High-volume, low-pressure water jets have been employed for erosion of loosely consolidated rocks for centuries. This excavation method finds application in specialized circumstances even today. The use of high-pressure, low-volume water jets for rock cutting is more recent and was made possible by the development of high-pressure water pumps. Despite the benefits often claimed for these systems, high-pressure water jets still have not found widespread application. In this report, the U.S. Bureau of Mines has reviewed the various methods that have been employed using water jets to break rock and has focused on one method, termed "jet-assisted cutting," which was determined to be the closest to commercial development. The current state of knowledge based on laboratory and field experiences using this cutting method is reviewed, and possible future developments for this approach to excavation are assessed.