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

  1. #1
    Kas
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    Which to buy? 201-2 or 201-3?

    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?

    Thanks!
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    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Potted motors are so much more powerful than belt driven motors. I didn't even know the 201 came with a belt drive. The potted motors have a heavy worm drive which is a big gear that drives it. Machines that run on belts (like the featherweights) cannot even begin to compare!

    Hope I answered your question.
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    Kas
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    That's kinda what I was thinking, but just not sure. I'm still pondering!
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    The belt-driven motor on the 201-3 is not at all the same as the Featherweight. The 201-3 with belted motor will have all the power you need, as long as the belt is in good shape and adjusted properly. If there is a small difference in power, it is definitely not enough to justify more than double the price. If you're not interested in the cabinet etc, you would be wasting a lot of money on the 201-2.

    If you search in this section, I know this has been discussed in the past.

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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I would not use a 201 at all for sewinganything linty or that might shed. I would use a Singer 15 or a 15 clone with a walking foot. If I were doing a LOT of it I would buy a commercial walking foot. The 15 is much easier to cleanandmaintain the bobbin area thanthe201. iPad has wigged out again...
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    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I would not use a 201 at all for sewinganything linty or that might shed. I would use a Singer 15 or a 15 clone with a walking foot. If I were doing a LOT of it I would buy a commercial walking foot. The 15 is much easier to cleanandmaintain the bobbin area thanthe201. iPad has wigged out again...
    I was thinking the same thing. Taking the bobbin case out of a 201 and replacing it properly is not a joy if you don't know what you're doing. A 15 class machine is so much easier. Besides, the 201-3 isn't a bad price for your area since they aren't all that common, but the 201-2 is way over priced. They're common as dirt up here.

    Cari

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    I have a belt driven 201 and it stitches through just about anything that fits under the presser foot. It has the original 1950 motor / light setup, just rewired and regreased. I don't know about the potted motor, but this is my favorite machine. It is a bit more cumbersome to get out the bobbin case and clean under there compared to model 15 and 66, but when you have done it a couple of times you develop a nack for it. A model 15 with a potted motor sounds very nice too.
    Last edited by Mickey2; 03-14-2017 at 08:13 AM.

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    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I agree the price tag of $275 is ridiculous for a 201-2... I seemed to have missed that when I first read your post and responded. They are common in my area too. In fact I have two sitting here at my house, one I paid $75 for and $50 for the other, in cabinets.
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    Newly rewired and serviced machines cost quite a bit more than the average used machines turning up for sale. Machines in exceptionally good condition can fetch higher prices too. I payed a bit over $70 dollar for my 201; it needed a few replacement parts, and a good clean up. It's in a small table. The average is $60-80 around here, but they all need a bit of attention before they can be used.

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    I don't have a belted 201, however I do have both a belted 15 and a potted motor 15, and the belted one is my favorite hands down. You may have to try both, and see which one you like better. They've both had a lot of years to have wear or other issues to take their toll and affect current performance.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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    Quote 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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    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.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

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    Kas
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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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