In this study, the effects of cutting parameters and the effects of workpiece hardness and tool hardness on tool life and tool wear have been investigated in machining of AISI1050 and AISI4140 steels by uncoated and coated ceramic cutting tools. Optimum cutting conditions for maximum tool life were determined using the Taguchi technique. Predictive tool life equations were derived. In addition, types of tool wear were observed by shown worn surfaces with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The results indicated that the workpiece hardness, cutting speed, cutting speed-feed rate interaction, cutting speed-workpiece hardness interaction, dept of cut-cutting tool hardness interaction, feed rate-workpiece hardness interaction and feed rate were found out to be the most effective factors among control factors on tool life. It is observed that the second order predictive equation provided more reliable results. In machining AISI1050 and AISI4140 steels, notch wear, flank wear and crater wear observed on ceramic tools.