How Waterjets Work

A waterjet is a tool capable of slicing into metal or other materials using a jet of water at high velocity and pressure, or a mixture of water and an abrasive substance, like garnet sand. The process is basically the same as water erosion found in nature, but sped up by many orders of magnitude. Our customers use waterjet cutting to make aerospace parts, educational materials, ballistics protection, tiny gears, shims, flat-pack boxes, large complex ring segments, and much more.

To order your custom waterjet cut parts, upload your design or describe your project in detail in an email, or using our contact form. For more information on our custom waterjet cutting services, give us a call!

"Waterjet Cutting Closeup" by WARDJet is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Tekla Waterjet Cut Quality Guide

Different Cut Qualities

Get the best cut and finish at the best price!

Cut edge quality refers to how rough the edge of a cut part appears and how square it is. With waterjet, edge qualities typically range from Quality 1 (Q1) to Quality 5 (Q5) with Q5 being the best, most accurate edge quality. Following are descriptions for edge quality options available when we cut.

Edge Quality 1

Q1 is described as a “separation cut”. It’s a rough cut and the edge has pronounced lines, called striations. While Q1 does not produce a high quality edge, it is very fast. As this cut goes as fast as the software believes is possible, it frequently does not fully pierce/separate the material. Q2 is advised as the minimum cut quality.

Edge Quality 2

Q2 is a medium rough cut. The striations are less noticeable than in a Q1 edge and cutting speed is a bit slower than Q1.

Edge Quality 3

Q3 is THE standard waterjet cut. The quality is good with some striations on the bottom half of the cut. Tekla Waterjet holds excellent tolerances at this quality. It is the most economical in the vast majority of cases.

Edge Quality 4

Q4 is a high quality finish. The striations are minimal. In most cases, Q3 is used instead, as the cost differential is simply not worth the improvement in edge quality.

Edge Quality 5

Q5 is a very high quality finish. It is very precise and has no noticeable striations. Q5 produces the most accurate edge quality. It is comparatively very expensive and rarely used.

The Custom Parts You Need

From design to production, Tekla Waterjet can help!

Our waterjet cutting services are tailored to your needs, whether those needs are a single nameplate or 10,000 extremely large, detailed, complex geometrical features for a rocket ship you’ve designed. Since waterjets can cut materials as soft and flimsy as bread to as hard and tough as carbide, whatever your requirement, we can produce it.

Waterjetting offers numerous advantages over other machining technologies.

More affordable. Waterjet parts are generally cut from plate and sheet, meaning they can be placed on the table with no special clamps, fixtures, or tool changes. This translates to lower costs and faster production, as well as offering a great deal of flexibility in size. Tekla Waterjet cuts materials from 0.005″ to 6″ thick standard, with a machining area of 79″ x 166″, and a table capable of fitting a plate as large as 82″ x 170″.

Impressive versatility and supported materials. If it isn’t diamond or tempered glass, we can probably cut it. Plastics, stone, wood, and metals are all great for affordable, precise waterjet cutting.

No heat-affected zones. Laser cutting, plasma, and EDM have their places, and can be valuable tools. However, their use often results in the edges losing their heat treatment and structural integrity. Waterjet parts are cut with cold, supersonic abrasive, and maintain their heat treatment when cut, meaning you can use pre-heat treated material, keeping your costs down.

"Cardboard rocket" by Matt Biddulph is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit