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Does Waterjet Cutting Have Any Disadvantages?

As the UK’s leading water jet cutters, we are naturally passionate about the benefits of this form of technology.

On this site, we have written many posts which detail why water jet cutting tends to be the most effective way to cut parts, whether that is for major industries or small businesses.

However, are there disadvantages? Are there jobs we would happily turn away knowing that our technology is unstable and so an alternative option would be better?

In this post we seek to answer that question – when might water jet cutting not be the best option?

Very Simple Cuts

Water jet cutting can cut through 25 cm and more of virtually any material, but this depth of cut is not always required. Similarly, water jets can cut complex three dimensional shapes, but some jobs will be far simpler.

A simple job might just be to cut a basic shape out of plastic or thin metal – a water jet can perform this task but it will not be the only option.

For those simple jobs, laser cutting is an alternative to consider. Laser cutting cannot cut to great depth, but it is perfectly capable of thin, simple cuts.

It would often make sense to get quotes from both a water jet cutter and a laser cutter to compare and contrast.

Cuts where structural integrity is not of paramount importance

Water jet cutting can be described as accelerated erosion, the cut is not created through blunt force or heat, instead the water creates the cut in a way that causes no damage to the edge.

If the cut is to an aeroplane wing or other key part in a complex build, this is essential, however for other projects it may be of less importance – the structural damage is likely to not be noticeable under general usage.

The same is true for the appearance of the cut edge. Laser cutting, for instance, creates the cut by burning the material and so there can be burn marks and scolding to the edge. For a sculpture or beautiful tile this matters more than for a project where the edge is hidden, or the aesthetic is of little importance.

If you need diamonds cutting

The list of things water jet cutting can’t cut can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Diamonds would be one of those things – if you need diamonds cutting, there is little point contacting a water jet cutter (bar to gloat about your huge stash of diamonds…)

And that’s it…

Water jet cutting will not always be the best option for every conceivable cutting job, there are cases when for a very simple job another option might come in slightly cheaper.

However, the advantages of water jet cutting far outweighs those of any other cutting technology. It is more accurate, it can cut to greater depth and it can produce complex three-dimensional shapes via one cutting process.

The beauty in water jet cutting lies in its versatility – it is used by big industry, so too by artists and sculptors and everyone inbetween. We have used it to cut replacement Parish church keys for a vicar, we have also used the machines to cut parts for motor racing cars. We’ve also cut tiles for art in Switzerland and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For any project, it is always worth asking a water jet cutter to quote.

About TMC Water Jet

AT TMC Water Jet, we are a leading UK water jet cutter with clients across the UK and, increasingly Europe. We pride ourselves on bringing unmatched quality to jobs of all sizes for clients across every sector.

We work with major industries, so too with artists and small businesses.

At our state of the art facility, we have high pressure water jets capable of 87,000 PSI, we were also the first in the UK to introduce XD Cutting, this a cutting head that can move through multiple axis and so perform the most complex, delicate of cuts in a single process.

If you have a tile cutting job for which you would value an obligation free quote, please contact us today.

Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.