The ball-on-three-balls (B3B)-test is a biaxial strength test for brittle materials. The results of B3B-tests are very stable against small geometrical inaccuracies of the specimens or the test support. In contrast to conventional bending tests there exists only a small influence of friction and edge defects are not relevant. These advantages, compared to beam tests, make the testing of mini-specimens with volumes of a few mm3 feasible. For this investigation silicon nitride specimens of different sizes were tested by use of the B3B-test. The maximum tensile stresses and the effective volumes and effective surfaces of the specimens were determined. The obtained results are compared directly and with the results of conventional 4-point-bending tests and are discussed in the framework of the Weibull-Theory. Additionally fracture surfaces of B3B-specimens and bending specimens were investigated fractographically to identify possible fracture origins.