In this work the characteristics typical for abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting are evaluated and discussed. AWJ is a contour cutting process according to the Swiss standard SN 214011, the characteristics of cutting are sourface roughness, taper error, corner error and lead-in lead-out error. Data acquired through the newly cut samples is merged with data acquired from the literature review. The tests are repeated on aluminium and mild steel of various thicknesses, and various jet pressures. The results show the surface roughness and taper error depend on the selected quality of the cut, while corner error and lead-in lead-out error depend on the thickness of the workpiece.