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Thread: High end machines? Are they Worth the $$?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    High end machines? Are they Worth the $$?

    Hi-

    Quick question for everyone..for those that have machines that are $3k or more, do you really think they are worth the $$? I'm just asking because I am in the market for a new sewing machine and its been years since I've looked and between all the new bells and whistles, its mind boggling.

    When I say $5k, I am talking about SEWING machines only..not the embroidery combos. Thoughts??!

  2. #2
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Generally the more it costs - the more options it has. I would base my decision on which options you want/need. Make a list and start checking it off. For me it was # needle positions, automatic presser foot, a handful of must have stitches - the extras were just icing on the cake so to speak, sewing area, extended table availability (now you can order aftermarket ones that fit) and dual feed (which at that time narrowed it down to one brand - Pfaff - now others have it). I, being somewhat "frugal" lol , purchased a used Pfaff Performance 2048 that had been upgraded be a dealer to a 2054.

    I have said this many times - but will also say it here - which ever one you decide on - you would be happier if a dealer was nearby for service. Many of the smaller repair centers are not trained to work and service on these newer computer driven machines.
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    After I retired, I bought a new Singer for around $300. At that time that was the most I ever spent on a machine. Boy did I come to hate it. It was impossible to get the tension right. Next came a Bernette 65 for $250. Did not like that one either. Then I was given an old computerized machine that had auto tension and needle down. It was like driving a Cadillac after driving an economy car. Smooth going. But, it was made for sewing and not quilting so it had a small throat space and the presser foot lever and the thread would get caught up in the bulk of the quilt. Then bought a Babylock classroom machine that was originally $3400 and got it for $1700. Sure is nice to have all those decorative stitches, auto tension, needle threader, thread cutter, and nice large throat space (9") and the pressor foot and the thread are out of the way of the throat space. Nice.

    But, the bad thing is that the local dealer has to send the machines to the next state over to get a certified repairman to service it. Which means being without my machine for atleast two weeks.

    Figure out what you can afford - most dealers offer interest free for a set amount of months. Also, ask them about trade-ins. You might be able to get a more expensive machine that way. Some people treat their machine like cars and upgrade/trade-in every couple of years.

  4. #4
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I bought one for $1500 several yrs ago, Janome. I pretty much use my old singers. I find more value there. Depends I guess on what you want from them.

  5. #5
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 7700 and a Diamond both are high dollar and I love them both. Both do and act much nicer much much better then any of the cheaper machines I have had. At the same time some of the cheaper machines are very good just do not have the options mine have, and one important options on both is the larger throat area.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    My babylock espire was 1800, my dreamweaver was 6400 with trade in on the espire, loved them both for various reasons and do think they are woth the money, that being said I used my cheapos for 10 years with no problems, so are they necessary no, are the wonderful if you can afford them yes, do i still use my cheapo, all the time, but when i do i very much miss the features on my TOL. IMHO they are worth the money if you can afford them why not have something nice for yourself, you work hard, you've earned it
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D

  7. #7
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    Test Drive an inexpensive machine ($200-$300) then test drive a mid range ($1000-$1500) then test drive the
    expensive babies! You can feel a difference in each one. BUT.... The high end to have many more bells and whistle of which you may not use often. BUT they also have features such as a larger throat area compared to the $300 ones that normally only have about 6" or so. I have a "Mid range" and love it! It has more stitches than I need but nice to have when you do want to do something more. Best advise I can offer is to write down the features you would really like to have, then go try out machines. Good Luck!
    Lisa B in NC
    Quilting is my Happy Thought!
    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    I learned to sew on my mother's Featherweight which she purchased in 1935. I worked for a Bernina dealer some 20+ years ago and fell in love. Over the years I have done thousands of hours of sewing in one form or another. I was able to purchase my first Bernina sewing machine at the dealer's discount, which at the time made it $1800. I probably had the equivilent of ten years worth of sewing hours on it when I traded it in on a newer but used model Bernina last year. I also purchased one of their basic lower end models for workshops etc. because it probably weighs 20lb or more less than my everyday machine. I also own a Bernina serger and a stand alone embroidery machine. Both of them are well used. The most unique thing a Bernina has is a knee lift. Until you have sewn with one you have no idea how wonderful it is. I only do basic machine quilting on Linus quilts but I don't know how I would do it without the knee lift. It is like having a third hand at all times.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My Viking Sapphire was $1100 new over 5 yrs ago. I love this machine with the 10 in throat. It is computerized.
    It does not require lifting and lowering the foot, its automatic. When in needle down mode it will lift the foot just a little when you stop sewing. The only thing it dosnt have is a thread cutter.
    I rarely use the fancy stitches and it has alot of them.
    It also has a drop in bobbin which I insist on having on all my machines except one that I hate. The Baby Lock Jane. It is so primitive and has a complicated threading and a bobbin case under the machine. It came with my long arm table that I dont use because of this machine. Just wish I had the money for a long arm machine.

  10. #10
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Go test drive some machines. I think that is the only way to know what you like. Mine is a Pfaff expression 2., and I love it, but it has about 120 stitches I don't use. Doesn't matter, I hadn't expected to use them when I got it. I fell for the "built in walking foot"..(I can't recall it's real name) and the wide throat. It was also quieter than most other machines I tried out. Mine cost $1500 from a local dealer. I don't think I got a "deal" but I do have service in town, lessons...even after 3 years if I want them...and free cleaning for 5 years.

    But, go test drive. Take your own fabric so you can "feel" the machine better. Have fun. I let it get frustrating, but the hunt should be fun.

    Dina

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