Percussive blast hole drills were observed in eight rock types at an open pit mine and three motorway sites. The net penetration rates of the drills were calculated from the performance measurements. Rock samples were collected from the drilling locations and the physical and mechanical properties of the rocks were determined both in the field and in the laboratory. The penetration rates were correlated with the rock properties. The uniaxial compressive strength, the Brazilian tensile strength, the point load strength and the Schmidt hammer value exhibit strong correlations with the penetration rate. Impact strength shows a fairly good correlation with penetration rate. Weak correlations between penetration rate and both elastic modulus and natural density were found. Any significant correlation between penetration rate and P-wave velocity was not found.