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Thread: Your Favorite Older Bernina Model?

  1. #1
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    Your Favorite Older Bernina Model?

    Hi I'm currently happy quilting on my Viking but definitely want to add a USED Bernina to my stable in the future. I wouldn't buy brand new but would like a used but computerized model. I don't go to classes and BSR is not a must-have (unless you convince me otherwise!!). I really just want the even straight stitches that Berninas are known for. I come across Berninas posted for sale on Craigslist and wonder if there is a model I should wait for and purchase when the opportunity arises either from a dealer or on craigslist. The question is, which model? Virtuosa? Artista? Aurora? Just as a realistic, current example- my local craigslist has three separate listings- a 440QE ($1400), a Virtuosa 153($600) and a 1230 in cabinet($700)? The range of prices and the pros and cons of newer vs older make it quite difficult to decide and its difficult to test them out side by side so I would love your testimonials! Do you have a former Bernina model you still use and love and would recommend?

  2. #2
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    I love my 1630. It was (I think) B's first really computerized. And oz for oz it is the prettiest sewing machine ever to roll out of a factory. Sews like a dream. It has cams you can get, and you can program your own, but I never got into that. It just sews. Clothes, drapes, tableware, oh yeah, quilts, too. A+++

    Have fun looking.

  3. #3
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    I have a Bernina 1530 from 1992 and it's great to sew with. Mine is second hand (free from a friend that inherited and doesn't sew) and I didn't get all the special feet for it but I have been able to find feet for it at my dealer and on ebay. I even got an acrylic extension table for it. A great machine.

  4. #4
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    I have a Bernina Virtuousa 150/1999, and an embroidery machine Bernina Artista 180/1998.
    I wouldn't trade either of my machines. I love the 150 for piecing, and I have the 180 for embroidery.
    Glad you are looking at the Bernina machines, they are wonderful machines and have a life of 50 years,
    so they are good machines to have.

  5. #5
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I bought my Bernina 440QE new about 7 or 8 years ago. It is the second machine in my life that I bought new. I love it and it is my "go to" machine. I rely on the needle down function, the needle up/down with a tap on the foot pedal. The walking foot is great quality (I was burning through generic walking feet on my White machine). At first I didn't like the BSR since I was pretty good at free motion without using it. But, now that I've adjusted to it I would not consider not using it for free motion. The needle threader works flawlessly. Nothing has gone wrong with my machine and I have never had it serviced (GASP!). I just clean the bobbin area well with each bobbin change and clean the feed dog area nearly as frequently.
    I also have a computerized 1630 which I bought used. Although it is a great machine I prefer some of the modern conveniences with the 440QE. And, I have a mechanical 730 that is great, but again, I am really liking the modern features of the 440QE and use that for most of my sewing.
    I would not consider getting rid of any of my Bernina's!
    PS: I bought the mechanical 830 for my daughter who never cared for sewing on my White machine. She loves it and uses it for home dec projects all of the time. It is easy for her to use and is trouble free.

    Please let us know what you end up buying! I don't think you can go wrong with any of the older Bernina models.

  6. #6
    Super Member SunlitenSmiles's Avatar
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    I love my 1630 (The Diva) and if I ever find one at a resonable price wiould like to have an 830 also....a friend has one and it is a joy to sew with.

    I am whispering because my oldest love is my Singer 301A and I would never want this trusted friend to have hurt feelings

  7. #7
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    My oldest Bernina is my trusty 830 Bernina Record with the red hard plastic case. I bought it brand new in the 70s. About three years back I bought a 2004 Bernina Artista 200 embroidery, computerized machine. They both are wonderful. My favorite thing on the Artista is that I can set the needle to always stop in the down position. Also, I can set different speeds for FMQ. The Artista I bought off of craigslist.

    [You can't go wrong with Singer 301 or a FW for straight stitching though. All of mine are off Craigslist.]

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

  8. #8
    Junior Member totosmom's Avatar
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    Personally, I love the 800 series. My 830 Record which I got recently used makes THE nicest stitches. Never have a problem with tension either. It is rock solid dependable. Once I had the 830 for a while, I started to long for a more portable version. That's when I got an 801 Sport. It's just as reliable but with a handle, it's much easier on the back. think it's much better than a FW -- for less money. I won't ever be without a Bernina.
    Dorothy in PA

  9. #9
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    I have an oldie but goodie...the 1008...she has a beautiful stitch and has served me well for about fifteen-seventeen years. However, she got sick a year ago or so, so she is now my backup machine but still gets a workout now and then. Good luck in the hunt!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  10. #10
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I have the 830. It is probably the top sought after vintage machine and can easily cost $800 used.
    Anna Quilts

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