Waterjet vs. Laser

  • Laser uses a light source to cut materials which limits the type of material that can be cut.
  • Waterjets can machine cut many materials lasers cannot such as reflective materials including aluminum, polished stainless steel, copper and brass
  • Waterjets create no thermal distortion or hardening of the material
  • Waterjets generate no noxious fumes

Waterjet vs. Plasma

  • Plasma uses electrical discharge as a form of cutting material
  • Waterjet is more precise and has no heat affected zones
  • Waterjet leaves a cleaner edge with no slag to remove
  • Waterjet cutting allows for tighter nesting of parts allowing for maximum material usage.

Waterjet vs. EDM

  • EDM also uses an electrical discharge as a form of cutting material.
  • Waterjet cut much faster with less setup involved resulting in a cost saving to the clients.
  • Waterjets can cut non-conductive materials.
  • Waterjets pierce without the need for pre-drilling.
  • Waterjets have a larger work area allowing for bigger parts and the ability to cut in one set up.

Waterjet is an alternative cutting option. Each cutting process has its strengths and weaknesses; however waterjet is not always the most cost-effective method. As a rule, if the finished product is presently being acceptably cut using laser, plasma or another form of cutting and no secondary work is required, then waterjet is likely not required. When secondary work such as threading a hole, clean up of slag or finish milling, closer tolerance or removal of heat affected zones (HAZ) is needed, then waterjet is the solution.