So… is Waterjet better for everything?

No. When cutting mild steel thin sheet metal, say 12 gage, the laser will cut faster and cheaper. We can stack to come closer to laser speed, but we cannot yet equal it (yet). So for high production runs where set up time is not a problem, laser will cut your thin mild steel sheets faster. And you might stick with plasma if you cutting, again, mild steel ½” thick and you don’t need to grind away the heated surface for either cosmetic or strength reasons. In this case our waterjet will be more costly.

cantilever style cutting table with hydraulic lifter

cantilever style cutting table with hydraulic lifter

But Waterjet is the fastest growing machine tool process in the world (per Frost & Sullivan) because it is so incredibly versatile (cut anything that comes into your shop), quick to set up (same parameters cut almost everything with just cut speed change), leaves the best edge (no heat, no stress, satin smooth), and are easy to run (software models make it really easy to program and start cutting). If you have more than mild steel in your shop, you probably need a waterjet


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