Jan in VA
If this is a Bernette, don't buy it.... I had two Bernina's, a 153 and a 440 which I love. I wanted another one two keep at my second home and just didn't want to put too much into it as I'm not there that much. So I bought a Bernette.............and I hated it so I took it back and had to pay a little more, but I bought a 530. If you will watch the Bernina store you might find a good Bernina trade in. Tell them to call you when they get one in. I also have a Bernina serger which I love. You can't wear a good Bernina out.
The tolerances on Bernina are better. That is a term my Dad used in speaking of airplane engineering. Things are just tighter, less play and slop. My Berninas run when nothing else will run. I've owned 5 of the 1020's when I had a business. I still have one.
I would say the same thing. The Berninas in the $500 midrange and not a bernette are really the lower end of the Bernina line. I know several ladies with these mid range machines who bring them to class. Those are wonderful machines and do plenty of things for quilting. I have been sewing with a 1260 and bought a second one to have in my carrying case to take when I teach class. Love that machine. Over the 31 years I taught hs and ms home economics, we had several different models of Berninas. Young students learning are hard on machines but the Berninas held up to all their abuse. :)
I started with my mother's old White (1968) model...and still use it more than the others, until tomorrow ...felt a Bernina, and accessories are just too pricey for me....have a couple of Brothers and like them a lot, an old Singer, as well as a Bernette and have a lot of problems with that one...waiting on my Janome 7700 to be delivered tomorrow...
I have the Bernina that was my mother's. it is about 30 years old and a work horse. It was the top of the line at that time and her dream machine. I have used it for the last 23 years and don't plan to replace it. I had to have the motor replaced a few years ago and I asked the Bernina repairman was it worth repairing and his answer was yes. To get a comparable machine was about three times more than the repair. I would buy another one if they were in my budget.
Yes, Bernina is top of the line with many price points & sewing features. Keep in mind the more features it has then steeper the learning curve. I have an older 165 that works like a dream & a new 830 that's taken me 2 years & 6 weeks of classes to learn. Love them both. They were both expensive. My recommendation is to get one with the features you use most often, Get a 1/4 inch foot too, great for piecing, its number 37 or 57 depending on the machine you choose. Also get a free motion foot. If you plan to quilt by machine be sure to lower the feed dogs &/or use a walking foot. Your dealer can explain all of this to you. Good Luck.
I would suggest either a Bernina or a Janome. They both have very good "beginner" machines. I tend toward a Janome, but I have a SIL who loves her Bernina. Just individual preference there.