Coatings deposited by thermal spraying are widely used for applications where enhanced resistance to wear is a crucial factor. In this work we focused on HVOF and plasma sprayed WC-Co, NiCrSiB, Cr3C2-NiCr, AISI 316L and Cr2O3 coatings. The materials were examined by wet slurry abrasion tests, microhardness and roughness measurements. Systematic fractographic analysis in SEM was devoted to determine the main failure mechanisms of selected coatings. The WC-Co coating exhibited the lowest wear rate while 316L coating exhibited the highest wear rate. The plasma sprayed Cr2O3 coating exhibited wear rate higher than HVOF sprayed cermet coatings but lower than metal coating. In most cases it was found that the higher microhardness, the higher is the wear resistance of the coating. The most favorable microstructure was found to be a mixture of hard particles dispersed in tough metal matrix. Matrix-like structure and internal splat microstructure were the main factors controlling the wear resistance of the investigated HVOF and WSP coatings.