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Thread: 201 vs 301

  1. #11
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    I have both a 201 and 301, they are very different. I can do straight line quilting with a walking foot on my 201 treadle, but for free motion...it says "I don't wanna". I use the 201 when I make pot holders and love it for piecing quilts. I'm still amazed how quiet it is, was my first hand crank/treadle machine. Its 77 years old and sews and looks wonderful.

    The 301 I use for taking to sewing groups and classes, I've tried free motion and haven't found a darning foot that fits it and works properly. I like both machines.

    Sharon
    Last edited by purplefiend; 06-21-2013 at 09:07 AM.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    Both are straight stitch machines. The 201 is heavier, about 40 pounds. It's a sweetheart of a machine, voted the best machine ever made by a national group of sewing machine mechanics and sellers. It makes a nice stitch, does good walking foot straight line stitching and doesn't want to free motion. It powers through a lot of heavy stuff. Different versions have potted motors, belt-driven, hand crank, and treadle. Potted motors are the most powerful and I've found hand crank to offer great precision for thread painting. However, this machine likes 50 weight thread or thinner and you won't be able to use many modern decorative or thick threads on it. I have three 201s, and I cannot use 40 weight quilting thread on any of them. It was designed for dressmaking. The bobbin is horizontal.

    The 301 is more versatile. It does three things exceptionally well: piecing, straight-line quilting with a walking foot, and it's free motion quilting is unsurpassed among all the many other machines I've tried. The vertical bobbin is part of the reason it is so good at fmq. It handles any thread except for YLI, I've found to my dismay. (I know so many people who have had major problems with YLI harming their machines - some of which had to go in for repair - that I don't use it anymore.) It thread paints well, also. It darns well and embroiders well. Feet for those functions are easily available, either in slant vintage metal feet or the clear foot that is entirely plastic. You can do other stitches with attachments. It is slant shank, which gives better visibility and sewing. It weighs 16 pounds and is often my choice for classes.

    Between the two, I'll take the 301 any day. I leave at least one 301 set up and ready at all times. That does not mean I'm giving up my 201s, however! If I found a good 201 treadle, I'd buy it.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 06-21-2013 at 09:58 AM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2011
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    middle TN
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    Great price and a great machine - I have 3 of them.

  4. #14
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I have both and the 30 is my go-to machine. I don't have any issues with using YLI brand thread but appear to be in the minority. That said, I'd own the 301 in a heartbeat and I have 2 already.
    Through Him who strengthens me, I can do all things - Paul

    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  5. #15
    Super Member
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    Aug 2011
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    Charleston SC
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    I have two 201s and I love to sew with them...They are work horses...

  6. #16
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I do not consider the 301 to be better than a 201. actually, the 201 is my favorite for general ssewing and piecing. For FMQ, I prefer the 15.

  7. #17
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    From the two I much prefer the 201.

    Like mentioned they, 201 versus 301, are very different machines. I do like the 301 better then the Feather Weight. The 301 is a full size machine. Because it is slant it is harder to find feet like the quarter inch foot but they are out there. I think it is easier to compare those two, 301 versus Feather Weight, as they are both light weight take along machines (portable).

    Now the 201 is a beauty but a boat anchor. It sews like a dream and has a super big throat opening. If I had to choose between the two of them, 201 versus 301, and I had a designated space for the machine at home and I would not need to take it places, I would take the 201.

    DH and I own 2 Singers 301 and 2 Singers 201, one converted to hand crank.
    Anna Quilts

  8. #18
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    OK Read your post again. It seems you are set, between 201 and other machines at home and the Feather Weight for class. $100 is a great deal and the 301 is just one of those wonderful machines you need to have still.
    Anna Quilts

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