This paper aims at reporting the results of a number of drag pick cutting tests on selected igneous rock samples to compare the experimentally determined maximum cutting force (FC') values with theoretically estimated ones. First, a review on theoretical rock cutting models proposed for both chisel and conical picks was presented in detail. Experimental study consists of both chisel and conical pick cutting tests in unrelieved (single-pick) cutting mode with varying cutting depths. FC' values were determined from experimental results, and theoretical models were utilized to compute FC' for all cutting conditions. Computed and experimentally determined FC' data were then compared for a referenced cutting depth. It is shown that the theoretical models might overestimate or underestimate FC' and cannot give reliable results. Finally, explanations for these mismatches were presented. (C) 2018 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.