Hourly Cost to Run an Abrasive Waterjet

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:

To calculate your costs per hour follow the steps below:

1. Select the pump and abrasive type you will be using.


30 hp

50 hp

60/75 hp

Flow Rate

.7 lbs/min

1.3 lbs/min

1.6 lbs/min

Abrasive cost
low $0.20/lb




Abrasive cost
high $0.35/lb




2. Find 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.

3. 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.

Price Breakdown Per Hour

Orfices (ruby)


Lasts 40 hrs




Last 80 hrs


Mixing Chamber


Last 400 hrs


High Pressure Seals


Last 250 hrs to 1000 hrs


Low Pressure Seals


Last 5,000-10,0000 hrs



50 HP pump

$0.10/kw hour


Cutting Water

50 HP pump
(1 gpm)

Estimate based on avg.


Cooling Water

50 HP pump
(3 gpm)

Estimate based on avg.


Could be reduced to zero with air-over-oil cooler or chiller


$0.35 to $0.20
per lb.

Based upon pump HP

Insert value
from chart

General Repairs

Grate Replacement, Dropped Nozzles (General Real World Issues)





Insert value


(Monthly payment)


Insert value




+ abrasive
+ operator
+ capital repayment

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