Nanosize nickel powders were successfully produced by electrical explosion of wire (EEW). In EEW, the nickel wire was discharged in a chamber filled with nitrogen or argon gas, and the produced powders were subsequently stabilized by air-passivation at room temperature for 2 h. X-ray diffraction only showed the nickel phase of FCC crystal structure, whereas TEM and XPS analyses showed the formation of a very thin oxide layer of NiO on the surface of particles. Particles were spherical in shape, and the mean particle size calculated by specific surface area was about 100 nm. The particle size decreased with increasing charging voltage and with increasing ambient gas pressure. Argon gas was more effective in producing finer particles than nitrogen gas.