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Five uses for water jet cutting that would have been unthinkable when it first appeared

Water jet cutting can be seen as having existed for eternity, after all water causes continual erosion and will cut through rock over time. Admittedly, a lot of time.

As a manufacturing process, it is of course far more recent and it has become ever-more vital over time as advances have been made.

Key to modern-day water jet cutting was the addition of an abrasive garnet to the water jet, turning a jet that could only cut a small number of materials into one that could cut through virtually anything, including metal.

However, even this ability to cut extremely dense materials would not have made the most modern of uses appear obvious.

Here are a few ways water jet cutting helps shape the world now, ways that would not have been considered 100, 30 and in some cases even 10 or 5 years ago.


Cutting parts with enough accuracy for electronics would have appeared impossible for water jet cutting decades ago. While the power of the cut was starting to be realised, there would not have been confidence it could cut the tiny detail required.

However, ever smaller nozzles coupled with software guiding the cutting heads have transformed this aspect. Now, water jet cutting can cut with incredible accuracy even on tiny parts and has the added advantage of not causing damage through heating the edge.


There is an increasing chance that any modern statue you see may have been built with or in part using water jet cutting.

Admittedly it is still far from the norm, but there are many art installations that have been made possible through water jet cutting. Some would not be standing proud but for water jet cutting.

We cut the Ghost Tree, a design by Anya Gallacio for Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. It is a project that the artist herself admits might not have come to fruition but for our technology.

It is wonderful to see artwork around the country that went from idea to reality tanks to water jet cutting’s ability to produce accurate work within a budget.

3) Food Production

With hindsight, water jet cutting is perfect for food production.

The water jet is inert so there is no risk of contamination. It can cut with extreme accuracy and also minimises waste.

For the portioning of meat or fish this is ideal, and across Europe (and beyond) water jet cutting will likely dominate production in years to come.

Ultra-modern set-ups can also automatically scan the foodstuff and work out how best to cut to get the most portions, for instance taking a product such as a whole salmon and cutting it in such a way that there is almost zero waste of good product. With asparagus, the technology can cut at the perfect point for each stem.

4) Hobbyists

The water jet cutting machines are agnostic as to what they cut or the size of the client.

However, you might imagine that work would be dominated by big industry, rather than producing cut parts for individuals.

Like most, we enjoy a mix. Of course, major clients are welcome, but there is also joy in helping the enthusiast cut the parts that make their hobbies possible. We have worked with model railway enthusiasts, Star Wars fans and many others with their own interests.

These will often be quick jobs, perhaps low cost and we can fit them in easily around other work.

But, for the person the water jet cutter helps, the work is almost priceless.

5) Entertainment

There is a YouTube channel that has great success doing nothing but making videos of items being cut with a water jet. It tends to be items best described as unusual.

See the channel by heading off this way.


Work with the UK’s leading Water Jet Cutters

At TMC, we are a water jet cutter that serves the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.

Despite our success, we remain a company that focuses on every client and work on projects of all sizes. If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.

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