ZrO2-based composites with WC addition can be successfully machined by electrical discharge machining (EDM) in demineralised water. ZrO2 composites with 40 vol.% WC were produced from nanocrystalline and micrometre sized WC starting powders in order to compare their tribological behaviour. Friction and wear data are obtained on wire-EDM'ed ZrO2-WC composite flats sliding against a WC-Co cemented carbide pin using a small-scale pin-on-plate testing rig. Correlations between wear volume, wear rate and friction coefficient on the one hand and material properties and test conditions on the other hand were elucidated. The experimental results revealed that the grain size of the electro-conductive WC-phase exhibits a strong influence on the friction and wear behaviour of the ZrO2-based composite.