Pros:Cheapest ZigZag Walking Foot Machine. Feeds heavy slippery projects well. Just powerful enough. Good design.
Cons:Very, very, poor assembly quality as delivered on my machine.
The Bottom Line: Good design but mine had very poor build quality. Can be tuned to work well. Cheap online prices. My experience was not good.
It is obvious to me that machines of essentially this same design are being sold under lots of brand names, and manufactured in both China and Taiwan. Look at the various machines and judge for yourself. My Feiyue FS288 molded packing material had embossed the similar (Alphasew) PW200 straight stitch model number. The FS288 manual lists replacement parts by the same numbers as replacement parts from Sailrite. This is good, as replacement parts, manuals and other materials can be procured from Sailrite, though Sailrite clearly offers many enhancements to the machine that separate it from the other clones. The Sailrite machines are highly regarded and are apparently carefully assembled with many improvements. Best I can figure out, most (if not all) of the Sailrite parts will fit my machine. The FS288 is a Chinese machine. The assembly quality was ridiculously poor. Supposedly (info gleaned on the web) the Taiwanese machines are better, but also more expensive. I think that the more expensive Consew, Reliable and Sailrite machines are made in Taiwan. The Sailrite may be assembled or modified in the US (again, potentially unreliable info from the web). Feiyue and I think Alphasew and some others are Chinese. My machine arrived in poor condition with clearly malformed and loose pieces. Feiyue was quick to contact me and arranged for pickup of my mail order machine. They replaced several parts including the motor and adjusted the machine to sew well. Unfortunately when they shipped it back to me, it was was dropped or otherwise struck, cracking a cast metal cover (cosmetic) and damaging the bobbin winder. Feiyue was unwilling to make good on these repairs until they settled a claim with their shipper. I gave up on Feiyue. Fortunately the needed parts were available elsewhere, and I made my own repairs. My machine now works fine, due to the tune-up by Feiyue's CA based technicians. I assume it is functionally the equal of all but the Sailrite machine, as the Sailrite machine has some really nice enhancements. In retrospect, I now understand why Sailrite charges so much more for their machines, as their machines are apparently of both good quality and have some nice modifications. That said it seems that with careful adjustment by Feiyue's technicians, these FS288 machines sew well. Too bad that they shipped mine so poorly assembled. In the end, I am happy with this machine, but it was not worth the aggravation and I would not do business with Feiyue again. If I was to do it all over again, I would buy a Taiwanese clone or the similar, but better, Sailrite machine.
Recommend this product?
PS. I was asked to comment on features: This machine is intended for sewing heavy fabric and is capable of long stitches. Uses might include upholstery, canvas, sails, vinyl and even stiffer leather, as in a thin belt (or a work shoe upper) a pinch. It only offers straight and zig zag stitches and does not have a free arm. The big advantage of this type of machine is not the punch through power, but the ability to feed heavy and/or slippery projects without slippage, enabling even consistent stitches with heavy V69 or V92 thread in heavy material. By contrast, my 15 yr old Costco purchased Brother machine punched through the fabric almost as well, but it could not feed the fabric without substantial pulling on my part, which caused very uneven stitches, missed stitches and very frequent tangles. Although I am sure the FS288 would work for general sewing, it is going to be awkward for finer work. It is well suited for occasional sail, canvas, and vinyl sewing with heavy thread.
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