401 Slant-omatic questions

Old 02-11-2021, 12:37 PM
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Default 401 Slant-omatic questions

Does anyone know approx. how much a 401 slant-omatic weighs? Just the machine.


When an acquaintance heard I was looking for a machine, she offered me her 401 slant omatic for $50. I dont know if it has a cabinet (not that it matters for my purposes) Are there things I need to look for? Is it a well made machine? I havent seen it yet....just doing some research b4 I contact her.


I'm really looking for something more portable than what I have.....worried it being vintage, it may be heavy......I may buy it regardless...... it looks like a very cool machine....


This is my first post....I learned on my mothers featherweight.....loved that machine....haven't been sewing/quilting in about 15-20 years...other than hemming pants.......last year I was on furlough and caught the quilting bug again....much more fun than hemming..thanks so much...appreciate any input you may have.
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Old 02-11-2021, 01:31 PM
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Welcome to the board! I have not owned a 401, but have a 403 and 501, so guessing in the 30lb area. Where I live, around St Louis, they are regularly listed for $100 or more and I believe sell near listing price because the ads aren't up long. I would say $50 is a good price, as long as everything on it moves, meaning can you turn the hand wheel by hand and does the needle go up and down, how easily does it turn, do the pattern dials on the front turn and lock into all the positions, does the needle position lever move the needle, stitch width, etc.

There have been some detailed posts here about the 401, so you can learn a lot just searching for those. My real concern would be the pattern dials and how freely they move. If the machine sat around for a long time and the oil gunked up in the pattern cams, it can be a bit of work to get everything moving again.

I don't quilt, so I don't know how well the 401 works for that.
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Old 02-11-2021, 03:51 PM
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I would jump at the $50 price, and if you aren't comfortable servicing it, that would be my first step. As a rule I believe that all of the vintage machines are good, solid machines, with little that can go wrong. The 401's are heavier than the featherweights for sure, but I have several machines that are quite a bit heavier, actually my one computerized machine is heavier than the 401.
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:02 PM
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Heavy enough you don't want to do this often. 503s.
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:51 PM
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I have one that was my mother's and it still runs like a top. It is in a cabinet she got rid of the case, darn. I have found most of the older machines were built to last although they are heavy!
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Old 02-11-2021, 09:51 PM
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My 301 weighs 17 pounds, my 404 feels about the same, but the 401 might be a little heaver because it's a zigzag machine. Not too heavy.
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Old 02-12-2021, 04:48 AM
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i have one that came with the carrying case and I put it in a cabinet. It's heavy like all the older machines, the only lightweight machine you will find that is vintage is the Featherweight. The 301A is next in weight because it's aluminum, but still a bit heavy for carrying around.
You can't go wrong with the 401A, or most any old machine, Singer or Japanese made. They are all sturdy and fixable.
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Old 02-12-2021, 05:13 AM
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I weighed my Singer 401 this a.m. and it weighs 21.4 lbs. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:17 AM
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I thought the 400 series, and 500s, are also aluminum casting, steel gears. I have a 301, 403, and 404, and had a 401. None of them are near as heavy as a 66, 15, or 201.
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Old 02-12-2021, 09:12 AM
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To move around the home from table to table not so bad, but for to use for quilting classes or the likes...then nah...too heavy to be lumping around I say.
For $50...I'd be all over it though
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