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Comparing Sewing Machine Hooks-Oscillating, Rotary, Horizontal, & Vertical Full Guide of 2023

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The hook design of a particular machine can be an important consideration when choosing a sewing machine best suited to a particular application, as well as your personal preferences.

May quilters therefore prefer a vertical hook for free motion work. This also makes most vertical hooks a little less finicky with heavier or odd threads.

First, let’s discuss what the sewing machine hook actually does. When the needle enters the fabric and lifts, they formed a small loop of thread behind the needle.

The hook picks up this loop and wraps it around the bobbin thread by moving around the bobbin case. The crochet plays an essential role in the formation of a stitch.

Now let’s talk about the different crochet. Realize that they can all make a nice, safe, balanced stitch.

When it comes to hook types, there are two primary characteristics by which we categorize them. The first characteristic is the type of movement the hook makes in the stitch formation process. It is oscillating or rotating.

An oscillating hook moves in one direction and then back again. A rotating hook runs in one direction around the spool.

Both types of hooks can get stuck easily because of an operating error. Caveat emptor- Sewing machine companies like to advertise machines with a “jam proof hook”.

Well, I’ve made thread knots and jams because of user error on many machines that advertised a so-called “jam-proof hook”. So keep in mind that this claim has often turned out to be little more than a marketing hype.

The Singer 99 has a horizontal oscillating hook

Example of an oscillating, vertical hookEach machine can to sew “ from the fabric as long as you pull along the thread ends. Quilters often do this while on the chain.

However, if you just air sew with a threaded machine, you’re going to make some nice jams. Threading errors can also cause Thread nesting, jamming and plugging, and no hook type is immune to this.

Now let’s look at the orientation of the hook. A hook is vertical or horizontal. A vertical hook can point to the side (also known as side or end loader) or forward (also known as CB or front loader hook). comes in from above. This can be very useful. However, the thread must make a 90-degree bend in the stitch forming process with an upper load (horizontal hook) that is not required with a vertical hook.

If you have trouble loading a vertical bobbin case into a machine, I hate to say it, but the problem isn’t the design of the machine, it’s your approach. Interestingly enough, removing the bobbin case is rarely a problem for anyone.

So be careful how you hold the bobbin case when you take it out of the machine and make sure you in the same way when you install it. Your finger should point DOWN behind the latch.

Also make sure the bobbin in the bobbin case before opening the latch to insert it into the machine.

When purchasing a machine, discuss the sewing, material seels and yarns you expect to use. Ask for advice on what style would be most suitable for your application and why.

Keep an open mind about what best suits your sewing applications. Personally, I own and use machines with a variety of hook styles and orientations, and I find each machine has its strengths and shortcomings.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.