Why Choose an Ultrafeed®?

Item # X-HT-300330

We get this question a lot. There are several semi-industrial, walking foot sewing machines on the market, and you may be thinking, “What’s so special about the Ultrafeed®?” The short answer is: The Ultrafeed is unique with top-of-the-line features that are offered exclusively by Sailrite®. These features, combined with the assembly process at our Indiana facility and the best customer support in the industry, make Ultrafeed machines more custom-made rather than mass-produced. From the moment you unbox the machine, you’ll notice its solid design and superior quality. Keep reading to learn more about Sailrite’s flagship product.

Sailrite Ultrafeed Sewing Machine LS and LSZ

The Secret to the Ultrafeed's Success

Let’s talk about proprietary technology. Ultrafeed® machines have components that are exclusive to Sailrite® (Patents #6499415 and #7438009). The design objective for the Ultrafeed brand started with a few simple goals. Sailrite wanted to develop a sewing machine that could feed fabric extremely well (thus the name), and it had to have the power and durability to penetrate heavy fabric assemblies consistently. It needed to produce the long stitch lengths that are common for sewing outdoor canvas, and it needed to be portable. Basically, we needed to create a portable, heavy-duty walking foot sewing machine — and we succeeded! Both the LS and LSZ Ultrafeed Sewing Machines deliver what we set out to achieve. The LSZ version carries the further distinction of being the first machine of its kind to offer zigzag and straight stitch sewing capabilities with a walking foot in a portable package.

WorkerB® Power Pack Motor System

In 2021, we introduced the revolutionary WorkerB Power Pack motor system. It now comes standard on all Ultrafeed machines. With this 1/4 horsepower motor, the Ultrafeed delivers 2.5 times the power of other portable machines. The WorkerB brings unparalleled power and control to the Ultrafeed — without losing any portability.

Why the need for a new motor? We wanted the Ultrafeed to have even more speed control than ever before. The power-boosting control box maintains control and consistent speed even when sewing through thick assemblies. This means that when you sew through incredibly thick or dense material, the control box routes more power to the motor so the machine doesn’t slow down or lose control. The variable speed control dial allows you to easily adjust the maximum operation speed to your comfort level without losing any power. This setup is truly an industry game changer, and it can only be found on Ultrafeed Sewing Machines.

Sailrite WorkerB Power Pack Motor System on the Ultrafeed LS Sewing Machine
The WorkerB Power Pack sews as slow as 1 stitch per second up to 550 stitches per minute.

Intuitive Machine Protection

A major piece of sewing machine innovation that is only found on Sailrite sewing machines is the Posi-Pin® Safety Shear. Patented by Sailrite (Patent #7438009), the Posi-Pin is a sacrificial external pin designed to protect the Ultrafeed's internal components from damage when a crash or bind occurs. When you hit something you shouldn’t while sewing, the Posi-Pin will break at its shear point and the machine will stop operating to prevent potential damage and timing issues. Simply replace the pin, check the cap spring for damage, install a new needle and get back to sewing with no retiming or tuning required. Instead of spending hours trying to fix and retime your machine, the Posi-Pin makes it easy and stress-free to get your Ultrafeed back up and running.

Another bonus of the Posi-Pin is that it makes bobbin winding fast and easy without repetitively punching the needle through the same spot in the fabric. With the Posi-Pin, it’s as simple as pulling out the pin to disengage the balance wheel, and then using your foot control to wind the bobbin without the needle moving up and down.

Easy Stitch Length Adjustment

The EZ Set™ Stitch Length Plate (Patent #6499415, Claim 20) enables Ultrafeed machines to sew longer stitches and allows for better control of forward and reverse operation. Two thumbscrews enable you to restrict and set your stitch length in forward and reverse quickly and easily. The lever can then move freely between the posts, but not beyond them, ensuring a consistent stitch length every time. The spring-loaded lever will automatically return to its forward position when released for easier bar-tacking. The Ultrafeed claims a true 6mm stitch length, the longest in its class.

Superior Balance Wheels

All balance wheels compatible with the Ultrafeed are proprietary to Sailrite. The WorkerB® Balance Wheel comes standard on Ultrafeed machines (officially debuted in 2023). This oversized balance wheel has a large outer diameter but is smaller at the belt track. This contributes to the stitch-by-stitch control and powerful torque that the machine is famous for. The Monster II Balance Wheel is an upgrade made from 7 pounds of nickel-plated steel. It provides a quieter sewing experience, and its weight and balance create enough momentum that you can use the hand crank to sew even heavy fabrics effortlessly without electricity.

Uncompromising Quality

When it comes to a quality sewing machine, the body casting is the most important and fundamental element. The casting is the foundation of the machine. If the casting on a sewing machine is poorly made, it can cause irreparable damage to the other parts. Internal components will begin failing, leading to a domino effect of other problems, ultimately resulting in an unusable machine.

The casting of Ultrafeed® Sewing Machines is exceptional in every way. The casting molds, along with all other internal component molds, were remanufactured by Sailrite® to produce a more robust bed and arm. Our molds are used exclusively for Sailrite machine production, guaranteeing quality stitching and long machine life.

Ultrafeed sewing machine improved cast iron body
The top photo is a pre-2007 casting. You can clearly see the improvements and consistency in the casting borings in the bottom photo.
Sailrite Ultrafeed sewing machine casting improvements
Stronger, more robust feet are seen in the photo on the right.

Improving the primary cast components of the machine is just one way that Sailrite shows commitment to continuous product improvement. Our Ultrafeed cast-iron bodies are very thick in critical areas and made of high-quality metal. If you cut into our casting, you’ll see solid metal with no visible air bubbles. And if you lay our machine on its side and inspect the feet and shaft bores, you’ll see that all shafts are properly supported and centered in the cast-iron appendages. Weak appendages can break, but that will not happen to an Ultrafeed.

Upgrades to the 2023 Ultrafeed:

  • WorkerB Power Pack standard on all machines.
  • Integrated LED light.
  • Industrial Carrying Case standard on all machines.
  • Easy Swap Hinge Set
  • Posi-Pin Safety Shear standard on all machines.
  • Many internal component updates and improvements.
  • Updated nameplate.

Notable Interior & Exterior Components

The Ultrafeed® is built tough — inside and out. The following special design considerations and innovative parts set the Ultrafeed apart from similar machines on the market.

Ultrafeed sewing machine components
A sampling of interior and exterior components on the Ultrafeed Sewing Machine.
  • The Ultrafeed needle crank arm is designed to increase the needle bar stroke. This enables sewing thicker fabric assemblies with greater accuracy — no skipped stitches. This innovation is patented (Patent #6499415, Claim 19).
  • The oscillating shaft, made exclusively for Sailrite, features thicker, more substantial forks than your average machine’s oscillating shaft to eliminate breakage. This makes the machine more resilient to user mistakes.
  • Our technicians set an industry-leading 3/8-inch clearance under the raised presser foot so you can fit extremely thick material layers under the foot.
  • Our mechanical walking presser feet are proprietary to the Ultrafeed and we’ve spent a lot of time engineering them (Patent #6499415, Claim 16) to ensure they are able to climb up fabric thicknesses with ease. This walking foot design eliminates uneven feeding and reduces fabric puckering.
  • The outside presser foot and feed dog are designed with defined teeth that provide a firm grip and prevent the material from slipping while sewing.
  • The large range of movement in the foot pedal provides unrivaled slow-speed acceleration.
  • The take-up arm guard is a safety measure that is not required in the United States, but which we have incorporated on all our models, both North American and international. It prevents fingers from being pinched by the take-up arm of the machine.
Photo of the shuttle race slide for the Ultrafeed.
The shuttle race slide (aka hook basket) is designed with precision in mind, allowing the gib hook to oscillate smoothly. This reduces friction on thread during stitch formation and allows for use of heavy thread up to size V-92 (Tex 90).

Sewing Capabilities

Here at Sailrite®, we always say if you can fit it under the foot, the Ultrafeed® Sewing Machine can likely sew it! The incredible capabilities of the Ultrafeed make it an essential machine for both beginners and professionals. It’s easy to use with straightforward controls and is built to perform.

The Ultrafeed breezes through materials such as denim, sailcloth, heavy canvas, upholstery fabrics, vinyl, webbing, soft leather, window material, curtain fabrics, Sew Foam and more. The Ultrafeed is designed to power through just about anything you can throw at it. With proper tensioning, you can also sew home fabrics such as light cotton and polyester. For sewing silk satin, we have special delicate feet and feed dog options that won’t mar or damage your fabric. Though the Ultrafeed can sew these superlight materials, when properly adjusted, it is not the best option given the walking foot and large needle plate opening.

There are two Ultrafeed machines to choose from. Our red LS model performs a straight stitch while our blue LSZ model does both a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. Most sewing projects, including upholstery, home décor, canvaswork and awnings, only require a straight stitch. The zigzag stitch is commonly used for sail construction and repair and for some home sewing. We recommend the LSZ machine if you have a sailboat, so you’ll have the zigzag capability should you ever need it.

Who Is the Ultrafeed For?

  • Canvasworkers
  • Upholsterers
  • Sailors
  • Leatherworkers
  • Hobby and home sewers
  • Bag makers
  • Clothing makers
  • Cosplayers
  • And more!

Our Assembly Process

Every Ultrafeed® is assembled, fine-tuned and calibrated at our Indiana manufacturing facility. As soon as we receive the head casting and other key components from our manufacturing partners, our technicians get to work preparing the machines for our customers. The process starts with a roughly assembled head casting. In Sewing Room 1, the technicians build the machines, adding components like the EZ Set™ Stitch Length Plate, the WorkerB® Power Pack and Balance Wheel. Each Ultrafeed component is manufactured by partners exclusively for Sailrite. At this stage, the machines are also evaluated for smoothness of rotation. Every machine must turn over freely and have feet that walk smoothly during operation. It’s here that the polishing of shafts and forks is manually done to ensure quality.

In Sewing Room 2, technicians begin the fine-tuning process, calibrating every machine to our exact specifications. Each machine is sewn-off in a variety of materials and assembly thicknesses. This is a pass or fail test, and only machines that pass the test make it to the packaging room. If something seems suspect on the machine or it does not perform to our very high expectations, it is moved back in the process for correction(s) before it’s timed and tuned again for sewing.

Our assembly and quality control process ensures that Sailrite machines function to their highest capabilities. At Sailrite, we make sure that every machine not only sews but that it’s performing perfectly before it leaves our facility. We put in the time and effort so that you have little setup on your end. We want you to start sewing and enjoying your machine as soon as possible.

Service & Support

If all the information above hasn’t sold you on why Ultrafeed® Sewing Machines are the best portable, walking foot sewing machines in the industry, you should know that our dedication to our customers is unparalleled. When we build a machine at our Indiana manufacturing facility, we follow a standard procedure so that our Chief Technical Advisor knows the quality of every Ultrafeed that ships to our customers. In fact, every Ultrafeed is thoroughly examined and signed off by one of our senior technicians who has worked in our sewing department for at least six years and has passed a rigorous training program. There’s even a hang tag on every machine with a handwritten signature of the technician who personally built your machine.

The Ultrafeed includes a comprehensive, in-depth guidebook. This thorough, extremely detailed manual contains all the setup and maintenance information you need, from threading and needle installation instructions to oiling and troubleshooting. We also provide dozens of free online videos to help you with setup and use. Not only do we have free online videos, but we also keep a library of support videos should you need more one-on-one assistance. Call or email us with any issue and we’ll start a support case for you. Ultrafeed Sewing Machines come with a five-year limited warranty (as of January 2023), and we keep all Ultrafeed replacement parts in stock and ready to ship should you ever need them.

Ultrafeed Sewing Machines have dominated the marketplace of portable heavy-duty walking foot sewing machines for over 20 years. They're extremely high quality, utilize proprietary technology and are supported by Sailrite — a company with a long history of equipping DIY enthusiasts to sew. When you buy an Ultrafeed, you don’t just get a sewing machine, you become part of the Sailrite community.

Sailrite Ultrafeed Portable Heavy Duty Walking Foot Sewing Machine

Footnote:

This blog was updated in January 2023 to reflect the latest Ultrafeed package changes.