Wasserstrahlschneiden Metall. Eine Nahaufnahme eines mit Wasserstrahl zugeschnittenen Stahls.

Water jet cutting of metal

Cutting without heat generation, distortion or deformation

Waterjet cutting metal

Steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, titanium and more.

Waterjet cutting is a cutting process that offers high precision and quality and is particularly suitable for cutting metal.

A major advantage of waterjet cutting is that cutting is performed without the use of heat. As a result, there is no distortion, deformation or change in the structure of the material, nor is there any change in the material properties due to the influence of heat. Even materials that are normally difficult to cut, such as hardened steel or titanium, can be cut precisely with the waterjet.

In addition, the process is very environmentally friendly, as no harmful vapors or gases are produced and the used water can be recycled.

Highest precision

Waterjet cutting of metal offers the highest precision and enables cutting of complex shapes and contours with minimal tolerances.

No deformation

Waterjet cutting of metal does not cause any deformation because the cold cutting process has no thermal effects.

Environmentally friendly

Waterjet cutting of metal does not produce hazardous waste, which is an environmentally friendly alternative to other cutting technologies.

What types of metal can be cut?

Waterjet cutting is a cutting process that can cut a variety of metal types. In general, waterjet cutting can be used to cut all types of metals and alloys, including:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Titanium
  • Bronze
  • Brass
  • Stainless steel
  • Steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Alloy steel
  • Hardened steel

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Application examples

Waterjet cutting of metal offers numerous applications in the manufacture of various items.

It is a popular choice for manufacturing various metal items in a variety of industries due to its precision, flexibility and versatility. Here are some examples:

Precision parts

Waterjet cutting is ideal for the production of precision metal parts such as flanges, gears, brackets and screws.


Waterjet cutting is an ideal method for producing prototypes from metal. It allows for quick changes because there are no tooling or mold restrictions.


Waterjet cutting of metal is often used in jewelry manufacturing to cut complex shapes and designs from precious metals such as gold and silver.


Waterjet cutting of metal is also widely used in architectural design to produce cladding, columns, railings and other architectural elements.


Waterjet cutting is also used in industry to manufacture parts and components.


In the aerospace industry, waterjet cutting is used to manufacture components made of metal with special alloys.

5 Advantages – Waterjet Cutting Metal

Waterjet cutting of metal offers high precision and quality, without the use of heat, which avoids distortion, deformation or structural changes.

Metals vary in their material properties and thicknesses, but waterjet cutting enables them to be cut easily and precisely. Even materials that are difficult to cut, such as hardened steel or titanium, can be cut precisely. Even with uneven surfaces of metal objects, waterjet cutting machines are able to successfully process them.

The process is environmentally friendly and leaves a smooth cut edge.

Cut all metals

Waterjet cutting enables easy and precise cutting of metals.

High precision molds

Cut metals of a wide variety of types and thicknesses into a variety of shapes.

Without heat exposure

No heat is generated during cutting. No deformation or warpage.

Efficient material utilization

Waterjet cutting minimizes the kerf. Which saves material and costs.

Environmentally friendly

No toxic gases and waste. Use of minimal amounts of water.

Technical details

In waterjet cutting of metal, technical details play an important role in achieving the best results. These include, for example, the nozzle size, the water pressure, the table size , and the type of cutting medium used. Depending on the desired metal thickness and cutting accuracy, these parameters must be carefully selected and adjusted.

Modern waterjet cutting systems from STM offer many options for fine tuning and guarantee the highest precision and quality when cutting metal parts.

The material thicknesses that can be cut for metals range up to 300 mm.

Any shape cuts and bevel cuts up to 68° are possible.

The cutting accuracy is +/- 0.1 mm and the cut surface is usually smooth and without burrs.

In waterjet cutting, the cut quality is basically divided into 5 quality levels.

  • Separating cut Q1 (for blanks / semi-finished products)
  • Standard cut Q3 (the most common cut)
  • Fine cut Q5 (for optimum dimensional accuracy)

For waterjet cutting of metal, the achievable cutting speeds are usually in the range of 65 to 200 mm per minute.

The water jet is generated at a pressure of 3,500 to 6,000 bar to achieve a high cutting force.

CNC control enables precise and repeatable cutting. The STM SmartCut cutting software offers high ease of use and functionality as well as flexibility.


EU-funded waterjet production for metalworker Uwe Seck.

With a subsidized STM waterjet system, resourceful metalworker Uwe Seck, in the Hessian town of Bad Camberg, succeeds in making the leap from local niche supplier to regional just-in-time thausendsassa for industry.

His focus is on custom products such as company signs, garden objects and individualized gifts for private customers, as well as EN-1090-2 certified steel part series for small businesses in the region.

With an STM MasterCut gantry system, completely new business areas open up. Soon, in addition to cutting parts made of metal, he was also producing workpieces made of ceramics, wood, rubber, granite, fine stoneware, copper foam, plastic and various special materials.

STM Product Finder

Find your work system – tailored to you

The individual wishes and requirements of our customers are the measure of all things for us. In order to be able to offer customized solutions for every requirement, we have developed a special product finder.

You tell us what you need to deliver perfect work and we put together the individual components and parts, as well as the associated software perfectly and individually. And if you are unsure, let your work material try our test cut.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions

The most frequently asked questions about waterjet cutting of metals

We have collected some FAQ on the topic, waterjet cutting of metals, and answered them succinctly for you.
If your question is not answered, please feel free to contact us directly.

Can you cut metal with water?

Yes, but it takes high speed and pressure to cut metal with a water jet.

What material thicknesses are possible with waterjet cutting of metals?

A water jet can be used to cut metals with a material thickness of up to 300 mm.

However, the exact maximum metal thickness that can be cut with a waterjet depends on several factors such as the abrasive used, the water pressure, the cutting speed and the type of metal.

Is waterjet cutting better than plasma cutting for metal?

It is difficult to say whether waterjet cutting is generally “better” than plasma cutting, as both methods have different advantages and limitations depending on the specific requirements of the application.

However, waterjet cutting offers some advantages:
Cold cutting: In waterjet cutting, the metal is cut at room temperature without generating heat. As a result, there are no heat influences or deformations or structural changes of the metal.
Precision: Waterjet cutting offers very high precision and accuracy because the jet is very fine and controllable. This allows cutting complex and precise shapes with sharp edges.
Versatility: Waterjet cutting can cut a variety of materials, including thicker materials that may be too thick for plasma cutting.
Environmentally friendly: No heat is generated during waterjet cutting, which means no harmful gases or fumes are released.

How big must the nozzle be for cutting metal with water jets?

As a rule, nozzles with a diameter between 0.1 and 0.4 mm are used for waterjet cutting of metal parts.

Can you cut metal parts with water jets from any direction?

Yes, the water jet can cut metal parts from any direction. The cutting properties of the waterjet remain independent of the cutting direction and it is not necessary to place the material in a specific orientation to achieve a high quality cut.

This flexibility is one of the advantages of waterjet cutting over other cutting technologies such as laser or plasma cutting, where the cutting direction plays an important role. The waterjet can also cut complex shapes and contours, making it an ideal choice for cutting metal parts with complex geometries.

Does waterjet cutting of metal create disturbing noise?

Yes, waterjet cutting of metal generates noise, but it is usually quieter compared to other cutting technologies such as plasma cutting or cutting with a saw.

Noise exposure also depends on the size and power of the waterjet cutting system used. However, it is always advisable to wear hearing protection to prevent hearing damage, especially during prolonged cutting operations or in environments with high noise levels.

What is the perfect table size when cutting metal with water?

The perfect table size for cutting metal with waterjet cutting machines depends on the size of the metal parts to be cut.

There are various sizes of waterjet cutting tables, ranging from small tables used for machining small parts to large industrial tables used for machining large workpieces.

For smaller workpieces, a table of about 1 m x 1 m may be sufficient, while larger workpieces may require tables of 2 m x 4 m or larger. Choosing the right table size also depends on the production scale and the specific requirements of the project.

How high must the water pressure be to cut metal?

For cutting metal with water jets, a pressure of about 3600 to 4000 bar is recommended, depending on the thickness of the material and the type of metal.

The thicker the metal, the higher the pressure should be to ensure a clean cut. Too low a pressure can result in an unclean cut, while too high a pressure can cause material deformation and other damage. It is therefore important to determine the optimum cutting conditions for each metal.

More materials

Many other materials can also be cut with water

Waterjet cutting is also capable of cutting materials such as glass, ceramics, plastics and composites. The ability to cut a wide variety of materials makes waterjet cutting a popular choice for many applications in the metalworking industry, from precision parts to high-volume production.

STM Waterjet Cutting Systems

STM’s waterjet cutting systems offer maximum ease of use, precision and efficiency thanks to innovative modular system technology. This enables cost optimization and energy savings, which is what it’s all about in the end. We can keep acquisition costs low by tailoring them to your exact requirements and manufacturing processes.

With the STM modular system, you get everything you need and nothing you don’t. Browse our products, ask us your questions or simply request a test cut with your material.