The existing chatter stability prediction algorithms fail in low-speed machining of difficult to cut alloys, unless process damping contributed by the tool flank face–finish surface contact is considered. This paper presents a new method in predicting the material dependent process damping coefficient from chatter free orthogonal cutting tests. An equivalent process damping coefficient of the dynamic system is estimated from the frequency domain decomposition (FDD) of the vibration signals measured during stable cutting tests. Subsequently, the specific indentation force of the workpiece material is identified from the process damping coefficients obtained over a range of cutting speeds. The specific indentation force coefficient is used in an explicit formula of process damping which considers the radius and clearance angle of the cutting edge. It is experimentally shown that when the proposed process damping model is included, the accuracy of chatter stability predictions in turning and milling improves significantly at low cutting speeds.