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Thread: Sewing Machine Recommendation--Bernina vs Viking

  1. #1
    Member FlaGirl's Avatar
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    Sewing Machine Recommendation--Bernina vs Viking

    I have had a Bernina Activa 130 for years. It still works great but I would like a new machine. I have been looking at the Viking Sapphire 875 and Bernina 530. They are comparable in price but the Viking seems to offer so much more than the Bernina. I like the larger throat space on the Viking. Not sure about the absence of a presser foot lever. My Bernina has been so good it is hard to leave the name. All of the online searches seem to be showing people saying they love the Sapphire and I don't see anything about the Bernina. Wondering what opinions are out on the Board. Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    I have 3 Baby Locks - love the Baby Locks!!!
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    Marti

  3. #3
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I have the 875Q, it is an okay machine, a bit noisy. Stitches well, and I love not having the presser foot lever. Just took a janome 8900 for a test drive, and missed the 875Q. When you step on the pedal on the 875Q, the pressure foot drops automatically. I love that feature. The Janome 8900 has a larger throat 11", would love that.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  4. #4
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    I have Janomes and love them. And they have the longer throat.

  5. #5
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I am a Viking fan-lack of presser foot lever is awesome =-just need to get used to it.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  6. #6
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    Does the Bernina 530 come with the BSR? I have the 440 with the Bernina Stitch Regulator and I love it. I think the 530 is about the same as the 440 but without the embroidery capability. I didn't get the embroidery upgrade and would have bought the 500 series machine if it had been available.

  7. #7
    Member FlaGirl's Avatar
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    No, you have to pay extra to by the BSR. It has a lot of computerized items but no embroidery. I don't want to get into the embroidery. I have enough UFOs I need to machine quilt and finish. The Viking does have a larger throat space and more computerized items. Hard to know. I plan on test driving the two and see if that helps.

  8. #8
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    Viking gal here. I have an older computerized model and a friend has the Sapphire but I don't think it's the 875. Took her a bit to get used to the lack of presser foot lever but she loves it now and the machine in general.

  9. #9
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I have a Viking and LOVE the auto presserfoot! And there is a button to lift/lower if you want to use it. I have heard that all the newer machines are of lesser quality since they are now made in in foreign countries like China. I think almost all of the name brands have moved the manufacturing from the base countries....sad...because the older machines are of nice quality. Maybe someone with a newer machine can address this from a personal experience.

    My Viking is about 10 years old and it works like a charm.

  10. #10
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I have had my Bernina 830 Record for 40 years, bought a Bernina 440QEE which I am keeping and just bought a Bernina 750QEE. Guess which machine I prefer?

  11. #11
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    I had a Viking and really loved it. Unfortunately, the feed dogs wore down and cannot be replaced. The place I took it (where they have repaired machines for many years) said that Viking has been sold out to Singer and is now made in China. The Viking feed dogs are made of aluminum vs Bernina's being made of steel. I now have a Bernina but sure do miss my Viking.

  12. #12
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    I highly recommend whichever machine has a reliable dealer close by that offers good customer service.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SusanSusan33's Avatar
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    I don't have an opinion on those machines, but I'm sure you'll be happy with which ever you choose. I read here once to get the best machine you can afford and had a dealer to service it- great advice.

    I really just wanted to say hello to a fellow Floridan!!

  14. #14
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    I have a Viking Quilt Designer II; I do like it, however, it has been discontinued and I can't get the stitch cards for it anymore. It is less than 10 years old. The stitch cards are computerized cards you slide into the machine and each card has some 20 different stitches on it. Once the basic sewing stitch card dies, I won't really be able to use the machine anymore. I don't know how often either Viking or Bernina discontinues machines, but it might be something to consider when making your selection.

  15. #15
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    I love my Janome 6600P
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    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  16. #16
    Senior Member nvb50's Avatar
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    I have had a nikki, singer, and a Kenmore. I now have a Viking Ruby and love it.

  17. #17
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    Probably the feet from the Bernina you already have will fit the new Bernina you are looking at. Just one more thing to think about.

  18. #18
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    I was going to mention the same thing as Nammie to 7 -- I have 2 Vikings An SE (embroidery), and an 830 Sapphire. The only thing that is NOT interchangeable is the throat plates. All feet, bobbins, etc can be used on either one. I'd hate to give up either one. Service is a biggie, also.

    Linda in Missouri

  19. #19
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    I love my Bernina 430 which I think is very similar to the Bernan 530. I had a Viking once and sold it becuse I didn't like it. Then bought Bernina. I also have a Pfaff that I really like.

  20. #20
    Super Member gingerd's Avatar
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    I have the 875 Sapphire and love it. I'm a Viking gal. I love that the foot goes up/down on it's own. I love having the option of having the foot stop where I want it to.

    I'm happy with mine!
    **************
    Ginger
    ~stitching one thread at a time~

  21. #21
    Member FlaGirl's Avatar
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    Hello to you Susan. I find it harder to get into quilting here. Not many quilt stores in south FL. I am more muddled than ever about these machines. Some people love the Viking and some hate it. Seems like it just depends on whether or not you get a lemon. I found a Janome dealer in town and will check it out tomorrow. Know nothing about this machine. Scary when you are talking about a few thousand dollars.

  22. #22
    Member FlaGirl's Avatar
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    Yes the feet will fit the new Bernina. You are correct about that Nammie to 7.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    I have the Viking 875Q...I have been in love with a Viking D1 for years but wanted a larger throat so I got the 875. I also have a Janome 8200..I will say the machines are really different. The auto pressure foot on the Vikings is great for piecing and especially for appliqué. The Janome sews much faster but I'm having trouble having to raise and lower the pressure foot because I'm spoiled. The Janome does have a knee lift but because the machine is so long the lift is too far to the left for me.
    I have always had Vikings and never had a problem (just got the 875Q so don't know if it will be trouble free)
    I think you should take a long test drive on both machines. Take you own fabric and thread you usually use. Thread the machine, wind bobbins, sew and spend at least 30 minutes on each machine. Then you MUST consider the dealer and how you feel about them. Don't make you decision until you decide which one you like. You will be happy with either, but you don't need both machines like I have. Good Luck

  24. #24
    Member FlaGirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response Sally J. No, one machine is fine. Actually I will keep the new one in FL and take my Bernina to my little house in Asheville. Hopefully I will do more sewing there. Also feel more crafty there and here I am always on the tennis courts. Let me know if you have any problems with your machine. Some of the older posts complain about tension issues. People also say they are made in China now. One post said to calm down as they had talked to a machine repair store and he said they were good machines no matter where they came from. I think it is all about who you buy them from. I am a little concerned because my town only has them at JoAnns Fabrics. I would prefer a private dealer.

  25. #25
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I have 3 vikings and love them all. They really hold up well
    Patski
    always learning

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