This study deals with experimental results of high speed hard turning of hardened AISI S1 cold work tool steel with ceramic and CBN cutting tools. Ceramic and CBN tools performance were evaluated based on machining force, surface roughness and tool wear. Cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut and tool types were determined as processes parameters. Evaluating tool wear type and wear mechanism by tool makers' microscope and SEM analysis. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for observing that the most influencing machining parameters on the quality characteristics in terms of the statistically. CBN cutter exhibited a better performance than the ceramic cutter. For CBN and ceramic inserts, the increase in cutting speed increased the flank wear. After the turning of hardened workpiece, surfaces at grinding quality were obtained. It was predicted that, with the choice of appropriate cutting parameters, its hazardous effects of grinding operation on the environment and humans shall be decreased for such processes.