Abstract Recently, the analysis of microcutting with a submicrometer depth of cut has been explored to ensure a higher quality surface product. To obtain a valuable result, another method, in place of the conventional finite-element method, must be considered because the finite-element method is impossible to use for a very small focused region and mesh size. As an alternative method, molecular dynamics or statics is suggested and accepted in the field of microcutting, indentation and crack propagation. In this paper, using molecular dynamics simulation, the phenomenon of microcutting with subnanometer chip thickness is studied, and the cutting mechanism for the tool-edge configuration is evaluated. As the result of the simulation, atomistic chip formation is achieved.