In this study, the effects of cryogenic treatment on tool wear of uncoated tungsten carbide inserts were investigated in the turning of AISI 316 stainless steel. It was found that notch wear appeared at low and medium cutting speeds, while flank wear and crater wear formed at all combinations of the process parameters selected for turning. In addition, treated inserts exhibited superior wear performance to untreated ones. This can be attributed to high wear resistance and low thermal conductivity of treated inserts. The results were verified by analyses of microstructure and hardness, image processing and Xray diffraction. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.