CBN diffusion coating on the ball nose end mills made of AISI-M35 high speed steel (HSS) has been produced thermo-chemically. The microstructure and component depth profiles of the CBN diffusion layer have been studied by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. The results on laboratory cutting tests of ball nose end mills made of AISI-M35 HSS with and without complex CBN diffusion coating are also introduced in the paper. The relationship between wear kinetics and tool life has been established. It was shown that under the used cutting conditions the tool life of the mills with the coating was a factor of 1.6 higher than that of the mills without the coating. The higher tribological stability of the coating in cutting process was supported by metallographic observations of the worn surfaces using scanning electron microscopy.