Singer, Bernina, Industrials, Oh my!
August 12, 2010 § 2 Comments
The next sewing machine I buy is going to have to be an industrial machine. Not only because of the amount of time I spend on my current sewing machine, but because of the cost. I’d still keep a home model with different stitches, but I rarely use these features, so I’m seeing them less and less as an attraction. The cost of owning an industrial, even a semi-industrial, is well worth it from what I’m seeing online.
So, if you want to buy a basic machine, you don’t think you’ll need/want fancy stitches, and you aren’t interested in embroidery, then you’ll really want to look into an industrial. I’d recommend one that will only do a straight stitch. Don’t be fooled, you can do a lot with only a straight stitch. You might think that these machines are way more expensive, but they actually aren’t. The one thing they are is fast. They use an external motor and some can be loud, but not by much. They also have a nice feature which is a knee presser foot lever. You can lift the presser foot with your knee, leaving your hands on your work.
I mean, look at this Consew 7360R (click and scroll down). It’s $550. For $479, you can get yourself a Tacsew DDL8500. For $850, you can get a Singer 20U. Of course, you could also blow your budget on a Bernina 950/Tacsew 950, running you up a bill of $2,900. You can find the same machine on Amazon, but at $3,400.
To put these prices in perspective, let’s look at a couple of home machines. The thing about home machines is that they are more flexible. An industrial will sew an awesome straight stitch and hold up to speedy, daily sewing, while your home version will do a straight stitch, a zig zag, an overlock stitch, a triple stitch, etc., but the less expensive models usually have a short shelf life. You won’t be able to do a buttonhole on a straight stitch industrial, but you could have a home machine for all those little things. If you go professional, you can then make the decision to buy an industrial machine whose sole purpose is to make buttonholes.
My dad says that once a machine (of any kind) can do more than one thing, it’s bound to break. Just look at all those old straight stitch sewing machines that people still hold on to until their last breath. Those things are gonna last because they do one thing, and do it well.
Back to home sewing machine prices. You can buy a basic home machine for under $200. If you do this, make sure you know that you’ll be limited to sewing only a couple of times a month. Too much sewing and its flaws start to show. You’ll know when you’re pushing its limits. I keep saying speed, and you might think I’m nuts, but I know I kept pushing on the foot pedal of my Bernette trying to squeeze out every ounce of power that little machine could produce. It wasn’t much. Then, I started wanting to sew multiple layers, then thicker layers, and ultimately I could see that the stitch definition was sloppy. I was happy with the Bernette for two years. The thing that changed was my interest. I was starting to sew every day, and still do. My needs weren’t met with the Bernette, despite it being a great starter machine.
Am I just picky? The kind of person who is never happy with what she has? Always ready to move on to the next project? You betcha.
In other words, my advice is not suited for everyone. Don’t sweat it if you don’t feel like looking into industrials. Obviously. I wish I were the kind of person who could just do one thing and not get an itch for the next obsession. But, hey, when I can, I behave, and when I can’t, I write up things like this to get you sucked into my world. Join me…