Nowadays machining of materials in their hardened state, also called hard machining, is a challenge in production of tools and molds. It has some advantages such as lower process time and lower manufacturing cost when compared to conventional machining. In machining of hard workpiece materials, however, very high stresses act on the tool holder through the cutting tool. These stresses necessitate the tool holder to have some specific properties. Especially in hard milling, the tool holder should have high stiffness and should be able to dissipate the energy generated during interrupted cutting. Material cost of the tool holder is also important since lower costs provide a competitive advantage for manufacturers. The material selection for the tool holder should be conducted considering aforementioned requirements. To tackle the difficulty of the material selection with specific properties from a large number of alternatives, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods have been used. In this paper a decision model including extended PROMETHEE II (EXPROM2) (preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluation), TOPSIS (technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution) and VIKOR (VIsekriterijumsko KOmpromisno Rangiranje) methods were used for the selection of the best material for the tool holder used in hard milling. The criteria weighting was performed by compromised weighting method composed of AHP (analytic hierarchy process) and Entropy methods. The candidate materials were ranked by using these methods and the results obtained by each method were compared. It was confirmed that MCDM methods can be used for the solution of real time material selection problems. Tungsten carbide-cobalt and Fe-5Cr-Mo-V aircraft steel were found as the best materials for the tool holder production. The obtained results are found to be rather satisfactory and can be used in design stage of hard machining operations. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.