An experimental investigation of abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting of alumina ceramics with controlled nozzle oscillation is presented and discussed. Particular attention is paid to the effect of small oscillation angles on the various cutting performance measures. It is found that nozzle oscillation at small angles can equally improve the major cutting performance measures if the cutting parameters are correctly selected. However, under high water pressures, high nozzle traverse speeds and large oscillation frequencies, nozzle oscillation may cause a decrease in some major cutting performance measures such as surface finish. Plausible trends of cutting performance with respect to the process parameters are amply discussed. Finally, a predictive mathematical model for the depth of cut is developed and verified.