In micro-endmilling, the tools are so small it's difficult for the operator to tell when they break. A study has been conducted to determine the possibility of using acoustic emissions (AEs) to alert the user to a tool failure. A prototype of a system has been tested using AE. The AE system used worked effectively. The experimental results also verified the theory that tool breakage is caused by wear-induced stress. However, although the AE activity indicated most of the problems, it could not detect the causes of the problem and whether the tool can recover.