The surfaces of machine components can be effectively protected against wear by highly resistant hardmetal-like coatings, such as WC-Co and Cr3C2-NiCr, deposited by different thermal spray processes. These composite materials are characterized by the presence of hard carbide particles embedded in a ductile metal binder matrix which have also found many applications as sintered parts (cutting tools, wear resistant parts, mining drills and others) obtained by a powder metallurgy route. Conclusions on the potentials of the different systems for coating applications can be made on the base of experiences and fundamental research from sintered hardmetals. In this paper a comparison of the properties of sintered parts and thermally sprayed coatings of the WC-Co, Cr3C2-NiCr and (Ti,Mo)C-NiCo systems is given. The structure and properties of the coatings depend strongly on the technology of spray powder preparation, the combination of spray process temperature and particle velocity, and other spray process parameters. It is shown that the TiC-Ni based system can be significantly improved by alloying. This makes the system suitable for coating applications where simultaneous high wear and corrosion resistance in combination with high temperature stability are required. This system can partially substitute the commercially introduced systems but has also the potential to explore new applications.