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Molecular dynamics simulations are performed on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) under axial compression to investigate the effects of the number of walls and their van der Waals (vdW) interaction on the buckling behaviors and mechanical properties (Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio). The Brenner second-generation reactive empirical bond order and Lennard–Jones 12-6 potential have been adopted to describe the short-range bonding and long-range vdW atomic interaction within the carbon nanotubes, respectively. In the presence of vdW interaction, the buckling strain and Young’s modulus of MWCNTs increase as the number of tubes is increased while keeping the outermost tube diameter constant, whereas Poisson’s ratio was observed to decrease. On the other hand, when the MWCNTs are formed by progressively adding outer tubes while keeping the innermost tube diameter constant, Young’s modulus and buckling strain were observed to decrease, whereas Poisson’s ratio increases. The buckling load increases with increasing the number of walls due to the larger cross-sectional areas. Individual tubes of MWCNTs with a relatively large difference between the diameters of the inner and outer tubes buckle one at a time as opposed to simultaneously for MWCNTs with a relatively small difference in diameters.