Purpose: This work concerns manufacturing and research on a new group of the gradient tool materials, manufactured by the conventional powder metallurgy method, consisting in compacting a powder in a closed die and sintering it. Design/methodology/approach: The materials were obtained by mixing the powders of the HS6-5-2 high-speed steel, tungsten carbide (WC). The mixes were poured one after another into the die, yielding layers with the gradually changing volume ratio of carbides within the high-speed steel matrix. Structural research by using the scanning and transmission electron microscopes, x-ray microanalysis and density, hardness and porosity tests, were performed. Structure and hardness of selected materials after heat treatment were also investigated. The pin on plate test was used in order to examine the tribological properties of the analyzed materials. Findings: On the basis of the results of the research, it was found that it is possible to obtain gradient materials by the powder metallurgy methods, in order to ensure the required properties and structure of the designed material. It was shown that the new sintered graded materials are characterized by a multiphase structure, consisting of ferrite, primary carbides of the high speed steel, of the MC and M6C type, and dependently of the reinforcement phase, of the tungsten carbide WC which are introduced into the material, in the powder form. It has been proved by the pin on plate test that the addition of the tungsten carbide to the high-speed steel significantly improved the tribological properties. Practical implications: Developed material is tested for turning tools. Originality/value: The material presented in this paper has layers consisting of the carbide-steel with growing hardness on one side, and on the other side the high-speed steel, characterized by a high ductility.