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What are the differences & similarities between water jet cutter and laser cutter? Let's start to compare waterjet cutting machine and laser cutting machine.

 Mar 30, 2016    664 (4 Min Read)

Laser cutting and waterjet cutting are the two most popular cutting methods, but people have not stopped looking for better cutting methods, such as the processing of some precision metal parts, or the cutting of some new materials. This requires finding the new cutting method, the unique waterjet laser cutting technology came into being.

Laser Cutter VS Water Jet Cutter

What are the differences and similarities between the waterjet cutter and laser cutter?


Laser cutting is to create a high-power laser beam through a machine, and then irradiate the material to be cut. The high temperature generated by the laser will melt or vaporize the irradiated material, thereby realizing the cutting of the material.

Laser cutting is a more complex process, which involves a lot of factors, before cutting to carefully check the contents of the cut to pay attention to observation and monitoring.

In the process of processing the abnormal should immediately stop processing and check the reason, otherwise it will damage the machine and even personal safety, especially in cutting stainless steel, non-metallic materials.

Laser cutting has a professional computer aided NC programming software, the preparation of parts of the processing program is generally done on the off-line computer. Some simple process can also be directly in the CNC system to complete the editing interface, but it takes a long time, and can not be complex parts of the programming. Generally do not advocate in the numerical control system on the preparation of numerical control program, because it will occupy a large number of machine use time, and low efficiency. After the plate is placed on the table, the important work is to determine the coordinates of the work piece of the machine tool, the workpiece coordinate system should be set in the NC programming and the coordinates of the complete agreement.

The water jet is to use water as a knife. The water is pressurized to ultra-high pressure in the container, and then a high-pressure water stream is injected through a very small nozzle to realize the cutting of the material; in order to increase the cutting ability, some garnet sand will be used. Adding abrasives such as diamond to water is a widely used cutting method.


Waterjet cutters have almost no restrictions on the materials that can be cut. The waterjet does not cause the material to generate heat during waterjet cutting, thereby avoiding the melting, warping, bending, and burning of the material being cut; common material types for waterjet cutting include Plastic, rubber, stone, ceramic tile, stainless steel, and other metals.

Laser cutters can cut a wider range of metals, including stainless steel and carbon steel, as well as aluminum and a variety of alloys. Some lasers can cut through non-conductive materials such as wood, glass or plastic, but the heat generated by the laser can affect some metal products. Make an impact.


There is no limit to the thickness of the waterjet cutting material. The main thing depends on the strength of the water jet. The higher the pressure, the thicker the material can be cut.

The thickness of the laser cuts about 100 mm of metal, but the thickness of the cutting material also varies according to the metal. The melting point and thermal conductivity of the metal will affect the thickness of the laser cutting; the advantage of the laser cutting machine is that it can be higher than the water jet Cut thinner materials at more speeds.

Precision & Quality

The cutting width of the water jet is about 0.7 mm, and the cutting surface is very thin. In some cases, it almost reaches the quality of the machine, but there will be some errors from the top to the bottom of the slit. The thicker the material, the greater the error will be.

The cutting error of laser is much smaller than that of waterjet. When cutting tight geometric shapes on small parts or when parts need to be nested closely together, laser cutting can be achieved, and laser cutting can make the surface of the cut profile cleaner. And smooth, but with the increase of thickness or speed will leave some stripes.


Waterjet cutting is an accurate and versatile cutting method that can cut a wide range of materials and thicknesses. Although the speed of waterjets is not as fast as lasers in some materials, it can provide high cutting quality without producing Affect the heat of the material.

Laser cutting is very fast and accurate, but it depends on the material and thickness. In general, the speed and accuracy of the laser are very high. For thicker materials or materials that are affected by heat, it is best to find another cutting method.

Waterjet Laser Cutter

With the emergence of new materials such as carbon fiber reinforced polymers and ceramic matrix composites, the machining of these new materials has become a problem.

Both waterjet cutter and laser cutter have some shortcomings. In order to meet this challenge, waterjet laser cutting technology has been developed to process such advanced composite materials.

Waterjet laser cutting is a hybrid processing method, also known as laser microjet. It combines the laser with "fine" water jets, and the water jets (water jets) are accurately guided in a manner similar to conventional optical fibers. The laser beam thus realizes the cutting, and the water jet continuously cools the cutting area and effectively removes the debris generated during cutting.

This technology was first applied to semiconductor wafer cutting. As the technology matures, it is gradually extended to medical equipment, watch processing, gas and jet engine turbine blades, semiconductor equipment machining, and material cutting in the manufacturing process of superhard tools. .

After the laser is focused, it will form a laser beam. When passing through the pressurized water cavity, it will push the water forward and focus into the nozzle. Finally, the laser beam will be emitted from the nozzle together with the water stream.

There is no abrasive in this water stream, so the cutting is mainly based on laser. The function of water is to use the water column to guide the laser to not disperse, to gather laser energy to cut faster, and to cool down and remove debris.

From the nozzle to the cutting workpiece, the laser beam will not be scattered, but will continue to reflect in the water column. It is similar to optical fiber transmission in principle. The laser beam can be guided at a distance of up to 10 cm to achieve a neat Cutting seams, no need to focus or distance control again.

Waterjet laser cutting can obtain very high cutting quality, no thermal damage to the material, no burning or thermal degradation, fewer burrs, smoother surface, and straight edge cutting with higher precision, which helps to maintain high precision of the aperture. Advantages, and the water jet can continuously cool the cutting area, and can effectively remove the debris generated during cutting.

For processors, waterjet laser cutting can have a faster production speed, a wider range of processing materials, higher reliability and higher cutting quality, and lower cutting costs.

With the emergence of more new materials, all these characteristics of waterjet laser cutting will also be more widely used.

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