You may know about incidents where people have received lacerations or bruising from accidentally (or intentionally) being hit by a high-pressure water jet. Water isn't generally seen as a weapon that can be painful; however, the intense amount of water pressure delivered by a pressure washer means that these injuries can be unexpectedly serious and painful. Although this might not sound like a ringing endorsement for water jet cutting, let's look at where water jet cutting is different from typical pressure washing.
A cutting tool with a surprisingly rich and extensive history
Although high-pressure water has been used for erosion as far back as the mid-19th century (where it was regularly used in mining process), water jet cutting as we know it today didn't start until the 1930s, where it became a dependable industrial cutting device. Naturally, over time, water jet cutting technology evolved, progressing from supersonic to hypersonic speeds to deliver a high-intensity cut but still maintaining its non-toxic status.
More powerful and less damaging to the material to be cut
Water jet cutting is typically many times more powerful than your average pressure washer, but it is also much safer, since it is usually carefully contained and controlled. In fact, you can remotely operate water jet cutters from a different room if you so choose. One of the biggest advantages of water jet technology lies within its ability to cut just about any material; additionally, because it is a water cutter and not, say, a laser cutter, an operator doesn't need to be worried about heating the material to extreme temperatures, leaving the structural integrity of the cut object intact.
Water jet cutting is highly accurate, and – unlike most cutting implements – doesn't require sharpening
Believe it or not, water jets are capable of an extreme amount of accuracy. Plus, there is one special benefit that water jet cutters have over conventional cutting tools: not blunting over time. This is because water jet cutters are capable of cutting material with a hypersonic stream of water, and, since water contains many droplets rather than a single object, it is impossible for it to become blunt – even after millions of uses. Imagine a powerful cutting implement that never needs to be sharpened! Thanks to its high precision and lack of blunting, it is little wonder why a water jet cutter has had widespread use for nearly a century.