Thanks to the advancements in technology in recent years, sewing machines have come a long way. However, there is only a certain amount of technology that can be installed on a sewing machine while the rest relies on good mechanics. If you’re currently in the market for a new machine, you will know just how many choices there are and it can be hard to know which to choose.
Today, we have a review of the Sailrite Fabricator model which we have been testing for the past couple of weeks. After taking you through the main features, we will go through the benefits and drawbacks and by the end you should be in a great position to decide whether this model is for you or not!
First and foremost, this is a full-size industrial sewing machine boasting a walking foot. Priced at $1,400, it certainly isn’t the most expensive model you will find but it also avoids being the cheapest which could prove to be important (we will discuss this a little later). With Sailrite’s Servo Motor included, the company promises an experience full of control even when sewing through thick materials. Even from a complete stop, the manufacturers say that the high torque motor will push through thick layers of fabric at any speed.
After this, the foot lift reaches 9/16” to allow thicker materials underneath and you can wind bobbins as you continue to sew with the attached bobbin winder. Finally, we should also mention the Posi-Pin clutching system which transfers power from the balance wheel to the needle and this feature is actually patented which means you won’t find it anywhere else.
As you can see, Sailrite certainly promises a lot but can they deliver? As mentioned, we have been using the model for around two weeks so we have gotten to know the ins and outs of the machine; with this in mind, let’s find out!
When the package arrived, it came in four separate boxes which is something you should consider when ordering. For us, the postage cost around $115 which we didn’t think was too bad considering the four packages and the sheer weight of everything together. After we started unpacking, it was easy to notice the quality of the machine. Even before everything was put together and in position, we could tell that Sailrite aims to impress by including quit a few extra items we didn’t know were included.
Once everything was ready, it was time to test and we tried to stay neutral in our opinion for a few days after arrival just so we could build the most accurate review possible. As soon as we felt comfortable, we thought it was time for the first test and what better way to throw a sewing machine in the deep end than to test just how thick of a material this machine will sew.
At first, we weren’t quite sure how to test the strength of the machine because we wanted to make it fair as well as accurate. Ultimately, we decided to start with one layer of vinyl before then adding more and more as we continued. Comfortably, the machine got to seven layers so we decided to add two layers of half-inch scrim foam. As the machine continued to stay strong, we were already surprised. By the end of the test, we had nine layers of vinyl and two pieces of half-inch scrim foam before we started to feel the machine struggle. Although it was still going, you could tell it was putting in more effort to get the job done and we decided to end the test there.
In upholstery, we would never have a need to sew anything this thick so we were surprised and amazed at the results. For a model that only cost $1,400, we didn’t expect it to be so strong and even at the end we felt as though it wasn’t the motor causing the problems. With the many layers in place, the motor was still powerful and we thought it was probably the thickness of the materials preventing further progress.
All things considered, this isn’t the best machine on the market but the Sailrite model doesn’t make any such claims. Instead, it is a nice machine that will meet your needs with ease. If you sew regularly with various different materials, we highly suggest the Sailrite Fabricator Sewing Machine and here’s for why.
Over the course of two weeks, we found a number of good points to discuss about the model but we will start with what we think is the biggest benefit of choosing this particular machine.
Superb Control – When deciding on a sewing machine, control is a huge factor because it will impact your experience. With this machine, we found the control to be nothing short of amazing. Not only does it have speed when required, it slows right down perhaps slower than any other machine we have seen. With this ability in your locker, it will help you stay in control of the machine on those difficult parts of projects that can sometimes cause major headaches.
Perfect for Beginners – Even if you have never used a sewing machine before, we believe this model to be a perfect starting point. Normally, we will recommend a cheaper model to get started but there are a couple of reasons why the Sailrite machine is perfect. First, the aforementioned control means that you can get used to the foot pedal and how far you need to push down extremely fast. Second, the machine offers some really great extras that are easy to dismiss or overlook. For example, the ingrained needle plate has measurements so you don’t need to mess around with a tape measure. Additionally, the machine is self-oiling.
Self-Oiling – Underneath the actual unit, you will find an oil reserve and this is fantastic news for those who forget to oil regularly or don’t want the hassle of constantly oiling. With this reserve in place, you can save time and get going immediately and sewing becomes less of a chore. Of course, you will still need to oil from time to time but the oil reserve makes this task less frequent and it makes it ok if you forget every now and then.
Foot-Tension Disc Interaction – Next, We like that when you lift the foot, the tension discs will loosen which offers a little slack. Rather than awkwardly trying to relieve some tension by pulling, the raised foot loosens the tension making the whole process easier. It is little things like this that make the sewing experience much easier.
Interesting Tooth Belt – With most sewing machines, the belt will be similar to the one you find in a car. However, the Sailrite Fabricator machine has something we have never seen before; a tooth belt. Running from the machine to the motor, the belt is a vital cog in the sewing machine wheel and we believe it helped when sewing at slower speeds. With some models, the machine can slip when running at slower speeds but this just didn’t happen with our tests and we think the belt is to thank for this.
Helpful Pin – As we head towards the last couple of benefits, they don’t get any less useful as this one is a pin you can remove when winding the bobbin. Essentially, this action will disengage the motor which means that nothing will happen even if you put your foot on the pedal accidentally. Just as we saw before, this is patented meaning you will only find this feature on Sailrite models.
All-Round Help – With all of these benefits in mind, it is a superb model for beginners at part time trimmers. You will appreciate just how easy the machine is to use as well as the extensive starting manual that comes with the product. Normally, sewing machine manuals are less valuable than the paper they’re written on with black and white pictures and a lack of help. With this product, the manual is full of pictures and provides genuinely useful advice.
On the flip side, not everything can be perfect and we did spot a couple of problems during our time with the machine. Although they aren’t groundbreaking, they may affect your purchasing decision. This being said, we did manage to find easy fixes to all three problems we will discuss.
Peeling Sticker – On the side of the table, you will find a measurement sticker to help when measuring fabric and various other tasks. After just a few short days, this sticker started to peel and it made the whole product look worn despite its young age. However, we never really use this sticker so our solution was to take it off and forget about it. If you like this yard ruler in place, we contacted the manufacturer and they were more than happy to send a replacement sticker so this should also be available to you.
Wobbly Table – Next up, we noticed that one of the cross joints only had one bolt. Even when putting it together, we noticed that this might be a problem and our fears were confirmed when the table wobbled from left to right. Luckily, this isn’t a huge problem for two reasons; one, left to right movements are less common than front to back when sewing. Two, if the problem becomes frustrating there is enough room to drill a second bolt to match the various other models with two bolts at this intersection.
Access Cover Problems – Finally, we also had issues opening and closing the access cover for the bobbin. Of everything we have praised on this fantastic machine, this is one area where the design is a little poor and could be improved. When sliding the cover back and forth, it gets caught and you have to tilt the machine in order to open it smoothly. For us, we are planning on raising the rubber feet a little and this should free the access cover and allow it to open easily.
As you can see, all three of the problems are fixable but they are still important to know for your buying decision.
For the trimmers out there just starting out or partaking in upholstery part-time, we believe this would be a superb option for you. However, as good as the machine is, if you are a professional sewing every single day. We recommend looking to the more expensive end of the market and making a bigger investment in your profession.
There we have it, your complete review to the Sailrite Fabricator Sewing Machine. Ultimately, we were impressed and we can’t wait to keep using it and getting to know its limits. Above all else, the control is amazing and this allows for accurate sewing on various projects. If this machine fits your budget and you are in the market for a new sewing machine this year, you will surely be happy with this Sailrite model!