I love the knee lifter when I applique.. I turn in the 'needle down' feature, and use the knee lifter to lift the presser foot while I rotate the fabric.. works like a charm.. I also love the thread cutter.. oh my yes!! I also use the feature to sew without using the foot pedal when I'm making covered cord baskets or mats.. after I get it started the more traditional way, and get to the part where there is smooth gentle curves, I just push the button and let the machine sew along while I line up the cord next to the sewn piece.. If I step on the machine pedal it shuts off the auto sew... It makes sewing something like that very nice and relaxing.. You just guide until you want to stop and touch the pedal to stop.. nice... You'll love that for some applications. . also for embroidery.
Just bought a Janome 6600p. I am getting used to using the stop and go button and no foot pedal. I also love the thread cutter and never tried the knee lift yet.
We just got a new Brother NX-450q and we love it.
First off the auto thread cutter is AMAZING!!!! I could never go back. We have 2 machines now and if my wife is on the good one id rather wait then use the old one.
As for the foot pedal, i used the button rather then the pedal for about a hour before i went back to the foot pedal.
I just feel i have so much more control over speed and starting and stopping. I do not think ill ever use the button again.
And ass Mimmy said the knee lift is just as useless for me.
Hope that helps.
All the best
Haven't read all posts but I have just recently 'discovered' how to sew with the push button on my Brother. Took a while to get used to it but BOY OH BOY is it ever convenient to use. I have back problems and I started using it while sitting in my recliner. If you have this feature on your machine & don't use it - give it a try. I think you will like it. I really hate fumbling for my foot pedal.
I like to free-motion quilt using the start/stop button and not the foot pedal. I just find it easier to not have to coordinate my hands and feet together... concentrating on the hands only, moving the fabric, does help. I turn the machine down to half-speed when I do that.
I've never been able to get the hang of the knee lifter... maybe because I'm so short. It feels like I have to strain and contort myself to use it!