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Abstract—Modern excavation machines used in civil and mining industries typically use picks as cutting tools, and thus the reliability of picks is critical to the productivity of these machines. Picks suffer from different failures in production. Among various failure modes, pick body bending is a common one. A series of experiments were conducted in CSIRO’s Rock Cutting Laboratory to investigate the mechanism of pick body bending failures. The tests showed that the bending failure of a pick can be caused by a single strike of an excessive force or multiple strikes of small forces. The results can be used for better selection of picks and optimal operation of excavating machines to maximize productivity and profit.