The answer to what is a low shank sewing machine will depend on the rod between the presser foot and attachment screw. This article will discuss in complete detail what makes a sewing machine low shank. We’ll also compare it to a high shank sewing machine to ensure that you won’t get confused between both types.
We recommend that you browse our blog for more sewing machine-related articles. For example, it will benefit you to know how a sewing machine works to understand further what a low shank sewing machine is.
Understanding What Is A Low Shank Sewing Machine
A sewing machine with a small rod between the presser foot and attachment screw is a low shank sewing machine. This rod is also the shank of the sewing machine, hence the name, low shank. The primary use of the shank is to hold the presser foot; therefore, low shank sewing machines will have a small distance between the presser foot and attachment screw, typically at only ¾ inch.
What can you do with a low shank sewing machine
The smaller rod in the low shank sewing machine gives multiple foot options for various projects. This versatility makes a low shank sewing machine beginner-friendly since you can practice different techniques with it. Here are the sewing feet you can use with a low shank sewing machine and their expected purpose:
- Keep the buttonhole size consistent throughout sewing
- Sew zippers for a neat and functional finish
- Sew tough fabrics like denim
- Create professional-looking hemlines on clothing
- Sew fine and tight stitches
- Create piping on clothing
How To Tell If A Sewing Machine Is Low Shank?
- Lower your presser foot into the down position
- Measure the distance from the center of the presser foot holder screw and machine bed
- The resulting length should be half an inch to indicate the sewing machine is a low shank sewing machine, so if it’s longer than an inch, the model is a high shank sewing machine
High Shank Vs Low Shank Sewing Machine
You can quickly distinguish a high shank from a low shank sewing machine because the shanks of the former will always measure over an inch. Furthermore, most high shank sewing machines are costly as they’re often the brand’s top-of-the-line models with fancy features and designed for industrial use. However, a low shank adapter also makes the high shank sewing machine into a low shank model for versatility.
Which Sewing Machines Are Low Shank?
Expect that low-end and typical household sewing machines are low shank while higher-end pricey models are high shank. However, note that some brands have sewing machines that you can only consider as medium shanks. You can even use an adapter shank with some models to make them compatible with presser foot types from another brand.
Are Singer sewing machines low shank?
Singer has low shank sewing machine models, and they even offer various low shank presser feet to go with them. However, the brand also has high shank and slanted shank sewing machines, so they are not limited to only low shank models.
Are Brother sewing machines low shank or high shank?
Brother has high shank sewing machines, but you’ll find most models in the market as low shank. This shouldn’t be surprising considering Brother sewing machines are famous for household use.
Are Pfaff sewing machines low or high shank?
You can check your specific Pfaff sewing machine to identify if it’s low or high shank. However, it can be complicated because some consider them as medium and neither high nor low shank.
Are Kenmore sewing machines low shank?
Like other sewing machine brands, you’ll find various shanks types for Kenmore sewing machines. For the low shank Kenmore sewing machines, you can select between top-loading and front-loading.
Are Husqvarna sewing machines low shank?
Husqvarna makes both high shank and low shank sewing machines. They even have slant-style ones similar to slanted models from Singer.
Are Janome sewing machines low shank?
Janome makes high shank and low shank sewing machines. Their high shank models are often the embroidery machines, while most quilting machines are low shank.
How Do I Know If I Need A High Shank Or Low Shank Sewing Machine?
- Get a low shank sewing machine if you’re only expecting domestic usage for the machine, while you’ll need a high shank sewing machine for commercial use
- A low shank sewing machine will suffice for most projects because you can use various presser foot type, but some high shank models have features for more challenging projects
- You can convert a high shank sewing machine into a low shank sewing machine with an adapter, so you don’t need to buy both types
- Low shank sewing machines are ideal for those in a budget
And that’s it! To recap what is a low shank sewing machine, it simply means that the model’s rod that holds the presser foot is smaller. It is also the most common type for household machines, so expect them to cost cheaper than high shank models.
We hope you learned a lot from this read, and feel free to check this guide on how to set up a sewing machine as well. This way, you’ll be familiarized with each part of the machine.