Arc ion plating technique PVD ZrN coatings were deposited on YT15 cemented carbide. Microstructural and fundamental properties of the ZrN coatings were examined. The ZrN coated tools (DZ and GZZ) showed much better cutting performance compared to the YT15 uncoated cemented carbide, which is connected with their large hardness increase, and good abrasive wear resistance. The wear surface features of the coatings were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that the PVD ZrN coatings onto the cemented carbide substrate show high hardness and good adhesion with the substrate. Abrasive wear was found to be the predominant flank wear mechanism for the ZrN coated tools. While the mechanisms responsible for the rake wear were determined to be adhesion.