Al composite, the chip was non-continuous and had the tendency of saw-toothed type. Material swelling and side flow, tool-workpiece relative vibration, feed rate and tool nose radius, removal mode of SiC particles were the main mechanisms of surface generation.