Titanium alloys are widely used in important structures of aerospace vehicles, but the low thermal conductivity and high chemical activity make them difficult to process. As an untraditional machining technology, abrasive water jet (AWJ) has been proven to be an effective method for this kind of material. Aimed at further improving the cutting performance, reverse cutting with variable standoff distance (SOD) strategy was put forward, and experiments of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V machined by AWJ were conducted. The influence of SOD with different reverse cutting types on the kerf quality was studied to obtain the optimal SOD combinations. Ra, Sa and kerf taper were used to evaluate the quality of the machined surface. Moreover, the results of reverse cutting at the same speed and efficiency and single cutting at the constant SOD were compared and analyzed. It was found that the proposed strategy results in higher kerf quality in the aspect of surface roughness, compared to the single cutting. To be more specific, for the reverse trimming cutting, the improvements of Ra and Sa can reach up to 62.8% and 73.1% respectively under the condition of the SOD of the second cutting is 8mm. Furthermore, the kerf taper can be reduced 26.1% when the SOD of the second cutting is 2mm. With respect to the reverse deepening cutting, even the traverse speed of reverse cutting is set as twice as that of a single cutting, the kerf quality is still better. Additionally, when the SOD of the second cutting is 4mm, the improvements of Ra and Sa can reach up to 51.7% and 14.9%, respectively, and the kerf taper is reduced by 20.2%. This study provides a new method for improving the machined surface quality of hard materials, especially for Ti6Al4V.