The effects of cutting speed on tool wear and tool life when machining Inconel 718 with ceramics and carbide inserts are experimentally investigated at different cutting conditions. In machining tests various ceramics, coated and uncoated carbide cutting tools having different geometries are used under various cutting speeds. The results show that square type ceramic inserts are subjected to crater and flank wear while round type ceramics are subjected to flank wear and depth of cut notch wear. At lower speeds (150 m/min) whisker reinforced square type ceramic inserts are found to be best tools for cutting Inconel 718 while round type inserts are found to be best tool at higher cutting speeds. Generally, flank wear, plastic deformation and notch wear are effective for coated carbides while flank wear and notch wear are seen with uncoated inserts. In addition, the wear performance of uncoated carbide tools is found to be higher than that of coated carbide tools at certain speeds.