The effects of various ceramic coatings on the wear behaviour of carbide cutting tools when machining metal matrix composites containing 20 and 10 wt.% SiC particles fabricated by a by liquid metallurgy technique were investigated at different cutting conditions. In machining tests, various coated cutting tools with different geometries were used under various cutting speeds. The wear performance of multiple-coated carbide tools was found to be higher than those of double-coated tools when machining both particle composites. In addition, the cutting time decreased significantly with increasing weight fraction of particles. Furthermore, it was observed that abrasive wear was the main mechanism responsible for wear of tools in machining composites. Chipping on the cutting edge was effective at higher speed for higher weight fraction composites but formation of a built-up-edge was evident at lower cutting speeds for lower weight fraction composites. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.