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Thread: Pfaff vs Babylock opinons please

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    I went downtown to run an errand for my husband this morning and made the mistake of going into our local sewing store. I came out with my head spinning and stars in my eyes. I was looking at the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0 ($2299), and the Babylock Espire ($2499) and Quest ($1899). They also had a used Pfaff 4872 serger for $595. This would be a big step up for me but I just retired and have lots of time to indulge my sewing fantasies. Any opinions on the pros and cons of any of these machines? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Wow!! I never see questions about Quest! I bought one a year ago and after an initial adjustment period when I wanted to throw it out the window...I now LOVE it. When I researched new machines, my top priorities were a larger throat area and a clear 1/4" marking. I only wanted/needed a few stitches. The Quest came with so much more than I wanted, but I love it. The trouble in the beginning was finding the thread it likes. If you happen to decide on the Quest--start with Gutermann polyester thread and it should be happy.

    PS I bought the machine from a Pfaff dealer, but didn't try Pfaffs because they were more expensive. I paid $1000 for the Quest--special promotion last year for the older models as new ones came out.

  3. #3
    Super Member quiltnut4ever's Avatar
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    I actually own both, Pfaff 7550 (older) and a Babylock Ellure. I must say I love my Babylock, my Pfaff is a back up. Both are exceptional and I checked out the one you mentioned, the 4.0 and fell in love but not in my budget at all. I'd go Pfaff since their engineering and IDT foot are great!

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Select the one you like and don't second guess your choice. Congratulations on having a choice! Post and let us know which one you decide on.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have 3 Pfaffs, an older Quilt and Craft for backup and classes, a 2056 that I got an awesome deal on, and a GrandQuilter.

    When I got the 2056, I also looked at the Expressions, and did not like what I read in some of the reviews. It's one of those try it and buy it decisions.

    If I were in the market again, I would give Janomes a closer look.

    Have fun with your purchase.

  6. #6
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    Janome is what I suggest to folks, too. I tried one when I was shopping and loved it!! It's quieter than the Babylock, but the one with the same "stuff" as the Quest was $500 more, and the throat wasn't any bigger than the machine I had... so that's why I went with the Quest. I did love the feel of that Janome... it was a tough decision.

  7. #7
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Go to www.patternreview.com and look over the reviews on the machines you are interested in. I know the Pfaff hasn't gotten very good reviews and the Quest Plus and the Espire do. I am saving my pennies for the Espire!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    I did go to patternreview and was surprised that the Pfaff didn't have particularly glowing reviews. Unfortunately, the nearest Janome dealer is about 50 miles away and I want to deal with someone closer. I have a call in to a friend of mine who has a Quest so I'll be interested to hear what she has to say. BellaBoo you are right; in the end you just have to choose and not second guess. I'm lucky to be in a position to buy any of these machines.

  9. #9
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    Okay, since you're still researching, here's more I like about the Quest: the even feed foot is automatic. You can lift it up, but other wise it's always there. The 1/4" seam line is marked so clearly in many ways and on both sides. All other seams allowances are marked as well. I just finished two ragged with 1/2" and what a piece of cake! My quilts have never matched up as well! My first machine didn't have one at all, so I relied on a magnet to hold it, but it had to be taken off every time I changed the bobbin! So, you can see why I get so danged excited about this feature. The bobbin is easy to change and you don't have to unthread your machine to do it--it's separate. I love that there are two needle plates--one for quilting and one for everything else.

    I'd suggest you go try all the machines you want before you decide. ON the day I had to choose, I drove all over the place. I tried Berninas--loved that machine, but the throat was shorter than my machine! I tried Janomes--loved them too. But, overall, I'm 100% happy (now) with my Babylock.

    It's a hard decision... good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member gailmitchell's Avatar
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    I have 2 Pfaffs and really like them both. I use the older one that is 30 years old the most. I think the model is 1471 and it has the IDT. I couldn't live without that. I have a Pfaff Embroidery 2140 and I liked that too. I had a bit of a problem with the presser foot not wanting to stay up when I lift the leaver. My dealer fixed it but it's going the same way. I've had it for about 8 years now.

    I agree with one of the replys about buying a used machine. My next machine will probably be a used Pfaff with IDT.

    I think babylocks come with IDT - the integrated walking foot now.

  11. #11
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    We also have 3 Pfaff machines: 2038, 1475, and 1200 (Grand Quilter). When we bought the first one, the IDT was the selling point for us, but after using it for a while, we knew we made a good choice. We are amateurs, but it does make a lot of the things we do easier. When I decided to start "helping" sew, we bought the 1475 used. It had been sold originally at the shop where we bought it, and the owner had traded it in for an upgrade. It works perfectly and I doubt I'll ever wear it out. I think these machines are like cars: if you buy a name brand from a reputable dealer, you will get a good product. Everything else just boils down to personal preference and experience. I hope you enjoy your new machine.

    Darren

  12. #12
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff 7550, and a 2144. My serger is also Pfaff. I love them and won't have anything but a Pfaff.

  13. #13
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    It sounds like like no matter what you choose--you'll love it!

  14. #14
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    I bought a Babylock Espire this year, and I love, love, love this machine. It's just so much smarter than I am! It does tricks I didn't know sewing machines could do. I especially like the feature where you can stop sewing with the needle down, but when you stop the foot raises up--great for pivoting. and I love the thread cutter, which is a button on the face of the machine. It has a bunch of decorative stitches, some of which I actually use. I'm learning FMQ on it--slow progress there, but it's not the machine's fault. I can't imagine ever outgrowing this machine, and I bless it every single time I use it! (By the way, I got a show special on it--$1200!)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    Argggghhhhh, I am gnashing my teeth over the show special prices that people have gotten. An Espire for $1200 is half of what my LQS is quoting to me, and ditto for the Quest Plus. I talked to my friend - she is a home ec teacher and really likes her Quest Plus. Today, at this minute, I think I have decided on the Quest Plus and a serger which would together be the price of an Espire. By this evening, who knows?? The pivot function on the Espire sounds great but the walking foot on the QPlus is a plus. And for some reason I am obsessed with the thread cutting function on the Espire - from watching too much Fons and Porter I guess. For Pete's sake, I have been sewing for 35+ years and have managed to cut my own thread without going over the deep end. The decision saga will continue...

  16. #16
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    Oh! I don't like the thread cutter--if that helps. My maching was a floor model--so maybe that's why, but it rips the thread more than cuts it. I never use it. Scissors still work here. :wink:

  17. #17
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    I started out with a Babylock Espire about ten years ago. This past June I got the Quest Plus (also got it at the promotional price, yay me!) and I love it to death. I also have a Babylock serger and it works great.

    I would say to give each machine a test run if you can. I'm sure the shop owners would have no problem with you trying them out.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    Well, I made my decision: The BL Quest Plus and the used Pfaff serger. Whew! I am excited and relieved at the same time. This is the best Christmas present ever. I appreciate all the feedback I got to my initial post. You are the pros and it's wonderful to have your expertise to draw on. Thanks to everyone!

  19. #19
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    I have a Pfaff and Bernina sewing machine and love them both. I really like the IDT on the Pfaff and would probably purchases a Pfaff. If you can find a good used one I would try to get a 1471, 1473 or 1475. These are good machines and will last forever.
    On the serger, I like the jet threading on the Babylock and own 3 BL serger. I also have a older Bernina serger and it does a good job, just hate to thread it.

  20. #20
    Super Member adrianlee's Avatar
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    I have the 830 Bernina, not the new one but the old one. Mine is over 36 years old and still runs like new and it's sewn millions of miles of thread. I got the mid range Pfaff 4 years ago and it is sewing like a dream. At a yard sale I bought an old old Pfaff for 30 dollars. The guy who does sewing machine service says this old one was probably made in the late 1940's. It is a heavy portable but still runs great. For real heavy material hubby got a Thompson. Have fun picking out your machine.

  21. #21

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    I just bought a used Pfaff 1469 and it only had the embroidery design book not the operating instructions book. I have most things figured out ( I think). Does anyone have a copy or ideas where I can find one? The dealer tried her sorses and came up empty. You'all are great helpers so thought I'd ask for ideas. Thanks ahead of time.

  22. #22
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    My fist machine was a Pfaff Hobbymatic and I still have it and my second machine was the 7550 and I trade it in for a 2170 and I am ever so happy with them all. Pfaff is not well known in South Africa, but the German craftmanship is excellent! I must say I have a Babylock overlocker and it works very well. I spoke to a person who works in one of the biggest repairshops locally and he said that those 2 are the best, because their body is still steel, where the others are strong plastics. So, I agree, it is mostly personal taste, but I will stick to my Pfaff machines, come what may.

  23. #23
    Senior Member patsyo56721's Avatar
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    I have the Babylock Elure Plus embroidery sewing machine and I love it.

  24. #24
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I love my Pfaff. I was lucky enough to find one that was clearanced
    because it was last years model.

  25. #25
    Senior Member patsyo56721's Avatar
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    Have you tried going direct to babylock on the internet?

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