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Thread: Longarm purchase - new or used?

  1. #1
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    Longarm purchase - new or used?

    I finally have room for a longarm and have decided to get a Handi Quilter. My dilemma is whether I should buy new or used. My LQS is also an HQ dealer and I was leaning towards an Amara because of the price. However, an opportunity came up through an individual to purchase a used Fusion with Pro Stitcher for around $1000 more. The used machine is only 4 years old and has fewer than 4 million stitches on it. We (my DH and I) would need to break down, transport, and reassemble the used machine (6 hr drive for us) while the new machine would be delivered and set up for me and includes the warranty. Iíd love to have the fusion with pro stitcher but itís a large investment and there are no guarantees...

    Thoughts/opinions anyone? Has anyone else purchased a used machine and if so, what was your experience like?

  2. #2
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    I would buy the fusion, transport it yourself, and hire your LQS to set the machine and frame up for you. You would have 4 inches of additional quilting space and a pro-stitcher.

  3. #3
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    I hadn’t thought of having my LQS set it up. I’ll check into that option -thanks!
    Last edited by dobiemom; 12-07-2018 at 06:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    6 hours is a long way to go for help. The local new machine probably also includes * new owner classes* and support for any problems that may arise. In the beginning it is common to have tension problems and little things that take a little guidance- your local dealer will be there for you. If after time you decide to upgrade quite often you can trade in for more bells & whistles
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Go for the used one, you will be getting a lot for the money. It sounds like a great deal.
    https://quiltdasher.blogspot.com

    I like to make lists. I also like to leave them laying on my sewing table and then guess what's on the list while at the fabric store. Fun game.

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm not really familiar with HQ, but I would suggest the used, which is larger with SR, right? I bet if your LQS is a dealer, then they are also able/willing to help you with set up once you get it back home and would serve as tech if needed in future. And for a fee they would probably also give you some instruction on it. Most LA companies have split the US into regions with dealers in each region, and if you live in that region they will be your support system regardless of whether you already had the LA, bought it used, or new from them. Good luck and have fun!

  7. #7
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    Buy used, but try before you buy. Make sure the machine is set up on the frame, ready to do a sample quilting, when you look at it. If it works, great, then buy it.

    My first machine, HQ16 was purchased used and worked great. I used it with the PC Quilter, an automated quilting system for 8 years. My DH cleaned it for me about every two years, and except for dust around the needle area, it was very clean. It never needed any other maintenance. My sister is happily (I think) learning to use it in her home.

    I upgraded to a Q'nique 21 because it was a good buy even after adding the automated quilting system - and - there were no used Long Arms for sale within driving distance of me. If a used HQ with a Pro-Stitcher was available and close enough to try it out, I would have gotten a larger HQ.

    One word of caution - the HQ16 user manual was scant. Very basic information in it. (The newer, larger HQs may have more info in their user guides.) If you and your husband are going to take down and set up a used HQ on your own, take some video's of the 'take down' to 'remind' yourself of what goes where during the set up.
    Last edited by cathyvv; 12-07-2018 at 07:16 PM.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    I agree with the othe others about the used, youíre getting Pro Stitcher with it and thatís a very expensive add on. I have a Fusion and I love it, itís very user friendly and I have never had any Handiquilter specific classes. I did take a 3 day workshop for longarm quilting (worth every penny), and learned a lot, but at the end of the day HQ makes a very user friendly machine.

    If your local HQ dealer doesnít allow you to purchase set up services and classes from them then thatís not very smart business practice IMHO. I donít know what frame itís set up on, but mine is in a 12ft gallery frame, when I moved, it was broken down into 3 large sections and moved in the back of an enclosed trailer making it easy to reassemble. This was much quicker than the initial assembly when I bought it new. Let us know what you decide and congratulations!
    Lisa

  9. #9
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I bought a used HQ Avante several years ago. I was afraid I might be buying someone elseís problems, but I havenít had any of my own (regarding the machine) since. I find the HQ people very helpful when I do have questions. Pro stitcher is a nice option and quite expensive when purchased separately. It all comes down to your comfort level buying used or new. Also, some folks donít like learning the pro stitcher. The machine and frame will still work well without it.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  10. #10
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    My dealer offers classes open to everyone, if you recently bought the machine, you can get one class for free.

    The prostitcher is really nice, and you can get free upgrades from HQ and you don't need to prove anything to get them. the new PRO serious for the prostitcher is super nice, it's been out for a few years now. It's fun to FMQ when you want, but super nice to do an all over pattern with the machine when you need to get something done.

    And if it's an older fusion, you can buy the digital tension assembly and more lights, and the different feet - and lots of other fun stuff (like the side holders for the front bar). I've bought lots of upgrades for my Fusion that came out after I bought it.

    when I bought my machine, it came in several large boxes and DH and I set it up ourselves. A year later I added the prostitcher and DH and I did that ourselves. Then a few years later we built a building and took it down so we could move it. We had to take it fully down as we could not fit it through the doorways. Got it set back up and it's been working fine. Main thing is to get it level, and follow the procedure to get your tracks parallel. There is info online about how to do that.

    DH has done all the servicing on my machine. He's friends with the service guys where we bought it (over an hour away).

    My dealer sells a lot of thread, needles, accessories and service - and they'd loose a lot supply sales if they didn't treat everyone well, regardless of where the machine was bought.
    Last edited by Macybaby; 12-08-2018 at 07:10 AM.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Grannies G's Avatar
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    I recently bought a used Sweet sixteen that only had 90,000 Stitches, basically unused really, but got lots of extras like the tru stitch regulator, several rulers, thread etc. so I would consider what extras the person selling is including. So far excellent machine and well worth what I paid. Good luck

  12. #12
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    If you buy it, take lots and lots of photos as you disassemble it.

    bkay

  13. #13
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    most issues can be taken care of over the phone. Also with tension issues you just have to work it out for yourself. There are a lot of videos dealing with it on the computer. I would go with the one you want

  14. #14
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathyvv View Post
    Buy used, but try before you buy. Make sure the machine is set up on the frame, ready to do a sample quilting, when you look at it. If it works, great, then buy it.

    My first machine, HQ16 was purchased used and worked great. I used it with the PC Quilter, an automated quilting system for 8 years. My DH cleaned it for me about every two years, and except for dust around the needle area, it was very clean. It never needed any other maintenance. My sister is happily (I think) learning to use it in her home.

    I upgraded to a Q'nique 21 because it was a good buy even after adding the automated quilting system - and - there were no used Long Arms for sale within driving distance of me. If a used HQ with a Pro-Stitcher was available and close enough to try it out, I would have gotten a larger HQ.

    One word of caution - the HQ16 user manual was scant. Very basic information in it. (The newer, larger HQs may have more info in their user guides.) If you and your husband are going to take down and set up a used HQ on your own, take some video's of the 'take down' to 'remind' yourself of what goes where during the set up.
    My hq manual is very sparse so don't think the manuals have improved
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

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    Have you used one before? I thought I just had to have one and was so tickled to find a good deal and then I was even more tickled the day I sold it. I just didn't have the patience dealing with the tension. Highly suggest you play around with one at shop before investing.

  16. #16
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    I bought a used machine (not a HQ) but I saved about half the cost of a new one; the previous owner upgraded to computerized. I haven't had any issues so far that have required help. I say go for the used one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaPP View Post
    Have you used one before? I thought I just had to have one and was so tickled to find a good deal and then I was even more tickled the day I sold it. I just didn't have the patience dealing with the tension. Highly suggest you play around with one at shop before investing.
    Yes, Iíve rented and worked on HQ, Innova, and Gammill

  18. #18
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    Thanks so much for all of the advice!! This is a great group!

    Iím going to look at the used one this week. It comes with a 12 ft frame but Iíd need to set it up as an 8 ft due to space constraints.

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