A novel class of ‘paddle forming’ processes for forming pronounced features within sheet metal components is presented. The processes are incremental in nature and are characterised by having contact between the tool and the workpiece along a short line segment. The processes lead to high through-thickness shear strains, which have been shown to increase the possible deformation before ductile instability occurs. Paddle forming tools, which are cheap and simple to manufacture, can be applied to the faces or edges of sheets, tubes and disks. Four example processes are demonstrated, each showing high deformation and pronounced through-thickness shear strain.