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Thread: used machines

  1. #1
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    used machines

    I am new to trying to acquire an older (but better) machine and would like any opinions on a Kenmore 2142 for $50.00 and a Kenmore Touch & Sew zig-zag 758 for $50. This one seems to stictch very easily, I am tempted but know nothing about it's history. Is there anyone who knows anything about either one of these? I would appreciate your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    nana1234,

    The older Kenmores are generally very good machines. Their model numbers will start with three numbers then a dash then more numbers. Like this: 117-812 or 158-13470 or 358-######. I don't recognize the 2142 number.

    The Touch & Sew is a Singer machine, not a Kenmore and probably will have plastic gears inside. Some of their owners love them, some hate them so much they've nic named them Touch & Throws. I do not know as I've never used / owned / or worked on one.

    If you are looking for an older Singer ZZ I'd suggest a 200, 300, 400, or 500 series. Many of them are all metal inside and will last till the end of the world.

    Most any Kenmore with a 158 - ##### will be good as well.

    Joe

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I have seen a few T&S machines - but have only seen one or two models I liked. The 600 and the 603 seem to be decent machines as long as the bobbin winder work - you also need to have perfect bobbins - anything wrong and they don't work right. Also you have to follow the bobbin winding directions perfectly.

    As far as Kenmore there are many nice old Kenmore machines - I have noticed that the reverse button tends to freeze & bobbin winder's break
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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    I own a Kenmore 158.14311 that is my original machine from the 70's or early 80's. It is not a touch and sew. It is an excellent basic machine and works as well today as it did when it was new. I have sewn most everything on it from dainty clothing to denim slipcovers to drapes to quilts. I have seen some that look like it on ebay for various prices. I think the main problem with them as they get older is worn feed dogs. I bought a Babylock Symphony because I wanted a larger harp and some additional features, but I still sew on my old Kenmore about half of the time. I also own a featherweight that sews well, but not as well as my Kenmore. This Kenmore uses short shank feet and they interchange with my featherweight I would never give it up my old Kenmore.

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    I think the model number 2142 is the number on the motor. The machine model number is just under the bed on a metal plate. I LOVE my vintage Kenmore machines, IF they have low shank center homing feet. One can buy an adapter for high shank feet, but not the left homing ones.

    I would steer clean of the Touch & Swear...oops...Sew.

    SOME good all steel Singers are the 301, 403, 401, 404, 500, 503 and some 600s. Some 400's came later and have plastic gears that are about to fall apart. Those good Singer machines are slant shank so feet are a bit limited, unlike the Kenmore's I mentioned which have an endless number of feet available.

  6. #6
    Junior Member AliceQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana1234 View Post
    I am new to trying to acquire an older (but better) machine and would like any opinions on a Kenmore 2142 for $50.00 and a Kenmore Touch & Sew zig-zag 758 for $50. This one seems to stictch very easily, I am tempted but know nothing about it's history. Is there anyone who knows anything about either one of these? I would appreciate your help.
    I love Kenmores! I've had 5. Most are rescued and then passed on. I still have one that just makes me smile whenever I sew! Never had problems with bobbin winders, reverse or anything else. A good cleaning and oiling is all they've ever needed.
    In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

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    Thank you all for your input! I have to go back and look at the machines for better details, and your input will help me with my decision. I hope I can come home with a machine. These machines are in a cabinet, which I have never had, do I will be very excited!

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    The 758 is a sewing machine. That's all I can really say in its favor. It's nothing special, I didn't find it a great machine for usability (the dials turned harder than I thought they should, and the buttonholer was less intuitive than it could have been) The additional drawback (for me) was the self winding bobbin. They're often a problem point, and I prefer to wind my bobbins while I sew, rather than having to remove my work to wind. Self winding saves me no time whatsoever and encourages me to not clean the hook area enough because "you don't have to remove the bobbin".

    I agree with the comments about the Singer 401, 403, etc, but also keep an eye out for a 411, 421, or a 431. They're German versions of the 401A. They're the same machines, but they also chainstitch.

    Also, most of the pre-computerized Kenmores I've had come across my desk have been great machines, and very quiet compared to the Singers of a similar era. Great FMQ machines too, the ones I've tried.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post

    Also, most of the pre-computerized Kenmores I've had come across my desk have been great machines, and very quiet compared to the Singers of a similar era. Great FMQ machines too, the ones I've tried.
    I would say a big ditto on that one.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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