This paper describes a study of some fundamental tribological behavior of two different tin-based bearing materials using scratch and Martens hardness techniques. The scratch test results obtained from the two different tin-based bearing materials were correlated with a function of scratch hardness and coefficient of friction. It is easily observed that the friction coefficients of WM5 are lower than those of WM2 under all scratch test conditions. Beside this, it is clearly distinguished that both materials give higher friction coefficients at higher normal loads and scratch velocities. Also it is found that scratch hardness values of the WM5 materials are higher than WM2 generally. Moreover, optical microscopy was used to determine the scratch hardness of two different tin-based bearing materials by examining the scratch widths. Scanning electron microscopic observations of two different tin-based bearing materials were performed in order to identify the scratch-deformation mechanisms and trace morphology. Beside scratch tests, Martens hardness tests were carried out to evaluate the indentation of materials by considering both the force and displacement during plastic and elastic deformation. By monitoring the complete cycle of increasing and removal of the test force, hardness values were determined. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.