Motivated by the large variety of enhanced properties of ultrafine and nanocrystalline materials such materials are under extensive investigation. Besides focusing on classical material parameters, like strength and ductility, the fracture toughness of these materials is also of great importance, especially when the damage tolerance is required. In this contribution an overview of the fracture behavior of different metals covering ultrafine-grained iron and nickel as well as a nanocrystalline steel processed via high pressure torsion (HPT) will be given. It will be shown that the specimen orientation can have a tremendous influence on the fracture behavior and toughness. Due to this toughness anisotropy an unexpectedly good combination of high strength and high fracture toughness can be achieved very often in these materials.