What are some advantages of waterjet cutting over laser cutting?

There are many advantages to using a waterjet cutter versus using a traditional laser cutter for your projects. Today we detail some of the advantages below:

Waterjet Cutting Advantages

  • Doesn’t require heat

    Because no heat is required for waterjet cutting, it’s perfect for soft materials like plastics that require cool technology cutting because of their low melting points. Cutting plastic with a hot laser cutter could result in thermal distortion like melting or cracking. Waterjet cutting uses a cold process, and there’s never thermal distortion.

  • Cuts effortlessly through thick materials

    Waterjet cutters can cut material that is up to 10 inches thick and routinely cuts metals with thicknesses between 2 and 6 inches. On the other hand, laser machines can cut no more than .75 inch thicknesses.

  • Cuts more materials than other cutting technologies

    Waterjet cutting is effective on a wide range of materials, including many that can’t be cut with laser machines. In particular, waterjet machines can handle reflective and “mirror finished” materials. Laser cutting has difficulties with these materials.

  • Deals well with uneven surfaces

    Unlike laser cutting, waterjet cutting maintains near perfect focus even while cutting particularly uneven surfaces.

  • Easily cuts stacks of varied materials

    Laser cutters lack the ability to cut through stacks of multiple materials with different melting points — something that waterjet cutting does with ease.

  • Achieves higher tolerance

    On parts thicker than 0.5″, waterjet machines can achieve higher tolerances than laser cutting services and this advantage improves as the thickness of the part increases.

  • Creates drastically cleaner edge qualities

    The fine and flawless cuts created by waterjet are unequaled by all other forms of cutting. And that includes laser and plasma cutters. In fact, waterjet cutting is actually considered a finish cut in itself.

  • Environmentally-friendly

    The waterjet process is particularly good to the environment and does not create potentially hazardous gasses as CO2 laser cutting does. Here at Leading Edge, we strive to be environmentally friendly by utilizing a complete closed loop system for the water used in cutting.

Ready to Move Forward?

Learn more about our 5-axis waterjet cutting capabilities, or request a quote to get your project started.