© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Korean Carbon Society.Acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) terpolymer was compounded with short carbon fiber (CF) and carbon nanotube (CNT) using a micro-extruder followed by the injection molding process. Composite samples were fabricated with loading ratios of 20 wt.% CF and 0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 wt.% of CNT. Mechanical, electrical, thermo-mechanical, thermal, melt-flow, and structural investigations of ABS-based composites were conducted by performing tensile, impact, hardness, and wear tests, conductive atomic force microscopy (AFM), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), melt flow rate test (MFR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) characterization techniques, respectively. According to mechanical test data of resultant composites including tensile and impact test findings, CNT additions led to the remarkable increase in tensile strength and impact resistance for CF reinforced ABS composites. The formation of synergy between CNT nanoparticles and CF was confirmed by electrical conduction results. The conductive path in ABS/CF composite system was achieved by the incorporation of CNT with different loading levels. SEM micrographs of composites proved that CNT nanoparticles exhibited homogeneous dispersion into ABS matrix for lower loadings. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].