To improve mechanical properties of S2355JR carbon steel, pre-synthesized ZrB2 nanocrystals were used to coat the metal surface by laser cladding using 2000 W CO2 laser. ZrB2 nanocrystals were synthesized by mechanochemical process. The effect of laser power on the coating layers was examined for optimizing the most effective coating conditions. Microstructural studies were carried out using optical microscope, scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction to analyze phase structures of the coated layers. Mechanical characteristics of the laser coated layers were evaluated by studying microhardness, wear and scratch resistance properties. Maximum hardness of the coated layers was observed while cladding with 75 and 125 W laser powers, when other processing parameters and conditions were kept at optimum levels. EDS analysis of these laser cladded layers indicated the formation of complex boro-nitrides, nitrides and carbides of Zr and Fe that contributed to vast increase in hardness of the laser-clad coating on S2355JR steel. Depending upon the laser powers used, the thickness of the coated layers was found to be in the range of 15-37 A mu m. The wear and micro-scratch tests results revealed significant improvement in wear properties.