The paper presents the results of research studies involving the ceramic-metal tool materials with the deposited nitride coatings on the basis of aluminium, titanium and silicon. The cathodic arc evaporation with lateral rotating cathodes method was used for deposition of nanocrystalline, wear resistant nitride coatings – AlTiSiN type. Structural examinations are presented of the applied coatings and their support material made on the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the scanning/transmission electron microscope (STEM). Chemical composition analysis as a function of the distance from the specimen surface, the so-called profile analysis, were carried out also. The structural analysis confirms that deposited multilayer coatings have dense microstructure without any visible porosity and delamination. It was found that the investigated coatings have nanocrystalline structure and consisting of fine crystallites even less than 6nm. Lattice deformations and numerous structural defects were also observed in the nanolayers. Depositing the AlTiSiN coatings results in the significant hardness increase within the range of 2252 ±256 to 2908 ±295 HV0.01.