The main objective of the present investigation is to evaluate the abrasive wear behaviour of detonation sprayed WC-Co coatings and to compare them with plasma sprayed WC-Co coatings and carburized and nitrided surfaces. Mild steel was coated with WC-12Co and WC-17Co using detonation and plasma guns. The abrasive wear rates of these coatings were determined at three different loads and compared with wear rates of as received, carburized, and nitrided mild steel. The abraded surfaces and the surfaces beneath the abraded surfaces were characterized by SEM. The results indicate that the detonation sprayed WC-12Co coating has the best abrasive wear resistance at all loads. Maximum improvement in wear resistance is obtained at an intermediate load (i.e. at 5 kg). The wear of detonation sprayed coatings is by abrasion of the soft Co matrix followed by the pullout of hard WC particles.