This paper deals with analysis of the cutting process, on a macro and micro scale, in the deep hole drilling with BTA system. An experimental procedure is developed to highlight the impact of cutting speed and feed rate on the cutting process when machining the 18MND5 steel. Parameters based on dimensional characteristics of chips are introduced to quantify the morphology of chips generated by central, intermediate and external inserts of the complex BTA drilling tool. From observation of the chips morphology (flat, curved and spiral) and the measurement of the chips width, the provenance of each chip with respect to cutting inserts is identified. Then, the Chip Compression Ratio is evaluated for each cutting condition, indicating the amount of plastic strain in chips. Thanks to the introduction of a new parameter, denoted as Chip Fragmentation Ratio, it is found that the cutting speed has a little influence, compared to the feed rate, on the chips size. Based on this quantitative analysis, the optimal range of cutting conditions for the BTA deep hole drilling is discussed. It is mentioned that although increasing the feed rate promotes the chips fragmentation and increases the material removal rate (increasing productivity), an upper limit is to determine to prevent excessive flank wear. Also, the cutting speed should be limited to avoid excessive crater wear.