Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) drill bit is one of the main rock-breaking tools in drilling engineering. As the cutter of PDC drill bit, its performance indexes such as rock breaking efficiency, wear resistance, thermal stability and impact resistance have a great influence on the use of PDC drill bit, and the related research have attracted much attention in both domestic and foreign countries. This paper summarizes the research progress of experimental devices, testing methods and representative results on rock breaking mechanism and performance testing of PDC cutters in both domestic and foreign countries. According to the way of interaction between PDC cutters and rock, the relevant experiments mainly include five categories: PDC cutter linear cutting experiments, rotary cutting experiments, drop impact experiments, PDC single cutter static pressure experiments, and full-size PDC bit experiments and so on. According to the purpose of the test, it can be divided into two categories: rock breaking mechanism and performance test of PDC cutter. The advantages and disadvantages of these experimental studies are investigated and analyzed in order to provide useful references for the research and optimization of PDC cutters and the overall personalized design of PDC bits.