01625 610 441

Water Jet Cutting – True or False

Regular readers of the blog should walk this! Here we ask a few true or false questions about water jets; let’s see how you get on…

Water Jets can cut through 10 times the thickness of laser jets

This one is true. Many people expect lasers to be able to cut to a thicker depth than water jets – it probably stems from films where lasers are portrayed as being able to cut through any material to incredible depths.

In reality though, lasers can cut through materials typically to around 2.5 CM. For water jets, cutting through 10 times that thickness is rarely an issue.


Water Jets can cut complex 3-D parts

True. Relatively recent technological advances have seen the introduction of XD Cutting, which is effectively 3-D cutting.

It works by utilising a head which can swivel in multiple directions. Then, controlled by advanced software and set in action by a skilled operative it cuts complex, 3-D parts in one fluid motion (well, it is a water jet after all).

This saves on both time and money as there is no need for secondary cutting.


Water Jets are slow

False – water jet cutting uses jets under extreme pressure to quickly cut through almost any material.

The process is known as accelerated erosion – and there’s an emphasis on accelerated.


Water Jets are used by artists

True- far from being a technology solely used by industry to cut machine parts, water jet cutting is used by creative souls too.

Many sculptors have used it to make some incredible pieces of art, so too artists making mosaics and more.

In fact, water jet cutting is used by a huge range of clients – at TMC we have cut keys for a church, a stylish logo for a high end boutique, parts for formula 1 cars and much more besides.


Water Jet cutting doesn’t damage the part being cut

True, and one of the key advantages. Whereas a laser creates heat and so can create micro abrasions and damage the structural integrity of the part being cut, there are no such issues with water jet cutting.

It is this level of safety which sees companies such as Boeing increasingly turn to water jet cutting.

There is nothing water jet cutting can’t cut

False. A water jet can cut most materials, but it’s not able to cut through diamond, and can struggle with a small number other materials such as tempered glass.

Water Jet cutting will be featured in the next James Bond film

False. We think it should be, a water jet cutter would have been far scarier to James Bond than a small laser pointed at his midriff.

However, we are not aware of any plans for water jet to be in the next Bind. It’s a shame, we had a title all set to go – The Man with the Golden… actually, maybe it needs some work.

Water Jets were first used to cut through hard materials in the 1980s

This one’s false. Water jets were first used to cut through plastics in the 1950s, previously they had been used only for materials such as paper and more as a proof of concept.

The key has been to increase water pressure and also develop the cutting head; more pressure delivered more accurately equals incredible results.


  • If you think water jet cutting could be of benefit to your business, or your project please get in touch with TMC Waterjet today. There’s a wealth of information on the site – or please do give us a call on 01625 610 441.