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Thread: Long arm, mid arm comparison

  1. #1
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I'm in the market for a long arm or mid arm machine and set-up. I don't want it immediately as my daughter's room won't be available for another year and a half. I've been to many sites, watched videos and tried to do research. There are so many brands on the market with many different kinds of frames, computer systems etc. that it makes me dizzy. For such a large purchase I want to know I'm not going to regret it in a year. I wish there was a website that compares/contrasts the brands and models. Like brand X is great at this but you won't be able to do this at all or as easily as brand Y. I know I'm going to have to try some brands to get the feel etc. but I simply can't try them all! My LQS only carries Viking and the other brands I've only seen on the net.

    So, I guess I'm looking for one website that has all this info. Price, different brands, to make it easier to decide. Am I dreaming? Yes, I've tried to get into a couple of yahoo forums and have been declined because I don't already own a long-arm. Frustrating!

  2. #2
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I want one too. Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kat112000's Avatar
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    I recenly purchased a Mega Quilter and wished I would have spent a little more time researching this. The throat is not deep enough for me. It is only 9", I wish I would have gone for a long arm that offers 18".

    If you only want to do small quilts and not get too fancy then a mid arm is the way to go, not as much money as a long arm.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kat112000
    I recenly purchased a Mega Quilter and wished I would have spent a little more time researching this. The throat is not deep enough for me. It is only 9", I wish I would have gone for a long arm that offers 18".

    If you only want to do small quilts and not get too fancy then a mid arm is the way to go, not as much money as a long arm.
    Your situation is exactly what I want to avoid. And that's just it, I want to be able to do larger projects eventually and not be limited. But, I don't want a beast of a machine if I can get away with a little smaller. Of course price is an issue, but I'd like to compare apples to apples and it sure isn't easy to do so! If only there was an online or magazine review of all the options! I'm sorry to hear you're regretting your purchase. :cry:

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    This past May I attended the Machine Quilters show in Kansas City, MO. They have just about every long arm machine made there and you could talk with the reps, try out the machines and pick up info. Not only that but lots and lots of machine quilted quilts and wallhangings. MY SIL, daughter and even our husbands had a great time looking at all the machines. She ended up with a demo HQ16 (bought locally) and I'm still looking. The show is held every year in May.

  6. #6
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    If you can make it to a quilt show, many times there will be several different manufacturers there with their machines and they will let you try them out. Coming up this weekend in Ontario is the Road to California show and they will have quite a few different machines there. Are you in Elk Grove California? I think I saw someone mention a show in Santa Clara sometime later this year.
    I won't be able to make it to "Road" this year because of Med issues but hope to go the the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach in July and will play with some of the machines there.

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Yes, EG CA. I'm thinking about going to the Santa Clara show. It's just that in my experience the shows are so crowded that I've not really been able to play with machines as they're occupied. Lots of lookie-loos. And I imagine not all the brands are represented there?

    Anyone know someone in the Quilters mag. industry that could pass on this idea for an article? Somewhat like a consumers report for quilters;>

  8. #8
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    You know, a couple years ago, one of the quilting magazines did do a comparison. I just don't remember which magazine did it. I do remember seeing it though. Keep searching. If I can think of the magazine and date I will let you know.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace

    Anyone know someone in the Quilters mag. industry that could pass on this idea for an article? Somewhat like a consumers report for quilters;>
    Since the magazines rely on the longarm manufacturers for part of their ad revenue, they're unlikely to publish a comparison. Furthermore, some people find a particular fault with a machine (such as throat is too small) while other people have that machine and love it. Either they don't need a particular feature, or they find a good workaround. Look at the machines, test-drive them, make a list of the features you want, compare prices and service... There's a lot of homework involved. It's even more complicated in that some expensive add-ons may be almost necessary with one machine, but not with another because of its design.

  10. #10
    Super Member oldswimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I'm in the market for a long arm or mid arm machine and set-up. I don't want it immediately as my daughter's room won't be available for another year and a half. I've been to many sites, watched videos and tried to do research. There are so many brands on the market with many different kinds of frames, computer systems etc. that it makes me dizzy. For such a large purchase I want to know I'm not going to regret it in a year. I wish there was a website that compares/contrasts the brands and models. Like brand X is great at this but you won't be able to do this at all or as easily as brand Y. I know I'm going to have to try some brands to get the feel etc. but I simply can't try them all! My LQS only carries Viking and the other brands I've only seen on the net.

    So, I guess I'm looking for one website that has all this info. Price, different brands, to make it easier to decide. Am I dreaming? Yes, I've tried to get into a couple of yahoo forums and have been declined because I don't already own a long-arm. Frustrating!
    I have a copy of a comparison that was printed in the May 2008 American Quilter magazine. It compared mid-arms, which included weight, throat space, table info, needle up-down, if it came standard with stitch regulation, bobbin size, laser light, controls on front or back(or both), how long to ship, size of quilting foot, MSRP, warranty and any training.
    I am willing to send a copy to you, just PM me with your address. Just be aware, my husband was just hospitalized yesterday, so please know I might not answer right away. Or if all goes well, I could be able to send it out right away, which I am praying for. Let me know if this would help. Pegg

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