How accurate is water jet cutting?

Within this page, you will learn about the accuracy of waterjet cutting and the various factors that affect it.

Waterjet cutting is often used to machine precision parts and its high precision cutting process is popular with the aerospace industry. On this page, you will learn about the accuracy of waterjet cutting and what factors can affect the accuracy of a waterjet.

Samples of waterjet cutting carbon fiber (6)

Accuracy of waterjet cutting

There is no denying that waterjets offer a high level of cutting accuracy compared to other cutting processes. When the SAME waterjet starts cutting, it can achieve part tolerances of +/- 0.001″.

The tolerances of waterjet manufacturers are not consistent due to technical differences in manufacturing machines.


The main factors affecting the accuracy of the waterjet


The accuracy of waterjet cutting is closely linked to qualified machine spares, which can lead to a loss of cutting accuracy.


In order to maintain high precision in the waterjet cutting process, a steady and continuous flow of high-pressure water is essential.

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The only effect the thickness of the workpiece has on the accuracy of the waterjet is the initial hole; once cut, subsequent cuts maintain a high level of accuracy.

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Cutting accuracy varies from the control system to control system, with precise control systems having a proportional relationship to the level of accuracy.

Does cutting speed affect accuracy?

The answer is yes, the accuracy of the waterjet is influenced by the cutting speed and varies depending on the material and thickness. As an example:

Q1 to Q5 represents the different cutting qualities.

The Q1 grade represents the highest quality in waterjet machining, allowing parts to be machined with optimum precision and optimal edge finish.

The Q2 grade represents high quality waterjet cutting with high precision, low edge roughness and good corners and radii.

This grade of waterjet cutting accuracy can be used for fine production machining, with recesses and corners and radii being of good quality.

Q4 is a standard production process cut with clean cutting edges, the presence of fewer regular grooves and a fast cutting process without debris generation.

The waterjet is used to separate and cut the workpiece at maximum travel speed. The cutting edge has irregular grooves which do not guarantee a smooth edge.

SAME high precision waterjet cutters are recommended:

Waterjet Cutters - 3-axis Series

3-axis series: waterjet cutter for formats up to 4000 x 2000 mm

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