The results of a laboratory research program aimed at the development of a water jet assisted drag bit cutting system for coal mine applications are presented. Two types of drag bits, a conical and a plow bit, were tested in a hard sandstone rock with jet pressures of up to 20,000 psi. Jet locations investigated were in front of and behind the bits. For each jet mounting location, three jet impingement distances with respect to bit tip were tested. The closest jet impingement location to bit tip was found most effective, providing the greatest force reductions on the bit. Overall, significant bit force reductions up to 50 percent were obtained with jet assist. Also observed was a drastic reduction in airborne dust when jets were employed.