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Thread: Mechanical vs. Computerized Machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    Would you please tell me which you prefer and why. What is it that the computerized machines do that the mechanical ones can't, other than more decorative stitches and alphabet, etc.? I have both, and to tell you the truth, I think I enjoy my mechanical machine more. Does that make me nuts? :|

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    No, that doesn't make you nuts. It just means you know what you like. :)

  3. #3
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I do a lot of applique & don't think I could do without the needle down option along with the #17 stitch on my rose that looks like hand applique.

  4. #4
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    Thanks, QuiltsRfun. There's something about the earnest simplicity of my mechanical that stirs my heart. I don't think I like that there's so much I haven't yet explored, let alone mastered, on my fancy machine. It's not so much intimidation....more like the mechanical is my soul sister, and the computerized is a mysterious aquaintance.

  5. #5
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    Donnajean, I agree the needle down is GREAT! I do have the heel tap that drops the needle on my mechanical, but it has to be done each time I stop. I don't do applique, but maybe I should try it soon.

  6. #6
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    So-sew, I can relate!! In this day and age with all the technology I sometimes feel overloaded with info. I'm not complaining, as I have 3 Ipods, a Kindle, etc etc- love technology, but sometimes get overwhelmed. I am using my vintage machines more and more. They are so comforting! I don't have to think- I can just sew :D

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have both , but love the mechanical for just plain stitching. For other stuff that I need the special feet I use the computerized.
    But got to say I love the knee control on the mechanical . Maybe if my computerized had a knee control I would love it more.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Suzi's Avatar
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    Mechanical hands down! If it breaks YOU can fix it. If the computerized machine quits your looking at a hefty repair bill. I'll take mechanical any day!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    About the only thing I've used my Janome for lately is buttonholes. I LOVE the buttonhole feature on the computerized machines. Other than that, I use the vintage babies...I use a mechanical serger to make clothing, and quilts are all done on a treadle or vintage machine. I do have a Pfaff 1200 I use for meander quilting...that's about it!

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I have both types and love both! The thing with computerized machines is that they make sewing easier and more enjoyable and you're not limited by ANYTHING. The sky is the limit for your imagination. The down part is that they're not made nearly as well as older, mechanical machines and are much more costly to buy and repair. Old machines are true workhorses and need no babying. They are dependable and sturdy. The negative is the lack of bells and whistles and they are not able to do the fancy work new, computerized machines are able to do.

    Really, it's like comparing a 50's T-Bird with a new luxury Mercedes Benz. Both are wondeful machines but have their pluses and minuses. It all depends on what you want.

  11. #11
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I just love my old mechanical Singers and also like the knee control. I have computerized but don't really care for them and only use them when I have to. My Singer 401 has enough fancy stitches for what I do. I had an expensive Viking Saphire I just hated so I sent it to my sister when her machine died.

  12. #12
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    Mechanical for me.

    I'm afraid to invest in the computerized machines for now.

  13. #13
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    I'm just barely above the computer illiterate category I can post a reply :D So there is no way I'd ever attempt a computerzed sewing machine besides its only been a few years since I started using an electric sewing machine :lol:

  14. #14
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I've recently acquired a Featherweight and love its simplicity and its beautiful stitch, and am now considering looking for a bigger vintage machine for quilting. But then yesterday I was playing with the decorative stitches on my Janome and had a great time - realised that I could be doing so much more with this machine. For me, computerised and mechanical both have their place.

  15. #15
    Super Member CoventryUK's Avatar
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    I was 'seduced' into buying a computerized machine when I first started quilting, Husqvarna Orhidea, I only ever used it as a mechanical machine, knew nothing about computers! Rarely used the embroidery attachment!! 3 years ago traded it for Sapphire 870 which I much prefer!! I just need a good workhorse!!! Love to see all the wonderful work produced on computerized machines, just not for me!!! Would love to treat myself to a Featherweight next!!!! I can dream can't I???

  16. #16
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by so-sew
    Would you please tell me which you prefer and why. What is it that the computerized machines do that the mechanical ones can't, other than more decorative stitches and alphabet, etc.? I have both, and to tell you the truth, I think I enjoy my mechanical machine more. Does that make me nuts? :|
    I like the extra features the computerized ones offer. The needle up/down, the thread cutter, the stop/go button ( no need for a foot pedal, which, with MS really works well for the legs). I don't use it to its fullest compacity I'm sure, but, what I do use, I use lots.

  17. #17
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    Like everyone else, I like both for different reasons. For straight stitch and piecing, you can't beat a FW. But, the needle down/presser foot up function on my computerized model is the absolute greatest when I'm making another of my postage stamp quilts. Don't think I would have made as many if I had to do them on a mechanical machine.

  18. #18
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    Yes, I love both. I love the deco stitches of computerized machines. But I know that each computerized machine has a much more limited lifespan. If only my mechanicals had needle-down, though. That's the only feature they lack that I really miss. And are there any mechanicals with adjustable pressure foot pressure? I've had that sweet 930 out and purring for a few days now, and I just love her so. I call her WINNIE because she came from Wisconsin and I think on 1/11/11 (all the vertical lines in the date and her name). She doesn't have adjustable foot pressure, but she's perfectly adjusted for piecing. I love solid metal machines.

  19. #19
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    Hello, Maia! Good to hear from you. I know I've seen mechanicals with adjustable presser foot pressure, but they were older machines. The 1031 Bernie that I'm in love with doesn't , and you're right about that being a design flaw. Glad to hear you're spending quality time with your 930 girl. :P

  20. #20
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have both kinds of machines and have come to the conclusion that I will use my computer machine only for what I cannot do with the mechanical.
    It costs alot to keep up a computer so why use it for simple piece work. I do love the needle down function and use it alot, just wish it was on my mech machine.

  21. #21
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    I love the needle up needle down and all the stitches on the computerized machine. I just got the new Bernina 830LE and have to say, it's intimidating! Can't wait for the classes on it!

  22. #22
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Maia, I think the pressure foot pressure for old machines is brand specific. I've got a 1960's White and a 1970-s Morse that have a button on the top that you can press in or release to change the pressure.

  23. #23
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    I love both but my computerized Viking has a sensor foot that lifts automatically when you take your foot off the pedal which is great for privoting...Whereas you have to lift the bar manually when doing applique or turns on the older models...time consuming and annoying.

  24. #24
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    Am teaching 10 year olds to sew and the only thing they may use is my mechanical. It is much more forgiving when they sew over needles and other rough stuff.

  25. #25
    Senior Member LaurieE's Avatar
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    I have both the old mechanicals (hand crank, treadle, featherweight and my 1973 Viking 64 30) and the modern Viking Rose. I've recently gone back to using my 1973 machine and I'm going to sell the Rose. I never used the embroidery side of it (I didn't do enough research about the expense of the embroidery side).

    I don't want a machine that 'thinks' for me. I know what I want to do when I sit down to sew, the machine does not. I don't mind picking up the pressure foot to pivot either. It takes all of 2 seconds, if that long.

    They're solid and sturdy and do not have plastic internal parts.

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