Nickel-based alloys can be machined using techniques similar to those employed to cut ferrous materials, however, additional requirements are imposed due to the poor machinability of these alloys. Through a series of cutting tests, the authors have applied techniques to optimise the cutting conditions for high speed steel circular saw blades machining materials from three principal categories of nickel-based alloy. The current paper considers the resultant wear mechanisms and the suitability of these tools for this application. Cutting tests were undertaken in which Cupro 107, Inconel 600L 1 and Nimonic PK31 1 workpieces were machined over a range of cutting speeds and feeds to determine the optimum cutting conditions. Test results showed considerable variation in blade performance when cutting these materials. These variations were reflected in the rate of wear and the predominant wear mechanisms associated with the machining of each material. Since both tool and material costs are high, identification of the dominant wear mechanisms is of importance to both manufacturing engineer and end-user when assessing the suitability of using circular saw blades for this application, and when selecting the cutting conditions to maximise tool life. The work will also be of interest to the surface coating engineer when evaluating tooth geometry and substrate material requirements.