In this note we investigate the influence of structural nonlinearity of a simple cantilever beam impacting system on its dynamic responses close to grazing incidence by a means of numerical simulation. To obtain a clear picture of this effect we considered two systems exhibiting impacting motion, where the primary stiffness is either linear (piecewise linear system) or nonlinear (piecewise nonlinear system). Two systems were studied by constructing bifurcation diagrams, basins of attractions, Lyapunov exponents and parameter plots. In our analysis we focused on the grazing transitions from no impact to impact motion. We observed that the dynamic responses of these two similar systems are qualitatively different around the grazing transitions. For the piecewise linear system, we identified on the parameter space a considerable region with chaotic behaviour, while for the piecewise nonlinear system we found just periodic attractors. We postulate that the structural nonlinearity of the cantilever impacting beam suppresses chaos near grazing. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.