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Advice requested on buying a used longarm

Advice requested on buying a used longarm

Old 11-25-2021, 07:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 12
Default Advice requested on buying a used longarm

I would like your advice. I have the opportunity to buy a used Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen with a Studio 2 frame for $4,200. The sellers state that it was purchased two years ago and that it was used for less than 10 quilts. They are selling because they have moved to a smaller house and have no room for it, and the machine is not set up to test.

Does this seem like a reasonable purchase? Is there anything I need to watch out for?

About me: Iím an occasional quilter (piecing since 2013, total number of quilts actually finished is 12). I have been renting time on an APQS Millie with QuiltPath to quilt 3 quilts this year. (Yay!) However, the rental location is a 2-hour round trip from me so Iím considering having my own longarm. Of course, budget is a significant consideration, and Iím not sure if I will actually like having my own longarm, so Iím not willing to sink many thousands of dollars into this purchase. I will only be making baby and throw/lap size quilts for myself, friends, and charity, and will probably do 5-10 a year. I have no experience yet with free motion quilting, but I will be going to a friendís tomorrow to try out her longarm setup and FMQ. I have played a little with ruler work on my regular sewing machine. I do have a spare bedroom for the machine.

Thanks very much for any advice or guidance!
TexasRanchLady is offline  
Old 11-25-2021, 08:11 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 912

It is a bummer not being able to test it out. I see there is one place on the internet to buy a new one for around $7000. It has a 16 inch neck which is quite a bit smaller than what you have been using. Is there a handiquilter dealer near you if you have problems with it or will you have to ship it somewhere for repair. will you be getting any robotoics with it like quilt path? Based on the amount of quilts you would be doing, Ummm, I would think about continuing to rent out time until I decided if I really wanted to invest in a larger long arm and really enjoyed the long arm process. However, it could be a good machine to get if you really want one at home, it is a lot easier to load a quilt and then get it done as you wish although I usually get even large quilts done in a few days often taking one day to load it, and then doing the quilting on 1-2 days. I normally just do an over-all design free hand. I have an APQS Lucey on a 12 foot frame so I can do fairly large quilts, Mine has a 26 inch neck which is the same size as an APQS millineum or Freedom just not as many bells and whistles although it does have one manual channel lock. No robotics on mine. I paid about $11,000 for it several years ago as a demo machine and that includes the upgrade to bliss rails. Previous to that I had a 9 inch neck machine on a 10 foot frame. Ha, I learned I wanted to do more quilting, but that set up was a tad challenging to say the least. I have done just about 60 quilts on it for myself and figured, it was worth it!
sewingpup is offline  
Old 11-25-2021, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Southern USA
Posts: 1,232

I would NOT buy if I could not test it. I once drove a 5 hour round trip to test a machine ‘ in perfect condition’ only to find that it ‘looked in perfect condition’. It didn’t work in perfect condition. I passed on that one.
Sounds suspicious that you couldn’t test, in my opinion anyway….
toogie is offline  
Old 11-25-2021, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 63

I have the HQ Asante and have never had a bit of trouble with it. My dealer is only an hour away from me and her husband is a certified HQ service tech, so I am able to easily have it cleaned and tuned up which I do every two years. I can’t advise about the price, but, as others have said, I wouldn’t buy it without trying it. Ask them if they can set it up in their basement or garage.
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Old 11-25-2021, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,094

I have a babylock regalia, which is basically the same thing as a handiquilter. I love it. I would definitely consider if you have a dealer nearby. even if not often used, I would still have it serviced once a year to keep it in good condition. and would take it in for a service check up after you buy it. not testing it out certainly makes it a risky purchase. I would consider the estimated yearly cost you are paying to rent and the potential cost of servicing the handiquilter now with possible parts and fixes depending on actual condition and the annual upkeep and maintenance. how many years do you have use the longarm to make up for the cost of it?
I considered the above things before I bought mine and determined that it would be a better deal to rent a long arm at my LQS. clearly I did not listen to that conclusion and bought one anyway! I decided the convenience of having it at home was worth the cost sacrifice.
maybe you can talk her down on the price because of the risk you are taking. if you can get it for 3000, then you have a 1200 dollar buffer to fix anything that may be a surprise.
LAF2019 is offline  
Old 11-26-2021, 03:25 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 12

Thanks very much for all the comments and advice, particularly the concerns about not being able to test the machine. As it turns out the machine sold yesterday! There are several HandiQuilter dealers within a 2-hour drive, so I will start visiting them.
TexasRanchLady is offline  

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