SFA: What's the Answer?

Sawjet v. Waterjet

MD99 SFA Member

What advantages are there going for a Sawjet over a waterjet? Or even over a separate waterjet and saw, other than saving floor space? Marble Direct Govan, Scotland

The close up is from today.

Dave.Scott SFA Member

A saw blade. Our cost is near $0.22 per lineal foot for a saw cut (straight cut) and $1.10 per linear foot by the waterjet. David Scott Architectural Stone of Montana / Slabworks of Montana Bozeman, Mont. 406-522-9001

DanoR SFA Member

Any chance you could share the math on those numbers? Dan Robertson Robertson Manufacturing Inc. Davenport, Iowa

Dave.Scott SFA Member

Cost of inputs -- blades, garnet, maintenance, parts divided by linear foot of cut (from machine counters) per type of operation. My numbers are averages (over last 3 years) and do not include operator or programming labor, utilities or overhead. I'd expect them to change slightly based on the type of your work. We are roughly 82% straight-cut ,18% jet.


The benefits of a SawJet: For straight lines, saw ipm (75-120 or more) is way faster than than jet ipm (10-15 maybe a little more). Blades are way cheaper than garnet. Rebuilding a pump does not make for an enjoyable morning, afternoon, or evening activity. And hearing your pump over stroke brings anxiety for the next few days until it alarms out and you can no longer use your machine until you tear it apart. (Your machine will become the most-expensive boat anchor in the shop). Don't get me wrong tho. The waterjet is a phenomenal tool and an asset to any stone shop. It's just 1000 times better when paired with a saw on the same machine.

T.J. Henderson SFA Member

I looked at a waterjet only instead of getting a bridge saw. Looking back, I would’ve been better off with a waterjet only. Slow production wasn’t a concern at the time plus we would’ve sped our process up and eliminated the need for skilled labor. Now if the decision is between a water jet and a saw jet, get a saw jet T.J. Henderson Modern Countertops Springfield, Ill. (217) 741-0689

charlie_B SFA Member

Waterjet has a lot more maintenance. I do not like how the water jets leave a rough finish so there is more time spent on fabrication. The saw blade leaves a nice clean cut. I can pretty much do anything with the Saber that I can with a water jet. Water jets can get really close inside miters with L-shaped counters. Charlie L.I. Modern Marble Inc. Oxnard, Calif.

That's it for this issue.