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joe'smom 05-06-2017 06:22 AM

Question about sewing machines
My 30 year old machine is being serviced, and there's the possibility I might have to replace it. It got me thinking that I don't really understand what is meant by 'computerized' vs. 'mechanical' in reference to sewing machines. I like hand work and am not really interested in embroidering or appliqueing by machine, so I don't need that type of capability.

Obviously computerized machines still have the same kinds of moving parts (I assume), so what is it that is computerized in the newer machines? Do they still make strictly mechanical machines without electronics? My old machine has been very reliable as far as tension and stitching, and I'm wondering if more tends to go wrong with computerized machines.

Boston1954 05-06-2017 06:28 AM

I have a Brother SQ9000. When I turn it on there is a display on the right that lets me pick stitch type, length, and the seam allowance. I love it. This machine was only $199.00 before tax. There are some that will even tell you when the bobbin is running low.

As far as finding an older machine, I am sure they can be found. If you research them, you may find something you like.

bearisgray 05-06-2017 06:58 AM

As far as I know -

"mechanical" - all the adjustments are made manually. If one wants to change the stitch length, for example, one either turns a knob or moves a lever to change the length.

NJ Quilter 05-06-2017 08:13 AM

Essentially what bearisgray has said pretty much covers it. As I understand it, most of the 'computerized' machines have what you could think of as a 'hard drive' much like your computer where all the basics are stored such as stitch length; decorative stitches and the like.

I have both types - a couple of vintage mechanical machines and a computerized Viking. The thing I love about the Viking (and others of it's type) is you have the ability to easily have needle up/down settings; some with auto tension features; auto cutting features; needle position adjustment; etc. It's not just about embroidery or applique. Mine does have a plethora of decorative stitches but I rarely use them. I bought the machine because of some of the other 'auto' features. It is my go to piecing machine because it's so easy to use.

I hand quilt; don't do art quilts; etc.

Onebyone 05-06-2017 08:41 AM

For a basic computerized quality machine I would look at the new Sparrow Machines. Many in my guild have them and they have nothing but good things to say about all the different Sparrow models.

Cari-in-Oly 05-06-2017 08:47 AM

Originally Posted by Onebyone (Post 7818554)
For a basic computerized quality machine I would look at the new Sparrow Machines. Many in my guild have them and they have nothing but good things to say about all the different Sparrow models.

I second this. Eversewn has 7 different models out now and some are mechanical, some are computerized.


meyert 05-06-2017 09:14 AM

I have never heard of Sparrow machines.. I will have to investigate :)

I only have Janome machines, but I love them. My Janome Magnolia 7330 is just great. Its a little smaller so I can take with me to classes and sewing groups. Not sure if its classified as mechanical or computerized - but I don't care as long as it works when I turn in on :)

Peckish 05-06-2017 11:40 AM

Computerized has electronics inside: chips, boards, etc. Mechanical has gears. In my humble opinion, mechanical has an advantage because it's much easier for the owner to perform some basic troubleshooting and servicing of the machine.

My Brother 1500 is mechanical and has a needle threader, thread cutter, needle up/down, and a knee lift. I also have a service manual and when something's not working right, I hand it to my 22 year old son and he makes my machine purr again.

popover 05-06-2017 12:25 PM

There are still plenty of mechanical machines for sale, HUGELY cheaper than the ones with all the bells and whistles, and much cheaper to repair when needed. Just look around a bit.

Austinite 05-06-2017 12:37 PM

Janome is one of my favorite, they have a good machine for nearly any budget. I like the 7330 and the mechanical cousin the 7318 is great. I have an HD3000 and I love it! Also like the 2222 and 2212 very good basic machines, I'm getting one as a backup just need to figure out which one I want.

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