Thursday, July 27, 2017

Rotary Hook That Jams

Lynnette has a Pfaff Performance 2056 that is jamming.  Here's a picture of a stationary rotary hook system's retainer and finger.  You can see more details of a Stationary Rotary Hook in the tab, "How To Clean And Oil The Bobbin Area."  Here's a link: 

Hi Lynnette,

It sounds like there’s something caught in the bobbin/hook area.  “The shaft” is called the “hook.”  I believe your machine has a rotary hook system, so the hook doesn’t come out.

You need to take the needle plate off and look at it from the top.  Rotary hooks tend to get thread tangles behind the hook.  If there are thread tangles, remove them.  At the shop I use tweezers and a hooked seam ripper (Havel’s).

Another thing that happens with rotary hooks is the retainer finger comes out of position.  There are 2 parts to your hook.  One part should turn around, and the other should stay stationary.  The stationary part has a little finger to hold it in place.  I’ll attach a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.  The red arrow is pointing to the finger and the blue arrow is pointing to the retainer.

One more idea…  The pointed part of the hook can get damaged.  You can feel it with your finger.  If it’s got burrs on it, you can gently polish it with very fine sandpaper (400 grit).

Good Luck to you!

Update:  Lynnette sent me some great videos.  I think we've found the solution...

Hi Lynnette,

Great videos!  The thread passage is too tight, or the finger is damaged.  

So first, try adjusting where the finger goes into the retainer.  The finger needs to pull out, away from the machine a little bit.  If you look up, under the needle plate, you should see a way to adjust the finger.  With some it’s a nut that gets loosened, with others it’s a little screw.  The retainer should just barely hold the finger in place. 

If the finger is damaged, you can try to take it out of the machine and polish it with a very fine sandpaper (about 400 gritt), then put it back in.  However, if it’s severely damaged, the finger should be replaced.

Any rotary hook will make a little noise every time it makes a complete rotation.  What happens is the retainer will move back and forth on the finger.  As it touches the finger, it will make a little “tap” sound.

Good detective work!


  1. Annette, when I need really fine sand paper, I use a nail file. If you get one with multiple steps (file, smooth buff, etc.) you will have all the kinds you need for your sewing machine. Or many other things, too. We got a new salad bar at work, and the edge of the handle was too sharp and kept cutting us. I whipped out an emery board (didn't need anything super smooth like for a bobbin case) and gave the edge a couple of passes, and viola! Good to go. Everyone laughed, until I was done fixing it for free, lol. I use the ones from the beauty supply store with foam inside, only because there is one right around the corner. I've used the multi grade ones from the dollar store, too. I keep it in the twirling pencil/ everything holder I keep in the sewing area. Patti

  2. I know you have sandpaper, but many of the women reading your blog might not, or not know which one to use, but I bet they know nail files! That's the thing.

  3. Hi Patti,

    A nail file is a great idea! I'll add it to my post.

    Thank You!