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Singer 201 vs Singer 301 - which to buy? (no pics)

Singer 201 vs Singer 301 - which to buy? (no pics)

Old 03-04-2021, 12:55 PM
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Seaside Oregon
Posts: 4

Originally Posted by montanajan View Post
I recently satisfied my wish for a treadle, got Singer 66 "Red Eye", made in 1922 for a bargain in great shape & am now looking for just 1 more machine.

I want to put a Singer - same or similar to Mom's old 201-2 - into her art deco cabinet that I have. I've been researching each, & know the 301 is a slant needle & has a carrying handle built in. Handle is a mute point, since I will not be using it as a take-along.

I'll get a black one, to more closely replicate Mom's than the tan 301's. But aside from that, I really don't know which to search. Ebay & Craig's list offer both.

Any suggestions on pros & cons of each will be much appreciated. The more I read, the more confused I get - 1 day I want a 15-90, the next a 201 -2, the next a 301. I've already asked re: 15-90 vs 201. Now I'm hearing I should get a 301.

Each one I pass on ebay makes me think I better hurry & decide. Please Help!

Thanks to the well-informed people on this site, I hope to receive info to make a sensible choice.
Happy stitchig,
I see you have purchased a new machine. I am still going to post my thoughts as I suspect this tread will live a long time. I have all three machines you mentioned. The 301, 201, and 15-91. Like many say, they are all excellent. I do love each one and could live with any of them as my only machine. The 301 sits on my desk ready for any task. With the handle and slightly lighter weight I can carry it from my work room to the dinning room, to the garage, to anywhere I want to take it. I have a rolling bag to put it in if I need to head out somewhere. The 15-91 is in a cabinet. I do a lot of sewing of large heavy duck canvas in my fabric artwork. The 15 gets pressed into service for these tasks. It just never complaints, and within seconds is dialed in for a perfect stitch. The cabinet really helps with the large pieces I am working with. The 15 lives in the garage but is open and ready to sew.

The 201 feels like I am sewing with an engineer marvel. I can't put my finger on why this machine gives off it's own brand of sewing joy, but it does. It receives the least sewing time of the three models though. It lives in the garage on a large table. But when I think about it the 201 could easily be my most used machine if I put it in the cabinet and moved it to my heated work room. Any of these three would get heavly used if in a cabinet and was always ready to go.

A word about the 15 machine. I have the 15-91 because I got it for 25 bucks and had a cabinet and great decals. It was locked up with old grease and oil when I brought it home. In less than 2 hours it was humming along. If I had my choice between a 15-91 and a 15-90 I would go for the 15-90. I like being able to swap in a more powerful motor. Also the external motor is easier to work on. Ok, it would not be "original", but for me these are tools and I am not looking for period accuracy.

I have two other machines that never get used. A beautiful lotus 66. The best looking singer machine ever made in my mind. But it does not have a reverse and is like a freight train running down hill once it gets going. I need to plan when to stop my stitch. Much of this is because it originally was a treadle and has a massive hand wheel. The other machine I have that for some reason never gets used is what many consider the most magic of singers. I found a Singer 431 G free arm at the goodwill store for 24.99. I just don't ever need anything other than a straight stitch so this machine stays in a plastic case. When I am mending something it will come out because of the free arm. If we are playing "if you only had one sewing machine" on paper the winner would be the 431. There is absolutely nothing it can't do. But to be honest I doubt I would pick the 431. There is something about the perfect stitch of the three classic straight stich machines, the 15-x, the 201 and the 301.
russmead is offline  
Old 03-04-2021, 03:17 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alturas, CA
Posts: 9,393

I think I'm up to 25 machines, there was a 15-91 in a cabinet at a thrift store for $15, I would have jumped on it, but I have NO room for another cabinet, and the cabinet was a "modern" one, the next time I was at the same store, they had a decent enough shape cabinet, but also a modern design and they wanted $85, NO machine. I don't know how they figure out these prices.
pocoellie is offline  
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