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Water Jet Cutting vs Laser Cutting: Comparison of Advantages & Costs

Published Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Veriform Laser Cutting Machine, a machine pointing downwards with a blue laser hitting the metal below.

What Are The Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages Of Waterjet Cutting?

Water jet cutting is a process that uses high-pressure water to cut materials. Waterjet cutting can be used to cut a variety of materials, including metal, stone, glass, and plastics. Waterjets are really popular in marble & stone factories as it makes it easier for them to cut & shape these types of materials. However, the major focus is on the main advantages & disadvantages of this type of cutting technology.

 Advantages of waterjet cutting

  • Can cut all types of materials including high reflective materials or unequal material thickness. 
  • The cutting process doesn’t result in overheating of the materials. 
  • Waterjets don’t produce any hazardous fumes or smoke while cutting any materials.

Disadvantages of waterjet cutting

  • High noise output than other cutting machines available commercially. 
  • Precision becomes challenging with large thicknesses. 
  • High-Pressure forces used by the cutting process on small-sized parts can cause deformation of the material shape.

What Are The Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages Of Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting is a technology that uses laser with special optics & computer numerical control to focus the laser beams on the material to start the cutting process. From CO2 laser cutting plastics & plywood to industrial application with the fiber laser cutting metals & strong materials & lately seen the YAG/YVO lasers for rust removal & even human hair removal with high-quality results that lead us to what are the advantages & disadvantages of this type of cutting technology.

Advantages Of Laser Cutting

  • Laser cutting can achieve very high accuracy that can reach a quarter of the width of a human hair. 
  • Noise is a very important factor in the cutting process but laser machines provide very low noise compared to all other cutting machines commercially available. 
  • As laser cutting is very common in production lines nowadays some machines can achieve cutting speeds that exceed 100m/min.

Disadvantages Of Laser Cutting

  • From the overheating caused by cutting leaving burn marks on the material. 
  • The working principle of laser technology is based on reflected optics which makes laser cutting not applicable for any type of highly reflective materials. 
  • As high heat is generated it results in producing hazards & toxic smoke from some materials which leads to higher safety & health regulations.

What Are The Cutting Costs For Both Technologies?

When it comes to cost laser cutting is cheaper than waterjet for several aspects.

  • If we are looking at the same machine specs for both technologies a laser machine can cost around $10,000 while a waterjet can cost up to $30,000 which is 3 times the cost of laser machines.
  • Laser machines are also much faster it can cut more meters/min than the waterjet machines making it consume less time.
  • The operation cost of laser machines per hour is lower than waterjets which makes it more applicable for production lines.

Conclusion: Who Wins?

Finally, when we come to who wins it depends on the application you will use either the laser or the waterjet. For example, if you are keen on cutting all kinds of materials without producing any kind of hazardous or toxic gas then waterjet is your total win. On the other hand, if you are looking for speed & cost wise then laser cutting is your winner. So, who is the winner from your point of view?.

LASER CUTTING SERVICES AT VERIFORM

If you’re looking for premium laser cutting services, look no further than Veriform. Our experts have over 20 years of experience using CNC laser cutting technology. We have provided high accuracy cuts on some of the largest pieces of metal for clients across North America.

Our laser cutting offers up to 3/4 inches x 80 inches x 160 inches with an accuracy of +/- 0.005 inches. Besides laser cutting, VeriForm also offers numerous metal fabrication services and capabilities including, bending, rolling, welding and more. Contact VeriForm to get an estimate for your cut today!