The present paper describes some factors exerting an influence on the coaxing effect of austenitic stainless steels. Particularly, the influence of prestrain was investigated in detail. The materials used were austenitic stainless steels, type 304 and 316. Type 304N2 was also used to examine the properties of the stabilized austenitic phase in type 304. Two types of rotating bending fatigue tests, i.e. the conventional constant amplitude tests and stress-incremental tests, were performed using the specimens subjected to the several tensile-prestrain levels. Under the constant amplitude tests, the fatigue strengths of type 304 and 316 increased with increasing prestrain. Under the stress-incremental tests, type 304 showed a remarkable coaxing effect, where the fatigue failure stress significantly increased regardless of the prestrain level. The coaxing effect in the unprestrained specimens was larger than those of the prestrained ones. Type 304N2 showed lower coaxing effect than type 304. In addition, the strain-induced martensitic transformation did not occur because of the higher stability of austenitic phase in type 304N2. In type 316, the coaxing effect was dependent on the prestrain level, i.e. below 15% prestrain the coaxing effect became smaller with increasing prestrain, whereas above 25% prestrain the coaxing effect reappeared. Based on the tests results, it was considered that the coaxing effect in austenitic stainless steel was due to the mechanisms such as work hardening, strain ageing and strain-induced martensitic transformation. The contribution of these mechanisms to the coaxing effect was different among type 304, 304N2 and 316.