A model describing nanoindentation as plastic deformation resulting from a strain gradient is investigated. Using a simplified axisymmetric nanoindentation, the effective strain gradient for indentation depth is derived. The proposed indentation model is a modification of Nix and Gao’s model (1998) . To validate this approach for nanoindentation, solutions for depth-dependent hardness of single various materials such as Cu, Al, Ni are compared with experiments. Results show that the proposed model agrees well with the hardness experiments.