One of the principle deficiencies of the abrasive water jet (AWJ) cutting process is wavy striations on the generated cut surface in relatively thick workpieces. A desirable surface finish can be obtained only when the thickness of the workpiece is less than the depth of the smooth zone. Due to the limitation of the waterjet pressures from the current pumping technology, minimisation of striations without the sacrifice of the cutting speed and so increasing the smooth zone depth would constitute a marked improvement in the AWJ machining. In this study, different nozzle oscillation cutting techniques were developed to optimise the AWJ machining process. A comparative study was conducted using different surface texture parameters among straight cutting and different oscillation cutting methods under the same input cutting parameters. Detailed analyses of the cutting results indicate that a significant enhancement in the cut surface quality was obtained by using the controlled cutting nozzle oscillation techniques.