For special applications laser machining is executed as an alternative method to abrasive processes for creating cutting tool micro geometries. Also, cutting edge preparation of super hard cutting tools has already been performed successfully. In contrast to abrasive processes, where mainly mechanical loads are applied to the machined body, a high thermal load is induced into the tool during laser ablation. In this paper effects of the heat input on residual stress, phase composition and surface roughness of cBN (cubic boron nitride) cutting inserts are investigated. Cutting experiments with tools, whose rake faces had been laser machined with different parameters, were performed. Machining forces as well as the wear behavior of the tools are discussed.