The increased interest in nanostructured materials is due to improvements in the mechanical properties presented for these materials. Significant increases in properties such as hardness, wear resistance and in some cases, strength and toughness of nanostructured ceramics have been reported, compared to conventional ceramics. High-energy milling can lead to selfsustaining reactions in a variety of systems. In this study, reactive high-energy milling was used to synthesis niobium carbide (NbC) nanoparticles. The reaction products were de-agglomerated and mixed with commercial ultra-fine alumina powder to produce alumina matrix nanocomposites with 5vol% of nanometric NbC. Alumina/NbC nanocomposite produced using powder obtained by reactive present good microstructural characteristic, high densities, good hardness and higher toughness. What makes this material an interesting alternative for production of ceramic cutting tools.