In this study, 3-D finite element modeling of precision hard turning has been used to investigate the effects of cutting edge micro-geometry on tool forces, temperatures and stresses in machining of AISI H13 steel using polycrystalline cubic boron nitrite (PCBN) inserts with two distinct edge preparations. Hard turning experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of cutting edge geometry, feed rate and cutting speed on tool flank wear and resultant forces. During hard turning experiments, low-grade PCBN inserts with honed and chamfered edge preparations and through-hardened AISI H-13 steel bars were used. Three components of tool forces and flank wear of the inserts were measured. PCBN inserts with honed micro-geometry cutting edge resulted in lower tool flank wear in all cutting conditions. The feasibility of using finite element analysis to investigate the cutting tool micro-geometry effects in 3D hard turning is also explored.