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Thread: Kenmore ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Quilter Day-by-Day's Avatar
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    Kenmore ?

    Are Kenmore machines worth buying? I've seen some lately for 25.00 each in a cabinet. Are they worth investing in?
    Quilting is an addiction that you can be proud of and enjoy.
    Elna TSP,Kenmore,Singer Futura,Singer Red Eye x2,Singer 66,White Rotary Treadles x2, Montgomery Wards, Janome 10000,Singer 201-2 1947,Juki serger, Black 1947 Featherweight. Singer 301a 1951, Parlor Cabinet Treadle w/ White.
    Deb

  2. #2
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    I love my Kenmore's. I have 6 of them. They're sturdy buggers.

  3. #3
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    You bet they are! I also own few of the Kenmores, the ones made in Japan, all metal and very strong. Which Kenmore are you looking at?

  4. #4
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    I've had my Kenmore for about 17 years and it's wonderful. My sewing machine repairman says they are really good machines--like Janomes for durability--because of the metal frame and metal parts . I had it serviced only once in those 17 years (mostly because I didn't have any problems with it till a minor timing issue). I am about to buy another machine (Janome) only because I want to upgrade from a basic mechanical machine to a computerized one. I recommend Kenmores personally from my experience. Easy to use, easy to fix if they need to be.

  5. #5
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I am still sewing on the one I bought 34 years ago , Never had an issue so far !

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Loved my Kenmore. I kind of regret giving it to my daughter, who doesn't really sew much.

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    I love mine too. The price was right - I'm thinking it was about $150.00 and it still has more stitches that I use. I love it!

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Kenmores are great machines!

  9. #9
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Can't say enough about all 7 of my kennies. Great work horses and very dependable . I too have the very 1st one I purchased over 37 yrs ago. Keep them cleaned & oiled and you will never be disappointed.
    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

  10. #10
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Yes, definitely worth the investment. I recently gave my late 70s Kenmore to my DS & DIL. It is still going strong.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cecilia S.'s Avatar
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    If only they came in pink.

    Eh?

  12. #12
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    Well the Lady Kenmore is a rosy color which many call pink. Very sweet little machine!

    I'm sewing on a 1974 158.1774 made in Japan. Great all-metal machine. Sews through anything I give it.

    Note that if a cabinet is important to you, then you're lucky to find the two together. Vintage Kennies are longer than other machines and won't fit a standard cabinet.

  13. #13
    Super Member mlmack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookyIN View Post
    Well the Lady Kenmore is a rosy color which many call pink. Very sweet little machine!

    I'm sewing on a 1974 158.1774 made in Japan. Great all-metal machine. Sews through anything I give it.

    Note that if a cabinet is important to you, then you're lucky to find the two together. Vintage Kennies are longer than other machines and won't fit a standard cabinet.
    Plus, the bed has square corners. I do see quite a few Kenmore machines with tables/cabinets, though.
    Mark

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have several Kenmores I'm keeping. I have found them to be equal to or better than their contemporary Singers.
    My oldest is a Kenmore 117-812 from the 30s. The newest is a 158-17570. They sew smooth, quiet and strong.

    I've sold several of like vintage and so far not one complaint.

    Are Kenmores worth buying? Yes.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I have a little one that is 60yrs. old and still going strong. All metal and in a nice plastic case that is covered in carved roses.

  16. #16
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    just googled this...

    News Flash: Sears is getting out of the Kenmore branded Sewing machine business after 100+ years! Sears Kenmore sewing machines have been made by Maruzen Japan (now Jaguar China) or Janome New Home in Taiwan over the last 50+ years. Janome was the last private label manufacturer to make Sears Kenmore branded sewing machines in their Taichung, Taiwan ROC Republic of China factory. The four Sears Kenmore branded sewing machines AllBrands offers are the very last models available in the USA that were manufactured by Janome in their ISO9002 factories with 10 year warranty. Unless Sears changes its position and outlook, there will no more Kenmore, only Brother and Singer brand sewing machines sold online and in their traditional sewing and vacuum cleaner departments. However, Parts for Janome made Kenmore machines will continue to be available, since Janome manufactures the same or similar models under the Janome and New Home labels. - See more at: http://www.allbrands.com/categories/....VTazlLgA.dpuf

  17. #17
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    I have three and they are some of the best machines I have ever owned. I sew with them all the time...I have not paid over 30.00 for any of them.

  18. #18
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    I received my Kenmore when I graduated from college in 1972 - it is still my favorite machine. It makes the prettiest buttonholes I have ever seen on ANY machine! Am getting ready to change the belt - for only the second time in it's 41 years with me - and it has been my go to machine since I received it. Having costumed over 60 shows in my high school teaching career - I can swear by my Kenmore!

  19. #19
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    I appreciate reading your views on this thread. I was given a Kenmore 158.??? in a good cabinet and I have partially meched it (haven't got the top off yet- how does it come off?) It is in reasonable shape but the reverse button is damaged, but works. I have all the cams and the instruction book. It's one of 30 machines I have and use, and has decorative stitches the others don't have. When I did the first maintenance, I was impressed with the engineering. It's my first Kenmore and I understand the 158 series is very good? When I pieced my first quilt on it, I was disappointed because the smallest stitch seems to be 12 stitches to an inch, and I prefer 20 or even 30 that vintage Singers can offer for piecing quilts. I had to either back tack or sew over every seam. I have not tried to quilt on it; has anyone quilted on a Kenmore?

    A stranger on freecycle is asking for a machine. She wants the Kenmore, but I'm not sure I want to give it up even though it's taking up valuable space and is actually in the way. I am trying to downsize in general and I may give her another machine. Her daughter broke the machine she had, a Janome, and I wouldn't like to see that happen to the Kenmore. Neither of them knows a lot about sewing or machines.

    It sounds to me like most of you on this thread would keep the machine and find room. Is that right? Can anyone say anything that would help me decide to keep it and use it or give it away? Or maybe sell it? What would you do?
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 08-20-2013 at 10:13 AM.

  20. #20
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    Try just pulling up on the top...on a lot of them it's held on with clips & just snaps off/on. Is your stitch length correct at the longest setting? Your dial should go from about 6 spi all the way down to stitching in the same spot. On all of mine (158.17550, Ultra-stitch 8 & Ultra stitch 12) there's an eccentric behind the stitch length dial. By loosening a set screw there & turning the eccentric you can adjust your stitch length.

  21. #21
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    I remember reading a post from a man who keeps a Kenmore just for doing buttonholes. He has lots of machines, but says no machine makes such a perfect, consistent buttonhole every time.

  22. #22
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    At the front of the machine beneath the sewing platform you'll find the complete number of your machine.

    To get the top off, cover a screwdriver with a piece of fabric, slip it under the edge of the top, and gently pry it upwards. I work from the back of the machine "just in case".

    I wouldn't get rid of the Kenmore until you're positive you don't want it. 12 stitches to the inch is the max on mine, but I'm fine with that.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Quilter Day-by-Day's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
    If only they came in pink.

    Eh?
    You could always paint one pink.
    Quilting is an addiction that you can be proud of and enjoy.
    Elna TSP,Kenmore,Singer Futura,Singer Red Eye x2,Singer 66,White Rotary Treadles x2, Montgomery Wards, Janome 10000,Singer 201-2 1947,Juki serger, Black 1947 Featherweight. Singer 301a 1951, Parlor Cabinet Treadle w/ White.
    Deb

  24. #24
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    Cricket,

    My bought my Kenmore 158.17600 new in 1977. It does the prettiest satin stitch you'll ever see. 12 stitches per inch is definitely not right. You should be able to get 30ish. It probably does need an adjustment.

    Cathy
    Quote Originally Posted by cricket_iscute View Post
    I appreciate reading your views on this thread. I was given a Kenmore 158.??? in a good cabinet and I have partially meched it (haven't got the top off yet- how does it come off?) It is in reasonable shape but the reverse button is damaged, but works. I have all the cams and the instruction book. It's one of 30 machines I have and use, and has decorative stitches the others don't have. When I did the first maintenance, I was impressed with the engineering. It's my first Kenmore and I understand the 158 series is very good? When I pieced my first quilt on it, I was disappointed because the smallest stitch seems to be 12 stitches to an inch, and I prefer 20 or even 30 that vintage Singers can offer for piecing quilts. I had to either back tack or sew over every seam. I have not tried to quilt on it; has anyone quilted on a Kenmore?
    Cathy

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

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