In Abrasive Waterjet (AWJ) cutting, orifice and focusing nozzle diameter undergo continuous change in their dimensions due to erosive nature of high velocity abrasive waterjet. This particular phenomenon can affect the efficiency and quality of the process. To achieve maximum efficiency and desired quality with this process, the parameters need to be optimally selected from time to time considering the changes in the dimensions of orifice and focusing nozzle. In an effort to develop strategies for this purpose and to build the knowledge base for adaptive control of the process, the present work aims to study the influence of orifice and focusing nozzle diameter variation on the performance of abrasive waterjets in cutting 6063-T6 aluminum alloy. The performance was assessed in terms of different parameters such as depth of cut, material removal rate, cutting efficiency, kerf geometry and cut surface topography. In order to maintain the desired performance, it is essential to monitor the condition of nozzles and suitably adjust the process parameters with a view to control the process. Towards the latter, the present work attempts to suggest a strategy that can aid in replacing the nozzles at an appropriate time for maintaining the performance of process within certain limits so as to maintain the precision in machining with abrasive waterjets. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.