A study has been made of the effect of solute (Mn, Al, Ni) additions on microstructure refinement due to large strain deformation in single phase, copper solid solutions. The solutes were specifically selected for their influence on stacking fault energy (SFE) of copper, and the large strain deformation was imposed by chip formation in machining. The microstructure of Cu- 0.7at%Ni chip consists of elongated, sub-micrometer sized grains while Cu-7at%Al chip is made up of long, thin microbands with twins. The microstructure of the chip changes as the SFE of the material varies. With all of the solid solutions studied, the hardness of the chips is found to be significantly greater than that of the bulk material. Recrystallization temperature of solid solution chips is found to be higher than those of pure copper chips.