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Can someone explain the difference between a Singer 401 and a 401A?

Can someone explain the difference between a Singer 401 and a 401A?

Old 01-08-2024, 02:14 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: North Carolina
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Default Can someone explain the difference between a Singer 401 and a 401A?

Are the attachments such as the feet, plates, cams the same?? Thank you.
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Old 01-08-2024, 04:42 AM
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I believe they are pretty much the same machine with some exceptions. I do know that the "A" means it was manufactured in Anderson, SC. I did a quick Google search on them, link below.

http://www.oldsewingear.com/faq.html#:~:text=The%20401%20(aka%20401G)%20and,an d%20is%20squarer%20in%20shape

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Old 01-08-2024, 07:14 AM
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That's my understanding. I've never had a 401 that wasn't a 401A, so I can't be sure that I'm right here. However, all slant needle machines use the same cams (except 700 series can use white cams, 400, 500 and 600 machines can't). All feet and attachments work on all the rest. The 301 is a straight stitch only machine, so must have a modified attachment for walking foot quilting. There is also some differences on buttonholers, but I'm not sure what it is. I have 2 different buttonholers for slant machines, but since I don't make clothes, it's not something I really have looked into.

Last edited by bkay; 01-08-2024 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-09-2024, 07:11 AM
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I was under the impression that the 401 and 401A were the same machine, but just didn't put the model number on for a while. So after some research, I found that the 401A sometimes had the model number on a tag under the badge on the pillar and some had the model number on the stitch length plate. I wasn't aware that there was a 401G made in Karlsruhe. It looks like the ones made in Germany would probably have serial number that start with PA, PB or PC. There is a picture of the 401G at https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-prhlMFjMD...s1600/401G.jpg The easiest way to tell the difference would be to see what looks like two take up levers above the tension assembly on the front of the machine.

The 401A with the model on the stitch length plate can be seen at https://img1.etsystatic.com/005/0/68...91251_ld6t.jpg and the 401A with the tag below can be seen at https://millardsewing.com/wp-content...06-600x450.jpg The 401A serial numbers would start with NA, NB or NC

The serial number can sometime be hard to read, it is on the under lip about half way from front to back on the left side of the machine. Even knowing where it is, I had to shine a flashlight at different angles to find it and be able to read it.
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