This paper presents a study of the influence of cutting conditions on the cutting force components during face milling of steel 42CrMo4. Two experimental plans, rotatable central composite design and the Taguchi method with orthogonal arrays and signal-to-noise ratio, have been designed and performed on controlled machining with corresponding cutting conditions. Equations for the cutting force components, as a functions of cutting parameters, have been obtained by means of regression analysis. The Taguchi method has been used to analyse impact of cutting parameters on the cutting force components and to find optimal level of the cutting parameters. The comparison of results obtained by means of the rotatable central composite design and the Taguchi method was performed.