Formation of nanocrystalline structure by severe plastic deformation has studied extensively. Although ultra fine grained structure (grain size larger than 100 nm) had been obtained in many processes such as heavy cold rolling, equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) or accumulative roll bonding (ARB), the formation of nano grained structure (< 100 nm) is limited to processes such as ball milling, shot peening or drilling. In the present study, high pressure torsion (HPT) deformation and drilling were carried out to understand the conditions necessary to obtain nano grained structure in steels. The results of HPT experiments in pure Fe showed that HPT has superior ability of strengthening and grain refinement probably due to a strain gradient but the saturation of grain refinement occurs before reaching nano grained structure. Drilling experiments in high carbon martensitic steel revelaed that nano grained ferrite forms at the drilled hole surface only when the transformation from ferrite to austenite takes place during drilling. Considering various other processes by which nano grained ferrite was produced, it is proposed that heavy strains with large strain gradients together with dynamic transformation are necessary to reach nano grained ferrite structure.