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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Pfaff vs. Viking vs. Bernina ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Pfaff vs. Viking vs. Bernina
RachaelP

RachaelP
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VA USA
Member since 11/9/06
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Date: 11/9/06 8:57 PM

Hello! I am thinking about purchasing a new sewing machine and would like to know opinions on Pfaff vs. Viking vs. Bernina sewing machines. Not looking for opinions on a specific model, but what the general opinion is of the company and quality of all their sewing machines (i.e. metal vs. plastic, repair records).

I currently have a Singer 8280. It served its purpose when I bought it. However, two years later, I find myself exploring new options that requires stitches I do not have. In addition, the zig zag stitch is doing something weird (which is for another posting).

Therefore, I'm starting to do research on purchasing a new mechanical sewing machine whose primary purpose is garment design and mending. I am deciding not to purchase another Singer due to the fact that the nearest authorized repair shop is 3 hours away, making the warranty virtually useless for me. In addition, I've heard opinions that Singers aren't made the way they used to be (and my mother's Singer from the 50s proves it to me).

I am located in Northern VA, and I've found authorized dealers (and repair shops) near me for Pfaff, Viking and Bernina, which is why I've chosen these three brands. Although if you know of a shop in the area for another company that you consider reputable, please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

Rachael

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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Date: 11/10/06 1:05 PM

There have been many discussions about these SMs. Have you done a search yet? You will find as many opinions as there are people on this thread as to which they prefer. The only way you will know which is best for you is to go test drive them. Take the type of fabric you sew most with you. Then you can tell how each machine will treat that fabric.

Now as to my opinion, I love Bernina.

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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Date: 11/10/06 2:03 PM

And me, I love Vikings.

Sherril is right ... go try them all. Only you will know which one fits you.

But really, those 3 are truly all equal in quality, materials ... as long as your talking about the mid to upper range models. Some of the lower end models are outsourced so they won't compare equally.

------
--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

Betakin
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Betakin
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AZ USA
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In reply to RachaelP


Date: 11/10/06 3:29 PM

I think Bernina's are wonderful machines but I could never afford one at the time I was machine shopping and have never owned one so I cannot comment on them other than I feel the local dealer is outstanding.
I have a mechanical Pfaff with IDT, a computerized Viking and a computerized Janome made Kenmore. I love all 3 for the different features each has. I think of all 3 the Pfaff is not one that I could replace. It handles most of the harder to sew fabrics better, takes less fuss and adjusting and sews a great buttonhole and quilts extremely well and it is the only mechanical machine I own. My other machines do nicely on almost all projects too and have features that my Pfaff does not have, but neither are the 100 % of the Pfaff and I feel it is the Pfaff's dual feed that makes it outstanding.
I do think it is important to test machines before making a purchase and also shop around and buy a machine with the features you need.

janlorraine

janlorraine
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GA USA
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Date: 11/10/06 5:44 PM

I have older Singers (401, 500, 301) and Janomes MC 6000, MC6500P and a Pfaff 7570. I really don't like the Pfaff though I have tried very hard to do so. I resent the vertical bobbin. I guess that I am spoiled by the ease and convenience of a drop in bobbin. And I haven't noticed any difference in stitch quality. Be sure to look into the bobbin configuration before you buy.



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Date: 11/10/06 5:51 PM

I have a Bernina, but have recently fallen in love with the Vikings (saving all my spare nickels for one). All three are quality brands so I would suggest that you pick the brand that gives you the biggest bang for you buck (one with all the features you want and maybe a few "extras" within your budget.)

Restart06
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Restart06
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In reply to RachaelP


Date: 11/10/06 8:11 PM

As to which machine to purchase, after much debate, loss of sleep, agonizing on spending the $ and lots of info gathering, I today purchased a Pfaff 2056. I love the features and realiability of the machine, but the biggest reason is that my closest dealer is Pfaff. They are super, an excellent store and will take care of all my questions and service. This is probably in my humble opinion the most important point to consider on which brand you purchase. Good luck!

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nancy2001
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Date: 11/10/06 8:30 PM

Rachel, last December I bought my first sewing machine, a mechanical Bernina. Two days ago, I bought my second machine, a computerized Viking. My advice to you is to visit all three dealers and try a few machines at different price ranges before you decide.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

dresscode

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Date: 11/10/06 8:42 PM

If you are upgrading, you might try a basic computerized machine. Although I'm a Bernina person now, it's because I love my 1530 more than anything they've produced in the last 10 years. (non-embroidery)

Regardless of brand, I couldn't live without my needle up/down feature; no-hands pressure foot lever (knee lever), pressure foot control on the foot pedal; memory buttonhole; left/right needle position. Outside of that, I could be happy with several brands.

Only drawback to some mechanical machines is the noise. I think I read PR feedback on a Bernina 1008 that was noisy and some Vikings that seem noisy. Make sure the dealer hasn't placed a pad under the machine to absorb excess vibration.

Also, notice the size of the "bed", the space between the needle and the body of the machine. (I'm sure there is a technical term for this)

I'm really weird about the foot pedal. If it looks cheap and cheesy, make a note. Ask if there is an upgrade on a more durable pedal.

Take silks (all weights) and some of your challenge fabrics with you while shopping. The dealers will only provide you with cottons that have a lot of sizing. (well, most anyway)

You should be able to get a decent straight-stitch without having to put a different throat plate on the machine. (although it's still a good idea to add later for chiffons, etc.) I'm talking about the straight stitch plate with the small hole that keeps the fabric from getting pulled down.

The Viking 775 (?) looked like a good basic computerized at a recent show.

angie.a
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angie.a
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OK USA
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Date: 11/11/06 10:47 AM

Rachael, I've owned all three But my Pfaff was a serger...I can still tell you that about quality & stuff on that one though.

I ADORE both my Bernina (Sherrill & I have the same machine) and my Viking. I wouldn't get rid of either one. They each do their own thing perfectly. For example, I love my Bernina's straight stitch. It's precise and perfect. I also just LIKE the way the nina sews. It's quiet but sturdy & gets the job done.

The VIking is more "delicate", although it sews masterfully! It has beautiful heirloom decorative stitches that I love. It stitches so smooth and quiet.

Neither one has ever been to the "shop" for repairs, only for cleaning & checkups. I could be wrong...but I believe both my models are all metal inside. That was important to me at the time I was shopping, and I don't remember sacrificing that (but again, i might be mis-remembering, LOL.)

My Pfaff serger was a dream machine too. It was a sturdy, dependable workhorse and never had any problems at all. Just clean & oil regularly and it ran like a charm.

All 3 had excellent warranties.

I don't think you would be disappointed in any of them, ultimately it will come down to the one that feels most natural to you to sit at and sew, and has the features you want. For that you'll have to visit & stitch on them!

I would think price wise, the Bernina will be most expensive followed by the Pfaff and then Viking (which should be really close in price). Of course that varies by dealer & location, but that's how the price brackets fall here where I live.

------
When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. --Henry J. Kaiser

http://jemimabean.blogspot.com/

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