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Thread: Machine Brands Rating

  1. #11
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I can't tell you about the high end machines, because I only have a Singer that I have had for 12 years and I use it about everyday. I don't machine quilt though only use for piecing and I love it. I have hauled it all over the country and never had any trouble. It's not a fancy machine , just middle of the road. Some day when I am too old to hand quilt, I might look for a different machine, but for now I love my little portable singer.

    Ninnie

  2. #12
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have the Bernina 440 QE with the stitch regulator and I love it. Friends have Viking and Pfaff and love them too. I made the decision mostly based on having a really good service center for the Bernina nearby, and I bought an extended warranty because I can take the machine in as often as I want for adjustment, cleaning, whatever. I am very happy that I purchased the stitch regulator, but not so happy that I got the embroidery module. It turns out I'm not so interested in doing embroidery.

    It's really important, if you buy a higher end machine, that you purchase from a shop with a good reputation for service. In my case I got quotes for price at the Puyallup Expo, then took the Bernina quote in to the local dealer and he matched it.

  3. #13
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    My number one choice is the Bernina. I currently have 2 and I love both of them. One is the 200E which I bought used on ebay and mostly all I do with it is embroidery although it will do just about anything I'd every want. My little workhorse is the 440QE with the stitch regulator. I bought this one new and didn't spend the extra to get the embroidery unit.

    Most of my friends have Berninas -- the service here in our area is terrific. I can call or email them with a question and very rarely have they not known the answer. They are heavy duty and have metal bobbins. If you can't afford a new one, I'd recommend a used one. With the new model that came out last fall, which costs a measly $12,000, a lot of people have been selling/trading their old machines to get this one. So now would be a great time to buy one that's used.

    Viking would be my #2 choice. I had one of those several years ago (can't remember the exact model) but it was also a good little work horse. I had problems with the plastic bobbins warping and the service in our area was just horrific.

    Hope this helps :wink:

  4. #14
    Cookn's Avatar
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    I can't tell you which is best or worst, I haven't used them all. Plus what I consider best might not be what you consider best. There are some quality brands on your list and some that I wouldn't use as boat anchors. Which one do you like ? If it does what you want and is in your price range, it's probably the best machine for you. Make sure the warranty will cover it for a good amount of time. Does it have a reputation for long life ?

    Shop for the dealer almost as much as you shop for the machine, it's really as important as machine choice. A poor dealer will make your sewing experience worse. If we had to purchase new machines today, we might make a different choice than we did 3 years ago. One of the brand specific dealers for our machines, stinks in the area we moved to. I hate to walk into their store, even if it's just to buy fabric.

    Things I do know, Brother makes quite a few of Babylocks machines just rebrands them. Janome does the same even makes some of Brenina's Bernette line up. The new Singer is just a hollow shell of what it used to be in a better time. Brother makes some good machines and some cheapos how do you decide which is which ? You know that the service notification on a Bernina 440QE doesn't turn on until the machine hits 2,000,000 stitches, pretty cool huh ? Quite a few machines are worn out by then. You do have to oil and clean it after every 180,000 stitches, though.

  5. #15
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I think it's important to decide on your price range. That will eliminate a lot of machines.

    I like http://sewing.patternreview.com/sewingmachine/ for reviews of specific models because they are written by people who have actually used them.
    I found the patternreview site to be helpful also when I was looking. Remember the accessories on some brands are high $$.

  6. #16
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    i shopped for a new machine last summer and decided on the Janome 1600P DBX - the industrial single stitch machine with needle down, automatic thread cutter, 9-in throat and knee lift - I love it. I do everything on it (except quilting when I've used basting spray, she doesn't like it). I also have a 5 year old Kenmore, electronic with fancy stitches and a regular throat size. She is my workhorse that I use when I am going to quilting nights or when I use basting spray and then I quilt with her. The Kenmore (5 years ago) cost about $250 with markdowns and my Janome was about $800, which I got as a package deal with the Grace Pro quilting frame.

    I echo the other posts that say to first decide what you want your machine to do and how you will use it, then how much you want to spend. I went with the Janome because I love quilting my quilts and knew I wanted the largest throat size I could afford without fancy stuff.

    Good luck

  7. #17
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    I love my Bernina, and I love that it is made in Switzerland and is the only brand that is still a family-owned operation. I love that it seems to actually help me accomplish whatever I want, rather than fight me like my last machine (Singer).

    The best thing is to go get your hands on the various machines. How do they feel in terms of operation to you? Pick one up, is there much weight to it? Are most of it's parts made of lightweight plastic or, are the internal parts made from metal? I was nearly set on buying a different brand, until I actually got up close to the Berninas. Once I saw and felt the quality of the pressure feet and the hook mechanism I was sold.

    Was it my Bernina the cheapest machine? Not at all. Is it the best made machine, in my opinion it is. However, in your case the only opinion that matters is your own. A good deal depends on what you are looking for: features/price/quality.

    There are lots of machines out there, go try them. Make up a packet of difficult to sew on fabrics and see how each machine responds. Have each one make a buttonhole for you. Check out how well the needle threader works...or if it even works at all. How much light is illuminated over the sewing area, how easy is it to load the bobbin or change the feet.

    I wrote a review for Patter Review on my machine, and a copy of it is on my Flickr sewing room page, here's a link to the review:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomesewing/2720227176/

    Good luck with your search, take your time and you will find the machine that is the best one for you. :)

  8. #18
    Moose's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the replies. Although I am still hoping for you to rank brands since it would really help me make a decision, your answers helped me narrow things down a bit, but I'm not exactly done searching... I have 28 days :P before the show prices disappear in the case of three vendors.

    I'll post in another thread about a machine for which I didn't find reviews, not even at the patterreview.com site since it's doesn't apply to the current subject. :)

  9. #19
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Thank you all for the replies. Although I am still hoping for you to rank brands since it would really help me make a decision,
    Well, I have a Bernina 1230 and still think it's one of the best machines ever made. If I were going to buy another machine, I'd add a Pfaff for the integrated walking foot. My third machine would be a long-arm, but that's a whole 'nother topic!

    One thing I would advise is that if you think you might want to do embroidery one day, buy a separate embroidery machine for that kind of sewing. Don't try to get one machine now that will do everything. With two machines you can be piecing a quilt on one while the other machine is embroidering for you.

  10. #20
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Thank you all for the replies. Although I am still hoping for you to rank brands since it would really help me make a decision, your answers helped me narrow things down a bit,
    I can't rank the 7 brands you're asking about because I only have experience with my Janome! :? So, Janome is #1 because it meets my needs. All the rest are #2. LOL

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