The contribution of material separation in cutting ductile metals to the constant force component, and, hence, to the size effect in specific cutting energy is explored in this paper. A force-decomposition-based framework is proposed to reconcile the varied reasons given in literature for the size effect. In this framework, the cutting force is broken down into three components: one that is decreasing, another that is increasing, and the third that remains constant, with decreasing uncut chip thickness. The last component is investigated by performing orthogonal cutting experiments on OFHC copper at high rake angles of up to in an attempt to isolate it. As the rake angle is increased, the resulting experimental data show a trend toward a constant cutting-force component independent of the uncut chip thickness. Visual evidence of ductile tearing ahead of the tool associated with material separation leading to chip formation is shown. The measured constant force and the force needed for ductile crack extension are then compared.