Sintered stainless steel has a wide range of applications mainly in the automotive industry. Properties such as wear resistance, density and hardness can be improved by addition of nanosized particles of refractory carbides. The present study compares the behavior of the sintering and hardness of stainless steel samples reinforced with NbC or TaC (particles size less than 20 nm) synthesized at UFRN. The main aim of this work was to identify the effect of the particle size and dispersion of different refractory carbides in the hardness and sintered microstructure. The samples were sintered in a vacuum furnace. The heating rate, sintering temperature and times were 20°C/min, 1290°C and 30, 60 min respectively. We have been able to produce compacts with a relative density among 95.0%. The hardness values obtained were 140 HV for the reinforced sample and 76 HV for the sample without reinforcement.