A waterjet uses high pressure water forced through a tiny hole to cut soft materials such as foam, soft wood, and the like. An abrasive jet introduces an abrasive into the water stream to allow for cutting of hard materials such as metals, glass, ceramics, hard wood, stone, and the like.

In a waterjet, the pressure of the water is actually directed towards cutting the material. But in the case of an abrasivejet, the water is used primarily to accelerate the abrasive and not for actual cutting.

Comparison chart

Abrasivejet versus Waterjet comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAbrasivejetWaterjet
Can cut hard material Yes - just about anything. Typically no, unless the material is quite thin (foil)
Can cut soft materials Yes Yes
Uses abrasive to cut Yes No
Uses high pressure water Yes Yes


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"Abrasivejet vs Waterjet." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Feb 2017. < >