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Bernina 830 record

Sandra1962 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello from Sydney, Australia.

My first post and I need advice, please.

My Bernina 830 record, bought in 1971 needs repairs, the foot will not lift. It might be a small thing, but would any of you advise I update to a more modern machine rather than spend money on repairs?  I do only straight sewing and have no need for anything else. Machine would be used six times a year.

Many thanks, Sandra1962



  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Hello Sandra,

    Now I am not the only member from Sydney. (I am on the Northern Beaches).....YEH! Welcome to this great place. You will receive many varied opinions.

    You did not say if your machine has been repaired before.

    Have you been quoted on repair costs for this current job?

    Have you gone into the dealers and looked for basic straight sewing machines? to compare costs and brands. Or would you buy another Bernina?

    There are a lot of messages on this forum regarding sewing machine purchases, dealers, brands etc.

    Some of the older machines are sturdier, and if kept in top condition can last the distance.

    Wish you well on your decision.




  2. katina | | #2

    Hi and welcome - please visit us often.

    I found this (below) by Googling; it may help you. From what my friends tell me, you have a very good machine there and it would cost you good money to buy a comparable new one. Your foot problem may well be a very small thing - don't get rid of the machine just for that. It may have stiffened up by being stored for a long time, and it's possible that you can disassemble the foot and oil it the assembly. I visited my friend in Adelaide some years ago and she was about to trash her Elna - hadn't sewn for years, machine wouldn't work, repairman said it would cost her a minimum of $150Aus. I like a challenge, so armed with a bottle of surgical spirit , screwdriver and some small brushes I set to work. Long story short, couple of hours later machine worked like a charm.

    "This industry and sewing proven machine has a large and dedicated following ... and more and more sewists want to join the 830 club. As a result, even though it was only produced from 1972 through 1977, it's probably more in demand today than it ever has been. Prices unfortunately reflect this -- there's not a great supply, but there is a great demand. Expect to pay between $350 and $800 for a good used machine! The Bernina 830 is one of those rare and happy mechanical occurrences where the manufacturer simply got everything right (kind of like a 1957 Chevrolet!). These metal and mechanical marvels purr along as smoothly today as when they first left the dealer showroom."

    There's all kinds of info on the Web about caring for your machine. Google a bit.

    Good luck - Katina

    1. Cherrypops | | #3

      Thank you for this. I'm not wearing my google crown today....must have taken a flight and landed on your head. :)





      As the machine will only be used 6 times a year, I would hesitate in buying a new one...but if cost isn't a concern, then I would do my research and test, test, test. Don't be sold on the dealers favourite brand. And find a wonderful dealer, who you can rely on.


      1. katina | | #4

        Hi Cp

        Nah, the Google crown belongs only to you. This query struck a chord because so many of my friends have them in their collections.

    2. Sandra1962 | | #5

      Thank you everyone for your speedy replies.  We took the machine in for a repair quote a few hours ago.  I certainly will heed your advice (and enjoy the forum).



      1. katina | | #6

        Good to hear from you - I'm sure it will all go well.


      2. Cherrypops | | #7

        I too, thank you for replying to Katina and myself quickly. Please let us know how it went. Look forward to getting to know you and your talents.

      3. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #11

        Sandra, your machine probably just needs a good cleaning, and a good oiling. Not an expensive job. Mine seized up once from sitting too long unused. Dealer got it up and running after giving her a good cleaning. Worked like new. Only cost me about $100.00. That was cheap. Cathy

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #8

    Hello Sandra, I am the happy owner of a Bernina 930. The 830 and 930 machines were the best that bernina had ever made. They are much sought after as they are the workhorse machines, practically industrials. It is well worth the repairs. Trade in value is probably only $200. They will fix it and turn around and sell it for probably minimun $400 to $800 dollars, more of it is in mint condition if it has all the attachments and stuff. They are getting to be collector items. For what you want to do, it is probably well worth the repair. You do not use yours often, and the repair would be way less than a new machine. Do a search on your machine and you will see what I mean. Cathy

    1. Cherrypops | | #9

      Cathy, I just saw two of these machines on Ebay australia. $700 and $450. Yes, as I wrote earlier I think it is worth keeping.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #10

        I bought mine brand new in 82. Was thinking of trading up about 15 yrs ago. The Bernina dealer then told me that I was nuts. Really. He said that he would be happy to sell me a new one. But he would make more money reselling my old one, than what he would make on selling me my new one. Needless to say I still have my Bernina, and treat her with care. I also still have my Bernina dealer. Ya gotta keep one with that kind of honesty.
        I have been researching my machine because I need a new reostat(foot pedal) as it is wearing out and the parts are no longer available. To my surprise, because I have all the bills of sale, repair bills, original parts, good condition machine with carry case, foot lifter, and it is mechanical, it is worth almost what I paid for it new. And she still sews like a dream. CathyEdited 7/25/2008 10:42 am ET by ThreadKoe

        Edited 7/25/2008 10:43 am ET by ThreadKoe

    2. Sandra1962 | | #12

      Yes, Threadkoe, I had the feeling that might be the case regarding a quick trade-in offer.  Caution will be exercised.   How ever did we inform ourselves before the internet?   I can't imagine living without it now.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #13

        I only have had the internet at home here for about 2 months and am thoroughly enamoured. Cathy

    3. moira | | #17

      My 930 came to a sad end last year but I can't bear to dump it. The repairman diagnosed that the motherboard was damaged and made inquiries in London and Switzerland (I think) only to find that the replacement part is no longer made. I've often wondered if that was truly accurate information. If a new motherboard were to be found, I'd be delighted to see my wonderful machine re-instated.
      Anyone have any information about this?

      Edited 7/26/2008 1:46 pm ET by moira

      1. woodruff | | #18

        I have a 930e and, since it does have a motherboard, this subject has come up in conversations between my mechanic and me. He not only collects Berninas and Bernina parts, but is a computer geek, and told me it would not be a problem if necessary.I'd suggest asking around in your neighborhood and on the internet--as here in a forum run by fans of old Berninas:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BerninaThirtySomethings/ Methinks you might have been given a hasty answer by someone who wasn't terribly interested. My understanding is that a capable geek can repair a motherboard.Edited 7/26/2008 3:09 pm by woodruff

        Edited 7/26/2008 3:25 pm by woodruff

        1. moira | | #19

          Well thank you! This is amazing! If it was true that a new motherboard was no longer available, it might still be possible to find a replacement used part. I'll certainly see where this website leads me. I'm in the UK but presumably a 930e is the same anywhere. I appreciate your help.

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #20

        Moira, most of the info I have come across about my 930 and the 930e seems to be based in Britain, but there are a lot of sites on fixing them. My Bernina guru said that it takes time and effort to find the parts, but he is tapped into a network of guys who feel these machines are really special and need to fix them. I do not know where you live, but I would suggest you start calling around to Bernina dealers and quizzing them about your 930. you need to find a new dealer. Cathy

        Edited 7/27/2008 11:42 am ET by ThreadKoe

    4. Sandra1962 | | #22

      Just a final update, Threadkoe, and all who offered advice. My Bernina 830 needed a $6.50 spring replaced along with a service. So much for middle-aged panic.

      Thank you again for the support.

      Sandra in Sydney.


      1. jjgg | | #23

        How wonderful for you and so cheap! still if you ever want to get rid of it, keep me in mind...(LOL)

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #24

        You have a treasure of a machine. I hope you will now be encouraged to take it out and play with it a little more. Thank you for the update, as I was curious as to what happened. Cathy

      3. Cherrypops | | #25

        so pleased to hear the news. Happy sewing.

      4. rrp | | #26

        I'm late entering this discussion and am glad to hear that you fixed your 830. I've had my 830 record for 26 years, and still use it a lot. I also have another much fancier Bernina machine, and still find myself gravitating to my 830 when I want something done in a hurry -- it is such a familiar, faithful companion! I would NEVER get rid of it!

        My husband bought this machine for me when I was still in the hospital after the birth of my first daughter. She is 26 years old and getting married this month. I made the outfit she will be wearing at her reception and some things for the bridesmaids on this machine. I can't tell you how many toys, stuffed animals, dresses, quilts,and various other things I've sewn with this gem of a machine! I love it!

  4. jjgg | | #14

    Fix the machine, don't get rid of it. On the other hand, if you do want to get rid of it, I'll take it. (only I live in the States - too far to send it I guess) :)

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #15

      Hey Jigg, you might have a bidding war on your hands, tee hee. Cathy

  5. woodruff | | #16

    Ooooh, my genius sewing machine mechanic says never, ever get rid of an 830. They are gold, the absolute standard of what mechanical sewing machines should be like.

  6. Ckbklady | | #21


    If I'm not too late to pipe in - I bought a sewing machine with a broken presser foot lifter a few months ago, and it only cost $20 for the part and labor to replace it.

    I also have a Bernina 530 Record from about the same time, and wouldn't trade it in for diamonds. New machines are nowhere near as sturdy and reliable. I would strongly encourage you to look into the cost of repair, and if you're curious, to look at new machines - be sure to ask to see the inner works - there's a LOT of plastic in there that won't last nearly as long as your 830.

    Best wishes,


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