Use of drilled disc specimens was investigated with both numerical and experimental studies to determine direct tensile strengths of rock materials. A new loading apparatus with rods to insert into the drill holes of discs has been designed and manufactured to supply tension by using the compression test presses. In addition to the use of popular compressive presses for direct tension, elimination of the gluing in the standard direct tensile strength test method is a significant advantage to make possible both hard and soft rocks to be tested. The Brazilian test discs with the diameter of NX size and length to diameter ratio of 0.5 were used in tests. Different loading apparatus designs were analyzed and ideal angle of contact between rock and the loading rods was assessed to be 50 degrees within various choices investigated in this study. The drilled discs were determined to fail due to the crack initiation under the condition of uniaxial tensile stress distribution at sidewalls of the hole. In addition to the drilled disc tension test, standard direct tensile strength tests were also carried out to take as reference and compare the results obtained from different methods. According to the results of both numerical and experimental studies, an equation was suggested to determine uniaxial tensile strengths of drilled disc specimens with 20 mm hole diameter and the contact angle of 50 degrees.