The work presents the research of permanent strain occurred when metallurgical transformations take place even under small stress applied externally lower than the yield stress of weaker phase. Four tool steel grades were tested: THG2000 (Uddeholm, Sweden), 20X13, 40X13 and 95X18 (GOST). All steel grades differ in carbon content and amount of alloying elements and behave differently when transformation plasticity occurs. This phenomenon was observed during bending test when bending stress was 100MPa and was less than 10 % of yield strength of the steel. The steel specimens were heated to 950-1050 °C temperature and then bent during air quenching. Plastic deflections were observed though all cooling process that involved martensitic transformation as well. Different effect of compression and tensile stresses on microstructure evolution during martensitic transformation was determined as both type of stresses formed in bent specimens.