The contact length is one of the most important factors to evaluate the chip formation process and the mechanical loads in metal cutting. Over the years, several methods to identify the contact length were developed. However, especially for wet cutting processes the determination of the contact length is still challenging. In this paper, three methods to identify the contact length for dry and wet processes in cutting of Ti6Al4V and AISI4140 + QT are presented, discussed and analyzed. The first approach uses tools with a microtextured rake face. By evaluating the microstructures on the chip, a new method to identify the contact length is established. The second approach applies high speed recordings to identify the contact length. The challenge is thereby the application of high-speed recordings under wet conditions. In the third approach, tools with restricted contact length are used. It is shown that with all three methods the contact length is reduced using metal working fluid.