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Thread: What is the best most inexpensive longarm???

  1. #1
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Okay, When my DH gives in and decides I can get one, I want the best ,least expensive longarm I can get. What should I look for? And where can I find one? As far as I know of, we don't have a store near us where we can go and look so maybe I can find one if I know what to look for. Any suggestions????

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    ohhhh you're sooo lucky! Did you decide on a maximum spending limit?

    I'll be interested in reading the replies from others!

  3. #3
    Super Member kristen0112's Avatar
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    How exciting for you! I don't have one yet but I know you want a stitch regulator on it, that's probably the most important feature. I would search the internet read peoples reviews... Good luck

  4. #4
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    Bailey is a fairly inexpensive longarm. When I have the room, that's what I'm thinking about. Someone also posted in the last couple of days about a WOW longarm. Don't know anything about them, but a few on board have the Bailey.

  5. #5
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    DH bought me a Voyager 17 and frame last year for Christmas. So far I love it. It may not be the cheapest, but it does what I need it to do. He did splurge and get the stitch regulator, for which I am so grateful.

    http://www.hinterberg.com/Voyager.aspx

  6. #6
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Aw, youre so lucky!!!!!!! Cant wait to hear what you decide on!

  7. #7
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    The cheapest midarms (longarms aren't cheap by any stretch of the imagination) Are the Bailey, Homesteader & Voyager. Another option is to send a Juki TL98, Babylock/Brother 1500, Janome 1600 type machine to Rick at Wowquilts to have it stretched--the same guy who makes the Wow Quilter. All of these options will run you around $3,000. To get a stitch regulator--add another $500 to $700. To get a good, heavy frame to put the Voyager on, you'll need another $1,000 which includes the cost of going to the hardware store to get the pipes it uses for rails and the canvas to make your leaders.

    Watch ebay, craigslist and join some of the yahoo machine quilting groups and you may get a bargain. I got my Voyager and Proflex frame so cheap off ebay that I'm embarrassed to tell how much. It feels like I robbed someone. It didn't have a very good description but after 3 years of drooling over other folks midarms, I knew what I was looking for.

    I started quilting using a 9" domestic machine that I would take off & on the B-Line Studio frame I bought new. I used it for 1 year that way then added a PC Quilter and Max Throat (also purchased new). I love my PC Quilter! (They quit making Max but you can still find used ones) Max allowed me to quilt up to 14" in one pass but it's finicky and not as smooth moving as a midarm would be so I kept dreaming & learning until the Voyager showed up. That happened right before the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah so I didn't have any extra to buy goodies but I had a good time and learned about new things to dream about & drool over--LOL!

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    you really need to base your decision on a lot of things that have nothing to do with final cost...service should be a big decision maker...where are you going to take the machine for service? where are you going to turn for tech help? you should try to find shops within reasonable travel distance where you can try out different machines/ brands and functions. most long arms are basically the same...a large straight stitch machine. beyond that changes can be vast. do you want to upgrade later? do you need/want a stitch regulater? the 'cheap' machine may not offer any options/upgrades...
    you may find one 'on-line or advertised somewhere, decide that is the best price you have seen, that's the one you want, then get it home to find there is no customer support around, and you HATE IT...you probably would not buy a car without at least a test drive...long-arms cost as much as buying a car...so test drive before you buy!!!
    i would never recommend a person to purchase anything that cost's over $1000 (as far as i know about the cheapest long-arms start around $6500) without trying it out and make sure this is what you want and it will do what you want it to do.
    all that being said...i bought mine while on vacation in Florida...i did try it out, and took a class with the machine, then ordered one from the manufacturer. it was shipped to me from Utah, to Michigan...all of this was good right up till i set it up and had a heck of a time with tension issues (it got 'bumped around' during shipping) and found there was no where within 200 miles to take it or get any help. i finally had to trouble shoot long distance with support in Utah. they have been great helping me over the past few years but it would sure be better if there was somewhere around me to get service done.

  9. #9
    Super Member cjtinkle's Avatar
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    Best and least expensive? My suggestion would be to look for a good used commercial model. They're built like tanks, and will outperform the "hobby" setups.

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjtinkle
    Best and least expensive? My suggestion would be to look for a good used commercial model. They're built like tanks, and will outperform the "hobby" setups.
    I agree.

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