The present research work investigated the machining of AISI304 austenitic stainless steel in terms of machining force evolution, power consumption, specific cutting force and surface roughness where a factorial experiment design and analysis of variance technique were used and several factors were evaluated for their effects on each level. The case of dry turning process was studied based on design of experiments in order to obtain empirical equations characterizing material machinability according to cutting conditions such as cutting speed, feed rate and depth of cut and the latter ones were put in relationship with the machining output variables (Ra, Fc, Kc and Pc) through the response surface methodology (RSM). Results revealed that feed rate was the most preponderant factor affecting surface roughness (71.04%). However, the depth of cut affects considerably cutting force and cutting power by (60.74% and 67.11%), respectively. In addition, the specific cutting force was found affected significantly by cutting speed with a contribution of 41.43%. The quadratic model of RSM associated with response optimization technique and composite desirability was used to find optimum values of machining parameters (104.54 m/min, 0.08 mm/rev and 0.295 mm).