Point load testing for irregular rock specimens was studied to determine the relationship between tensile and compressive strengths, drill penetration rate and other rotary drilling parameters. The DH-l type point load tester was developed and more than 2 000 irregular specimens of over 60 kinds of rock from 16 mines and quarries were tested. The effects of size, shape and number of samples on the point load strength index were investigated, using regression analysis. Experiments were carried out to investigate the relationship between point load strength index and uniaxial compressive strength on 29 kinds of rock. The relationship between these values and the drill penetration rate for rotary and percussion drills is discussed.