Pros: This is a durable machine that will go through many layers of fabric with ease
Cons: The bobbin is a bit small.
This is a great machine for anyone with a sailboat or planning on doing canvas or upholstery work. It is much more durable than the average machine. In fact, I could not find any regular machine that could sew through the layers of Sunbrella fabric that I brought along. I tried many that were more expensive.
I have sewed over eight layers of acrylic canvas and also have sewn sheeting material without making any adjustments using the machine just as it came out of the box. It did well.
I ordered the deluxe kit with the heavier case, extra needles, deluxe foot pedal, monster flywheel etc. You can buy it without these, and it probably would be fine. The monster flywheel gives you much more control over the speed. I think that is really worth getting.
If you are ordering the machine, order more needles as they are usually not found in sewing shops as they are of the industrial type. If you need to work with UV coated thread for outdoor fabric, be sure to order more as the one spool that comes with it as it does not got far. That type of thread is really hard t find unless you are in a big boating community or your local sail maker will sell you some of theirs.
This is a great heavy duty machine for the individual that is priced a lot less than an industrial machine. If you are considering it, the Sailrite web site has some basic video demonstrations that give you a better understanding of this basic straight stitch and zigzag machine. They are not as detailed as the ones that come on the CD. They also have a discussion forum on the site, if you are interested.
I had one part come in that was made improperly. I called the company, and they were apologetic and had a new one in the mail the next day. Later, I had a question which I emailed, since it was Sunday. I got a call on Sunday night and was walked through what I needed to know. Even more additional good information was given. One of the owners just happened to stop in that evening and checked the email. One cannot ask much more than that. They really support you and the machine.
They have been in business for a long time and are a trusted name in the niche business they have created.
Since I always prefer to deal with the original company rather than a reseller, I dealt with Sailrite. When I mentioned that another site had free shipping etc. for the holiday, they readily matched the price, only asking for the name of the site.