Oxide scale on stainless steels in hot rolling, which affects the coefficient of friction, thermal conductivity and surface quality, is more complicated than that on carbon steels. In this study, an austenitic stainless steel 301 was selected. The humid air with 12% water vapour content was adopted for the formation of uniform oxide scale at 1,100°C. Oxidation kinetics study was carried out by using the thermogravimetric analyser (TGA). Specimens were isothermally heated for 25 and 35 minutes to obtain different thickness of scales. Hot rolling was performed on a 2-high Hille 100 experimental rolling mill at various reductions with dry and water cooling conditions. Oxide scale thickness and compositions were analysed with SEM and XRD. Surface roughness was measured after rolling. Inverse calculation of coefficient of friction was employed to analyse and discuss the friction condition between rolls and the strip under different rolling parameters.