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Thread: Machine Brands Rating

  1. #1
    Moose's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    I am full of questions -- still agonizing over making a decision to buy which machine :)

    How would you rate the following brands from best to worst and could you give me a reason for the top 2 and the on at the bottom so I know it's not arbitrary?

    Thank you so much

    Viking
    Bernina
    Brother
    Janome
    Pfaff
    Singer
    Baby Lock

    PS If you know of a place that has this info and is reliable, I would appreciate if you could give me the link as well as rate them yourself :)

    TIA

  2. #2
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    these are all very good brands that make low end, moderate end, and high end machines.

    i've always found it easier to decide by first figuring out what i want to use the machine for and what features do i need the machine to have in order to maximize said use.

    then using the brands you've listed find the models that have those features and compare number of features to price and test drive the models i'm interested in.

    finally i'd settle on 2 machines and i'd start a price war between the stores to get the best deal and service contract.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    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. You have to join (it's free) in order to see all of the older reviews as well as the new ones. Most consumer places don't review the latest models and have different priorities than I do, especially in terms of quality, so I do not trust them as much. Personal reviews give more information about specific pro's and con's, so you can decide which quirk is likely to annoy you and which feature is going to float your boat.

    I would personally rate the Bernina and Pfaff as the two highest. The Bernina purrs and is all-around totally solid on stitches, tensioning, and probably has the best quality machine quilting stitch. Pfaff is incredible for piecing because of its built-in walking foot.

    Unless you buy their high-end machines, I would probably rate Singer and Brother at the bottom of the list. They have churned out a lot of low-end models that, for me at least, don't delivery quality. Some of their high-end models are loved, however. That's why I said at the beginning that you really need to establish your price range early in the process.

  4. #4
    Moose's Avatar
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    kluedesigns,

    thank you for the reply which will come in handy when I have the rating as well; I still would like some opinions on the brands. I have looked at machines with the same features that were $500 apart... most of the time, what you pay for is what you get. So I don't pollute the opinions, I won't post which brands gave me such prices though.

    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Price is number one for me. Thats why I do not own the Bernina with stitch regulator.
    I have a Viking and love it. The 10 in throat is so important.
    I dont own a bunch of machines so cannot judge them.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The way I decide what machine to buy is decide if I want to pay big money for a machine that cost so much it would have to be my machine for a very very long time. I buy lower cost machines that sew great and I don't mind upgrading to a newer model every so often that has new features. I have a Singer Featherweight and nothing ever goes wrong with it and it's perfect to take anywhere. It is my will keep forever machine. The others I have no big investment in so don't mind getting rid of them and buying another when I find a great deal. Many members of my quild have the top of the line brand machines and they all admit they seldom if ever use all features of the machine that they paid so much for.

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    Many members of my quild have the top of the line brand machines and they all admit they seldom if ever use all features of the machine that they paid so much for.
    That's so true! There are a few embroidery stitches I enjoy having (especially the feather stitch), but most of them I will probably never use, including the alphabets I thought would be so important.

  8. #8
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    you might want to check out consumer reports. they have a rating system for sewing machines based on function (garment, quilting, general purpose).

    i agree with the previous poster about tons of bells that never get used. i have a machine with tons of fancy stitches, embroidery module, etc and i hardly ever use them.

    i'm in the market for a new machine in the next year and now i want a straight stitch, very fast, side loading bobbin, thread cutter, needle down - thats it.

    i'll be considering Brother, Janome, and Juki

  9. #9
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have two Pfaffs and a Brother and I like them all for different reasons:

    My work horse is the Pfaff ?7530? and I love it because of the built-in walking foot, needle down position, the low bobbin indicator, its smooth operation, and the stitch-in-the-ditch foot. I would not want to trade that machine.

    The Brother is a low end that does nice decorative stitches (particularly the button hole for applique), it has a drop-in bobbin, and it does not mind being cartet around.


    Then I got the Pfaff GrandQuilter - a mechanical straightstitch quilting machine with a large throat opening and amazing speed (control). Not too keen on it yet. I'm not sure I would buy that machine again.

    I personally do not like the way Berninas handle from assorted test driving experiences. It is a fabulous line - just not for me.

    Many of the quilting ladies I know have Janomes and they are in love with their machines as well.

    When comparing machines in the same price category, I think a lot depends on what features are important to the buyer, how well does it handle, and which dealer will give the best deal (cost and support).

    As the others said: check the reviews.

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have two Pfaffs and a Brother and I like both brands for different reasons:

    My work horse is the Pfaff ?7530? and I love it because of the built-in walking foot, needle down position, the low bobbin indicator, its smooth operation, and the stitch-in-the-ditch foot. I would not want to trade that machine.

    The Brother is a low end that does nice decorative stitches (particularly the button hole for applique), it has a drop-in bobbin, and it does not mind being cartet around.


    Then I got the Pfaff GrandQuilter - a mechanical straightstitch quilting machine with a large throat opening and amazing speed (control). Not too keen on it yet. I'm not sure I would buy that machine again.

    I personally do not like the way Berninas handle from assorted test driving experiences. It is a fabulous line - just not for me.

    Many of the quilting ladies I know have Janomes and they are in love with their machines as well.

    When comparing machines in the same price category, I think a lot depends on what features are important to the buyer, how well does it handle, and which dealer will give the best deal (cost and support).

    As the others said: check the reviews.

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