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Thread: 201 vs 301

  1. #1
    Junior Member NewbieToQuilting's Avatar
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    201 vs 301

    What makes a 301 better than a 201? I love the looks of them, but wonder if the features of it are that much better than the 201. I have a 201, Featherweight, new Pfaff, and a Janome I just gave my daughter. Don't know if I need 5 machines in the house! What I want is another story! Just have to justify it for hubby. They go for $150+ here but I found one for $100 with attachments, manual, and case. Wish I could find one at sale for great deal like others have. lol

  2. #2
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    The 301 is a great full sized but lightweight sewing machine. I like mine better than my Featherweight. I am not familiar with the 201.
    Colleen
    PS-$100 is a really great deal with the case and attachments!

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The 201 is significantly heavier and is a drop in bobbin. Many quilters prefer the vertical bobbin system of the 301 and 15 type machines for free motion quilting.

  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    And the 301 is a slant needle machine -- makes for better viewing of the needle for me.

  5. #5
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    The 201 is a heavy powerful machine. If you want to take a machine to class, get the 301. I bought my 201 to mend coveralls and replace zippers in heavy duc work jackets because my Janome 6500 kept balking and growling at these jobs. The 301 is completely different and some people refer to it as the Featherweight's big sister. I have mine packed in a new sewing machine bag (original case was ok but musty smelling) ready to take out to our guild Community Quilt days.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  6. #6
    Junior Member MadCow333's Avatar
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    201 has the most width from the needle to the pillar. 201 is called "the dressmaker head" for that reason (I believe). The 15 is "the tailor head." 301 is lightweight and very portable, and you can just grab it by the handle and take it with you.

  7. #7
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    The Singer 201 has a 8" spacing between the needle and the upright arm as does the Singer 66.
    The White Rotary has a 8 1/8" spacing, the most of any vintage home machine.
    See the chart on #38899.
    Personally I love my 301 the most of any of my e-machines.

    Cathy


    .
    Quote Originally Posted by MadCow333 View Post
    201 has the most width from the needle to the pillar. 201 is called "the dressmaker head" for that reason (I believe). The 15 is "the tailor head." 301 is lightweight and very portable, and you can just grab it by the handle and take it with you.
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  8. #8
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    The 201 makes the most beautiful straight stitch you've ever seen!

  9. #9
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    I love my 201 and use her the most. The FW travels well and so does the 301 but for just sitting and sewing a top together and DGD dresses, I use the 1941 15. Just something about the way she sounds.

    I have a Viking Husquvarna for denim and anything heavier. She has an industrial motor.

    The bobbin case for the 15-91 is on its way so we'll see where she fits in this menagerie. It I find a plate for the Viscount she'll be used for quilting and the New Home 556 needs new brushes, also on the way. If there was space I'd have one of those 1970s models set up for bobbin winding.

    What was the question?
    Life is made up of bits and pieces. You won't know how it'll turn out till its done.

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The 201 is a totally different machine than the 301. In reality the only similarity is they are both straight stitch Singers.

    If you found a 301 with all the goodies for $100.00 go for it. That is an excellent price.

    Oh, I'll bet your DH has more than 5 tools to use so you don't have to justify anything to him. If he gets cranky tell him to go cook his own meals and wash his own clothes.


    Joe

  11. #11
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I have both a 201 and 301, they are very different. I can do straight line quilting with a walking foot on my 201 treadle, but for free motion...it says "I don't wanna". I use the 201 when I make pot holders and love it for piecing quilts. I'm still amazed how quiet it is, was my first hand crank/treadle machine. Its 77 years old and sews and looks wonderful.

    The 301 I use for taking to sewing groups and classes, I've tried free motion and haven't found a darning foot that fits it and works properly. I like both machines.

    Sharon
    Last edited by purplefiend; 06-21-2013 at 09:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    Both are straight stitch machines. The 201 is heavier, about 40 pounds. It's a sweetheart of a machine, voted the best machine ever made by a national group of sewing machine mechanics and sellers. It makes a nice stitch, does good walking foot straight line stitching and doesn't want to free motion. It powers through a lot of heavy stuff. Different versions have potted motors, belt-driven, hand crank, and treadle. Potted motors are the most powerful and I've found hand crank to offer great precision for thread painting. However, this machine likes 50 weight thread or thinner and you won't be able to use many modern decorative or thick threads on it. I have three 201s, and I cannot use 40 weight quilting thread on any of them. It was designed for dressmaking. The bobbin is horizontal.

    The 301 is more versatile. It does three things exceptionally well: piecing, straight-line quilting with a walking foot, and it's free motion quilting is unsurpassed among all the many other machines I've tried. The vertical bobbin is part of the reason it is so good at fmq. It handles any thread except for YLI, I've found to my dismay. (I know so many people who have had major problems with YLI harming their machines - some of which had to go in for repair - that I don't use it anymore.) It thread paints well, also. It darns well and embroiders well. Feet for those functions are easily available, either in slant vintage metal feet or the clear foot that is entirely plastic. You can do other stitches with attachments. It is slant shank, which gives better visibility and sewing. It weighs 16 pounds and is often my choice for classes.

    Between the two, I'll take the 301 any day. I leave at least one 301 set up and ready at all times. That does not mean I'm giving up my 201s, however! If I found a good 201 treadle, I'd buy it.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 06-21-2013 at 09:58 AM.

  13. #13
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    Great price and a great machine - I have 3 of them.

  14. #14
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    I have both and the 30 is my go-to machine. I don't have any issues with using YLI brand thread but appear to be in the minority. That said, I'd own the 301 in a heartbeat and I have 2 already.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  15. #15
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    I have two 201s and I love to sew with them...They are work horses...

  16. #16
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I do not consider the 301 to be better than a 201. actually, the 201 is my favorite for general ssewing and piecing. For FMQ, I prefer the 15.

  17. #17
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    From the two I much prefer the 201.

    Like mentioned they, 201 versus 301, are very different machines. I do like the 301 better then the Feather Weight. The 301 is a full size machine. Because it is slant it is harder to find feet like the quarter inch foot but they are out there. I think it is easier to compare those two, 301 versus Feather Weight, as they are both light weight take along machines (portable).

    Now the 201 is a beauty but a boat anchor. It sews like a dream and has a super big throat opening. If I had to choose between the two of them, 201 versus 301, and I had a designated space for the machine at home and I would not need to take it places, I would take the 201.

    DH and I own 2 Singers 301 and 2 Singers 201, one converted to hand crank.
    Anna Quilts

  18. #18
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    OK Read your post again. It seems you are set, between 201 and other machines at home and the Feather Weight for class. $100 is a great deal and the 301 is just one of those wonderful machines you need to have still.
    Anna Quilts

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