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What Is A Balance Wheel In Sewing Machine? Learn Here!

Our Guide To A Sewing Machine Balance Wheel

If you’ve brought yourself a new sewing machine, you might be studying the sewing machine manual and come across the balance wheel, and wonder what does this balance wheel does on the machine?

A balance wheel in machine packages is used for rotating the upper shaft of the sewing machine in order to create stitches and have stitch control. If the balance wheel is not moved by the machine then it stops the needle going through the fabric.

In our guide below, we will discuss in more detail what a balance wheel does on a sewing machine, the main parts of a sewing machine and some tips for maintaining the essential parts of your machine.

What Does A Balance Wheel Do On A Sewing Machine? 

The remarkable balance wheel is highly important on a sewing machine to make straight stitches and stitch holes in the fabric, when not turned, any type of sewing machine will not work. 

A balance wheel is part of the machine’s packages and is turned by the belt inside of a sewing machine which is powered by the motor inside, after this transfer of power the balance wheel then moves the upper shaft inside of the sewing machine which moves the needle through the fabric. 

Larger balance wheels are often better at producing a more accurate and stable stitch on a sewing machine.

The Main Parts Of A Sewing Machine 

As we know, a balance wheel is an essential part of a sewing machines power, but what about the other parts of a sewing machine, which ones are most important? 

  • Presser foot – This is what holds the fabric under the feed dog, there are many different presser foot types according to what you sew such as a zipper foot, but the main job of all of them is to provide stability.
  • Feed dogs – Feed dogs have teeth like metal and their job is to help feed material under the needle, for regular sewing, you will need to keep it up, but for button sewing, it might need to go down.
  • Needle – The needle is the most important part for an ultimate stitch, since this is where the thread goes, you will also find a needle clamp which is what keeps it steady. 
  • Arm and bed – The arm of the sewing machine is the curved top part of the needle and the bed is your work area where the sewing projects sit.
  • Needle plate – This is the biggest plate at the bottom of the machine and it’s where it stops fabric from going down.
  • Bobbin – The bobbin winder is at the top right of your machine accompanied by the bobbin which is the low spool holding the thread and the bobbin case which gives tension to the lower thread.
  • Spool holder – Keeps the spool in place with the cap on.
  • Slide plate – The plate which covers the bobbin case, helping to remove the case while keeping the machine stable.
  • Stitch selector – This part allows you to select the type of stitch you want, whether it’s zig-zag stitches, wide stitches or embroidery stitches.
  • Reverse lever – Helps the machine to move backwards and get to any part of the project you need.

Tips For Maintaining Sewing Machine Parts 

Now we know all the main parts of a sewing machine including the important balance wheel, let’s move on to how to maintain these sewing machine parts so you can keep your machine in the best condition possible. 

  • Wipe it down after each use – After each use we suggest turning off the machine and giving it a good wipe down with a rag to remove dust, doing this over the bobbin will also help to eliminate dust build-up over time.
  • Oil when needed – If you have a type of sewing machine which needs to be oiled, make sure you do this after cleaning, just a few drops is all you need to make sure the moving parts are working well.
  • Use the right cleaning methods – Clean your machine well one part at a time to avoid confusion using brushes and cleaning alcohol, compressed air can help to budge any blocked lint. Avoid using too much water when cleaning since this could damage parts and cause them to rust.
  • Change the needle – After every eight hours or each project, it is suggested that you change the needle due to it becoming blunt, working with a blunt needle can give you missed stitches if you are not careful and pull fabric.
  • Have a professional repair – If you run into some problems with your sewing machine do not panic and try to repair it yourself, instead take the machine to a professional technician who knows this brand of sewing machine packages.
  • Keep it covered – Dust can kill a sewing machine very slowly once it makes its way into the parts, to stop lint from the thread building up inside we suggest you use a blower and dry brush to discard any after each use.
  • Do an annual service – Taking your sewing machine for annual service each year can extend its life by years, this will include things like adjusting the timing and tension.

Frequently Asked Questions About Balance Wheels & Sewing Machines

How does the balance wheel keep the needle position stable?

The balance wheel is turned by the motor on a sewing machine to move the shaft for machine operation, this in turn keeps the needle moving at a steady pace to create stitches in the material.

What is a monster wheel on a sewing machine?

This is a type of balance wheel found mostly on sailrite machines which allows you to sew without electricity via hand cranking.

Which sewing machine attachment is important?

Attachments such as a walking foot, all-purpose foot and zig-zag foot are important in a sewing machine.

Final Words

Overall, the balance wheel in a sewing machine is very important, without it, there would be no power to the needle, this is because it moves the upper shaft up and down in order to create the sewing motion.

Some other essential parts of a sewing machine are the presser foot, feed dogs, bobbin and needle, to keep parts working well we suggest following out maintenance tips above consistently.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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