This paper has examined some recent findings concerning the processing of fully dense hetero-nanostructured materials (i.e. consisting of nano, ultrafine and micrometric grains) which can be produced by using the interplay between heavy deformation and recrystallization. By plastic deformation of bulk materials, an improved strength/ductility balance can be obtained directly by imparting high strain deformation (by ECAE) until the occurrence of recrystallization. Using a powder metallurgy route, the strong potential of electric field assisted sintering (ECAS) for producing multi-scale microstructures when a milled powder is used is also demonstrated. In this case, in addition to modify the classic processing parameters (time/temperature of ECAS), altering the nature of the milled powder - by Y2O3 addition during the milling stage - is also a good way to delay the onset of recrystallization and, thereby, increase the fraction of ultrafine grains.