The influence of surface treatment such as nitriding, TNHT(Ti Nano Heat-treatment, PHILOS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.) and PVD coating on the thermal crack propagation behavior of hot work die steel was investigated. To examine the thermal fatigue resistance, the cyclic thermal shock system consisted of induction heating and water spray quenching unit was constructed and Lm is proposed as the index representing the susceptibility to crack initiation and propagation. Thermal stress depending on test temperature was also simulated by FEM. The TNHT specimen showed lower Lm value than as-heat treated specimen but, in the case of maximum and average crack length, the TNHT specimen exhibited higher value than those of as-heat treated specimen. This means that the small number of large cracks were initiated and propagated selectively in the TNHT specimen. This result can be caused by two contrary effects of diffusion layer, those are introduction of the residual compressive stress good for mitigation of thermal tensile stress and very high surface hardness harmful for crack initiation. However, Lm value of salt-bath nitriding specimen was very high due to the white layer in spite of the existence of diffusion layer.