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Thread: Mechanical vs. electronic sewing machine

  1. #26
    Senior Member skothing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I would take the $400 and buy the best mechanical refurbished machine I could. I received a 401 Slant-O-Matic Singer for Christmas in Original case with original manual and original box with feet and accessories for $198. Just think what you could buy with $400!!! Go to a 2nd hand store or a sewing machine store that deals in used machines!!
    I like this idea also try a repair shop. Often they have great deals on used machines.

  2. #27
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I think it's really important to know what you want out of your machine. I notice that the newer, less expensive models have much smaller work areas between the needle and the motor than older machines. If you want more area, then you have to spend beaucoup bucks to get that larger area.

    I have a late 60s Singer FashionMate and LOVE it! It is a work horse. I was taking a dart in my jeans waistband the other nite, and it sewed it like it was a piece of cotton. My machine straights stitch and zig zags, and I can move the needle L/R.

    If I did a lot of machine embroidery, I can see the advantage of the computerized machines.

    Personally, for $400, I'd be looking at CraigsList and dealer for trade ins to get the best of a vintage model that i could fine. I am not sure $400 would get me much on a new machine.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  3. #28
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I love my old ones and I love my new ones. Gee, I am not much help.

  4. #29
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    I too thought I wanted a computerized sewing machine. Even tried one out. Then got to thinking how there's no way I can service it when something goes wrong. No doubt the newer machines can do more. Ended up making a list of what I actually want and will use in a machine. Yep, bought another mechanical one.

    To each their own.

    ** Smiling about the car reference. My sweetie built me a 1939 Ford pickup. V-8, 5 speed manual transmission. He can work on it when something goes wrong.. which is rare. Our F-150 pickup with all it's fancy computer stuff is nice.. but we have to pay $$$ to have it worked on.
    Last edited by HillCountryGal; 12-28-2012 at 04:26 AM.

  5. #30
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    First of all, you get what you pay for. If you buy an electronic for under $400, it will most likely have poor quality parts that break easily. I have all Vikings that I paid well over $3000 for. I love them all. I also have antique Singers that I rarely use. But they are there if I want them. I have a treadle for power failures. I love everything about the electronics, have them cleaned yearly, and never plan to change to any other brand. They have embroidery capabilities, which the Diamond is set up for all the time. I use the Topaz 30 for my quilt constructing, love the larger harp on it and the Diamond. I keep the walking foot on the SE. The nice thing is that they all take the same feet, and can go from one layer of fabric to a very thick seam without ever bogging down. I love the needle threader, thread cutter, etc. Viking has a new machine out that has those features too, not the large throat though. But it is $800. So I suggest you save a little more money and get a machine that may cost more, but will be longer lasting. I was told that any machine under $400 is considered a "thow-away", WalMart machines being an example.

  6. #31
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    Go to several sewing machine dealerships and try the electronic machines. That should give you some idea of the features you like best and what you really need for your purposes. You already know about the mechanical machines. I like the mechanical machines for the heavy lifting, most of them have all metal parts and take the pressure better. The electronic machines have a lot more "handy" features that make piecing and quilting a lot faster and more fun.

  7. #32
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have several cheap mechanical Brother machines and an embroidery only machine for $300 . All are good machines.
    My every day machine is a Viking Sapphire that cost $1100 when I bought it years ago. I love this electronic machine.
    No thread cutter but love the needle down and auto foot start and stop feature. I use coats and clarks thread with no problems and Connecting Threads thread with no problems.
    I would not buy a cheap electronic machine but my embroidery is electronic and it was cheap. Havent had it but a few months so dont know how well it will last.

  8. #33
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    I have a 6430 Viking - refurbished and in great shape and have around $00 in it. It was top of the line and I take it to any classes. Love it. I also have a Pfaff 1473 that I bought new in 1989 and it has been serviced ONCE and I use it almost every day - has almost 200 decorative stitches and a needle threader and I can do writing with its 6 alphabets. Do not discount the oldies but goodies.

  9. #34
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    When I bought my Singer 9005 (1990 with 5 stitches plus buttomholer), I was angry at my former machine and bought something very simple but not cheap -- now I wish I had bought one with more stitches as I would like to have a blanket stitch and a few fancy stitches -- my machine isn't tempermental and works great except on thick things -- I would check out top-of-the-line used mechanical machines from a sewing machine store (Kenmores and Singers as well as others) -- the emachines sound interesting but some seem to have problems -- good luck!!
    diane

  10. #35
    Junior Member OrangeSherbet's Avatar
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    I have 5 Singer mechanical machines: 15-91, 221, three 301s. Love them all. They never break. I use them for piecing quilts and quilting.

  11. #36
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    I have a fancy Janome Horizon which is a great machine, but I rarely use any of the features. I have my Mom's old Singer, but can't remember the #. The Singer is a workhorse that has never had a problem in 60 years. I remember when she got it and I learned to sew on it. My favorite was my Kenmore limited edition which DH bought for me for our 5 year anniversary. I gave it to my niece when I got a fancy machine. She sold it at a garage sale for $20. In my guild lots of the gals are getting Kenmore machines esp to carry to classes.

  12. #37
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    My budget is small, about $400. What are your thoughts - stick with the devil I know and buy a mechanical or join the 21st century and buy a digital machine? Help!

    Tashana..I'm surprised no one has mentioned Juki...I bought an older TL98E off Ebay for under $400. Granted I took a chance, but heard so many good things about Juki, it was worth it.. LOVE the thread cutter and needle up/down, etc on this machine..the only thing missing is the auto threader, but I've gotten used to that, as it doesn't pull out the thread when starting to sew like my Janome...I never realized what is was like to sew on a real machine.. The TL98Q has the auto threader. It might be something to consider. You can't go wrong, at least from my experience....It was too fast for me, so I wedged a piece of yard stick under the foot pedal. Now it's perfect.....
    Hope you get what you want in a machine...It's fun to review, and read as much as possible.....

  13. #38
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    For a lot less than $400 you can buy a used Elna, Bernina or a Singer 403 or a Singer 503 an old Pfaff. If you don't want to work on one buy one that someone you can trust has gone over and made in working order - then expect to pay more than you would if you find one and fix it yourself. Some of us love the old cheap Japanese deluxe machines. The new machines ALL have plastic parts and stamped metal no matter how much you pay. Look at all the pictures on here - there are tons of older machines well loved by QB members.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  14. #39
    Super Member GABBYABBY's Avatar
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    I have a Brother SE 400 and it embroiders and has all the things you are asking for. I love this machine.
    It costs less than $400. I bought mine at Wal-Mart.

  15. #40
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    I have both--everything from a very high end Janome to a 1907 Singer treadle. I love them all. If I was interested in fancy stitches and embroidery, I would look for a computerized machine. If I wanted a work horse, I would definitely go with a vintage Singer. I have quite a few and each one is set up for a different task. I use my 15-91 for free-motion. I use my featherweight, my 27 treadle or my 66 treadle for piecing and repairs. I use one of my Janomes for buttonholes, decorative stitching or machine embroidery. I have several Japanese made 15 clones that are workhorses. What you get should be dependent on your needs, wants and budget. Just decide what you want it to do and go from there.

  16. #41
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I personally would agree with jcrow. I love the idea of being able to fix it myself, and the computers are way too fussy for my psychy..

  17. #42
    Senior Member quiltmaker52's Avatar
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    I just got a Brother PR6800 from Amazon for under $400. I love it, and it also embroiders.

  18. #43
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Yes, this and I own a lot of machines. One of my favorites is the vntage Bernina 830 but those are hard to find for $400.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I would take the $400 and buy the best mechanical refurbished machine I could. I received a 401 Slant-O-Matic Singer for Christmas in Original case with original manual and original box with feet and accessories for $198. Just think what you could buy with $400!!! Go to a 2nd hand store or a sewing machine store that deals in used machines!!
    Anna Quilts

  19. #44
    Junior Member Pattycakes's Avatar
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    I am looking for a new sewing machine too, but I want a computerized similar to the one Eleanor Burns uses on her show. I have been looking on Amazon.com. Sewing machines are listed under arts, crafts and something else. I am looking at a cp7500 by brother. I have a xl2600i that I love, but my grandaughter is begging me to get myself a new machine so she can have my old. So I have taken the hint am looking. Good luck in you decission. It will be a hard one. There are lot of good companies that produces a really good machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    I am at the point where I need to buy another sewing machine. The machine that I have is mechanical, very simple Singer about 12 years old. It is a good little machine that never had a temper tantrum. But, If it dies I will be in a pickle. I have never worked on an electronic (digital) sewing machine before. What are its pros and cons? I do not like overly sensitive machines that throw a fit if I use a thread that is not high end. I would be using the machine primarily for piecing and occasionally for quilting small projects. I have my Bailey for bigger quilts. The options that I like but do not have are automatic threader, thread cutter, dog feed lowering, and maybe a few decorative stitches. My budget is small, about $400. What are your thoughts - stick with the devil I know and buy a mechanical or join the 21st century and buy a digital machine? Help!
    Quilting Mad in Mansfield, Ohio
    Patty

  20. #45
    Junior Member marsharini's Avatar
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    This topic is of interest to me, too. I currently have a 30 year old Kenmore machine that doesn't do a whole lot, but is still in pretty good shape. I'm looking to upgrade and want to get the most bang for my buck, but I don't want to buy features I don't need or won't use. Also being very new to quilting, I'm not sure at this point exactly what it is I do need, so I'll continue to monitor this topic and keep reading to see what's available. I am leaning toward a Bernina, but definitely open to other brands based on what others have experienced.

    Marsha

  21. #46
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsharini View Post
    This topic is of interest to me, too. I currently have a 30 year old Kenmore machine that doesn't do a whole lot, but is still in pretty good shape. I'm looking to upgrade and want to get the most bang for my buck, but I don't want to buy features I don't need or won't use. Also being very new to quilting, I'm not sure at this point exactly what it is I do need, so I'll continue to monitor this topic and keep reading to see what's available. I am leaning toward a Bernina, but definitely open to other brands based on what others have experienced.

    Marsha
    Find a 30 year old high end mechanical Kenmore - pretty nice machines, not expensive - check to be sure the knobs all turn. If you hate it you can always go buy some plastic wonder...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  22. #47
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson0 View Post
    Hi guys i want to say that electronic sewing machine is better than mechanical because its do work fast and at our desirable quality...what you think...?
    Jackson,
    As you are obviously new here, please tell us about yourself, your sewing experience, how you found this board, what you like to make on the sewing machine, and send some pictures of your projects. We like to share these things.
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  23. #48
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    I would look for a used computerized machine. Look for a name brand machine. But you will have to save for a bit more. When it comes to sewing machines, you get what you pay for. You will love sewing on the newer technology machines.

  24. #49
    Senior Member dash2000lbs's Avatar
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    I have two Bernina and luv them ... It is nice to be able to have basic stitching and then to be able to use a decorative stitching without changing machines ....

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