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Laser, Water Jet, Mechanical… Which Cutting Technology Is The Best?

Whether it is an aeronautical manufacturer, or a small business looking to cut through sheets of plastic, there are many occasions when people are left wondering which of the available cutting technologies is the best for their job.

Which is the most accurate, which causes the least damage to the part, which is the best value, which has a track record when it comes to jobs similar to mine.

At this point you might expect a beautiful table, listing all the various methods and the pros and cons.

We’re not going to do that though. There’s no need. Water jet cutting is the leading technology for parts coming, we will now explain why.

(If you are worried we might be biased – after all we are water jet cutters – please do check out pages by businesses that use laser cutting or another technology. We’d love to see what reasons they can come up with to suggest you’d be best to go with them).

If all this seems a bit subjective, we would say water jet cutting is best wouldn’t we, here are the facts that prove our stance.


Water jet cutting can cut through materials to a greater depth.

Water jets can cut to a depth of 25 centimetres – and that includes through metal, glass and plastic. By way of a comparison, lasers can cut through 2.5 centimetres; a tenth of the depth


Water jet cutting does not damage the cut part

A wonderful description of water jet cutting is that it is accelerated erosion, the water jet creating a cut where no heat is generated, and there is no damage to the part being cut.

Other technologies create heat and with this both micro abrasions and, more importantly, the possibility of structural weaknesses being introduced.water cutting news


Water jets can cut complex shapes

Modern water jet cutting companies have access to XD cutting. This is essentially a cutting head that can swivel through multiple axis, meaning that complex, three-dimensional parts can be cut in one fluid motion.

Previously, parts had to be cut along one axis, then removed, repositioned and cut in a secondary direction, and so on. A complex part might take a significant amount of time to cut – adding both to the time of the job, the expense and also increasing the risk of errors being introduced as ever more separate cuts were made.

Now, though, XD cutting means that the cutting head swivels and re-positions itself to cut the part in one go.

Water jet cutting has this ability, other technologies do not.


Water jet cutting is friendly to the environment

It’s just water mixed with an abrasive substance. Unlike traditional mechanical cutting, there is no cooling or lubricating oil to be disposed of. Unlike laser or plasma cutting, there are no noxious fumes created.

The abrasive substance is inert so disposing of it poses no environmental issue.


Water jet cutting is cost effective

Because water jet cutting is quick to cut the parts and can cut complex parts in one go, costs tend to be kept down compared to other technologies.

The lack of extra costs, for example the fact there is no need for specialist disposal of waste, also keeps costs down.


A clear picture

Water jets can cut to greater depths, cut with greater accuracy, they avoid weakening the part being cut, have unmatched green credentials and keep costs down.

As compelling cases go, it’s a good one.

About TMC:

At TMC Water Jet Cutting, we are capable of carrying out any job from the smallest one-off task to repeat jobs for multi-national firms.

We were among the first water jet cutters to embrace three-dimensional cutting an have stayed at the forefront of this wonderful technology, using industry-leading cutting heads. Perhaps what really makes us stand out though is our experience, decades of working within this industry, whereas others have sprung up far more recently as water jet cutting has grown in popularity.

If you do have a cutting job, please get in touch with us today by calling 01625 610 441 even if you’re not sure whether water jet cutting is right for your job, give us a call as we’d be more than happy to chat you through the options.