We describe the theoretical dependence of various important parameters of the fluid jet polishing process on the material removal rate: the processing time, abrasive concentration, abrasive diameter, particle velocity, and the effect of scanning. Some recent experiments are described that prove that it is possible to remove very small amounts of material, less than 1 nm/min, using either short processing times or an appropriate slurry. The removal spot in the stationary case is compared to that in the translational case both theoretically and experimentally. From both a theoretical and an experimental point of view it is shown that the removal is in the ductile regime. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.