Zirconium nitrides (ZrN) coatings have shown better quality in comparison to titanium nitrides (TiN) ones regarding the application in the mechanical processing of aluminum and titanium alloys. This work presents the results from investigation on properties of ZrN-based coatings intended for industrial application. The ZrN and ZrTiN hard coatings in a thickness of (3 5) m were obtained on stainless steel substrates by cathodic arc evaporation method. The coating hardness in the range of 25-32 GPa was evaluated using the Vickers measurement technique. The coating properties were studied in relation to the surface morphology by Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The analyses showed that the number and size of the macroparticles decrease when N2 pressure increases in the deposition chamber. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) was performed to identify the crystallographic structure, preferred orientation and stress of the ZrN coatings.