Best rugged needle-down sewing machine?
I'm a longtime sewer looking for a replacement for a late-80's Pfaff Tiptronic that's slowly giving up the ghost, for my heavier reupholstery-type sewing.
I'm looking for any model, recent or vintage, that has the wonderful needle-down feature of the Pfaff (the needle will always stop in the fabric, invaluable for corners etc). I'm leaning heavily towards the older mechanical Viking Husqvarnas, but can't find out whether any of them have this feature? (Indeed, does any machine but the Pfaff have it?)
A friend mentioned the older 2-gear Vikings, are they as good as they sound for thick work?
Just need very sturdy straight and zigzag, possibly some hem stitches. I have another machine for embroidery stuff and a cherished 1949 Featherweight which is usually up to any task, but I'd like to spare it the mohair upholstery fabric. :-)
I know you probably get swamped with regular queries for machine recommendations, so thanks very much in advance for any tips or pans from your collective experience!