Advantages of Water Jet Cutting vs. Oxyfuel Cutting

When considering the options of water jet versus oxyfuel cutting for your application, there are a number of factors that should be taken into account. Material type is particularly important in this choice since oxyfuel cutting only works on metals with oxides that have a lower melting point than the base metal being cut. While water jet cutting is our only focus at Hydro-Cut, our reputation is built on applying the right water cutting technologies to customers
in the Cincinnati area and beyond.

What are some advantages of water jet cutting over oxyfuel cutting?

  • Water jet machines can cut almost any material, while the oxyfuel process is limited to cutting only low carbon steel and some low alloys.
  • Water jet cutting is a cold process and there is no heat affected zone to cause thermal distortion, melting or cracking of the material being cut. Oxyfuel cuts with a flame and displays a visible affects from the heat-affected zone.
  • Water jet is able to cut material up to 12” thick and routinely cuts 2-6” metal thicknesses, while oxyfuel cutting it is not economical for cutting parts that are thicker that 0.4".
  • Processing tolerance is much more accurate for water jet cutting (+/- 0.008"), compared to only +/- 0.03" tolerance for oxyfuel.
  • The water jet cutting process is typically faster than oxyfuel cutting, in terms of linear cutting feed rates and production rates.
  • The water jet process can also cut stacked/sandwiched layers of material with cavities, which is not possible with oxyfuel cutting.
  • A clean and consistent parallel edge can be achieved with water jet, while oxyfuel cutting produces a rougher edge that is not as parallel in many applications.
  • Water jet cutting uses recycled water, which is particularly "friendly” to the environment. The cutting process does not create oxidized metal dust as oxyfuel cutting does.