Field experience with TiN-coated cutting tools over the last few years has demonstrated their increased performance. In the present research a large number of laboratory pinon-disk tests were performed in order to investigate the specific interaction between TiN and a chromium steel counter-body. Based on an analysis of the wear track appearance, the friction coefficient and the wear debris, two wear modes have been identified. The occurrence of these wear modes and a transition between them have been analysed as a function of the surface roughness of the TiN coating and the normal load applied. The wear mechanism related to these wear modes is discussed.