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Sewing Machine Comparison

PalmCoastLady | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

My old singer broke after 35 years and I need help buying a new machine.  I’m not a quilter, at this point, just need good plain stitches.  Does anyone have a comparison chart to share?



  1. jgrue | | #1

    I am looking for similar information. I have an Elna 900SU--it works well except for making buttonholes. I want a machine that makes perfect straight stitches and perfect buttonholes that are easy to sew. I've been checking websites for different machines but they all seem to tout their embroidery features--that's not high on my list of priority features.

    Any recommendations?


    1. racheli | | #14

      I have a Viking Designer SE and it is amazing!! Perfect buttonholes every time. It has an automatic button hole sensor foot attachment that comes with the machine. It is so great that you tell it the fabric type and it recommends your stitching. You can also put your button to the screen and it will measure it and make the perfect size hole for your button. I cant say enough about the machine. I recommend trying one out.

  2. Stitchwitch | | #2

    I've had them all. Elna, Bernina and Pfaff. My latest purchase was the Viking Sapphire and it has only impressed me so far. Excellent stitch quality and very easy to use. A real no-fuss machine. It, off-course,  is only for sewing, not embroidery. Test drive one! I also think it is priced very reasonably. Viking really thinks what would make life easier for us sewers.

    1. PalmCoastLady | | #3

      thanks so much, I did "look" at one yesterday.  The store is 35 miles away, so not very convienent for the classes.  I will try to "test drive" one soon.



    2. jgrue | | #4

      How does the Viking Sapphire do on buttonholes. There is a shop not far from me so I will test it but would like your input.

      1. Stitchwitch | | #5

        Excellent. It does a Perfectly Ballanced Buttonhole. It's very easy and what I like more is that it sews the buttunhole "backwards". This means all your buttonholes start the same distance from the edge and are all the same length. I find the other way round your buttonholes don't always end the same distance from the edge.

  3. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #6

    I think the best thing to do at the start of a sewing machine purchase is find a dealer you like and trust and one that has a great repair mechanic! It's a drag to be in the middle of a project and have to send your machine back to some distant factory for repair with a 6 week turnaround! Hang out in the store and talk to customers who wander through.

    If you go online there are several resources to check out besides all the great info at Threads:

    Incidentally, there was a fairly recent article on sewing machine reviews by Carol Fresia and Judith Neukam in Threads...sorry I don't have the issue # but you should be able to find it readily enough.

    Electronic machines are easier to adjust and may have more features than the mechanicals. But once you find a great dealer (they usually carry several brands) ask a million questions and test drive them! Be specific about your needs...don't let them razzle dazzle you into expensive features you will not use, but certainly consider some of the great new features that make ease of use such a pleasure!

    And, just as an FYI...my machines are computerized (but a different price point than those you are seeking): a Pfaff Creative 7530 and my serger is an Elna 925. I absolutely love my machines! I highly recommend both of them. My favorite feature on the Pfaff is my needle threader and the built in walking foot. On the serger, the cover stitch and ease of threading and the automation of the tension adjustments.

    Be sure to ask about where the machines are made and whether or not the parts are metal or plastic, check the warranties, etc. Generally, it seems to me the European made machines have sturdier, more precision made parts and run smoother and quieter and longer. But that is my own personal experience.

    Best of luck with your search!

    1. PalmCoastLady | | #7

      thanks for your email....I'm researching...


    Dear PalmCoastLady:  I buy all of my machines on the internet at http://www.allbrands.com.  They seem to have hundreds of machines at the best prices I've seen.  They have all the name brands and a good representation of styles, features, etc.  Also, you can often get free shipping.  THAT is a definite plus! Hope you find what you're looking for.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #9

      Thank You so much for letting us know you are happy with Allbrands.  Now I will have confidence in ordering from them.  Mary

    2. marymary | | #10

      Artinstitches what do you do about repairs and service when you buy a machine from Allbrands? 

      1. ARTINSTITCHES | | #11

        Mary:  To the best of my memory, I do not recall any need for repairs or service for the machines I have bought so far from AllBrands.com.  However, I have had a need for information.  At that time, I simply contacted their customer service e-mail and was promptly informed.  If I were you, I would contact customer service before you purchase your machine and find out what their warranties/guarantees may be and how you get service, should you need it.  I'm pretty sure the Manufacturer has their own guarantee and their dealer locations where you might call for service.  AllBrands could surely give you that information.  They seem to be right on with customer service.  I hope I am giving you helpful info, Mary.  I'd like to know what you find out.  P.S  I just checked AllBrands site.  The "Contact Us" title at the top of the home page will give you phone Nos. and an e-mail form to use if you wish to write them.  Good luck, Mary.


        1. marymary | | #12

          Artinstitches, thank you for you answer.  I am not looking to buy a machine, at the moment.  After an unpleasant experience with the local Brother store I am wondering about where to buy my next embroidery machine.  If I buy a Brother, online, I will still have to take it there for service, as I did my present machine, a Brother 150.  I really hate not having a choice of dealers for the machine I want.  The same dealer owns all the Brother stores in this area.  I may have to consider a different brand.  That would mean I could no longer use my cards and Ped Basic.  I am just gathering information in case I need to replace my machine.

          1. Betakin | | #13

            I've made several new machine purchases from on line dealers and I have been extremely happy with all of them.  Allbrands, SewVac Direct and my latest was from Easy Terms also known as Ken's. One of my purchases was a Brother Quilt Club model and if any repairs are needed I can just send the machine back to them because they are an authorized dealer. I prefer to buy new in box items and not factory serviced machines yet I have saved a bundle of money shopping on line rather than pay local dealer prices. I do have local dealer support for some of my other machines but I still prefer the internet dealers I mentioned for my purchases.


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