Is An Industrial Sewing Machine Right For You?

I could sit here and tell you you need an industrial sewing machine, just to try and boost sales...but I won't. The truth is, industrial sewing machines are not for everyone. There are certain instances where you might be better off owning just a domestic machine. I will spend this blog going over various reasons why you might want to consider an industrial machine for your sewing needs. You might want to consider an industrial sewing machine if:

You Work with Heavy Materials

If you often work with heavy wool, denim, leather, canvas or other heavy weight materials an industrial sewing machine is ideal for you. Industrial sewing machines were designed to handle all manners of materials and sew beautiful seams without issue. The motors on industrial machines are many times stronger than domestic machines and designed to sew through multiple layers of thick materials and not get bogged down, while still being able to sew seams on light fabrics beautifully.

You might get away with sewing heavy materials on your domestic machine but you are putting a lot of stress on the internal components and motor. This will often lead to the domestic machine failing prematurely. Depending on the machine, replacement parts, warranty support you may be forced to purchase another domestic machine far sooner than you intended. Now take into consideration that most entry level domestic machines cost roughly the same as our Jack F4 or even more.

You can buy industrial machines with different feeding mechanisms to suit your sewing needs. For example when sewing very delicate fabrics a needle feed industrial machine performs better than a drop feed. If sewing thick leather, compound feed (walking foot) industrial machines are ideal since they can feed thick materials evenly and not mar the face of the material.

You Sew A Lot

Let's face it. A lot of us get drawn into all the fancy functions of domestic sewing machines like embroidery or decorative stitches. However, the fact of the matter is that most sewist really only use their machines for straight stitch seams in their sewing projects.

This is where I tell our customers that an industrial sewing machine is a good compliment to a domestic machine. If you sew a lot, I often will tell customers that if they already own a domestic machine; to put the bulk of their sewing on the industrial machine. Industrial machines are designed to sew all day long without issue. If you run a domestic machine all day you run a good chance of burning out the motor due to excess heat or load strain.

By utilizing your domestic machine for decorative stitches or embroidery only, you will increase the life of the domestic machine. Another added benefit especially with embroidery stitches which can take up to an hour or more, is the fact that you are not forced to wait until the operation is complete. You still have your industrial machine to utilize to work on your project.

You Sew Professionally

Probably one of the biggest reasons to own an industrial machine is if you sew professionally. Don't get me wrong, there are some domestic machines that sew beautiful seams but these are machines often costing more than our high end lockstitch machines. The fact of the matter is that no domestic sewing machine will give you more control over your seams than an industrial sewing machine.

Industrial sewing machines allow you to control both upper thread tension and bobbin thread tension which is critical, especially when working with fabrics of different thickness or density. You can also adjust presser foot pressure and if you are a knowledgeable with an industrial machine, dog feed height. However, since industrial machines are designed for use with varying material types, you can get away most times with just adjusting thread tension.

Fashion Design Workshop/Manufacturing

Building on the previous reasons, if you run any type of workshop or manufacturing regardless of the size, an industrial machine will suit you better than domestic machines. As mentioned previously industrial machines are engineered to run all day without issue and in some manufacturing operations run almost 24/7.

Because of the lubrication systems of industrial machines there is very little wear and tear on the internal gears of a industrial machine. As long as you maintain the machine by changing the oil as required you likely won't run into any issues causing downtime with an industrial machine.

For wearing parts like needle bars, motors, cutting knives, hooks and others. Our company Jack North America stocks all replacement parts for our machines. Any qualified sewing machine repair technician can usually carry out replacement of these parts or additionally you can send your machine into us for maintenance service or repair.

Furthermore, industrial machines like ours are designed to improve operator efficiency and the operator can grow with experience. New operators can slow the industrial machine speed until they grow more comfortable, when they can then increase the sewing speed.

Resale Value/Upgrading

Fact...industrial sewing machines hold their value longer. Because industrial sewing machines are built to last a lifetime with proper maintenance, they lose very little resale value. Even if you were to buy an entry level industrial machine, when it came time to upgrade you could likely recapture most of the initial purchase price when sold used. 

Bottom Line

Buy once, cry once. Most beginner sewists see the price of an industrial and get a bit of sticker shock, but consider this. Entry level sewing machines from major brands cost several hundred dollars. If you take sewing seriously you will likely burn out those motors very quickly, especially if sewing items like pants with heavier materials. Those machines are often very finicky and do not provide the sewer much control in terms of seam quality.

Then you can consider the "top of the line machines" from some brands that cost several thousand more than our entry level machines, or even our top of the line machines. Do you really need all those functions? I remember when buying my first domestic machines springing for one that cost $4,000 USD. I thought to myself I will use all those functions and it would be worth the "investment". I almost never sewed anything other than straight stitch and when I finally decided to sell it to buy an industrial sewing machine; I could only sell it for $1,800 USD.

What I am trying to say is try and plan for the future. Sometimes an industrial machine makes more sense than you think.

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