• Last updatedLast updated: Jul 26, 2020

9 Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines for the Heaviest of Tasks

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If you’re new to sewing you may assume that all sewing machines perform basically the same function. However, this is not the case. If you want to use heavier fabrics, you’re likely to find a standard sewing machine will struggle. So, you need a walking foot sewing machine.

If you think you know which walking foot sewing machine to buy, you may be mistaken. Walking foot sewing machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you don’t necessarily need the room for a large industrial machine. In fact, there are some walking foot sewing machines that have a similar size and weight of standard sewing machines.

In this review to find the best walking foot sewing machine, we looked at the types of machines, and size and weight of each machine which can affect functionality and convenience. We also assessed the maximum sewing speed and number of stitches, automatic needle threader and other features that can make sewing easier and improve your workflow.

Editor’s Choice

A mechanical sewing machine with a built-in servo motor and a very large workspace

  • 3000 SPM
  • Locking stitch regulator
  • Reverse function
Read Our Review
9.6
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Premium Pick

A machanical sewing machine featuring an extra-long stitch and a large pre-wound bobbin

  • 3300 SPM
  • Triple feed
  • High foot lift
Read Our Review
9.5
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Portable

A portable walking foot sewing machine with a sturdy metal bed and a stainless steel needle bedplate

  • 1100 SPM
  • 32 built-in stitches
  • Automatic threader
Read Our Review
9.4
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A single-needle sewing machine with a servo motor, a safety clutch and mounting table

  • 2500 SPM
  • 9 mm stitch length
  • Higher needle stroke
Read Our Review
9.2
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

A computerized sewing and quilting machine with 60 built-in stitches and a max. speed of 850 SPM

  • Automatic threader
  • 9 included sewing feet
  • Free arm and extension table
Read Our Review
9.1
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Computerized

A computerized sewing machine with 600 built-in stitches and max. sewing speed of 850 SPM

  • 5 alphanumeric fonts
  • Automatic threader
  • Exclusive buttonhole underplate
Read Our Review
8.9
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A computerized sewing machine with 225 built-in stitches and max. sewing speed of 900 SPM

  • Automatic threader
  • Straight and zigzag stitch
  • 4 fonts
Read Our Review
8.8
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A mechanical sewing machine with a high stitch quality and max. sewing speed of 2000 SPM

  • Lockstitch
  • 10 mm stitch length
  • Free arm
Read Our Review
8.7
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A lightweight walking foot sewing machine with zig-zag stitch option and max. sewing speed of 800 SPM

  • Built-in speed reducer
  • Reverse function
  • Heavy-duty carrying handle
Read Our Review
8.5
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

Top 9 Walking Foot Sewing Machines Review 2020

1.

Consew P1206RBEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 3000 SPM
  • Number of stitches: n/a
  • Automatic threader: no
  • Size: 48 x 24 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Warranty: n/a

Other features: side-loaded bobbin, locking stitch regulator, 7 mm stitch length, reverse function

The Consew P1206RB is an excellent choice for users that want to work on thicker materials. We think that this is one of the best walking foot sewing machines for leather projects on our list and that’s why we made it our editor’s choice. This machine is a real workhouse, the sewing machine head comes supplied with the sewing table. This gives you a very large area to work on professional sewing and a built-in servo motor delivers plenty of quiet and even power.

The Consew P1206RB can work with a wide variety of thicker materials, including: vinyl, leather and canvas. So, if you want to work on leather items, canvas totes or even an outdoor camping tent you’re good to go. This machine has an oil pump system installed right under the bedplate and a single needle structure designed to produce a perfect locking stitch. The machine has a larger horizontally orientated bobbin pin and you can load the bobbins into the side of the machine. Little workflow touches like this can make or break productivity and the Consew P1206RB is designed to get you to the end of your project in record time.

The Consew P1206RB has a walking food mechanism to feel the machine smoothly. This sewing machine has a very smooth feed, this is essential to maintaining control and you can produce some of the best seams we’ve seen even on very thick materials. The sewing speed is fully adjustable with a maximum speed of 3,000 spm (stitches per minute).

Pros
  • This truly is a professional grade sewing machine that can handle any project
  • Many users stated that this is an idea sewing machine for upholstery
  • A full set of accessories are supplied with the Consew P1206RB
Cons
  • One user complained that the bobbins supplied with the machine could be better quality
  • The machine comes unassembled in three separate boxes
  • This sewing machine has a significant learning curve
  • As a premium grade product it’s expensive
2.

Consew 206RB-5Premium Pick

Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 3300 SPM
  • Number of stitches: n/a
  • Automatic threader: no
  • Size: 50 x 45 x 20 inches
  • Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Warranty: n/a

Other features: triple feed, extra-long stitch, adjustable reverse stitching, pre-wound bobbin, high foot lift

The Consew 206RB-5 is a very modern and yet simple to use sewing machine. This makes it an excellent choice for extended sessions and efficient sewing with heavy duty materials. These capabilities and the extensive features set have made the Consew 206RB-5 our premium pick. This machine can create an extra long stitch that’s ideal for leather and the large bobbin can be changed with no need to remove the object.

This sewing machine has a host of useful features, including a thread release finger for heavier threads. a high 9/16” presser foot lift and a centralized arm with a micrometric control valve that ensures even lubrication. The reserve stitching function is fully adjustable to create stitches that are the same length as the forward stitches. The safety clutch has a push-button re-engagement and the walking foot ensures that the material feed is even and steady. The locking stitch regulator prevents any changes in stitch length that could be caused by vibration.

The Consew 206RB-5 is an excellent heavy duty sewing machine and it would be well suited to intermediate or more advanced sewers. As a beginner machine the learning curve would be extremely steep and this might deter casual users. This would be a great machine for people setting up a home sewing business working with leather and other thicker materials. If you want a walking foot sewing machine with all the attachments to meet your needs the Consew 206RB-5 may be just what you’re looking for.

Pros
  • Many users like the smooth operation of this machine
  • The safety clutch and centralized arm lubrication are key features
  • This is an industrial grade sewing machine
Cons
  • One user reported that the included manual was not very helpful
  • The thread options could be easier to understand
3.

SINGER Heavy Duty 4452Best Portable

Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 1100 SPM
  • Number of stitches: 32
  • Automatic threader: yes
  • Size: 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 15.7 lbs.
  • Warranty: 25-year limited

Other features: automatic one-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, adjustable stitch length

The Singer Heavy Duty 4452 may be the best portable walking foot sewing machine on our list. If you believe that you cannot find an affordable and portable walking foot sewing machine this model will be a pleasant surprise. This machine can tackle a wide variety of tasks and it can sew heavy duty materials with ease. The entire machine sits on a heavy metal bed and the needle bedplate is made of stainless steel. This makes the machine sturdy and it certainly feels like it’s made to last.

This sewing machine has 32 built-in stitches to choose from, there are basic and decorative stitches and a single buttonhole. This is more than you would find on many other machines at a similar price point and you can tackle more than simple straight lines. The 4452 has a simple configuration that’s easy to use, a pair of control wheels are mounted at the front where users can select the stitch styles and lengths. Above the needle area you will find a lever to reverse the stitch direction, there is an easy to follow threading guide and the bobbin is dropped in at the top.

The Singer Heavy Duty 4452 has a powerful motor for such a small and portable sewing machine. The sewing speed of 1100 spm is impressive and the machine can handle even the thickest fabrics with ease. Singer has included plenty of accessories including the essential walking foot which provides smooth feeding when sewing heavier materials. This is an ideal portable sewing machine for beginners, intermediate and advanced users alike.

Pros
  • One user described the 4423 as “impressive and affordable”
  • This machine is easy to use and versatile
  • Plenty of extra feet are included
Cons
  • There is no automatic needle threader
  • There are no speed controls
Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 2500 SPM
  • Number of stitches: n/a
  • Automatic threader: no
  • Size: 48 x 20 x 48 inches
  • Weight: 80 lbs
  • Warranty: 5-year limited

Other features: single-needle, lockstitch, 9 mm stitch length, rectangular feed, higher needle stroke

The Juki DNU-1541 is an industrial grade single needle sewing machine with a walking foot. The is a heavy duty machine, it weighs in at 250lbs, it has a servo motor, a safety clutch and mounting table. This sewing machine is ideal to create secure lock stitches in thicker materials, such as: leather, canvas, vinyl and heavier fabrics. This machine has a dual tension mechanism that supports the higher tension sewing required when thicker threads are used. This is a no frills sewing machine, there are no computerized settings and yet the user can create high quality stitches and seams with any material.

This machine is driven by a single phase 750 watt servo motor powered via a 110v power source. The machine is supplied with the installation hardware, servomotor, accessories, sewing machine table and an easy to use instruction manual. Only the superb sewing machine table is partially assembled but the assembly instructions are easy to follow. Simply bolt the machine head to the table using the bolt holes and the metal frame will hold the motor securely in place.

The Juki DNU-1541 has a moveable presser foot, this mechanism facilitates smooth and even feeding to prevent roping and puckering. The size of the workplace is sufficient for heavy duty stitching duties and the lubrication system is automatic. This machine has a built-in bobbin winder that uses a side loading “M-style” bobbin and synchronizer hub. The thread loop timing is adjustable with a slide type thread take up stroke. The stitch length can be adjusted up to a maximum 2.5SPI (9mm) per stitch and fine tuned further with dial adjustable stitch regulator. The maximum sewing speed is 2500SPM and the hand wheel can set the needle height bar up to a maximum height of 35mm.

Pros
  • One user described the Juki DNU-1541 as an “Excellent, heavy duty industrial machine”
  • The high sewing speed of 2500SPM will significantly boost productivity
  • Despite the extensive feature set this machine is safe and easy to use
Cons
  • This is a heavy duty machine and the clutch can be noisy
5.

Brother CS6000iBest Value

Features
  • Type: computerized
  • Max. sewing speed: 850 SPM
  • Number of stitches: 60
  • Automatic threader: yes
  • Size: 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Warranty: 25-year limited

Other features: 9 included sewing feet, 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes, drop-in top bobbin, free arm and extension table included

The Brother CS6000i is a well-built sewing and quilting machine with 60 built-in stitches, an LCD screen for feedback and a maximum speed of 850SPM. At the touch of a button the user can select and change the length and width of stitches. A handy foot pedal allows the user to control the speed accurately when sewing. A numbered diagram on the front of the machine helps with the automatic threading process. The bobbin winding system is illustrated in the same manner and a drop in bobbin feature prevents the loss of threading mid project.

This machine comes with a large and sturdy quilting table with plenty of workspace for quilters. The generous area is ample for working on larger projects and a free arm system helps the user to reach every part of their project. A one step buttonhole function allows the user to easily create their buttonholes. The entire machine is well laid out and easy to use. The needles seem to be durable and they can handle a wide range of fabric types and thicknesses.

The Brother CS6000i has a handy hardcover to protect the machine when it’s not in use. A start/stop button allows the user to select between sewing with or without the included pedal. This machine is supplied with a number of accessories, including: the aforementioned table, extra bobbins, a storage pouch, spool pins, caps and a cleaning brush.

Pros
  • One user is delighted with their Brother CS6000i after 3 years of regular use
  • The threading and bobbin winding process is simple
  • This sewing machine can work with and without the foot pedal
Cons
  • The lighting can be dim and it could be placed in a better position
6.

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960Best Computerized

Features
  • Type: computerized
  • Max. sewing speed: 850 SPM
  • Number of stitches: 600
  • Automatic threader: yes
  • Size: 17.25 x 8.25 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 20 lbs.
  • Warranty: 25-year limited

Other features: 5 alphanumeric fonts, 13 built-in 1-step buttonholes with exclusive buttonhole underplate, 13 presser feet, top drop-in bobbin system

The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 can create over 600 types of custom stitches at a maximum speed of 850SPM. Many machines come with a single buttonhole, but this machine has 13 to choose from and they are fully automatic. On the top lid you will find a handy chart that helps you to select the ideal stitch for your current project. The automatic needle thread and cutter is easy to use and the entire process only takes a few seconds.

This machine has a top loading bobbin system with a clear plate so the bobbin is visible at all times. This sewing machine is operated via a foot control system and there is an autopilot function when sewing. It’s easy to keep track of everything with the LCD screen which has all the editing features that you need as your skills develop. A handy up/down needle button moves the needle when you’re working. This machine has a free arm and drop feed system and a pair of LCD lights to improve visibility when sewing. The brightness of the lights can be controlled via the menu on the LCD screen.

The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is an easy to use machine and it has a great deal of flexibility. The stitch quality is outstanding and there are a lot of stitch options to choose from. The sewing speed is adjustable and proficient users will find that they can work at a very high speed. This machine is an excellent machine for beginners and it can be used on a wide variety of projects.

Pros
  • Many users have stated that the stitch quality is comparable to machines that cost more
  • Sewing fabrics and heavy materials is possible with the walking foot plate
  • The LCD lights make the working area bright
Cons
  • The working area is smaller than other machines on our list
Features
  • Type: computerized
  • Max. sewing speed: 900 SPM
  • Number of stitches: 225
  • Automatic threader: yes
  • Size: 14 x 23 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 33.4 lbs.
  • Warranty: n/a

Other features: 4 fonts, 16 buttonholes, straight and zigzag stitch, manual presser foot lift

The Juki HZL-F600 is a high powered computerized sewing machine that will let you work on virtually any project except embroidery. The machine is quiet in operation and it has many features that make it an absolute powerhouse. There are more than 250 sewing patterns and 4 fonts at your fingertips to make decorative and utility stitches. A large LCD display to select your patterns and there are an astonishing 16 buttonholes to choose from.

The Juki HZL-F600 has a larger work space compared to other similar machines giving the user plenty of room to work on larger projects. And yet, this sewing machine is still a manageable size at just under 20lbs in weight. This is a lightweight and powerful machine that you can use virtually anywhere making this a good choice for all your sewing tasks. This machine has a box feed system that reduces fabric shrinkage when working because the feed dog is in constant contact with the material.

The stable thread tensions are consistent and this allows access to free motion sewing options. The user can sew through even the thickest materials with ease making handles and other tasks a breeze. A random stitch feature allows for some organized chaos in your designs but some users may find it a little too random for their tastes. Aside from this very minor gripe it’s hard to find fault with the Juki HZL-F600. This sewing machine is robust, reliable, feature rich and designed to take your sewing to another level. This is a great choice for anyone interested in sewing and it can easily be used in a professional setting.

Pros
  • The Juki HZL-F600 has a large number of stitches, patterns and buttonholes
  • Users enjoy the quiet and efficient operation
Cons
  • The random stitch feature is not useful in most applications
Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 2000 SPM
  • Number of stitches: n/a
  • Automatic threader: n/a
  • Size: 7 x 21 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 220 lbs.
  • Warranty: n/a

Other features: lockstitch, 10 mm stitch length

The Reliable 4000SW Walking Foot Sewing Machine is an affordable, compact and substantial machine. Despite its relatively small size this is a heavier machine than other smaller units found on our list. But, this is a great machine for alterations on the go and it can handle a very wide variety of fabric thicknesses. Working with thick denim seams with a high stitch quality is certainly possible once you get to grips with this machine. This is a good option for novices because the excellent instruction manual is easy to follow and the threading mechanism is simple to learn.

The Reliable 4000SW has a free arm to work with sleeves, the stitch length is adjustable and the maximum speed is 2,000 SPM. A compound feed system and a large capacity hook ensures that the user can be efficient and productive. The 14mm foot lift is operated with the knee and it handles the speed effectively. The zipper feet sets allow the user to work with medium to heavier weighted fabrics with ease. This is a heavy duty walking foot machine with a single needle system and an effective lock stitch. Even the heaviest needles can be used and this machine has a drawer with top and bottom feed.

This sewing machine is pretty quiet during normal operations and yet the servo motor is a powerful unit. It’s possible to sew for an entire day using the single row feed dog and the machine feels solid and durable. The walking foot and link belt are good quality and a comprehensive instruction manual is included.

Pros
  • One user reported that the “link belts are fantastic”
Cons
  • The machine can become unbalanced when sewing at very high speeds
  • The Reliable 4000SW has a manual lubrication system
Features
  • Type: mechanical
  • Max. sewing speed: 800 SPM
  • Number of stitches: n/a
  • Automatic threader: no
  • Size: 14 x 7 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-year, limited

Other features: built-in speed reducer, heavy-duty carrying handle, reverse lever, 6 mm stitch length, 5 mm stitch width

The Reliable Barracuda 200ZW is a portable walking foot and zig-zag machine. This sewing machine is an ideal fit for smaller household projects and it only weighs in at 34lbs. Despite its relatively small dimensions, the Barracuda 200ZW can sew up to 800SPM. The machine can make straight and zig-zag stitches, it comes fully assembled and there may be optional accessories available, including: a table stand and a welting foot.

The Reliable 4000SW is an affordable machine and many users have praised it for its ease of use, portability and durability. However, there have been complaints about the optional accessories and their general lack of quality. These optional parts are simply not manufactured to the same standard as the machine and they seem to break easily. For casual users this is not likely to be a major problem, but for power users and those running a business this is a real drawback to this machine.

The Reliable 4000SW is a great basic sewing machine for a beginner or intermediate user. It has a good feature set at an affordable price point and it will help the user to tackle a host of projects with ease. The only thing to detract from this machine and if you will need a lot of accessories it may be better to look elsewhere on our list.

Pros
  • Users report that this is a portable and durable sewing machine
Cons
  • The Reliable 4000SW optional accessories are unreliable

Buying Guide

A walking foot sewing machine is essential for any serious sewer. Unfortunately, with so many models on the market, it can be tricky to choose the perfect model for your needs. So, here we’ll explore the features to consider, and answers to some common questions.

What is a walking foot?

9 Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines for the Heaviest of Tasks

Walking foot is a sewing term that describes the seeing foot machine that is used to evenly feed fabric into the sewing machine. The foot grips the top of the fabric, this allows the needle to move to the bottom part of the fabric easily. This keeps the fabric in alignment when working and prevents the shifting between the top and bottom layers. A walking foot has a set of teeth, these move in a circular motion dictated by the sidebar position. The moveable bar is adjusted to rest against the needle bar to ensure that it meshes with the walking foot teeth.

A walking foot is used to sew bulking seams because unlike a presser foot the material will not bunch and become stuck. Throughout the sewing a firm grip is maintained on the fabric making this an ideal way to sew heavy fabrics and materials. Another common use for a walking foot is to align a pattern on fabric by sewing plaids, stripes and seams. This process knits disparate fabrics together by keeping the project flat and less likely to become pinched and wavy. A walking foot can match seam intersections together to create vertical and horizontal lines that make sense. This type of capability is an industry standard because you can achieve perfect stitches on a wide variety of fabric types.

Why buy a walking foot sewing machine?

A walking foot sewing machine is not required for casual users that don’t deal with thicker fabrics and tougher materials. If you only carry out simple sewing tasks and you don’t intend to use heavier fabrics, you’re not likely to get much use out of a machine like this. Many people purchase a walking foot sewing machine for their quilting projects because they can accurately stitch thicker materials. In fact, this is probably the most common reason why people acquire these types of machines at home. If you’re an experienced sewer or you want to try your hand at working with thicker materials a walking foot sewing machine is a great investment.

Features to consider when choosing a sewing machine with walking foot

With so many walking foot sewing machines on the market, it can be tricky to choose the right one. So, here we’ll look at the features to consider to make your purchase decision.

Type of control system

An industrial grade walking foot machine will have a very precise control system to boost productivity. Choosing a machine with a digital LCD screen such as our best value pick the Brother CS6000i will make sewing task selections simple. Some machines lack these features and they use more traditional manually operated switches and levers. These are still great machines but they are not very beginner friendly and better suited to more experienced users. A beginner needs a machine that is easy to use and a computerized control system can take a great deal of guesswork out of the entire process. Once you become accustomed to a digital sewing machine you will find that your working speed and productivity increases over time. These types of sewing machines are more comfortable to work on and this is a godsend when working on a larger project.

Sole type

Many walking foot sewing machines have three interchangeable soles to choose from, they are: standard, quilting and edge stitching.

9 Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines for the Heaviest of Tasks

As the name suggests, the standard sole is the most used when attaching fabrics that have any type of give. A standard sole usually has a ¼” marking system that helps the user to attach narrow seams on slick and slippery fabrics. The quilting sole offers the user better visibility when quilting and it helps to keep the layers together when working. An edge stitching sole is ideal when stitching a quilt edge piece or top stitching a piece of stretch denim.

Max. sewing speed

When you start out sewing it may seem like you will never reach those higher speeds that boost your productivity. But, this is not the case and pretty soon you will realize that you need a machine with plenty of speed. A good walking foot sewing machine should have a speed of 1,000-1.500 SPM or stitches per minute. When you have a machine with a high SPM speed you can be assured that it will help you to complete your projects on time.

Needles

Thin and thick materials require different types of needles to complete a stitch correctly. Sewing needles designed to penetrate multiple fabric layers must be strong and those found on industrial grade machines must be the strongest. Ordering extra needles is easy from companies. such as: Singer, Brother, Toyota and TechSew. High quality needles that can handle heavy duty sewing tasks are affordable and it’s a good idea to have a few in reserve.

Number and type of stitches

A beginner only needs a straight and zig-zag stitch to get started but as you can gain proficiency you will quickly realize that you need more. If you want to branch out into quilting or embroidery you will need a machine with plenty of stitch options to select. A machine such as the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 on our list may have a very large number of available stitches. This is important, remember that you cannot add stitches after you’ve purchased your machine so think about projects you would like to tackle in the future. Ensuring that your machine has the stitches, stitch length and tension that you will need is the only sure way to future proof your sewing machine.

Stitch length and width

The average stitch length is 2.-5mm but the typical range is 0-4mm and some stitches could be as long as 6mm. This depends on the capabilities of your sewing machine and this is usually listed in a value of 0-60 which represents the number of stitches per inch.

 

To put this into some perspective think of a 2.5mm stitch as around 10-15 stitches per inch. A smaller stitch length creates a smaller stitch which is useful to sew through sheer fabrics, reinforce seams and create very strong stitches. Take care, a smaller stitch can tear fabric and more stitches are harder to remove later. If you need a temporary stitch or you want to sew heavy materials use a longer stitch instead.

The stitch width can vary from 0-5mm wide and this determines how far the stitch moves from side to side when sewing. When the width is set to 0mm the stitching line is completely straight and the width often determines how decorative the stitch is. When you set a stitch length for a zig-zag stitch the length is also important. A very close zig-zag stitch or satin stitch should have a maximum length of 0.5mm. Bear in mind that a zig-zag stitch with a width of 0mm will not move at all and it will simply sew in place instead. Many sewing machines come with a hand guide to help you set your stitch length and width for a variety of fabric types.

Buttonholes

9 Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines for the Heaviest of Tasks

Some machines come with a single buttonhole and others such as the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 come with many more. Sewing a buttonhole can be a pain and it can really slow you down on a longer project. If you’re going to be making garments you need at least one buttonhole option and having more is always preferable.

Feed

It’s essential to choose a sewing machine with a perfectly operating drop and needle feed. The up/down motion of the needle must be easy to monitor and when the machine is operating the thread attached to the needle is important. This movement is known as the needle cycle and it’s how the work piece stitches are formed. The work piece is moved via the feeding mechanism to the next part where the stitching is carried out. This must be a smooth process to ensure that no pinching or bunching occurs.

Load-in bobbin

This is the oval or round shaped object that comes supplied with your new sewing machine. On older machines there was a slot situated under the sewing place where the bobbin was located. The bobbin could be placed in a revolving frame to wind the thread onto it for sewing. The bobbin is needed to keep the thread affixed to improve the precision of sewing machine stitches. Virtually all modern sewing machines have a load-in bobbing system where the user places the bobbin in the top or front of the machine. This is a faster and more efficient way to work and it is certainly an improvement over the older system.

Automatic needle threader

Many sewing machines include an automatic needle threader and this can be a real time saver. Much like other features, such as: buttonholes, a free arm, working lights, and blind stitching, many people wonder how they ever managed without them after they have used them.

Presser feet

The presser feet ensure steady rotations, layering and they help to prevent material from slipping. The presser foot system needs to be sufficient to meet your needs and ensure that your results are perfect every time.

Size and weight

Some of the machines on our list such as the Singer Heavy Duty 4452 are portable. But others such as our premium pick the Consew 206RB-5 sit on a heavy metal frame. Choosing the right type of machine is crucial and if you need a portable machine check the weight and dimensions before purchasing. A walking foot sewing machine can be heavy but lighter models with fewer metal components are available. Also check for carry cases and/or built-in handles that make carrying easier.

9 Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines for the Heaviest of Tasks

Warranty

The best walking foot sewing machines come with a lengthy warranty period. This could be 5 years on certain major components and accessories and if you have a problem you can ask for a free repair or replacement. Remember that a warranty shows the level of confidence that the manufacturer has in their products and it can add a great deal of value to your purchase.

How to take care of you sewing machine

Even an affordable walking foot sewing machine such as our editor’s choice the Consew P1206RB represents a significant investment. No matter if you use it every day or on an occasional basis it’s a great idea to protect your investment. Keeping your machine clean and carrying out certain routine maintenance tasks can add years to the useful lifespan. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to take great care of your sewing machine.

Covering your sewing machine will protect it from dirt and dust that could be circulating in the air. Getting dust on and in your machine can affect the electronic components leading to a short or other electrical issue.

To prevent a buildup of dust and lint in your sewing machine dust the bobbin case with a cosmetic brush and use high quality thread when sewing.
Finally, cover the sewing machine with a cover and if one is not supplied make this your first sewing project!

A sewing machine needle works hard and over time it will inevitably become dull and less effective. This will result in skipped stitches, fabric pulls, looped threads and even damage to your sewing machine. Sewing experts recommend that users change their needles after every 8 hours of sewing. If this is hard to remember consider changing the sewing needle after completing each project. It may be necessary to change the needle to match the needs of your project if you’re working with heavier fabrics.

A can of compressed air is a great way to remove dust and lint from your sewing machine. Sewing can be a dusty and messy process and your machine can get dirty quickly as you work. Using a new and high-quality thread for each project helps but this only goes so far and it doesn’t eliminate the lint entirely. Use the compressed air on the bobbin area, feed dogs and tension discs to keep the clean. Always spray at a distance of at least 4” to ensure that you’re not introducing moisture into your sewing machine.

Professional annual servicing is a great way to keep your sewing machine in shape. An experienced service person can clean parts of the machine that are not easily accessible, adjust the tension and ensure that the timing is correct. This will keep the machine working well and it may greatly extend the useful lifespan.

Like any machine with moving parts a sewing machine requires regular lubrication to work well. Sewing machines can be purchased in many craft stores or online and it is designed to work with these types of machines.

Do not use any other type of oil on your sewing machine because it may stain your fabrics and damage your machine.
Only a couple of drops are needed and the bobbin case should be cleaned with compressed air before you start. The user’s manual will have detailed instructions to apply the sewing machine oil correctly. Once the lubrication is finished run a few stitches through the machine to ensure that everything is working as intended. If you have a self-lubricating sewing machine check the user’s manual for specific details.

If your sewing machine needs a repair, only use an experienced professional. Many manufacturers have a list of specially trained technicians that you will want to use. If you cannot find a technician consult your manufacturer, check with the local sewing shop or ask other sewers in your community about where they take their machines.

When you clean your sewing machine, consult the manual first and follow the instruction carefully. Only work on a single part of the machine at a time and take pictures at each stage with your phone. Keep any parts and screws in a safe place to ensure that you can put everything back together easily.

It’s a great idea to wipe your sewing machine down with a clean rag after each use. Unplug your machine first and give it a quick once over to remove the dust and lint. Then give the bobbin case a clean and remove any pieces of thread that may be trapped in the machine. This will ensure that your sewing machine is clean and ready to use.

FAQ

It is possible to attach a walking foot to a standard sewing machine, but you need to choose one that is compatible with your specific machine.

Firstly, you’ll need to remove the current foot. There is often a little lever on your machine to release the foot. You will also need to unscrew it. There is often a little tool supplied with sewing machines that is ideal for this task.

Now, you can slide the walking foot onto your machine, sliding it from behind the needle. You’ll need to align the screw holes with the holes on the walking foot. Now screw the walking foot on to your machine. This can be a little fiddly, but you’ll find it easier after you’ve done it a few times. Once the screws are tightened, it is a good idea to run a piece of test fabric to ensure it is properly attached.

The main difference is that a quilting foot allows you to feed the fabric from multiple directions, but a walking foot only allows one direction. While a walking foot offers more accuracy, a quilting foot can create textured effects.

Our Verdict

As you can see, there are some great walking foot sewing machines on the market. From the versatile and affordable Singer Heavy Duty 4452, which offers a variety of stitch lengths and styles and is supplied with a variety of feet, to the Consew 206RB-5. This impressive machine has a variety of features including thread release finger, centralized arm, micrometric control valve and a high presser foot lift.

However, the stand out as the best walking foot sewing machine has to be our editor’s choice, the Consew P1206RB. The P1206RB can work with a massive variety of thicker materials including canvas, leather and vinyl. The larger horizontal bobbin allows you to load bobbins from the side, which improves workflow. This is a pro grade machine that can handle almost any project including upholstery with a full set of accessories included to make sewing even easier.

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