Author Topic: Sailrite LSZ-1: Anyone have an opinion on this portable heavy-duty machine?  (Read 8497 times)

Offline FreeLancer

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I know nothing about sewing machines, but have wanted to experiment with making/repairing outdoor gear for myself and the dogs.  I understand that stitching together heavy fabrics and webbing requires more power and durability than a home machine can typically handle, but industrial machines are very expensive and definitely not portable or compactly stored.

I've looked at the Sailrite LSZ-1 online and it seems like it should do what I need, but still costs quite a bit of money at $900.  It is marketed to sailors who need a portable machine that is easy to use and strong enough for sail and upholstery repairs while on cruises.  From my web research it appears that everyone who has owned one feels the money was well spent and that Sailrite's customer support is what really sets them apart from cheaper look-alikes or used home machines. 

Here's a link to Sailrite's page with description and video demos:  http://www.sailrite.com/Ultrafeed-LSZ-1-Walking-Foot-Sewing-Machine

Thanks for any input any of you might have on this machine.

Offline LJH

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Re: Sailrite LSZ-1: Anyone have an opinion on this portable heavy-duty machine?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 07:28:52 PM »
It's a GREAT little machine! Tough as nails and basic as they come = aside from the motor, 100% mechanical, meaning if, however unlikely, if a part breaks it can be easily changed out. Another plus is they come with a hand crank for the flywheel. If the electricity goes out you can still sew if need be.

I sew and quilt for a living and have 7 sewing machines for different applications. I don't use Sally (my LSZ-1) very often but for stuff like horse blankets, leather, heavy upholstry fabrics, etc. she rules. Sailrite has great customer service too.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Sailrite LSZ-1: Anyone have an opinion on this portable heavy-duty machine?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 08:21:06 PM »
That's great LJH, a positive endorsement from a pro is always a good sign.

Do you think the zig-zag capability of the LSZ-1 is worth the extra $200 over the LS-1?  I understand that zig-zag is best for sail repair, but I'm not doing that.  Are there other uses for zig-zag capability in outdoor gear?

Offline LJH

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Re: Sailrite LSZ-1: Anyone have an opinion on this portable heavy-duty machine?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 10:12:21 PM »
Zig-zag is pretty handy for stuff like mending and making buttonholes and it's an easy way to stitch down a patch on something like a tarp or heavy blanket, particularly if you're more interested in function than appearance.

Another useful application is for bar-tacking. If you look at your Levi's belt loops, those are bar-tacked down to the waistband, making an extremely strong connection. Those are done with a dedicated bar-tack machine (that's all it does) but you can duplicate it with a zig-zag set at a short stitch length. You wouldn't do that on leather of course, those points would be reinforced with rivets.

If you can squeeze that extra $200 out of the budget I don't think you'd regret it in the long run.


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Sailrite LSZ-1: Anyone have an opinion on this portable heavy-duty machine?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 11:33:27 PM »
Zig-zag is pretty handy for stuff like mending and making buttonholes and it's an easy way to stitch down a patch on something like a tarp or heavy blanket, particularly if you're more interested in function than appearance.

Another useful application is for bar-tacking. If you look at your Levi's belt loops, those are bar-tacked down to the waistband, making an extremely strong connection. Those are done with a dedicated bar-tack machine (that's all it does) but you can duplicate it with a zig-zag set at a short stitch length. You wouldn't do that on leather of course, those points would be reinforced with rivets.

If you can squeeze that extra $200 out of the budget I don't think you'd regret it in the long run.

Thanks so much for your feedback LJH, you've been very helpful, this is just what I need to know! 

I'll get the LSZ-1 with the monster balance wheel, too.  Now I need to sell my wife on the idea.....could be tougher than talking her into a new gun.

Offline FreeLancer

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Well, it's only been a couple of years, but I finally got around to using the LSZ-1.  Sailrite's got great youtube videos on their site showing set up, troubleshooting/maintenance, and actual how-to sewing techniques.  I was expecting that a guy like me with zero experience would be facing some serious frustration getting the machine up and running properly, which is probably why I procrastinated for so long, but getting it to work after only watching a couple videos was amazingly simple.

Offline FreeLancer

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I used the machine to repair a backpack that was coming apart in a few critical places.  Worked great, even on a quarter inch thick section to secure a waist strap that was coming loose.  My wife was even impressed, a very rare thing.  And the whole thing packs into it's box and goes back to the closet in minutes. 

Offline RitaRose1945

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...even on a quarter inch thick section to secure a waist strap that was coming loose.

That IS pretty impressive!

Offline LJH

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I used the machine to repair a backpack that was coming apart in a few critical places.  Worked great, even on a quarter inch thick section to secure a waist strap that was coming loose.  My wife was even impressed, a very rare thing.  And the whole thing packs into it's box and goes back to the closet in minutes.

Very cool! I'm really glad it's working out for you. My only issue with mine is lifting the damned thing back into the closet - I weigh 100 lbs. fully dressed and I think the machine w/case weighs in around 70 lbs.  ;D

Offline FreeLancer

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Very cool! I'm really glad it's working out for you. My only issue with mine is lifting the damned thing back into the closet - I weigh 100 lbs. fully dressed and I think the machine w/case weighs in around 70 lbs.  ;D

Your endorsement was spot on. And, yes, it's a hefty chunk of metal.