In the work was presented the results of studies concerns on the destructive mechanisms for forging tools used in the wheel forging process as well the laboratory results obtained on a specially constructed test items for testing abrasive wear and thermal fatigue. The research results of the forging tools shown that the dominant destructive mechanisms are thermal fatigue occurring in the initial the exploitation stage and abrasive wear, which occurs later, and is intensified effects of thermo-mechanical fatigue and oxidation process. In order to better analysis of phenomena associated with destructive mechanisms, the authors built a special test stands allow for a more complete analysis of each of the mechanisms separately under laboratory conditions, which correspond to the industrial forging processes. A comprehensive analysis of the forging tools confirmed by laboratory tests, showed the interaction between the thermal fatigue and abrasive wear, combined with the oxidation process. The obtained results showed that the process of oxidation and thermal fatigue, very often occur together with the mechanism of abrasive wear, creating a synergy effect. This causing the acceleration, the most visible and easily measurable process of abrasive wear.