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Thread: Singer machine survey/suggestions

  1. #1
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    Singer machine survey/suggestions

    My Singer Golden Touch 'N Sew, a gift from my husband, bought new, has served me well for more than 30 years. It's only the second machine I've ever owned--the first was also a Singer--a very reliable standard black electric, probably 1940s model, bought used, that never needed repair. From reading quilting blogs I've learned what a bad rep the GT&S machines have, but mine has been wonderful...until now. For the first time, I've got problems with it and from what I read online it may be the timing. I'll have it repaired anyway, if possible, and will keep it because I love it...and my husband gave it to me. But I'm considering buying another machine and since I'm familiar with Singers and don't want the learning curve that comes with a different brand, I'm leaning toward a Singer. I don't want to spend huge amounts of money nor do I particularly want what is labeled a "quilter". Just a good, reliable machine with a few bells and whistles I don't currently have, such as automatic threader, automatic needle return, and a few fancy stitches, etc. Something this side of $500, preferably less. I bought a walking foot for my GT&S so it would be nice if it fits the new machine, or if the new machine comes with a walking foot. Whatever I get will have to fit in a table since I'm used to a level playing field
    ;-).

    Anyone care to weigh in on what you're using? What you like and what you don't? What you'd do differently if you were buying again? I'm especially interested in modern Singers but would welcome comments on other brands and models, as well. I've noticed that some Youtube video quiltmakers use Singers, but can't tell what the models are. I read a review online that said that the thread holder on a new Singer was flimsy and other parts of it seemed cheap; that's the kind of thing I'm worried about and want to stay away from. Mainly I just don't know what's out there or what's good, since I haven't been in the market for many years.

    Thanks in advance to all who comment!

  2. #2
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I found a used Janome 6600 for a good price and love the machine. I know that a 6600 is more than your budget, but if you check around with dealers, they will sometimes have a good used machine that someone has traded in to upgrade. Whatever you buy, do your research about repairs, costs and what issues that particular machine can have. Repairs can be very expensive (sometimes more than the original cost of the machine).

  3. #3
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    I recommend something with both upper and lower feed dogs. When you have that you don't need a walking foot---it functions like a walking foot, is built in, and can function with several different feet. For years only Pfaff had that, but now other brands do, too, but not always on every model. You can find a great used Pfaff, like one of the Tiptronics, for under $500. With them you'll get dual feed dogs, needle down, needle threader, and tons of decorative stitches. It would be nice if you could use different machines you think you may be interested in before you buy. If you belong to a quilt guild, maybe you can ask some members to try their machines to help you decide.
    Last edited by JustAbitCrazy; 05-08-2012 at 09:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    There are many good brands of machines, most are owned by the same manufacturing company. I have Singer, Bernina, Brother and Janome. Each one has pros and cons. I always suggest the Janome Jem line for a new machine under $500. The Kenmore line is great for the price but they aren't being made anymore. If you find a new top of the line Kenmore still left in a Sears store, buy it!
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    I also love the Singers no matter what anyone says. The last one I bought last year is the Singer Quantum L-500 which is awesome. It retails for around $1700 in some retail stores but picked my up from internetsalesusa.com for $728. I saw just last week where the same place had it for $668 or so. Less than $700 and that was with free shipping. It is smooth sewing, no loud noises, is heavy duty (not a machine you would just pick up and move around to often) has serveral computerized stitches, can wind bobbin while sewing, has dual feed and more. You will not be disappointed. It also came with a bunch of feet.

    I also bought the computerized Singer Featherweight 75 over a year ago to carry with me to sew sessions and such and that also is a work horse and this one has more computerized stitches than the one mentioned above.

    Despite what folks say I would not go for another more expensive brand.

    Lets face it all brands now belong under an umbrella of one corporation for the most part. They simply put a different name brand on a machine for the most part.

    Even though it's over your $500 budget you may want to still look at it and consider this one.
    cparant

  6. #6
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    I recommend something with both upper and lower feed dogs. When you have that you don't need a walking foot---it functions like a walking foot, is built in, and can function with several different feet..
    That is one of the many features of the Singer Quantum L-500.
    cparant

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You will have a learning curve no matter what brand you buy. Even Singers have changed a lot since the Touch 'N Sew days!

    Personally, I would look seriously at the Janome 5500 or 6600 (preferably 6600 because of the accufeed feature, but it may be out of your price range). These have the large harp size that makes machine quilting so much easier.

    Do you have a state fair in your area? I would recommend going to every dealership in your area to test-drive machines. (Bring your own fabrics and quilt sandwich practice pieces.) Decide what machine you want, then buy during the state fair. That is when you get the deepest discount on the machine.

    Edit: Above is if you want to buy new. As someone else mentioned, buying a used machine from a dealership can be a very good choice as you tend to get a lot more bang for your buck that way.

  8. #8
    Super Member DonnaC's Avatar
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    I have no specific suggestion for you about a machine, but I wanted to encourage you to check Overstock.com if you're considering buying online. They have some great prices. I've bought other items from them and always been very satisfied.

  9. #9
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I have my aunt's Singer Touch and Sew......learned to sew on them in high school and love them too! I also have a Singer Fashion Mate 1030 that my hubby bought me back in 1979 and it still works wonderfully, that being said, Singer is made by Husquavana these days as well as some of the other big brands out there. Most of the time people who don't like Singer machines never had one....lol! Do your research and you'll find one you'll love! Good luck!
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  10. #10
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    but remember the new Singers are not like your old one. So there is going to be a learning curve no matter.......

  11. #11
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    Why be afrid of a little thing like a learning curve? Go out and find a machine that will challange you and your sewing abilities.

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have the first Singer Quantum model. It's great. Not one bit of trouble in the years I have had it. I bought it for decorative stitching as I wasn't quilting very much at that time. I have a Singer FW, 301 and 15. Best running machines I own.
    Got fabric?

  13. #13
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have newer machines I use now but, I still have my first machine, Husband bought it for me in 1963-64, a Singer 328K with the fashion discs. I put many, many miles on it making clothes for myself and two girls, doll clothes, curtains and drapes, etc. I would not get rid of it.
    Another Phyllis
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  14. #14
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clsurz View Post
    I also love the Singers no matter what anyone says. The last one I bought last year is the Singer Quantum L-500 which is awesome. It retails for around $1700 in some retail stores but picked my up from internetsalesusa.com for $728. I saw just last week where the same place had it for $668 or so. Less than $700 and that was with free shipping. It is smooth sewing, no loud noises, is heavy duty (not a machine you would just pick up and move around to often) has serveral computerized stitches, can wind bobbin while sewing, has dual feed and more. You will not be disappointed. It also came with a bunch of feet.

    I also bought the computerized Singer Featherweight 75 over a year ago to carry with me to sew sessions and such and that also is a work horse and this one has more computerized stitches than the one mentioned above.

    Despite what folks say I would not go for another more expensive brand.

    Lets face it all brands now belong under an umbrella of one corporation for the most part. They simply put a different name brand on a machine for the most part.

    Even though it's over your $500 budget you may want to still look at it and consider this one.
    I agree with everything said here. I also have the L-500 and love it!
    Bernie

  15. #15
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    How about the new Singer 160th anniversary machine? I've heard great things about it, and it's a beautiful looking machine. I had a Singer mechanical in my classroom for 2 years and the kids that used it loved it! When I upgraded my machines, one of my students bought it, I think she had become emotionally attached to it and didn't want it going to a new home where it wouldn't know anybody (LOL).

    They have the machine at Joanns.

    http://www.joann.com/singer-160th-an...prd_11457413a/
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  16. #16
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalaland View Post
    How about the new Singer 160th anniversary machine? I've heard great things about it, and it's a beautiful looking machine. I had a Singer mechanical in my classroom for 2 years and the kids that used it loved it! When I upgraded my machines, one of my students bought it, I think she had become emotionally attached to it and didn't want it going to a new home where it wouldn't know anybody (LOL).


    They have the machine at Joanns.

    http://www.joann.com/singer-160th-an...prd_11457413a/
    The 160 doesn't have the needle up/down feature nor does it have a thread cutter and while the thread cutter isn't a deal breaker, the needle up/down is a feature I love. I have one and use it for one of my back up machines.
    Bernie

  17. #17
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    I sew on a Singer that I got for $99 on sale in Walmart. I hand quilt, so it serves my purposes well...I also have my mother's singer that is about 70 years old, and still runs...all it ever needed was a new belt. maybe if I ever can afford it, I will look for a machine I can use to quilt..I am sure I would look for a Singer tho!

  18. #18
    Super Member twixbar's Avatar
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    My husband bought me a singer cofidence quilter. I love it. Not many people agree, so I guess you will have to go with your heart. I don,t know much about machines in general. but I am happy with mine.

  19. #19
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    I have a Bernina, A Janome 6600P, a Singer Futura, a Singer Quilter's Confidence as well as several other machines...the Singers have all been hard-working and I personally think they've had a rocky patch in the road, but hopefully it's over now. The newer ones I have work very well...I hope they're back on the right road 'cause there are a lot of us who still love those machines!
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  20. #20
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have the new Singer 160 it is a really nice machine. I also have a couple of Brothers nice machines also. But my favoriates are my Vikings!!!!!

  21. #21
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    Thanks so much! This is exactly the kind of info I wanted. Thank you to everyone who responded!

  22. #22
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    Thanks for this tip about Overstock. They pop up when you do searches for appliances of any kind but I've never purchased from them so it's good to know they are as advertised.

    My budget will stretch to a more expensive machine but from long experience I've learned I don't always use everything that comes with a new purchase. My dishwasher for instance has about ten buttons on it; I consistently use one of them. And yet you pay for all those extra buttons whether you use them or not. What I want is a good sturdy machine that does what I want but not necessarily more than I want....if that makes sense. Clsurz' thinking appears to match mine, but all your suggestions are very helpful and I appreciate them all! Thanks!

  23. #23
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie View Post
    The 160 doesn't have the needle up/down feature nor does it have a thread cutter and while the thread cutter isn't a deal breaker, the needle up/down is a feature I love. I have one and use it for one of my back up machines.


    I totally get that. I passed up a great deal on a newer Brother computerized machine because it was lacking that one feature - up/down needle is a necessity for me too!
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

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