Identify the Type of Feet for Your Sewing Machine

Do you like to play with your feet?  I do, and I have more than two.  - more than two sewing machine feet that is! 

The variety of feet available for sewing machines is STAGGERING.  These accessories can mean all the difference when it comes to getting the best results on your project.  But what will fit your sewing machine? You need to know the shank size or type, and this article will help you determine exactly what that is.

With the exception of Bernina machines and the old "rotary" machines (some older Whties, Kenmores, etc,..), most sewing machines, especially classic vintage machines,  use either high shank, slant shank or low shank feet.  "Shank" refers to the part onto which the feet fasten. If you machine has a default needle postion other than center, you will need to take that into consideration when buying certain feet.

Some newer machines use snap-on feet that , well, snap-on to an ankle which in turn screws onto the shank.  These are usually low shank machines with a snap-on ankle/adapter.  By the way,  snap-on adapters in low, high and slant shank models are sold by many vendors and sewing machine shops.

Here are a  few images to help you determine what shank you have on your machine and what type of feet you need.

Sewing Machne Feet available at


Vintage White/Kenmmore Top clamping ("rotary") attachments

Kenmore "Super High" shank type

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  • Friday, January 09. 2009 CJ wrote:
    This little piggy went to market... Cute title!
    This a great article! I learned to sew on my Bernina's so that's all the presser foot knowledge I have, but with the Singer I bought from you there's a whole new world of feet out there, I'm amazed at all the generic low shank feet there are! Had you not told me what type the Singer takes I would have been clueless!
  • Friday, March 05. 2010 Frances wrote:
    Excuse my density/ignorance, but as a new sewer with an inherited machine, I want to make sure I understand: the Snap-On feet can be used on a slant shank Singer 301?

    1. Friday, March 05. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:

      "Excuse my density/ignorance, but as a new sewer with an inherited machine, I want to make sure I understand: the Snap-On feet can be used on a slant shank Singer 301?"

      From the "factory" the Singer 301 (301A) uses SCREW-ON slant shank feet and attachments.  If you look at your 301, you will see that it is just like the slant shank shown in the illustrations above.  If you want to use snap-on feet with a 301, you would need to have an adapter / ankle.  This part would screw onto the shank and then the snap-on feet would snap onto this ankle / adapter.

      You can find more technical specs of the 301 here: Singer 301 review

      I can order the adapter for you, just contact me and I'd be happy to help out.- Jenny

  • Monday, March 08. 2010 Shannon F wrote:
    I have a 2 year old Pfaff and a 1929 Singer treadle-driven 66-16 (I am guessing from pics online).

    If I buy a snap-on adapter, does this mean that I can use some of my feet for the Pfaff on my Singer?
    1. Monday, March 08. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:

      Yes, no and maybe. It all depends on the particular snap-on feet.  For many of the zigzag machines the feed dogs are quite wide and as a result the snap-on feet have an offset to them.  This could casue issues.

  • Thursday, May 06. 2010 roberta mosenfelder wrote:
    I have a viking...its some kind of a slant in the pressure foot categories...what I would love to know is if the feet are interchangeable with the singer or other slant feet.
    1. Thursday, May 06. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      The Singer slant feet will only fit Singers- no other brand.
  • Friday, May 21. 2010 sf wrote:
    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
  • Friday, May 21. 2010 louboutin wrote:
    Good read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.
  • Monday, May 24. 2010 mbt shoes wrote:
    This article has great reference value, thank you very much for sharing, I would like to reproduced your article, so that more people would see it.
  • Thursday, June 03. 2010 daniel Hepzi wrote:
    i was looking on the net for this and finally i got it,thanks.
  • Monday, July 12. 2010 Lena wrote:
    I purchased this adapter, but the generic snap on feet needle hole just don't line up unless the hole is wider front to back. I have this adapter on a Singer 201-2. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Sunday, September 05. 2010 Glorie wrote:
    Hi, I am looking for walking foot. My brother model is Brother LX-3125. I dont know which one is walking foot.

    1. Wednesday, September 08. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Your machine probably needs a low shank walking foot. I have them in stock at
  • Sunday, September 19. 2010 Heather wrote:
    I have a low shank 'screw-on' Brother vx1200 - I have just realised that when you buy a snap-on foot I also need some sort of snap on adaptor? Where can I buy this? Does it exist? I've searched and searched and now feel like giving up! H
    1. Monday, September 20. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Sew-classic sells it here:

      It's also included in this nice 11 piece set:
      1. Sunday, November 28. 2010 Kelsey wrote:
        Will this adapter also allow me to use snap on feet on my screw type Kenmore? Or does it only work with certain brands of machines?
        1. Friday, December 10. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
          What adapter are you talking about?
  • Saturday, October 09. 2010 Charlie wrote:
    You said above, that the Bernina was the exception to the shanks listed above. If that's the case, what shank does the Bernina 930 and 1130 have?? Also does the walking foot for the 930 work on the 1130 and can one use feet from one machine on the other (are they interchangeable)?? Do you carry feet for the Bernina?? Thank you.
    1. Tuesday, October 12. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      The Bernina machines that you mention use a special type of attachment system that is particular to Bernninas.  Some are interchangeable, but others are not. .  Off the top of my head the 1130 and 930 will use the same feet, but later models of Berninas like the 1630 don;t.   I don't stock Bernina Feet, but I can order them.  You can contact me and let me know which feet you need .
  • Monday, October 18. 2010 Gwen Milledge wrote:
    So then is the Singer 31-15 a true high shank machine? Do you know of a good free motion foot that will stand up to 2200 stiches per minute without falling apart?
    Thanks, Gwen
    1. Tuesday, October 19. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      I don't have a 31-15 here to test any feet on.  sorry
  • Monday, October 25. 2010 Sandy wrote:
    Does your low-shank snap-o-matic 11 piece foot set work on the Singer 15-91?
    1. Monday, November 01. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Your parts query got buried in with all the spam comments that the internet gremlins try to post on my blog.  Your best bet to contact me directly is to contact me directly HERE on the contact page of the Shop.Sew-classic site.

      Yes it will fit on the 15-91, but some of the feet in the set require a zigzag capable machine.  Obviously, even though they fit on the presser bar and such, they won't be much use on your straight stitch only 15-91.   Its a great bargain nonetheless.  
  • Friday, October 29. 2010 Laura wrote:
    I purchased a box full of top clamp attachments (about 30 pcs in all) by mistake....for my vintage class 15 singer! I forgot to ask the seller what type of machine was it I am wondering whether there are any kind of special clamp adaptor I should look out for before I throw away the whole box of wonderful attachments...
    1. Monday, November 01. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Not that I am aware of.
  • Monday, November 01. 2010 Laura wrote:
    Thanks. So would it be worth getting an old antique rotary sewing machine? Which are the models available these days that made use of top clamping feet? How much do these vintage machine usually cost? What about bobbins, what kind do they use?

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