The pulsed-arc-discharge method has been used to deposit diamond-like carbon (DLC) films on 19 different substrate materials such as metals, ceramics and polymers. The film thickness was about 0.2 μm. The adhesion of the DLC to the substrate was evaluated using pull tests, the Vickers indentation method and scratch tests. The pull test results have been used to estimate the adhesion quantitatively using the critical load obtained from the scratch tests. In general, materials with a high affinity for carbon also have the best adhesion. The interfaces have been examined using ion beams by measuring the detached surface after a pull test on the DLC film. Larger amounts of substrate material can be detected on the pulled DLC film with materials which form stable carbides.