This paper analyses the differences in fracture behaviour of two cold drawn pearlitic steels with different degree of strain hardening: a slightly drawn bar and a heavily drawn wire. The load-displacement curve F-u was analysed in the two cases, with special emphasis in the characteristic points of the plot: the load defining the end of linear behaviour (Fe), the final fracture load (Fmax) and, in the heavily drawn steel, the pop-in load (FY). Results demonstrate that slightly drawn steels exhibit isotropic fracture behaviour with crack propagation along its own plane (mode I propagation). On the other hand, heavily drawn steels exhibit a markedly anisotropic fracture behaviour with crack deflection (mixed mode propagation), and vertical fracture embryos suddenly appear associated with the pop-in instant. This special fracture mode is a consequence of the markedly oriented microstructure of the heavily drawn steel.