Continuous composition gradients of several millimetres were generated in commercial WC-Co cutters to improve their shock resistance. This important gradation was obtained in one-step by using the imbibition process. The effects of this thermal processing were analysed in terms of microhardness, cobalt concentration and WC grain size. A gradient of a 300 HV amplitude is measured in the 8 mm-height sample treated by the imbibition process in association with a boron-rich coating. This gradient was preserved after the HPHT (high pressure – high temperature) step used for the diamond table deposition on the WC-Co cutter. To our knowledge, such gradients have never before been reported and should certainly increase cutter service life.