This is a review paper on the performances of both conventional and energy-absorbing rockbolts manifested in laboratory tests. Characteristic parameters such as ultimate load, displacement and energy absorption are reported, in addition to load–displacement graphs for every type of rockbolt. Conventional rockbolts refer to mechanical rockbolts, fully-grouted rebars and frictional rockbolts. According to the test results, under static pull loading a mechanical rockbolt usually fails at the plate; a fully-grouted rebar bolt fails in the bolt shank at an ultimate load equal to the strength of the steel after a small amount of displacement; and a frictional rockbolt is subjected to large displacement at a low yield load. Under shear loading, all types of bolts fail in the shank. Energy-absorbing rockbolts are developed aiming to combat instability problems in burst-prone and squeezing rock conditions. They absorb deformation energy either through ploughing/slippage at predefined load levels or through stretching of the steel bolt. An energy-absorbing rockbolt can carry a high load and also accommodate significant rock displacement, and thus its energy-absorbing capacity is high. The test results show that the energy absorption of the energy-absorbing bolts is much larger than that of all conventional bolts. The dynamic load capacity is smaller than the static load capacity for the energy-absorbing bolts displacing based on ploughing/slippage while they are approximately the same for the D-Bolt that displaces based on steel stretching.