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!