Cost to Run a Waterjet - The Short Answer

While there are several factors that can affect the hourly cost of running a waterjet (see the long answer), the following will give you a good baseline for what to expect. All calculations are based on a single abrasive waterjet cutting head. Water-only applications (no abrasive) are about half the cost.

Pump Orifice Cost/Hour
30 HP Pump .010" $20 - $30* / hr
50 HP Pump .014" $30 - $40* / hr
60/75 HP Pump .016" $35 - $45* / hr
*Estimate does not include Labor or Capital Repayment

Hourly Cost to Run an Waterjet - The Long Answer

There are several items to keep in mind when looking at the cost per hour to run a waterjet. These costs should be relatively universal regardless of the manufacturer of your waterjet. When we provide costs to our customers we always give a conservative target, which we believe can actually be achieved. We don't have any commissioned sales people; therefore no one here is going to give you an overly optimistic best-case scenario with regards to the cost to run your machine. Our goal is to see you succeed with your machine, not just to sell one to you. We are focused on what is best for you, not what is best for WARDJet. Talk with us and test us out.

Keep in mind that a waterjet manufacturer whose survival is dependent upon commissioned sales people convincing you to purchase their product, tend to be swayed in their presentation of waterjets. They may describe it as the only ideal, perfect, lowest cost, sole solution to both your engineering as well as your life's problems. We all know at the end of the day the waterjet is just a tool to help you succeed in your business goals.

The facts are the same regardless of manufacturer:

  • Fact: Abrasive is not supplied by the waterjet company and is the largest consumable cost.
  • Fact: The abrasive flow rate is determined by the size of your pump, not the manufacturer.
  • Fact: You should plan on your ruby orifice lasting approx 40 hrs - sales people may say 80 hrs.
  • Fact: You should plan on a diamond orifice lasting approx 500 hrs - sales people may say 1,000 hrs.
  • Fact: You should be conservative when calculating your cost. If there is not enough room to add $10 or more to your operating cost - then waterjet may not be your best option.

Select Pump and Abrasive

Using the chart below, select the pump and abrasive type you will be using.

Factor 30 HP 50 HP 60/75 HP
Flow Rate 0.7 lbs/min 1.3 lbs/min 1.6 lbs/min
Abrasive cost low $0.20/lb $0.14/min $0.26/min $0.32/min
Abrasive cost high $0.35/lb $0.25/min $0.46/min $0.56/min

Determine Your Abrasive Cost Per Hour

ind the chart for your pump type and determine how many minutes per hour you actually plan to be cutting. Use the red line if you are using abrasive costing around $0.35/lb. or the blue line if using abrasive costing around $0.20/lb. This will give you your abrasive cost per hour.

Calculate Hourly Cost To Run An Abrasive Waterjet

Take the cost of your abrasive per hour and plug it in to the chart below. Add all of the items in the far right hand column including your abrasive amount to generate your total cost per hour to run the machine.

Item Cost Longevity Cost/Hour
Orfices (ruby) $14 - $20 40 hours $0.50/hr
Nozzles $85 80 hours $1.00/hr
Mixing Chamber $155 400 hours $0.39/hr
High Pressure Seals $125 5,000 - 10,000 hours $0.02/hr
Low Pressure Seals $110 250 - 1,000 hours $0.50/hr
Power (50hp Pump) $0.10/kw hour - $4.00/hr
Cutting Water (50hp, 1gpm) - Estimate based on avg. $0.75/hr
Cooling Water (50hp, 3gpm) - - $2.00/hr
Maintenance - - $4.00/hr
Abrasive $0.20 - $0.35 per lb. - > Insert Value From Previous Step
Operator - - > Insert Your Value
Capital - - > Insert Your Value
TOTAL $13.16