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Reliable 2000U-33 Barracuda Portable Zig-Zag Walking-Foot Sewing Machine

3.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
| 13 answered questions

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  • Zig-zag walking-foot sewing machine with maximum speed of 800 rpm
  • Spring-loaded reverse; oscillating shuttle hook; built-in speed reducer for higher torque
  • Piping foot, outside zipper foot, and high-lift walking foot; top and bottom feed
  • Includes foot controller and 12-1/2-by-6-inch extension table with 2 folding legs
  • Measures 14 by 7 by 12 inches; 3-year limited warranty

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Product Information

Product Dimensions 14.5 x 9 x 12 inches
Shipping Weight 41.6 pounds
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number 2000U-33
ASIN B0015VGSI6
Customer Reviews
3.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #260,881 in arts-crafts
#637 in Arts, Crafts & Sewing > Sewing > Sewing Machines

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Product Description

The Relaible Barracuda zig-zag walking foot machine is a remarkably versatile machine. Designed for boat owners, serious hobbyists, and small businesses, the Barracuda does so much, for so little. Flexibility and performance. The stitch quality is comparable to an industrial machine, for a fraction of the price... plus the added bonus of a zig-zag stitch, now that's value! Features to help you get the job done faster.. All of the convenience features are standard to make your job easier; reverse lever, oscillating shuttle hook, piping feet (1/8" > 3/16") and of course our trusted reputation for building quality, long lasting equipment.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I was a little worried about buying this machine. The Sailrite machine gets such great reviews, and everywhere I looked at the Relaible machine online this same single review kept showing up bashing it. I couldn't afford $900 for the Sailrite. When I saw the Reliable machine was available at the Defender Industries annual spring sale I went and looked at it. A liveaboard cruising sailor I met at Defender that day owned a Sailrite and had been using it for years. We went over the Reliable machine together and it looked good. He felt it was built the same inside and out as his machine, (including the foot control). At $450 this machine was literally half the price of the Sailrite, and I bought it.
This machine does not come with a carrying/storage case. the Sailrite does, and the case is a bit over $100 to buy separately.
This machine comes with a very basic manual. I think the Sailrite comes with several reference manuals which look like they could be very helpful.
I emailed customer service at Reliable (its in Canada) before buying this machine and got a courteous reply to my question within an hour (I had asked the motor size - it wasn't listed anywhere I could find it online - it is 1.5 amps). A thorough online search leaves no doubt the customer service on Sailrite is top notch.
I had no trouble sewing multiple layers of heavy fabric with the Reliable 2000U Barracuda machine. It went through 8 layers of Topgun plus a layer of webbing without a hitch. Using the Sailrite anchor riding sail kit and the Barracuda sewing machine, making an anchor riding sail was a breeze! The clutch did not slip at all.
My wife's regular sewing machine is an old Singer Featherweight. It is both beautiful to look at and a pleasure to work with.
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First off, watch the following video to get the answer to the most common question of whether the Reliable 2000U-33 Barracuda portable Zig-Zag Walking-foot Sewing machine is the same machine as the Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing machine:

[...]

The short answer: The Barracuda is NOT the same exact machine as the current version of the Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing machine.

Recognize that the above video refers to the "V-2" machine that Sailrite currently offers. V-2 assumedly refers to "version 2" of the machine. Prior to the introduction of the V-2 machine, the Sailrite machines appeared to be virtually identical to the "look alike" machines being offered by Reliable and several other distributors. (Look for the silver bobbin cover/foot plates to identify the newer Sailrite V-2 machines versus the black plates on the older Sailrite models and all of the current "look-alikes").

Maybe more important than the physical enhancements made to the machine by Sailrite, are the mechanical fine-tuning and adjustments made by Sailrite prior to offering the machines to their customers.

That being said, I recently purchased the Reliable Barracuda from Amazon for $499. I researched everything I could, and made the enhancements that I deemed were needed to bring the Barracuda up to par with the Sailrite machine. Most notedly, I bought the Sailrite Monster 2 posi-pin wheel and posi-pin drive shaft flange directly from Sailrite for about $170 or so. Other miscellaneous parts and accessories added another $75-$100. I built my own custom case for around $50.

After making the enhancements to the machine, and using it on a couple of large projects for my boat, I am happy with the Barracuda.
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I'm no an expert at sewing but have had some good experiences with an older rock-solid Singer zigzag. This machine is the basic do-it-yourself entry-level zig-zag walking foot capable of handling heavier fabrics and sails. It is nearly identical to those sold under many different names. God luck deciphering which ones are made in China or Taiwan, the latter supposedly a bit better made. A fine-tuned version (at a significantly higher price) is available from Sailrite (beware some of the sleight-of-hand discounters selling that brand though Sailrite themselves are highly reputable).

I received mine a week ago and have just done a couple of practice projects with 1" webbing and 6-8 oz. duck. I'm finding that the machine gets hung up often. I initially thought it was from using the wrong sized needle or simply too much fabric. Through experimentation culminating with turning by hand with no fabric or thread, I've found that the clutch mechanism in this thing can barely overcome the mechanical resistance of the spring-loaded walking presser foot, even when not actually sewing. I followed the manual instructions and rotated the clutch washer 180º and I guess it's another one of those help suggestions designed simply to waste your time.

I've ordered the Sailrite Monster II balance wheel and, based on my initial experiences, think a modification like that is an absolute necessity. It's not a refinement or luxury but a requirement for this machine to be functional as the factory clutch is pure rubbish. Right now, I have it cranked down so tight I can't unscrew it, but it still slips constantly.

My only other complaint is minor. The foot controller is pretty flimsy but that's not a surprise.
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