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Old 02-04-2013, 05:50   #1
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Strong arm sewing machines

Has anybody out there had any experience with strong arm sewing machine are they any good for basic sail repair and canvas work ? Thanks for the feed back😊

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:19   #2
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

I haven't had any edperience with them, but you might ask on the sewing group:

Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Sewing Group. Boat canvas projects

'Tis evening on the moorland free,The starlit wave is still: Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.
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Old 17-04-2013, 04:02   #3
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

Hi Inti,
The "Strongarm" is just another rebranded Taiwanese sewing machine sold under many other brands, such as Reliable Barracuda, etc. The Sailrite. LSZ1 is also a similar machine, but has had a few "upgrades" such as a replacement drive wheel, strong wooden base,etc.

The only advantage of the Stongarm is that the motor is 220/240 volt and it comes with an Australian plug. So, I'm assuming you plan to use it in Australia or on an Australian wired boat.

I have been looking at Sailrites and other rebrands sold in Australia, such as the "Emery" model sold locally near Brisbane. My research in talking to users and reading advise on this great forum led me to regard the heavy large drive wheel option ( called "monster wheel" and various other names) as being highly desirable when sewing thick fabrics.

I found a Reliable Barracuda plus the heavy drive wheel listed on Amazon and numerous other US online stores for US$600 plus postage. All up, around A$710 delivered to my door.

I phoned the guys at Strongarm and asked them whether they were negotiable on their $800 plus $30 postage price for a similar (same?) product. They weren't. It was "take it or leave it". So, I ordered from the states. At least tried to deal with an Australian importer. It was cheaper to buy a Taiwanese sewing machine imported into the US, and all 20+ kg posted to Australa, than to buy locally by $120! I guess that I don't like the thought of being ripped off.

I have a small 240/110 volt transformer that runs the machine. These can be bought on eBay for $20.

The machine arrived on my door 8 days after I ordered it. It ran beautifully straight out of the box. It had obviously been tested at the factory as a sample was still under the presser foot.

I couldn't resist " putting it to the test" by sewing insanely thick layers of webbing. I succeeded in making the poor thing groan and eventually managed to stop it sewing. I've a talent for breaking things! I remembered that the Reliable sewing machine website had a short video on what to do if the machine won't pick up stitches. I followed the directions and readjusted the needle drive shaft that had slipped as a result of my abuse. It was easily fixed and soon I was sewing as good as new.

I'm no expert, but this machine seems to be strong, easy to operate and able to do the job. I'm happy with it. A Sailrite is probably better, because of their upgrades. Mine has a similar drive wheel, which is something that I recommend as an upgrade for any of these machines. The Strongarm importers left a bad taste in my mouth.

I hope that my rant gives you some assistance. Happy sailing and sewing!
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Old 27-04-2013, 17:59   #4
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Hi, just a belated thanks for that info, also found the Aussie importer a little hard to deal with, it gave us reservations about the machine. We maybe go your way and import, crazy but not surprising any more!
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Old 27-04-2013, 18:23   #5
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

I sure don't blame ya one bit for going out of country to buy your machine!! My old daddy always told me, ya never need to deal with an As--ole, cus theres another fella down the road that will make ya happy !! Maybe the fella that would not deal with ya will read this thread and learn a little something about customer relaitions !! LOL Hope the machine will do ya good ! we have been useing an old Singer machine for ever ! and Connies been hinting about a new machine LOL Have fun ! we like maintaining our sails and stuff ! it's fun for us ! (heck we are old and lots of stuff seems like fun LOL)
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:12   #6
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

Ursula here from Strongarm, to Inti and Tuskie, sorry we couldn't help you out more and that you had to go to the U.S. for your machine.

We understand people can now buy anywhere in the world, so we've tried to offer a product that meets the needs of Australian customers.

First and foremost is electrical safety. The 110 volt sample machine we first ordered wasn't earthed and had single layers of insulation against metal components.

We had an electrical safety compliance consultant redesign the electrics to Australian and European standards, including a new beefed up foot controller.

We also offer a no questions asked money-back guarantee and a 12 month warranty.

We'd like all our customers to be looked after, and after this feedback we'll be happy to match any genuine quote, including postage, from anywhere in the world.

All the best,

Strongarm Sewing
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Old 04-02-2014, 16:25   #7
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

I have been quoted $899USD for the Sailrite unit plus $380USD shipping to NZ, plus $192USD for GST plus another $70USD in duty. This equates to almost $1900NZD.

I have contacted the Strongarm people hoping they might supply to NZ, thinking that the shipping costs might be more reasonable (less than 50% of the purchase price!)

Another sad reminder of how isolated we are.
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Old 04-05-2015, 22:06   #8
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

All good comments particularly from Tuskie. I too am in Australia so thought I might save dollars buying a "copy Sailrite" from the Australian (agent?). Well I have never found anyone so difficult to deal with. I purchased a machine on eBay when their phone was constantly engaged or messages were not returned, then was quoted more than $80 to post to a nearby suburb. The agent would not entertain any thought of pickup or provide their address, so I thought" if they are so difficult to deal with when purchasing, how bad will they be if I have problems?" AND I noticed quite a lot of people on the forums seemed to be having problems with Strong-arm machines.

I decided I would look at the genuine article.

I was pleasantly surprised. The freight from US to Sydney was less than $150 more than Strong-arm quoted for just a few kilometres. The extras like edge binder $150 at Strongarm $70 from Sailrite, needle pack and thread $30 at Sailrite $63 at Strongarm, The carry case $160 from Strong-arm $100 from Sailrite in a pack and they threw in the LED light and a real thread holder - not the dinky plastic item from Strong-arm. AND the service - almost instant reply to emails in a polite manner not the like it or lump it attitude of Strong-arm ALL said to me who I would deal with.

But it gets even better Sailrite will ship free in the US mainland. My son goes to the States regularly, so he will bring me back my very own Sailrite. The genuine article landed here for less than a StrongArm. AND in my mind the comfort of having the real thing with no niggling doubts or thoughts about having purchased an inferior product.

AND if I ever go to sell then it is a Genuine SAILRITE.

I note that the StrongArm (Agent?) has previously made comment here about how good they are but only after a complaint has been made (Tuskie) and the purchaser gone to another supplier IMO it would be far wiser to deliver service in the first place and avoid negative comment.
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:23   #9
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Re: Strong arm sewing machines

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, janoric.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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