What Does The Foot Pedal Do On A Sewing Machine

Sewing is amazing art that requires a focus of mind and control on speed. However, if you’re determined enough to sew, you will only have to learn how to control your speed. Unlike other devices, a sewing machine offers you control of the speed of your sewing stitches on foot.

The foot pedal helps you to determine how fast or slow the stitches will be implemented on the fabric. Then, you can press the pedal to make the stitches. If you press the pedal hard and fast, your sewing needle will work quicker and vice-versa.

It’s crucial to learn everything about a foot pedal for better usability and utilization. In this article, you will learn every detail about a sewing machine foot pedal: how it works, what its benefits are, why you choose them, etc.

So, let’s explore all the necessary details about the foot pedal on your sewing machine.

What Does The Foot Pedal Do On A Sewing Machine?

With the rapid technological advancement in the sewing industry, the foot pedal has become an essential accessory of sewing machines. If you use this electrical device, then controlling your sewing machine’s speed will be no hassle. 

Your foot pedal plays a vital role in your sewing projects as it determines the speed of the machine. Unlike the computerized sewing machine that automatically adjusts the speed, your regular or manual machine will require a foot pedal.

Whether you want slow stitches for your expensive fabric projects or fast stitches for a straight seam line, using a foot pedal will be a big rescue. You have to rest your foot and give pressure according to the need of your hemming projects.

So, let’s check the in-depth functions of the foot pedal for your better understanding.

Functioning Of The Foot Pedal On A Sewing Machine

Although most of the foot pedals have the same functions, there are some variances for different models of sewing machines. For instance, if you press the foot pedal, the metal wedge also presses the plate down. In addition, it compresses the graphite-type wafers into the rheostat, which is a part of the foot pedal.

1. The foot pedal of your sewing machine determines the control of speed, just like the gas pedal on your car. So, you must know that the foot pedal functions on a simple mechanism and accessories. Here’s how you can expect the functioning of your foot pedal.

2. The more pressure you apply, the more your pedal will go down. The higher compression will boost the device’s speed as wafers will effectively reduce the rheostat’s resistance. Moreover, higher compression also enhances the functioning of the motor.

3. If you want to acknowledge the speed, you can try using the foot pedal barefoot. You have to keep your heel on the floor and ball foot on the foot pedal. The more you press down, the faster the machine works. In contrast, the slower you press the pedal, the slower the machine will work.

4. If you press down on the movable plate, then the interior parts of your foot pedal draw the electrical connection to run your machine. Moreover, the foot pedal has some wires that enable power flow without any obstructions. So, if your movable plate hits the metal switch underneath it, you can sew. 

How to Adjust Your Sewing Machine Foot Pedal?

All sewing machine foot pedals work with the same parts and mechanism. However, you may need to make adjustments to this device for its better functioning. So, look out for these few basic adjustments on your foot pedal to enhance its efficiency.

Lubricating Your Foot Pedal

First, if you want any adjustments to be made to your foot pedal, you’ll have to lubricate the device. Lubricating your foot pedal will improve its efficiency and get you a stronghold on controlling the speed. 

If you want to lubricate all the parts of your foot pedal, you have to remove its cover. However, the interior metal of your foot pedal is prone to corrosion and friction, so lubricate them enough. This simple adjustment with two drops of lubricant oil can make your foot pedal work better. 

Opening The Foot Pedal 

For further adjustments, you will have to open your foot pedal. Moreover, if you have a broken or damaged case cover, you will need to open and fix it. If the damage is too severe, you may need to replace them too.

You can use a screwdriver to open the foot pedal and proceed to the next steps of adjustment.

Using Screwdriver To Realign Contact Points

Now, for better adjustment, you’ve to realign the contact points of your foot pedal. Use a screwdriver to realign contact points so that less power transmits from the foot pedal to the machine. This lack of power transmission will help you to slow down the machine.

However, if you want faster results from your machine, you can reverse the process. You have to realign to the larger contact points to add more power transmission. But, these adjustments are different in cases of modern foot pedals with circuit boards.

Speed Adjustment Circuit Board

Many modern machines have foot pedals that are controlled by a circuit board. If there is no speed adjustment feature, you cannot adjust these foot pedals on your own. For example, a brother sewing machine has a non-adjustable foot pedal circuit board.

In such cases, you will have to take help from a professional serviceman. They have the expertise to open such a foot pedal and make changes on the circuit board. Then, you can easily disassemble your foot pedal and take it to your service store.

Why Do You Need A Foot Pedal For Your Sewing Project?

There are several reasons why you must choose a foot pedal for your sewing projects. So, check them out.

Enhanced User-Control Ability

You will get the advantage of complete control over the speed of your sewing machine with a foot pedal. As soon as you stop pressing the pedal, the needle stops functioning. However, if you’re using an electrical sewing machine, your needle will stop after a few seconds. This is because there will be some leftover energy in the wires.

Relaxing Sewing Experience

The spin cycle of your sewing machine through the foot pedal gives a soothing rhythmic hum sound. This sound sets your mind at ease and lets you relieve stress and worries. This beneficial relaxation helps you to focus better on your sewing projects and get efficient results.

Low Maintenance Requirement

 The modern and old sewing machine foot pedal offers you a low maintenance cost and requirement. If you take care of your foot pedal properly, they will endure their best performance for a long time.

Whether it’s a wiring issue or a capacitor problem, you can fix them easily and effectively at a cheap cost. So, using a foot pedal will be a cost-effective decision for you.

Enhances Your Health And Sewing Experience

Sewing projects with a foot pedal help you to burn down your calories and tone up your leg muscles. In addition, it helps you to enhance the better coordination of your mind and enables an exceptional sewing experience.

How To Test Your Sewing Machine Foot Pedal?

If you want to check your sewing machine foot pedal, then using a tester will be the best choice. You can use a tester that efficiently monitors the electrical connections, Ohms, and so on. For example, you can use one of these types of tester: circuit tester, continuity tester, resistance tester, or TVOM. Here are a few ways you can use a tester to test your foot pedal.

1. Firstly, you have to set your tester into test resistance in ohms. Then, you have to place the probes of the tester on the right wires.

2. So, now press down on your foot pedal and check for the results registered on your meter. If your results are okay, then your foot pedal has no technical issues.

3. If not, you will have to check for the connections of your foot pedal prior to contacting a service member.

4. If your probes are off a little or there’s a loose connection, you can fix it on your own. If still, the meter results are not positive, you can call for professional help.

How Does Your Sewing Machine Walking Foot Work?

You may know the term walking foot as the sewing machine foot. This foot helps to distribute the layers of fabric evenly and enhances your quilting or sewing results.

The walking foot helps to grip hold on the fabric’s top layer and further moves it beneath the needle. In addition, the movement of the fabric under the needle takes place at the same speed as the movement of the machine’s feed dogs towards the fabric’s bottom  layers.

Why Does Your Foot Pedal Not Work?

There can be several reasons that can cause your foot pedal to stop working. For instance, your faulty foot pedal with locked drive gears can stop the functioning of its needles.

If you have a wiring failure or loose connection, your machine cannot draw power from the pedal and not work. In addition, a bad drive motor or broken wires, or failed capacitor can also affect the working of your sewing machine foot pedal.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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