As a professional, you would already be aware of what walking foot is and how essential it is when working on larger projects. But if you are an amateur or a beginner, the term doesn’t hold much meaning. In fact, you might even end up giving it another meaning.
So let’s start right at the beginning and explain what walking foot is and why it is important. Shall we?
The walking foot is an attachment that’s larger than the presser foot and has two parts. One part is a movable bar that moves up and down and controls the needle’s movement. Another part is the lower feet with teeth that feed the fabric. As the bar goes up and down, it moves the needle and the teeth in the same direction.
Erm… okay. But why do we need this? Good question. Not everyone needs walking foot attachment. That’s the reason all sewing machines do not come with it. The attachment is crucial to work on thicker fabrics or stitching multiple layers of cloth (think quilting).
The standard presser foot doesn’t deliver the results when you stitch quilts, leather, denim, etc. That’s because it is not equipped for the purpose. The sewing machine needs walking foot (which is also called dual foot or even foot) to keep the fabric moving and get an even stitch on all layers without jamming the bobbin or breaking the needle.
Industrial, mechanical, and heavy-duty sewing machines are usually compatible and come with walking foot attachments. These are suitable for large-sized projects that deal with thick and laminated fabrics. The walking foot makes it an easy job of stitching through these fabrics.
Professionals use walking foot sewing machines to suit their various stitching needs. The last thing they’d want is to end up having to re-stitch an entire piece because of misaligned stitches.
Now that we’re clear about the purpose, let’s move on to the main focus of this post. Yes, we are talking about the best walking foot sewing machines in the market. What are they? What factors should you consider when buying such a sewing machine?
Let’s continue reading to get the answers, shall we?
Table of Contents
The Best Walking Foot Sewing Machines For The Money
#1 Juki TL-2010Q Portable Sewing Machine - EDITOR'S CHOICE
TL-2010Q is the first walking foot sewing machine on our list and undoubtedly one of the best in the market. Be it regular sewing or quilting, this one aces both with apparent ease. Another advantage of this model is that even beginners can give it a try. Yep. You don’t have to be a pro to handle this machine. Considering the features it has and the price, we can say that this model provides a great value for money. However, the brand offers only a 5-year limited warranty.
Features & Benefits
The arm and bedplate of the unit are made of aluminum for stability and durability. Even when you touch the highest stitching speed, the machine will be steady and rhythmic. It also has a white LED light so that you don’t have to worry about stitching in the dark.
The work area is 23 inches and has an auxiliary table. That makes it highly suitable for larger projects as well. It also has an automatic needle threader, though the thread goes in from left to right rather than the other way round (as it is commonly found). That isn’t much of an issue, right?
From pure and light silk to leather, this model can handle any material. Whether you use it for quilting, sewing bags, or stitching jeans, the machine will continue to be consistent in its performance.
One feature we love about this model is the option to adjust the speed. As a beginner, going at 1500 stitches per minute can be scary. All you need to do is bring it down. You can start at the lowest at 200 SPM and increase the speed as you gain confidence.
Even though it comes with a single stitch, the quality is sewing is something you cannot complain about. Also, you have the facility to adjust the stitch length up to 6mm and use the reverse stitch lever.
Ease of Use
The dials are simple and easy to understand and operate. The unit comes with a detailed manual that will guide you to set up the machine and start using it. Despite the array of features, you’ll never be confused about the operations. Truly a model for beginners, isn’t it?
While it’s not the lightest of models (in terms of weight), it is still portable. If you find the LED light a little weak, you can replace it with a brighter one. Isn’t that cool?
Be it the thread tension or presser foot or the needle’s movement, you can control and adjust them as per your requirements.
#2 Consew Upholstery Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine P1206RB - Best for Heavy Projects
If you are looking for a walking foot sewing machine that can handle huge loads, Consew P1206RB is the one for you. The machine is perfect for those who work on leather, synthetics, vinyl, upholstery, laminated, and coated materials. You can also use it for lighter materials. However, fabrics that are too light tend to get puckered due to their delicate texture. The model isn’t really for beginners, though. Pick this one if you are a professional who stitches upholstery, bags, purses, sails, covers, tents, umbrellas, etc. The unit arrives with all the accessories you’ll need to set it up and get started. Of course, the threads and material will have to be yours.
Features & Benefits
Okay, we admit that the model is huge. Not everyone would want a 185 pounds sewing machine. But relax. The weight includes the wide work table, the aluminum stand, and the actual sewing machine. It is truly an industrial model suited for heavy work.
That means it also takes up a lot of space. If you want to use it at home, make sure you measure and decide where to install it before placing the order. The unit does have LED lights, but you will still need to select a place with ample natural light (during the day).
Many users call it a workhorse, and we agree with them. Imagine running at 3000 stitches per minute and still standing tall. That’s what this machine is capable of. It is sturdy and can handle the strain of running the needle through thick materials for long durations.
You can adjust the stitching speed and bring it down if you want. The seams are smooth, strong, and even. Not just that, the machine has a built-in servo motor that gives it the required power without generating too much noise.
Ease of Use
This would depend on your level of expertise. That said, the unit comes in three parts. You’ll have to put them together to start using it. The process is not complicated, so that should be fine. The model has a large bobbin case, where you load the bobbin from the side (horizontally).
Also, the oil pump system is right under the bedplate. The brand sends a bottle of oil along with the unit and other accessories. The model has one needle structure to give you the best lockstitch. It does have a reverse lever in case you want to reinforce the stitches.
#3 Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i - Best for Beginners
After checking out an industrial model, we are back with a lightweight and easy model that has been designed for beginners. We know that Brother is one of the famous companies in the market. Their CS6000i is a sewing and quilting machine with 10 sewing feet, LED lights, three bobbins, a needle set with twin needles, and other accessories. The brand offers a 25-year limited warranty on the unit. Whether you plan to use it for thin fabric or thicker materials, you experiment as much as you want.
Features & Benefits
Weighing just 13 pounds, this is the most lightweight model on our list. You can carry it anywhere and use it indoors as well as outdoors. It’s made of many plastic components to ensure this weight. While that doesn’t mean it’s fragile, it is not as strong as the other models (not surprising, right?).
The unit has LED lights and an LCD display panel. You can change the settings through the display panel. Some customers have complained about the foot pedal being a bit too sensitive. Just make sure you keep your fingers safe until you understand exactly how much pressure you’ll need to apply, depending on the time of the material you are stitching.
As we’ve already mentioned, the model caters to beginners. This has resulted in the sewing speed by reduced to 850 SPM max. However, this speed is adjustable and can be reduced further if you are totally new to sewing.
The machine also has a detachable table that can be attached when you want to quilt. The stitch length and width can be adjusted, and there is an on/ off button as well. It also has an automatic needle threader, built-in free arm, drop-in bobbin, adjustable tension control, and a variable needle position.
Ease of Use
One feature we absolutely love about this model is the 60 built-in stitches. Yes! Imagine the types of stitches you can try. It includes 20 decorative designs, 20 garment construction designs, 7 quilting designs, 7 automatic buttonholes, and 6 heirloom designs.
The 9 presser feet that are included with other accessories only increase the extent of the variety this model offers. There is a reverse lever as well, and let’s not forget the jam-proof bobbin, which is a must for beginners.
That said, the tension thread is a bit hard to adjust. Also, the machine needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Take care of these, and you have a super walking foot sewing machine for beginners.
#4 SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine - Best Versatile Sewing Machine
How can we not have Singer on the list, right? The brand is very famous for its range of sewing machines that cater to different audiences. This model belongs to the 44 series and gives a tough fight to other models from the same series. If you want an affordable and versatile walking foot sewing machine that can be used by a beginner and a professional, this should definitely be one of your options. The brand claims that it helps finish the job 30% faster. Cool, right?
Features & Benefits
Oh, what do we say? This one isn’t beauty for sure. Don’t buy it this for the looks, though. The exterior is made of plastic, but it is surprisingly sturdy and stable. That’s because of the metal frame interior hiding right underneath. The bedplate is made of stainless steel and sustains the work pressure with ease. As with other Singer models, this one also has a powerful engine that is 60% stronger than regular models.
The unit does come with a handle for you to move it from one place to another. It also weighs less than 16 pounds. But it’s not exactly easy to move it around. You will be better off keeping it in a comfortable place.
The model boasts of 1100 SPM and 32 built-in stitches (18 decorative, 7 stretch, 6 basic, 1 automatic one-step buttonholes). The unit also comes with an automatic needle threader, reverse stitch lever, and LED lighting.
You can adjust the presser foot pressure as well as the length and width of the stitches. However, you can’t adjust the stitching speed of the machine. You’ll have to learn to keep up with the stitching speed (if you are a beginner).
Ease of Use
Since most features are aimed at beginners, you’ll notice that it is indeed easy to use. The bobbin has a transparent cover and has to be loaded from the top. It also has a free-motion arm that quilters love.
That said, if you are backstitching, you might notice some issues with skipping stitches. Sometimes the needle breaks due to the pressure. That’s something you’ll have to be careful about. And yeah, thicker fabrics may also cause a wee bit of problem at times. As for the rest, it is reliable and no less a workhorse.
#5 Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine - Best for Leather
A powerful frame, powerful motor, heavy-duty accessories, and a bunch of features; don’t they sound like a super combination? HD3000 by Janome, though the last machine on our list, is a strong and durable model that can handle pretty much any kind of material. We can call this an advanced version of HD1000. Medium to thick materials like leather can be termed as the machine’s favorites. It is one of the capable sewing machines in the market and doesn’t surprise us to see that the brand offers a 25-year warranty.
Features & Benefits
Made from aluminum, the frame offers stability and durability for a long time. The model looks sleek and professional, though it’s not artistic or cute. It weighs less than 20 pounds (18.7 to be exact). But it fits easily in small and confined spaces. There’s something compact and neat about the design.
The machine comes in two colors- white and black. We do love the black one more. The unit has a built-in needle threader and a built-in thread cutter. However, the thread cutter has a strange position to the side. That shouldn’t cause too much issue, though.
The model offers 18 built-in stitches, one one-step buttonhole, and a reverse stitch lever. The dials are easy to operate and set to the kind of stitch you want. The bobbin needs to be top-loaded and is jam-proof. No more worrying about the bobbin getting struck and the thread creating a mess.
It also has a free arm and LED lights, along with a snap-on presser foot, adjustable presser foot, and 7 other presser feet. There is a small compartment to store the accessories. The brand also provides a hard case with the unit. Even though the stitch speed is only 860 SPM, it is accurate and fast enough to help you finish the work within the schedule.
Ease of Use
Some people say that the machine can be used by beginners and professionals alike. While it’s not entirely incorrect, we do feel that those with experience will appreciate the model more than the beginners.
That said, it comes with a detailed manual and can be set up in 10-15 minutes. You can adjust the stitch length and width depending on the material. It sews through layers of fabric without any strain. The motor is strong enough to support it. The lighter and thinner fabrics tend to present a teeny problem. Nothing much. The motor makes extra noise, probably because it loves thicker fabrics more than the thinner ones. But when a sewing machine offers such advantages, what’s a little noise to bear, isn’t it?
Best Walking Foot Sewing Machine Buying Guide
After checking out the list of the top 5 best walking foot sewing machines, let’s take a look at the buying guide. The factors mentioned below will help you in comparing the models and choosing the right one for your stitching requirements.
Work Requirements and Skill Level
Well, a walking foot sewing machine is not exactly meant for beginners. The mechanics are quite complex when compared to regular sewing or even embroidery. The machine is used mainly for bulky fabrics and heavy projects. Even if your projects belong to that category, you’ve got to be careful. Learn how to use the walking foot sewing machine and make yourself comfortable with using it for a longer duration.
Work Area and Portability
Bigger projects will need more space. You can hardly stitch a quilt in a confined space on a compact little sewing machine. Look out for the ones with extra arms and a bigger workspace. The last thing you’d want is to end up with cramps.
But, what about moving the machine around the place? That can be a little tricky. Walking foot sewing machines are heavy duty and industrial models. They weigh more than the average sewing machine. However, some are still portable and can be moved (with help from others).
Thicker materials require a bigger needle for stitching, don’t they? If you are buying the walking foot accessory to attach to the sewing machine, you’ll need a new set of bigger and stronger needles. These needles can take the pressure of going in and out of the thick material like leather, denim, or layers of cloth (to make a quilt).
As with the needle size, a walking foot sewing machine needs a powerful motor. A sewing machine with more power will be expensive compared to regular models, but that’s the only way to use the walking foot attachment. It is the reason we have been talking about industrial and heavy-duty sewing machines again and again. They are the only ones suitable for the job. (Yes, quilting machines also tend to belong to the same category).
Walking foot sewing machines also have high stitching speed. It might sound overwhelming for an amateur, though. But these machines have SPM (stitches per minute) from 800 to even 5000. A professional cannot afford to work on sewing machines with lesser speed. They can never finish the projects on time.
Sewing machines require a good amount of money. It’s natural for us to expect the machines to work at least for a few years, if not for a lifetime. Various famous brands offer long warranties, even if they are limited only to certain components. A 25-year limited warranty seems to be quite common in the market. That said, we did come across models that have a lesser warranty period.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Are you still undecided about which walking foot sewing machine to choose? We would recommend Juki TL2010 Portable Sewing Machine.
The model has all the features and accessories you would want from a walking foot machine. It can be used by beginners and professionals alike. It’s not too heavy either. But it is durable, stable, and reliable.
We’ve already discussed the features and benefits of this model in detail.
Compared to other models, Juki TL2010 offers a wonderful value for price and is highly efficient.