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Need some input on sewing machines. Mechanical vs computerized.

dea4 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I currently have a Viking Huskystar 224 that I’ve had for 7 years. It has been a good workhorse of a machine but I am having problems with it and took it in for repair.  If it cannot be repaired, I’ll have to get a new machine.  The Huskystar 224 is what I call slightly electronic but not computerized, it has the ability to make the needle stop in the up or down posision, but all other features are mechanical. I’ve never had a computerized machine so I am not familiar with how well they sew, or how well they do or don’t hold up under hours of sewing.

I’ve done some online searching and when I took my machine in for repair, I looked at some of the options now available. So far for a  more mechanical machine I’m leaning toward the Viking Emerald 118, it is similar to my Huslystar.  I know Janome also makes some mechanical ,models, but none with the needle up/down stop option.  I have seen the Janome computerized DC1050 where I took my machine for repair and it isn’t bad, but its’s computerized and computerized worries me  as to whether it can hold up.

I need a workhorse that will go for hours without a glitch.  I want something that can sew through many layers of fabric, and I like the option to have my needle stop in the up or down position.  I also need something that isn’t above $400. The Janome at the sewing machine store was selling for 299.00, the Viking also sells for about 299.00.

Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations? Any experience with computerized vs electronic or mechanical. 



  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    I have one of the first top of the line computerized Vikings that has lasted 17 years.  I doubt if it could be repaired if something went wrong with it now.   You will not find the needle up/down in a mechanical machine.   Paying $300 for a machine won't get you much in a computerized model.  I agree with trying many machines - bring along the heavy layers you want to sew through and don't let them give you just their stiff cottons.   And if you sew with silky stuff, bring some of that also.  And I definitely agree with buying from a dealer - they will (should) stand behind their merchandise if anything goes wrong.  KMart won't.

  2. GrammieSewer | | #2

    Electronic vs computerized

    I agree, take along fabric samples of what you typically sew on and try out machines that you are considering. 

    Do buy from a dealer, not kmart, walmart etc. 

    I have had mechanical machines that were great and lasted for ever, but also some that weren't worth their weight in parts.  I had my mothers computerized Singer, one of the first computerized ever made back in the 70s.  It was great and lasted for years, but when it started to go a good repairman told me that there were certain parts that could not be replaced or fixed and that it would wear out before too long.  I used it for another 10-15 years then when it went we chucked it and I got a nice Brother.  It is also computerized and I really like it.  It is dependable, but it seems sensitive to lent!  I just clean it out after every project and get it serviced when it needs it and so far it has lasted many years and not had any major problems. 

    I have a mechanical White that drives me crazy.  I use it as a back up and  it sews better on heavy fabric than light weight.  The presser foot pressure cannot be adjusted and it is too loose for light weight fabrics so they slide around more than usual. 

    The answer then  is it depends on the machine and the features you want and the type of sewing that you do.  Its better to talk to a good dealer and try out several machines.  A new machine will have a warranty, a used one will have a better price, but may still last for many years.  A lot of people trade in a good one for one that does more because they have 'out grow' the old one.  A good dealer will usually offer free lessons on how to use the machine too, which you won't get at walmart etc.

  3. Pattiann42 | | #3

    Electronic vs Computerized vs Mechanical

    You will be the one using this machine, dealing with service and so forth.  

    It may be best to make a wish list and visit as many sewing machine dealers as you can find.  See what they have that meets your requirements, especially the hours and hours of use. 

    Purchase the machine you like the best from the dealer you like the best.  You may end up with neither of the brands you have mentioned.

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