Which to buy? 201-2 or 201-3?

Old 03-15-2017, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
...They've both had a lot of years to have wear or other issues to take their toll and affect current performance.
It would be interesting to know if the 15-91 machine improved with cleaning and regreasing of the motor and gears behind the hand wheel. There are lots of parts there that will run smoother after a clean up and tending to, lumpy old grease, wicks and carbon brushes,... The wear points like gears and hinges on these machines usually show very little wear, even on machines that have seen lots of use. It's very often about cleaning, oiling, and more cleaning and oiling as the machine is back in use. Tending to the potted motor feels almost like a partial rebuild, lots of work.
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:41 AM
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The 15-91 I had was taken apart and regreased (by my DH). He did another one for a friend, and that one was so much faster! However I still preferred the stop and start of the belt machine for FMQ better than what I got with the gear driven machine (speed not needed for that).

My Silver 15-91 is decent, but on the slow side (it's a 1932 so one of the first 15-91's) though is shows very little sign of wear. My 15-90 is a much later machine, and well broken in. I've found the well used ones often sew much nicer than those that look like they've had little use.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:22 PM
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Ok. So here is what happened. I found a potted motor 201 on OfferUp and was able to negotiate the price to $60. When I showed up, he said he had dropped the foot controller and now it didn't run as well. He gave it to me for free! After I got it home and looked at it, I am glad I didn't pay anything for it but time and gas! All the shellac is cracked and flaking off, the thing is coated with thick, black grease, the brushes appear to have grease on them (not good!), the insulation for the motor wire running down the back of the machine is starting to wear, someone Sharpied over the Singer decal on the front and the hairpin decal "S" in the center of the bed, and the bobbin case was a horror show! I cleaned that and sewed a little bit and he works great! No tingling! Ha! Ha! I really want to restore the finish. I don't want to do a repaint because it's a Centennial! But the badge has black stuff on it and I don't know what to use to clean it, if it's even possible.

I will have to wait for my hubby to get home from a trip so he can use his impact driver to remove the motor. The two big screws holding it on are not budging and I am afraid of stripping them. Same with one of the gear cups. I must get it off to clean away all the axel grease or whatever they used. But all in all I am happy! And I am still buying the belted 201-3, too! Yay!
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kas View Post
Hi y'all! I have the opportunity to either buy a belted 201-3 with just a base and no attachments for $125 or a potted motor 201-2 with attachments, a cabinet and the bench for $275. What really matters to me is the strength of the machine. I'm looking for something for my daughter to sew her fake fur items with. Which is the best machine? Potted motor or belted motor?

I would go with the 201-3. You can buy a new 1.5 amp aftermarket motor for $45.00. This would be a powerful machine for sure. You would still have money left over to find a used cabinet and any accessories you would use on a regular basis. In the long run I think this would work out best for you. In the short run, you will be up and running sooner with the 201-2 already mounted in a cabinet. But as they say, your millage may vary... Russ
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:13 PM
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The belt one is powerful enough IMO, it is also good in a way, that if you're going to have some interference it could always just slip. Also, you can always swap the motor, which is useful.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:48 PM
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Thank you for the wonderful information on this thread. I found a 201-3 for sale and will definitely buy it now that I've read your posts.
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:33 AM
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The 15 91 is the potted 15

201 potted gear drive , just for fun
Attached Thumbnails vsm-201-drive-gear-potted-c.jpg  
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:07 AM
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Been a while since posting. Belted or Direct drive is down to personal preference here (there is no real difference in performance between the two, just a myth). My opinion on the potted motors is that they can be a hit or a miss when it comes to wear and tear. especially a worn commutator as these machines were probably used a lot more frequently especially when table mounted (my opinion only, no proof on this). It can be hard to find a replacement comm or a properly serviced motor for these.

This is where the belted motors come into their own, as mentioned....modern motors can be purchased for these if the original motor is shot.

I also agree with the others on the model 15 over the 201, much much easier to maintain. The Class 15 bobbin also holds more thread over the Class 66.

ps: my fav machine - 15-91
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