AISI M2 high speed tool steel is one of the widely used materials in the machining industry. The most common problems of this material are wearing of the cutting edge and adhesion of the work materials to the tool during the machining operations. To overcome these disadvantages, single and duplex surface treatments combining a diffusion process and a thin film ceramic coating are performed. In this study, various nitride-based coatings (TiN, TiCN, AITiN and CrN) were deposited on untreated and plasma nitrided AISI M2 high speed tool steel specimens using cathodic arc physical vapour deposition (CAPVD) technique. The plasma nitriding treatment was performed in 50%N-2-50%H-2 gas mixture at 500 degrees C for 2 h. The influences of different surface treatments on structural properties of AISI M2 steel were investigated by means of field emission scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffractometer, focused ion beam milling system, microhardness tester and optical profilometer. The tribological properties of specimens were examined in dry and cutting fluid conditions by using reciprocating sliding wear test with Al2O3 ball as a counter material. According to tribological test results, the solely coating treatment was more effective in improvement of the wear resistance of AISI M2 high-speed tool steel rather than duplex treatment. The lowest worn volume was obtained from the solely CrN coated surface. Whereas under cutting fluid condition, solely TiN and TiCN coated surfaces showed higher wear resistance. It was also observed that the friction coefficients of all specimens tested in boron-containing cutting fluid were lower and quite stable compared with dry sliding condition. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.