This paper presents a curvature based adaptive iso-parametric strategy for the efficient machining of free form surfaces on 5-axis CNC machine using the flat end mill tool. One iso-parametric boundary of the surface is selected as the initial tool path. Set of cutter contact (CC) points are chosen adaptively on the initial tool path considering desired profile tolerance. Adjacent iso-parametric tool paths are computed adaptively based on the scallop height constraint unlike the traditional iso-parametric approach. The path topology is post-processed to generate the part program for 5-axis CNC machine in ISO format. The system was rigorously tested for various case studies by comparing the results with the traditional 5-axis iso-parametric tool path strategy, iso-scallop strategy and iso-planar strategy of a commercial software. Our system was found to generate efficient tool paths in terms of part quality, productivity and memory storage compared to the conventional strategies.