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Bernina Recommendations

annie7 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’m looking into getting a Bernina (never owned one before). Currently I don’t do any embroidery/quilting so I’m really looking for a really good, sturdy machine with multiple features (automatic backstitch, thread cutter, free hand system, speed control, automatic presser foot pressure, etc). I do quite a bit of sewing but want a machine that does more than your traditional industrial machine.

I was looking at the Aurora 440 and the Artista 640. Would either of these models be good for my purposes or is that too much money for what I need? Are there any other Bernina models out there that someone could recommend?



  1. alotofstitches | | #1

    I've owned a Bernina since 1978--the 830.  I bought a new 170E before my first grandbaby came so I could do embroidery.  I now have 4 granddaughters who are learning to sew and I have purchased more one-owner 830 Berninas from ebay for them as they were top of the line when new and will sew anything.  You'll never regret buying a Bernina!

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #2

      I have the Bernina 930 mechanical.  Would not trade her for anything.  The 830 and 930 that came out in the late 70's, early 80's were the best Bernina ever made, and are still sought after.  Bernina is reissuing an 830 embrioidery machine now, but I do not know how it compares to the old one.  Cathy

      1. woodruff | | #3

        I had the marvelous 830 for many years, and now have the truly incredible 930e. Although she must be more than 25 years old, she is a trouble-free jewel. I will never sell her.

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #4

          The 930e means the electronic, and I thought that the technology was too new still when I bought my mechanical, tee hee.  Have never regretted my choice.  My girlfriend has the electronic, 6 months younger than mine.  We often have fun, albeit heated debates over who's machine is better.  I think that both machines win actually.  Hers for the dandy place her thread cutter is, and mine for the sheer simplicity of the design, as hers has a few more buttons to set.  Otherwise they are exactly the same powerful machines, virtually trouble free for years.  They are still worth what we paid for them new!  My rheostat(footpedal) has worn out once, and is in need of replacement.  I will have to have one rebuilt, or try and find one from a defunct machine, as a new one is over a thousand dollars to replace.  I will keep looking! 

          Bernina has just come out with a new 830 machine with all the bells and whistles, and a whopping price tag.  I have been looking into an embroidery system, so will be looking closely at that.  Am wondering if the old number on the new machine is just nostalgia, or if they are really updating a workhorse machine.......Cathy

          1. woodruff | | #5

            The other day, I read comments somewhere on the new 830 (maybe patternreview.com?). It apparently is just a number, having no relationship to the lovely old 830. Discussions I have read over the past ten years or so indicate that sewists now have to choose between machines that sew garments well and those that do embroidery tricks. Not much overlap.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #6

            I already have the machines that sew well, so I am going to have to look into the embroidery machine then. 

            My advice to the original poster would be the same as that put forth many times by other posters about other machines...DO YOUR RESEARCH, and TEST DRIVE the MACHINE, and TEST DRIVE the DEALER!  Take a list of the things you want to accomplish with your machine, and make sure the machine is capable.  Do not let them show you, make sure you operate the machine yourself.  Make sure you are comfortable with both the dealer and the machine.  Then test drive similar machines by other makers and dealers.  Buying a sewing machine is like buying a car, and costs darn near as much it seems.  Make sure you are going to be happy with the machine and the after sales service. 

            I have had my machine since 1983.  I have gone through 3 dealers now, the last having recently retired, :(   I am once again searching for another good one to service my baby.   A good tool requires TLC to keep it up and running smoothly for a long, long time.   Cathy

          3. moira | | #8

            I suppose the footpedal would have to be for the mechanical model. I have a defunct 930e and would certainly consider selling parts. It was a wonderful machine.

  2. Elaray | | #7

    I've had the Aurora 430 for a year now and I love sewing on it. I sew my work wardrobe (I don't do embroidery and I may start quilting) and the 430 suits me perfectly. It's a very good basic machine without lots of bells and whistles.

  3. hedvig | | #9

    Hi Annie7,

    I own 6 machines.  My Bernina 730E is great!! The 440 comes with bernina stitch regulator for free motion and option for embroidery later if you don't want it now.  The 640 sound closer to what you want and need.  The embroidery is built in, not run by your computer, and has a usb and cable for your computer if you want.  It sounds like you want to get a machine you will grow into not feel you might out grow in a few months.  Either the 440 or 640 are hardy, solid machines, and excellent quality.  You can't lose with a Bernina, and both of these machines really are great.  Oh by the way 2 of the 6 machines are Bernina's.  You won't regrete your purchase, I never have.


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