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Thread: Metal or plastic bobbins?

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Metal or plastic bobbins?

    I just saw some metal bobbins. My machine came with plastic and that seems to have been what they all are these days...and prior. But I saw some metal ones for my new Singer...what's your thoughts....metal or plastic bobbins? Does the metal make the bobbin spin smoother and easier than plastic? Any pros/cons for either?

  2. #2
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I don't know about new machines that started out with plastic bobbins, but many have said that their machines that started with metal bobbins don't like the plastic ones.

    I have seen many plastic bobbins that are warped out of shape, and that can't be giving optimum results.

    Dayle

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    some machines only take one type of bobbin. what type does your manual say? talk to the place you bought your machine from too for more info. My Janome uses plastic and my old Singer did too but they are different from each other.

  4. #4
    Junior Member TeriD's Avatar
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    My machine came with plastic bobbins and that's what I used for years. But then when I took my machine in to be serviced, it came back with a couple of metal bobbins and they are SO much better. The machine runs much smoother with the metal bobbins. I like them so much I went out and bought a bunch more.

  5. #5
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    I've been told that metal bobbins in metal cases (shuttles?) and plastic in plastic bobbin cases...and heard you should never use metal in the plastic cases. I have both types of cases and both types of bobbins, and the bobbins are almost all interchangeable---so I'd like to know for sure, if anyone has indisputable information. It would be soooo convenient to grab the thread color I need w/o considering first if it's metal or plastic bobbin. Thanks for any input.
    Last edited by mermaid; 10-24-2012 at 04:57 PM. Reason: error

  6. #6
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    The machines I have now all use metal bobbins only. A machine that I used for 20 years before giving it to my granddaughter has plastic bobbins. I never had a problem with the plastic bobbins; but I do love the metal bobbins. They are more expensive though and I tend to want lots of bobbins.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    I only used the metal bobbins in my featherweight. I use the plastic in my pfaff. Some machines need the plastic as they have indicators to tell when your bobbin thread is running out. they need to "see" how much thread is left on the bobbin

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You can have tension problems by using a different bobbin than what your machine came with.

  9. #9
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    When I put plastic bobbins on my old singer, sometimes they get little grooves cut into the sides of them and makes the thread break. But I haven't found metal ones for it. I just have to make sure and use good plastic and keep on checking them for breaks in them.

  10. #10
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    I use both in my 43 year old Singer. I have noticed that some of my older plastic bobbins may deteriorate and crack, but other than that, I don't notice any difference in how the machine works.

  11. #11
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    One reason for the Plastic one is that you can see when there about to run out if there a top loading
    bobbin, where as the metal ones you can't really see if they are almost empty.
    May you always have Love to Share , Health to Spare, and Friends that Care!

  12. #12
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    Metal tends to wear away the drop in bobbin cases so I would recommend the plastic bobbins for those. If you have a removable metal casing that you put the bobbin in, the metal bobbins work good and there is not a "wear" factor.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  13. #13
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    My old sewing machine had a vertical bobbin case and I used metal bobbins with it. I do actually prefer the metal bobbins, but my new sewing machine requires the plastic bobbins, so I've made the sacrifice.

  14. #14
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 7700 and haven't noticed a difference whether I use the metal or official Janome bobbins. The metal are easier to fill as they have more holes to get the initial thread in before I wind it. The plastic only have two--the metal has dozens. Easier on the eyes.

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    My 23 year old Viking uses plastic bobbins and my 11 year old Bernina uses metal, both have metal bobbin cases. I've never even considered changing what they came with; I won't even buy generic bobbins for them. Bobbins are too important to mess around with imo.
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  16. #16
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    my kenmore came with plastic and my juki came with metal. but i use cardboard prewounds in both of them and have no issues with them.
    Nancy in western NY
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  17. #17
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I use both in my old Singer 401A, but metal only in the others, only because that's what I have.

  18. #18
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    Both my Pfaff and Viking came with plastic bobbins. This was a first for me. I have noticed a chip in one and tossed it. I guess it might be something you would have to replace from time to time. I do love the alert that thread is running short so a small price to pay.

  19. #19
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    I use both so I am not much help. Yes they are both used on the same machine and I have done this for many yrs. Bobbins come in different shapes so keep that in mind.
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  20. #20
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    Someone had posted you can use plastic instead of metal but not metal for plastic. Newer machine have plastic parts & metal wears them

  21. #21
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    I was told by my dealer that the metal bobbins can become magnetized with the speed of sewing and cause thread problems. Now I use just the plastic one and no more problems. Since my Singer and Brother use different bobbins I use the little paper dots to tell them apart-Brother has dots.
    Kathy Osterby

  22. #22
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    As several have said, I'd stick with what came with your machine....except that I also use the cardboard prewound bobbins...but not all machines can handle them.

    One disadvantage I know about for plastic bobbins is that you should use use slow speeds and lots of caution when winding metallic or other stretchy threads on the plastic bobbins since the threads can relax once on the bobbin and actually make the plastic bobbins warp from the pressure on the inner core...because of this pressure, they may not rotate correctly. One hint I've heard for checking for warped plastic bobbins (and works for wrong sized bobbins as well) is that if it won't fit snugly and easily on your bobbin winder post, it probably shouldn't be used on your machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeebreak View Post
    Any pros/cons for either?
    Kate

  23. #23
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    Both my Brother and Elna came with plastic bobbins, but I like the metal ones. The manual for both machines say to use bobbins made for the machine. I always took that to mean... 'use ours because we charge more' and they do plastic bobbins because they are cheaper to make.
    My understanding is that the important part is the size (class) of the bobbin.
    I could be wrong, I have no formal training in sewing and I've only been doing it a few years, but both of my machines are working great and the Brother has been used pretty hard for about 2 years.

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