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Thread: What do you wish you had known about your current machine before buying?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    What do you wish you had known about your current machine before buying?

    We see reviews all the time that highlight was is great about a machine. And really in depth reviews will highlight the features the buyer perhaps isn't so thrilled about.

    I find reading about quirks and such as helpful as what there is to love. I am not meaning this to be a bashing thread. But just what things would you really want someone to know about a machine that perhaps has practical consequences.

    So I'll start - and see if there is more interest in this topic.

    Juki DX5 - only machine I have seen where you cannot use the needle up/down button without having the presser foot down (think when you want to pull the bobbin thread up). Since I use that method to bring up my bobbin on another machine - I am really noticing this difference! This is one where I vaguely registered it at the dealers (because when you press the button, the machine pops up a messaging telling you to put the foot down) - but for some reason I didn't register the practicality of this every day (such as pulling up the bobbin thread).
    Dawn

  2. #2
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    I purchased a Janome Magnolia 7330 in 2009. I wish I had been quilting longer so I would have paid more attention to the throat size. Mine is only 6 1/2" & it's difficult (but doable) to get large quilts through that small opening. Also, I would have chosen a machine that had more decorative stitches. At the time I bought the machine I was not using decorative stitches at all so that wasn't an important feature to me. Also, the distance between the floor of the machine & just above where you insert the needle is only 3 1/2". That makes threading the needle a little hard to get your hands in & under there for threading (and I don't have large hands). I would have done a lot more shopping around had I had more quilting under my belt. But that being said, I love my Janome.

  3. #3
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    There is only one thing about my Janome 7700 (purchased in 2015) that really bugs me. There is a thread cutter just opposite of where you wind the bobbin. I don't use the thread spool pin on the machine, I have a separate thread holder that sits on the right side of the machine for my larger size thread spools and my thread path goes very near this thread cutter and it bothers me.

  4. #4
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    That some parts will no longer be available to fix the thing!

  5. #5
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    Love my Juki2010Q, purchased local, thinking dealer loyalty. Fantastic machine right out of the box. Horrible dealer service. If I purchased again, I would purchase online. Skipping this dealer.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I won't buy a machine that cost over $1000. Some years ago I bought a used Bernina 1260 for $450 because it has the alphabet to make labels. I'm still using it for piecing. I like paper piecing so I needed an auto thread cutter. I bought a Brother 420, all the features I could want. Then I bought a used Brother 8500D for $300. It does great embroidery quilt labels and has a big hoop too. I have the Brother1500 ps with long throat for machine quilting. I think it cost about $700 (gift) . I have several vintage Singers. I have very little invested in my machines.

    My friend has the newest Brother Dream machine. She is scared to death something will go wrong after the warranty is out. Another friend has the new Bernina. Two weeks after warranty a sensor went out. It cost her over $1500 to get it right. More then all my machines cost. I can buy another one anytime if a new feature comes along I think I have to have. I bought the Eversewn Sparrow 30 for $400. It has become my favorite go to machine. I don't worry about any of my machines messing up. No big deal as I have very little invested in them.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    I won't buy a machine that cost over $1000. Some years ago I bought a used Bernina 1260 for $450 because it has the alphabet to make labels. I'm still using it for piecing. I like paper piecing so I needed an auto thread cutter. I bought a Brother 420, all the features I could want. Then I bought a used Brother 8500D for $300. It does great embroidery quilt labels and has a big hoop too. I have the Brother1500 ps with long throat for machine quilting. I think it cost about $700 (gift) . I have several vintage Singers. I have very little invested in my machines.

    My friend has the newest Brother Dream machine. She is scared to death something will go wrong after the warranty is out. Another friend has the new Bernina. Two weeks after warranty a sensor went out. It cost her over $1500 to get it right. More then all my machines cost. I can buy another one anytime if a new feature comes along I think I have to have. I bought the Eversewn Sparrow 30 for $400. It has become my favorite go to machine. I don't worry about any of my machines messing up. No big deal as I have very little invested in them.
    After my current experience (to be resolved), I'm liking your thinking Onebyone!! The problem machine cost just over $1,000. The most I have ever spent on a machine! Tempted by a Pfaff, but gut gets tied up in a knot thinking about it (I think I would worry as your friend has about her Brother Dream machine).

    I have read such good things about the Brother 420, as well as the Eversewn Sparrow machines.
    Dawn

  8. #8
    mkc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    I won't buy a machine that cost over $1000. Some years ago I bought a used Bernina 1260 for $450 because it has the alphabet to make labels. I'm still using it for piecing.

    <- snip ->

    I don't worry about any of my machines messing up. No big deal as I have very little invested in them.
    ^^^ This ^^^

    When I was shopping for a new machine, I wish I'd had this wisdom. I actually had a salesperson try to direct me that way (he was the repair tech for the shop; the sales folks were busy with others), and I often wish I'd listened to his subtle suggestions.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I adore my machine so can't say there is anything i wish i new prior to buying it except don't buy when it the lastest model because it will go down significantly in price so i wished i would have waited a year but love the features, reliability, ease of use. Have never regretted my decision. I do think if you spend over 1000 like i did you can't be scared to use it ootherwise the moneys a waste. I see too many buy them and never use them because of fear of messing them up but high end machines should work for long time with no issues. I feel for those who get lemons that need work straight out of the box. But i also feel if your gonna buy a machine in the thousand its cruicial to have a dealer that stands by their machines.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  10. #10
    Senior Member Queenbarbiej's Avatar
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    At the time I bought my singer 5511 machine I was impressed that I can sew leather with it and it is heavy duty. At that time I didn't do any free motion quilting. Now that I am doing more free motion quilting I wish I had a machine with a bigger throat area. It is very hard to quilt anything bigger than a 70x70 quilt. Almost all of my quilts are 95x95 or bigger.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Never regretted buying anyone of my six machines. All have worked wonderfully for me. No complaints at all.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #12
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    My Juki is a pain to thread. I have tried the "automatic" threader over and over so I just do it the old-fashioned way. But I love the machine and it isn't a deal breaker.

  13. #13
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    My latest machine was purchased by my husband as a gift, but I agreed to buy it. It is a Handi-Quilter 710. Handi-Quilter has made long arms in the USA for a long time but in the last couple years have gotten into the 'domestic machine' market. I wasn't shopping for a new machine, but I knew from their advertising that Handi-Quilters were made in the USA. So I eagerly agreed to obtain this machine--only to find out it is made in Taiwan. I can't tell you how disappointed I was!!!!!

  14. #14
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    I have always felt like machines were over priced , and getting worse. Recently I wanted a straight stitch only Juki but couldn't justify the price. I ended up buying an older model(2000) for at least $500 less than the latest model. I was disappointed that it did not come with a 1/4" foot. I don't find the bobbin area easily accessible but I knew about that before I bought. The manual is almost useless, also.

    SusieQOH....I watched a utube video that showed a side view of where the thread went when using the threader and I don't have an problem now. I did when trying to follow the diagram in the manual.
    Jan

  15. #15
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
    My Juki is a pain to thread. I have tried the "automatic" threader over and over so I just do it the old-fashioned way. But I love the machine and it isn't a deal breaker.
    I can't add anything about the "automatic" threader, as I don't have one on my machine, but I do find a pair of tweezers work wonders for holding the thread to thread the needle, or for grasping the bobbin thread and needle thread to put to the back of my work when starting - my fingers are don't easily fit the space on my machine as it isn't large enough to accomplish those tasks easily with my fingers. Once I adjusted to using the tweezers, it became a breeze....
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishgalfromNJ View Post
    There is only one thing about my Janome 7700 (purchased in 2015) that really bugs me. There is a thread cutter just opposite of where you wind the bobbin. I don't use the thread spool pin on the machine, I have a separate thread holder that sits on the right side of the machine for my larger size thread spools and my thread path goes very near this thread cutter and it bothers me.
    My 15000 has the same set up and I couldn't figure out why my thread was breaking all the time. Discovered it was getting caught on that little cutter next to the bobbin. I put a piece of blue painters tape (all I had at the time) on the blade and have not had a broken thread since.

  17. #17
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grammahunt View Post
    My latest machine was purchased by my husband as a gift, but I agreed to buy it. It is a Handi-Quilter 710. Handi-Quilter has made long arms in the USA for a long time but in the last couple years have gotten into the 'domestic machine' market. I wasn't shopping for a new machine, but I knew from their advertising that Handi-Quilters were made in the USA. So I eagerly agreed to obtain this machine--only to find out it is made in Taiwan. I can't tell you how disappointed I was!!!!!


    Handiquilter longarms are made by Handiquilter.

    Handiquilter domestics are not made by Handiquilter.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
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    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  18. #18
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    I have 3 Janome machines, but it's the MC6500P that I wish i had investigated more. It has more settings than will ever use, plus alphabet fonts for making labels or monograming....I've never used them at all. What they call quilting stitches, I call decorative stitches, and don't think I've used them more than once. Wish my money was better invested in a slightly larger throat space, and more metal in the machine instead of plastic parts. Now I'm thinking about an embroidery/quilting machine so I can program it do to wonderful even quilting stitches.

  19. #19
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I had stars in my eyes over the extended length of the bed of the machine. I never even considered the height from the bed to the underside of the arm - it is less than 3.5 inches! Thank heaven for screen lock because I changed the stitch and settings several times trying to fit a small quilt under the inadequate space. Now I do my quilting on a Brother PQ1500S which is a smidgen shorter in the bed but over twice as high to the arm. I use the fancy machine for embroidery.

  20. #20
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    that it was only going to last two years and I'd better buy it from someone I could trust to provide service . . . I've had so little trouble with sewing machines in the past I didn't feel that was important when I bought it.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  21. #21
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    Like Onebyone, I don't have expensive machines, except for my Tiara II for quilting. I haven't had any problems with any of them except the screen on the first Tiara kept freezing up. It was under warranty and was quickly replaced and haven't had a problem since. I don't require the newest and greatest features so am happy with my Bernina 1260 (gifted by a friend of my mom's), Singer Quantum 9940 (purchased new), Brother Innovis 900D (purchased new), Babylock Ellure Plus (purchased used as it had a bigger hoop than my Brother), my Featherweight, my grandma's Singer treadle, and my Tiara II (purchased new). We don't buy expensive cars or appliances either. IMHO the more features, the more likely something will go wrong and cause an expensive fix.

  22. #22
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaiade View Post
    I have always felt like machines were over priced , and getting worse. Recently I wanted a straight stitch only Juki but couldn't justify the price. I ended up buying an older model(2000) for at least $500 less than the latest model. I was disappointed that it did not come with a 1/4" foot. I don't find the bobbin area easily accessible but I knew about that before I bought. The manual is almost useless, also.

    SusieQOH....I watched a utube video that showed a side view of where the thread went when using the threader and I don't have an problem now. I did when trying to follow the diagram in the manual.
    Thanks, Jaiade! I'll try that.
    GEM- thanks to you too! I'll try that as well.

  23. #23
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    When I bought my Janome 14000, I really thought bigger was better. Don't get me wrong this machine works wonderfully and has endless potential, but it is BIG. It has all those fantastic 9mm width fancy stitches that made me ooh and ahh like a schoolgirl. What I didn't realize is that "going big" has its downside, too. This machine tends to drag delicate fabrics down the 9mm width hole in the throat plate. I have to use paper leaders when I work with delicate fabric or knit to prevent utter chaos. I have an Embroidery throat plate with a smaller hole, but it won't work with side-to-side stitching. Would I buy this machine if I had it to do over again? Probably not. I do love the machine in many ways, but I am no longer in love with the "bigger is better" philosophy of sewing machine manufacturers.
    "The great doing of little things makes the great life." Eugena Price

  24. #24
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I have all Berninas and I think they're great machines. The 820 purchased was so I had more throat space, which is really wonderful. I remember reading a review that said this is a sewing computer not a sewing machine. And that really is true. It really thinks it's the boss of me, like it won't let me thread the top thread unless the bobbin is inserted and the door is closed. And if I thread the top without using the automatic threader, the tension isn't engaged. But the little annoyances are worth the good tension and large throat space. There was a definite learning curve though.
    Lori

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  25. #25
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    I probably should have tried to lift my new machine before I bought it but I would have got it anyway. Good thing my husband will carry it up and down the stairs when I have to take it to class.

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