How Accurate is Waterjet Cutting?

Waterjet cutting is a high precision process which can hold very tight tolerances.

The accuracy of waterjet cutting and the tolerance which can be held can vary greatly dependent on the manufacturer of the machine. This variation in accuracy is a result of the differences in technology. Waterjet cutting part tolerances typically fall between 0.003" and 0.005" of an inch and, +/-0.005" to 0.100" on thicker materials. 

ICS uses state-of-the-art Flow waterjet technology which is known for having the greatest accuracy in the industry. As previously stated the accuracy varies depending on the material thickness, the chart below shows the tolerances which can be held on various thicknesses using our machines.


Material Thickness Range

















Plan on near-net shape

Our machines also have a minimal kerf as a result of the narrow stream. This kerf (.30"-.40") allows us to maximize material usage and reduce scrap, which ultimately saves our customers money. 
Waterjet cutting shines in applications where precision is of the utmost importance. Waterjet cutting is often utilized in the aerospace industry because there is no margin for error. The accuracy of the waterjet also means that finishing processes are often not required, the fewer processes materials have to go through the fewer opportunities for errors. Our Dynamic XD Cutting head allows us to also cut more complex parts. 
Our taper compensation blog post gives a more in-depth view of our taper compensation technology, how to minimize taper and the types of taper that can occur. 
Part tolerances and accuracy