Difference between water jet cutting and laser cutting

Modern metal manufacturers face many unique challenges, including controlling the cost of the latest projects while maintaining flexibility. With a wide variety of equipment available, it can be difficult to keep abreast of the latest machine developments and how they help meet current and future operational needs. With the continuous development of machine technology, there may be many ways to solve any problem in the project, so the challenge is to fully understand each solution and the unique advantages provided to maintain competitiveness.

Waterjet cutting does not increase heat in the cutting process

Waterjet cutting is a cold process, which will not produce any heat during cutting, that is, there will be no heat affected zone during cutting. This is very important for the aerospace industry, because the water jet cutting process will not change the physical state of the cut material, nor will it cause the material to warp due to heat.

In addition, the elimination of heat affected zone is also beneficial to sheet metal manufacturers. The elimination of heat affected zone means that water can be sprayed directly for thread processing or welding, which helps to reduce labor force and produce high-quality products efficiently. As water jet cutting is a clean cutting method, there is no need to polish the cutting edge.    

Many people think that laser cutting is much better than water jet cutting in cutting speed, but ignore that laser cutting has limitations in thickness. For example, only metal materials with a thickness of less than 16mm can be cut, and there is a certain heat affected zone at the cutting edge. Water jet cutting is not the case. It can cut materials with a thickness of more than 30mm or even 100mm without any problem, and has no impact on the material itself. It can cut almost any material. Based on these factors, most people who intend to choose laser cutting turn to water jet cutting.


1. Price

Compared with the laser cutting machine, the water jet cutting machine is more than 200000, and the laser cutting machine is more than ten times that of the water jet.

2. Cutting material

The investment of laser cutting equipment is large. The laser cutting machine has fast cutting speed and high precision, but the arc mark and thermal effect will be caused at the cutting seam during laser cutting

Water jet cutting has a wide range of materials, which can cut most materials, such as metal, marble, glass and so on.

3. Cutting effect

Laser cutting is not ideal for some materials, such as aluminum, copper and other non-ferrous metals and alloys, especially for the cutting of thicker metal plates, the cutting surface is not ideal or even impossible to cut.

4. Equipment investment, maintenance and operation consumption

Water jet cutting has the advantages of small investment, low operation cost, wide range of cutting materials, high efficiency and convenient operation and maintenance.