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Forum > Sewing Machines > Janone vs. Bernina vs. Baby Lock ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Janone vs. Bernina vs. Baby Lock
Need machine recommendation
JJG39069
JJG39069
Member since 12/31/10
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Subject: Janome vs. Bernina vs. Baby Lock Date: 12/31/10 3:28 PM

I've spent the week looking at sewing machines and have narrowed down to the following:

Bernina B330- $999 (if I pay cash + $50 for extension table)
Baby Lock Elizabeth - $849 (+$? for extension table)
Janome Memory Craft 4900 QC - $999

I'm leaning towards the baby lock because it's the cheapest. Am I making a huge mistake here? I'm finding less info about Baby Lock's compared to Bernina's and Janome's. The folks at the Baby Lock store serviced all brands and said the Baby Lock "inards" are better quality than the Janome's and equivalent to the Bernina's. I'm upgrading from an $80 Kenmore and just starting to get into sewing. I tried all of them out but frankly am not experienced enough to tell much of a difference.

Any words of advice from y'all out there?
-- Edited on 12/31/10 3:28 PM --
-- Edited on 12/31/10 3:41 PM --

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/31/10 4:26 PM

I have a Babylock Quest Plus which is fabulous. I think it's a step up from the Elizabeth, which is a new edition of an older model. I think buying a new model, even if it's just a new name on an old model, costs more. You might be able to find a new, but leftover Quest Plus for $1000, or a Quilters Choice for $600-700. That Janome is supposed to be a good model. The Janome 6600 is a workhorse with a great reputation. It's like a Quest Plus, but without a freearm. Also avail for $1000 sometimes. However, if that's a real Bernina, not a Bernette, for that price, and it has all the features you need, go buy it. Around here, even the 3/4 size Berninas start at $1000+. A used Bernina would be great too, if you can find one.

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

SewBusy63
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Date: 12/31/10 5:08 PM

I would get the Bernina. I owned my fair share of Janomes the last 9 years. They are good machines. However, my Bernina will go over serged/thick seams better than any Janome I ever owned. If you check with the dealers, you'll find the Bernina more than likely has a much more powerful dc motor than the Janome. I tested the 380 when I was looking and it sewed on all my stretchy knit fabrics without problems (my Horizon 7700 could not sew these fabrics without issues). It was nice machine, but since I wanted a full size machine (the 3 series are 3/4 size machines), I passed them up.

Bernina offers mastery classes free when you buy a machine. They teach you how to use it, clean it, etc. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with a Bernina.

It really comes down to what you want. I would take your fabric to the dealers and really put them to the test. Test buttonholes and all the features that are important to you. We all have our opinions on the various brands, but only you can decide which is best for you. I also suggest you look at the reviews here on PR for those machines.

Best of luck choosing! Let us know what you buy.
-- Edited on 12/31/10 10:33 PM --

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝



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Date: 12/31/10 5:11 PM

Another thing to consider is price for attachments. If you do go with the Bernina, keep in mind that any feet or attachments for them are usually VERY expensive compared to other brands. They are good quality though. But, you might be someone who doesn't go for the accessories and other feet, so it may not be an issue.

As far as Baby Lock goes, I hear a lot more positive about their machines than negative.

ghillie
ghillie
Member since 11/18/07
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Date: 12/31/10 5:21 PM

I agree with SewBusy63. I have a Janome 4900, & while it has a lot of lovely features, the motor just doesn't have enough power & it stalls at the smallest cross seam. I'd switch for one of the new Bernina Bs (they are true Berninas, not Bernettes) in an instant if I could.

ghillie
ghillie
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In reply to ghillie


Date: 12/31/10 5:23 PM

oops I meant to say Bernina 3-series rather than Bernina Bs, LOL.

Maia B
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Date: 12/31/10 5:33 PM

I'm Bernina-curious (happy with my Babylock but wondering if Bernina offers a level of sewing bliss I can't yet imagine). What's a b series? Is this new? Or older? I've heard that the activa series are made in Thailand, but still the excellent Bernina quality. If the 440QE only had a larger throat...

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Lil Flo
Lil Flo
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Louisiana USA
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In reply to JJG39069


Date: 12/31/10 5:46 PM

Quote: JJG39069
I've spent the week looking at sewing machines and have narrowed down to the following:



Bernina B330- $999 (if I pay cash + $50 for extension table)

Baby Lock Elizabeth - $849 (+$? for extension table)

Janome Memory Craft 4900 QC - $999

I have the Baby Lock Quilters Choice 2, which has been rebagded the "Melody. I love my babylock. It''s really a choice of personal perfereence here. All these machines are good ones. But I will say the price on all these are extremely high. SewVacDirect has the Janome 4900QC for $699. I hope you end up with a machine you love.

ETA: The Elizabeth replaced the Decorators Choice 2 if you would like to read the reviews. Same exact machine, just new look and name.

-- Edited on 12/31/10 5:54 PM --
iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 12/31/10 5:57 PM

The 3 series machines from Bernina are very solid. I've sewn on them a few times and they feel rather like the Aurora to me, only with fewer stitches but many of the same features. How many you get is determined by the price you pay as the 330 has less than the 350 or 380. They are definately Berninas, in no way Bernettes. The quality is easy to feel when sewing, the piercing power was excellent.
They are solid and not really what I'd call 3/4 sized machines, they are not 3/4" smaller in harp size than the Auroras. I measured the harp and it seemed about 1cm shorter than my Aurora. They aren't what I'd call lightweight, but no Bernina is as they are made from so much metal!! I was very impressed by the 3 series and would buy one if I had the money spare without hesitation. If you can get one for under 1K its a great deal.

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to JJG39069


Date: 12/31/10 6:51 PM

Take into consideration the dealer, their support, user guide classes for the machine, and if their technician is on-site. When you buy a machine, you're buying the dealer, who can make or break your experience with any machine.

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