A rational, theoretically proved and empirically verified control system is a condition for optimal management of the drilling process in compliance with the criteria for minimizing the cost of time and material resources. A new generation of rock-cutting tools using PDC cutters (polycrystalline diamante cutters), which are extremely ef fective when drilling wells for various purposes in medium-hard rocks, dictates the need to develop methods and criteria for optimal control of the drilling process using this tool. The paper presents an analysis of the force interaction between rock-cutting elements, face rock, and drilling mud sa turated with slam, highlights the influencing factors and provides dependencies for determining the parameters of rock failure. Empirical verification of the theoretical propositions was carried out based on the data analysis from experimental bit drilling of marble with PDC cutters with a diameter of 76.2 mm, processed using the method of full factor experiment to obtain mathematical models of factors and their graphical interpretation. The method of controlling the drilling process based on the optimal ratio of the tool rotation frequency, axial weight and deepening per one turnover is considered, which allows determining the rock failure mode at the well bottom by indirect signs and choose the optimal values of the drilling mode parameters that correspond to the most optimal conditions in terms of achieving the maximum mechanical drilling speed in conjunction with the rational mode of rock-cutting tool operation. A scheme is presented that contains possible variants of the bit run mode and ways to recognize them by the ratio of the deepening per turnover and the rotation frequency of the rock-cutting tool.