How to Tell the Shank Type of a Sewing Machine?

First, remove the shank or foot from your machine. When the machine is in the foot-down position, measure from the center of the screw hole to the needle bed of the machine. If the measured length is half an inch or less, your sewing machine is a low-shank machine. If the measured length is one inch or more, your sewing machine is a high-shank machine. If the measured length is between half an inch and one inch, your sewing machine is a mid-shank machine.

That’s not all. To know more related information about telling the Shank Type of Sewing Machines, stick with the whole article. 

Types Of Shanks In Sewing Machine?

There are three types of shanks on sewing machines: flat, slant, and high. Each has a specific function and helps the sewer to achieve a particular type of stitch. The following guide will help you to identify which type of shank your sewing machine has.

Flat Shank:

Most home sewing machines have a flat shank. This means that the needle is perpendicular to the machine’s resting surface. Flat shank machines are suitable for most types of stitching, including straight, zigzag, and decorative stitches.

Slant Shank:

Slant shank machines are less common than flat shank machines, but they are still widely available. When resting on a slant shank machine, the needle is at a slight angle to the machine’s surface. This angle helps the sewer to create delicate decorative stitches.

High Shank:

High shank machines are less common than flat and slant-shank machines. When resting on a high-shank machine, the needle is positioned higher above the machine’s surface. This position helps the sewer to create heavier stitches, such as those used in quilting.

Low Shank:

Low-shank sewing machines have a metal shank that connects the presser foot to the sewing machine. It measures 0.75 inches or less from the screw to the bottom of the foot. 

The height of the shank determines how thick the fabric can be under the presser foot. Cotton, linen, and synthetic fabrics are well-suited to low shank machines.

For most household sewing machines, the shank is of low height. 

How to Measure Your Sewing Machine Shank

To determine the type of sewing machine shank you have, follow these steps:

  • First, place your presser foot in the down position.
  • Then, measure from the bed of the machine to the center of the thumb screw, which holds the presser foot in place.
  • If the distance from the bottom of the presser foot to the center of the screw is half an inch or less, your sewing machine is a low-shank machine.

If you plan to use rulers for quilting, it’s essential to know whether your machine is a high or low shank machine. To find out, follow these additional steps:

  • Measure from the center of the screw hole to the needle bed of the machine with the presser foot in the down position.
  • If the shank measures 0.75 inches or less from the screw to the bottom of the foot, it is a low shank machine.

Examine the Needle Bar

The first thing you need to do is locate the needle bar. This part of the sewing machine moves the needle up and down. Once you have located the needle bar, look at how it’s attached to the machine. You have a flat shank machine if it’s attached with a screw. You have a slant shank machine if it’s attached to a tension disc or lever.

Check the Needle Plate

The easiest way to identify the shank type of your sewing machine is to look at the needle plate, which is the metal plate that covers the opening in the throat plate through which the needle protrudes. The needle plate will have a slot for the needle and two prongs that fit into corresponding holes in the shank of the needle. These prongs keep the needle from moving side to side as it sews.

If the needle plate slot is straight, you have a flat shank needle. If the slot is curved, then you have a round shank needle. It’s that simple!

Look at the Bobbin Case

One way to tell the shank type of a sewing machine is to look at its bobbin case. If the machine uses a class 15 bobbin, it is a low-shank machine. Class 66 and 100 bobbins are only used in high-shank machines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to Know If My Sewing Machine Is High Shank or Low Shank?

By measuring the distance between the bottom of the presser foot and the screw-hole on the presser bar, you can distinguish between low and high-shank machines. Low-shank sewing machines have a length of half an inch or less. A high-shank sewing machine has a length greater than one inch. 

Are Singer Sewing Machines High or Low Shank?

Singer sewing machines can be either high-shank or low-shank, depending on the model. To determine whether your Singer sewing machine is a high or low shank. Measure from the bottom of the presser foot to the center of the thumbscrew to find that out.

Are Brother Machines High Shank or Low Shank?

The majority of Brother sewing machines are low-shank machines. Brother tends to manufacture household sewing machines. Those are designed for general sewing tasks and can handle common fabrics like cotton, linen, and synthetics.

What Defines A Low-Shank Sewing Machine?

A low-shank sewing machine is characterized by the dimensions of its shank. That is the metal rod connecting the presser foot to the sewing machine. In the case of a low-shank machine, the measurement from the screw to the bottom of the foot is 3/4 inch or less.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you got to know how to tell the shank type of a sewing machine

Shank type is an important feature of a sewing machine. By determining the shank type of your sewing machine, you can ensure that you are using the right presser foot, accessory, or ruler. Also, any potential damage to your machine is avoidable.

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