A cylindrical specimen compressed with friction at the die surfaces does not remain cylindrical in shape but becomes bulged or barreled. Tensile stresses associated with the bulging surface make the upset test a candidate for workability testing. This article discusses test-specimen geometry and friction conditions; strain measurements; crack detection; and material inhomogeneities, which are to be considered for performing cold upset testing. It describes test characteristics in terms of deformation, free-surface strains, and stress states for performing cylindrical compression tests. The article illustrates the fracture loci in cylindrical, tapered, and flanged upset-test specimens of aluminum alloy and type 1045 cold-finished steel.