Scratch testing using nanoindentation helps to characterize material’s wear resistance and the accompanying material removal, and deformation mechanism. The effect of load and repeated scratching on pure zinc was investigated in this study. Surface examination post scratching revealed the formation of long chips at lower loads, which can be attributed to ductile-like behavior. Ploughing dominated at higher loads, while micro-cutting was active at lower loads. The material removal factor (fab) is an indicator of the prevailing wear mechanism. A good correlation appeared between the observed wear mechanism and the calculated fab, wherein interplay of ploughing and micro-cutting was observed. The decrease in wear rate as the number of passes increased and the decreasing value of fab are indicative of the strain hardening behavior during repeated scratching. The presence of intergranular fracture slip and twinning on the deformed surface is indicative of the material’s response to induced stress.