Polycrystalline TiN/ZrN multilayers with a 7.5% lattice mismatch between the layers and TiN/CrN multilayers with a 2.3% mismatch were grown by reactive magnetron sputtering on WC/Co sintered hard alloy substrates. Multilayer structure and composition modulation amplitudes were studied using x-ray diffraction method. Hardness and elastic modulus were measured by nanoindentation testing. Hardness of TiN/ZrN multilayers decreased rapidly with increasing bilayer thickness (Λ), peaking at hardness values ≈30% lower than rul e-of-mixtures values at Λ=30 Å, before increasing slightly with further increases in Λ. A comparison with other lattice mismatched systems, TiN/VN and TiN/NbN, showed a similar hardness variation, but a sign was negative. The results suggest that coherency strains were responsible for the larger hardness change. Nanoindenter elastic modulus results showed the same behavior with hardness dependence, i.e., elastic softening at Λ=30 Å. The results of TiN/CrN systems showed no hardness and elastic anomalies within boundaries corresponding to individual values. It was thought too large the difference between hardness (or modulus) of TiN and CrN.