The oxidation kinetics of ferritic stainless steel 430 was studied in dry and humid air at 1090 °C by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). Different atmospheres and heating times were adopted for reheating to obtain different compositions and thickness of the oxide scale. Hot rolling was performed on a 2-high Hille 100 experimental rolling mill at various reductions. Oxide scale thickness and composition were analysed with optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The surface profiles were examined by a digital microscope, and the topographic features of the thin oxide scale surface were examined with an atomic force microscope (AFM) before and after rolling. The oxide scale surface and steel/oxide interface roughness were measured after rolling. Inverse calculation of the coefficient of friction was employed to analyse and the effect of oxide scale on friction in hot rolling. The coefficient of friction depends not only on the thickness of the oxide scale, but also on its composition and surface topography before hot rolling.