A short literature survey which justifies coating of ceramic cutting inserts is presented. The results reported are on selected nitride coatings, in particular nanoscale multilayer, with layers of type Ti-Zr-N, TiN, ZrN and (TiAl)N, deposited by the arc PVD method on oxidecarbide ceramic cutting inserts of type TACN and TW2 produced at the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. Measurements and quality assessments were made, including of thickness of the coatings and of their constituent micro and nanolayers, microhardness of the coating and of the substrate, surface roughness of the inserts and of the cylindrical workpieces turned with these tools. Lifetimes of the coated and uncoated inserts were compared in turning an alloy tool steel. A significant increase in lifetime of the coated TW2 cutting tools was shown.