The evolution mechanisms of ultrafine grains processed by severe plastic deformation are studied in ferritic steel, copper and aluminum alloys. The structural changes are characterized by the evolution of deformation bands such as microshear bands (MSBs) at moderate strains. The process of strain-induced grain formation can be subdivided in the following three stages irrespective of deformation temperature: i.e. an incubation period for new grain evolution in low strain; grain fragmentation by frequent development of MSBs in medium strain, and a full development of new grains in large strain. A mechanism of new grain formation during SPD, i.e. the MSB-based model, is proposed and discussed comparing with the subgrain-based model.