The effects of the shot peening (SP) condition and the initial hardness of specimens on the formation and thickness of nanocrystalline (NC) layer were investigated. The NC structure is found to be independent of the SP techniques, air blast, impeller and ultrasonic SP. In the SP condition, the increase in the kinetic energy per one shot is effective to increase the thickness of NC layer. It is also found that there is a certain critical initial hardness of specimens to produce the NC structure by SP. The NC structure forms when the specimen hardness is lower than the shot hardness.