Substituting composite structures for conventional metallic structures has many advantages because composite materials have both high specific stiffness and damping characteristics compared to conventional metallic materials. In this study, circular plate cutting tools which are used for rough machining of bearing sites in crankshafts or camshafts were designed with the fiber reinforced composite material to reduce tool mass and to improve the dynamic stiffness of circular plate cutting tools. The hybrid steel/composite circular plate cutting tool was analyzed by finite element method with respect to material types such as composite and foam, stacking angles of the composite, adhesive bonding thickness, and dimensions of the cutting tool. Also, the constrained damping characteristics of the tools were experimentally investigated with respect to the adhesive bonding thickness and material type such as composite and PVC foam. From the finite element analysis and experimental results, optimal design parameters for the hybrid steel/composite circular plate cutting tool were suggested. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.