Cutting tool costs is one of the most important components of machining costs. For this reason, tool life should be improved using some methods such as cutting fluid, optimal cutting parameters, hard coatings and heat treatment. Recently, another one of the methods commonly used to improve tool life is cryogenic treatment. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of different holding times of deep cryogenic treatment on tool wear in turning of AISI 316 austenitic stainless steel. The cemented carbide inserts were cryogenically treated at -145 degrees C for 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 h. Wear tests were conducted at four cutting speeds (100, 120, 140 and 160 m/min), a feed rate of 0.3 mm/rev and a 2.4 mm depth of cut under dry cutting conditions. The wear test results showed that flank wear and crater wear were present in all combinations of the cutting parameters. However, notch wear appeared only at lower cutting speeds (100 and 120 m/min). In general, the best wear resistance was obtained with cutting inserts cryogenically treated for 24 h. This case was attributed to the increased hardness and improved microstructure of cemented carbide inserts. These improvements were confirmed through hardness, image processing, and XRD analyses. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.