Recrystallization mechanisms leading to the generation of ultrafine grains (UFG) by surface severe plastic deformation (S2PD) at low temperatures (< 0.5Tm (melting temperature)) have been investigated over the last years. Material removal processes like broaching impose large plastic strains along the shear plane during chip formation, leading in many cases to changes in the workpiece subsurface microstructure. In this work the influence of the cutting material on surface grain recrystallization were studied on broaching of AISI 4140q&t steel. Orthogonal cutting tests were carried out in dry conditions on a broaching machine using tools with different coatings. Uncoated cemented carbide inserts were geometrically prepared using fixed abrasive grinding processes and then coated by physical vapor deposition (PVD) with Al2O3 and CrVN thin films. Workpiece subsurface layers were analyzed after machining by Focused Ion Beam (FIB-SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The presented results show the influence of the cutting material on the final microstructure of the machined workpieces through the determination of the final grain sizes and dislocation densities.