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Message Board > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Advice reagrding an Elna PRO 704 DEX Dual coverstitch/serger? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Advice reagrding an Elna PRO 704 DEX Dual coverstitch/serger?
Meshale
Meshale
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Subject: Advice regarding an Elna PRO 704 DEX Dual coverstitch/serger? Date: 8/26/11 6:53 PM

First of all, hello everyone!......and my first post is to beg advice,lol

I sew hours a day and most of what I sew is knits. I need a coverstitch machine but I also am limited on the space available for another machine. So I started looking into dual models and found that most of them get bad reviews. But the Elna 704 gets rave reviews (here in the review section) and it does not require a plate change to switch from serger to coverstitch (which seems to be the main complaint of the duals.) so I am very tempted.

I have the chance to buy one at what I *think* is a good deal ($400) so I am very tempted but without being able to test it myself (buying online) I am so nervous.

-Does anyone have one that they currently use ( the reviews were little old)?
-How is the coverstitch feature? I do not need another good serger, I have 2,lol, I need a good serger AND coverstitch machine so I can save some space.
-Is $400 a good deal on an older modal like this? I know they retailed for close to $1000 originally.
-I have a friend who loathes Elnas, but I thought they were known to be very reliable good machines? Did she just get a lemon?

Anyone that could help with this would have my everlasting gratitude!!
-- Edited on 8/26/11 6:55 PM --
-- Edited on 8/26/11 6:55 PM --

skae
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In reply to Meshale


Date: 8/26/11 7:24 PM

here is what one of the ladies said about this serger.
This was my 'understanding' when I was an Elna dealer - 1990 - 2003. In the early 90's, etc. with the Elna 9000/Diva, Elna was with the top crowd...then they tried something really big - and I"ll never forget the Elna convention we were at with this wonderful new machine, and the President had the guts to 'pull' the machine off the market debut because it just 'wasn't ready'. Well - we all admired him for that, but then after that, in machines, they really never rebounded. Later - they had Janome then building their machines, and for a short time, the same company that made Singer - but that's another story. BUT - in sergers, they really got the right Japanese company to work with and had then the VERY best sergers - in my humble opinion. When I closed my retail storefront in 2003, Pfaff then was using the same Japanese manufacturer to make their sergers - but they did Not have the needle flip up feature that the Elna had. I think the way it works is that certai features 'belong' to the company that paid to develop them,,, or something along those lines. Of course, Pfaff poo-pooed that feature, but I still love it to this day. Please don't take any of this as gospel, but what an 'old' dealer who lived through some of it remembers - and thought it might be enlightening. Anywya - that is why Elna sergers from - say Mid 90's on are SO GREAT!
First of all whare is this machine? I had the elna pro 905 I liked it a lot. But I traded it in on my pfaff 4874. I would see if it was serviced and ready to go. I say go for it. I would be worth it.
They are really good machines.

------
Galatians 5:22-23 The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these

Meshale
Meshale
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Date: 8/26/11 7:59 PM

Thank you so much for replying!
And thank you for relaying what the member who had been a dealer said. I searched the model number site wide and have been trying to read everything I can about it.

I am not sure exact location of it. It is east coast I know that because the lady selling it has talked about the hurricane coming in. I am on a yahoo group that is basically like a craiglist for sewers/crafters where people buy sale and trade everything you can think of dealing with sewing. I have had very good luck buying through this group and have gotten some wonderful deals and great machines this way but I just know nothing at all about Elna or about dual type machines.
Trying to do my research on this before taking the leap because while $400 is a good deal and not a whole lot to spend in the grand scheme of the sewing machine world, it is a lot for me personally and I just cannot waste it.

I appreciate your help so much, thank you!

Betakin
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Betakin
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In reply to Meshale
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Date: 8/26/11 8:28 PM

Hi Meshale. I don't have the 704 but I own an Elna 744 that might be similar. My PR review on my 744 is at the bottom of the Elna review page with a couple of others on the 744 and not up with most of them. I think it fell there when I changed my user name.
I don't know if the 704 is like my 4 thread machine or if it is computerized with a screen like the Elna 945 but I think the 945 is a computerized 5 thread model. I know that the 945 has pro cards that gives more stitches.
My 744 not being computerized does not have the screen but does many stitches that include 3 different coverhem stitches and chain stitch. Some combo machines only do one coverhem stitch. One of the older Elna combo models is well known to be a bit of a bear to use but I forget the model and I hope it is not the 704 but the price sure seems fair IMO.

My 744 is very easy and heavy duty. It has auto tensions, just dial the stitch you want on the graph and tensions are set. The graph has pictures across the front that shows which needles to use (there ae 5 needles), The 2 needles in the back are for overlock stitches and the 3 in front are for the 3 different coverstitches and chain stitch. The needles tilt for ease in changing.
The graph also tells if to drop the stitch finger and also DF setting, stitch length and width etc. for the stitch chosen or if to use the converter etc. My serger takes the same feet as the Pfaff 4800 series combo serger/coverlock models made in the same factory in Japan and there are many feet for these machines that work extremely well.
As for the coverstitches on my 744, they are lovely. I have never had problems with them skipping or tunneling and I use mainly the 3 seam cover and love to use it with the reverse look with the woven understitches on the right side of the fabric in a different color thread to give an accent to my grandkids clothes. My serger also does the narrow and wide double seam cover stitch. It is fun to do coverstitch plaid on fabric for deco looks in changing the entire look of a fabric.
I think the Pfaff model that is similar to the 744 is the 4864 but I think it does not do all the coverhems of the 744 and it may need a needle plate change to do coverhem. The needle positions on the Pfaff are also different and the needles to do tilt.
I'm sorry that I don't more about the 704 you are interested in but if the Elna 704 is like my 744 I think you will love it.

More on the coverhem on my Elna..there is no needle plate change to do coverhem. You do have to add a little plastic table to the front when doing chain and coverstitch. Best of all no extra thread needed and "no need to even change thread positions" but the chain looper does need to be threaded and it has an auto thread helper. There are also a few switches that need to be adjusted one at the needle area and a couple inside the looper cover door at the base of the serger..and you are all set to go.
-- Edited on 8/26/11 8:34 PM --

Meshale
Meshale
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Date: 8/26/11 8:33 PM

Thank you for that!
From what I have been able to research, the only difference in the 704 and 744 is that the 744 will do the triple coverhem while the 704 will only do the double. There may be a few different novelty stitch differences but everything I have read points to the double/triple needle holes being the difference. So I think that means this one *should* perform like yours, which would be wonderful!

The tilting needle holder and the not needing to change plates is what is reallllly drawing me in,lol! That sounds perfect for me :)

Betakin
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Date: 8/26/11 9:17 PM

I am interested if you get the 704 now just to compare it with my 744 lol. I hope you keep us all informed if you get it and what you think about it.
It seems that several combo machines have many steps needed to do to convert to cover hem. Even some models in the same brand vary in this respect.

Now, I do have to say that if my 744 was not as simple to convert I would probably go with a separate CS machine as many think is the best way to go, even if it meant buying extra thread and having to use the proper color to match the threads that I happen to be using at the time on my project on my serger. It seems to me that taking the time to thread another machine in the proper color needed takes more time than to easily convert one machine to coverhem but..we know some machines take many steps to convert and take as much time as threading a separate machine.

Something to also consider is performance and quality of the machine. I can say that I am extremely happy with the performance of my Elna on all fabrics not only with coverhem but I am happy with all of it's stitches..and I think there are about 17 or 18 different stitches. I especially like the stretch wrapped stitch that uses both needles and only the lower looper. I use this stitch the most on heavy stretch fleece. It is said to the the most stretchy stitch of all.

Please do keep us informed on what you decide. No matter what, I hope you are pleased in your decision.

-- Edited on 8/26/11 9:26 PM --

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Date: 8/26/11 10:33 PM

I bought a used 704 DEX about 2 years ago from my dealer who had used it as a floor model. I paid $350. I LOVE it. I feel like there's nothing it can't do, and I haven't even used all the stitches. The performance is great. It's a great machine, solid, well built, and reliable.

It's super easy to convert from serger to coverstitch and back. I do it all the time. The threading is identical to the 744, and it's easy to find info on the web if you forget a step in the threading or something. I will say I find the manual a bit vague.

One of the seamstresses in my local tailoring shop uses one, too. I have not seen a lot of these for sale. If it's in good condition, I would go for it.

Meshale
Meshale
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Date: 8/26/11 11:12 PM

so thankful for all the responses and advice.

My biggest hang up is not knowing for sure its' condition. I mean it is said to be in perfect shape, newly serviced and such but when I ask for pics of a serged edge and a coverstitch row I was told it was not possible because of her health which effects her ability to use one arm at all (this is why she is selling her crafting supplies and machinery) .
That makes me so very nervous. I want to have faith and not be so distrustful but you just never know, kwim?
Granted I guess I do have paypals' claim service available if it does not work as promised but I really do not want to deal with any drama.

I am so back and forth on this.....I just need a good coverstitch machine darnit,lol!

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Date: 8/27/11 1:04 AM

I'm wondering then if the 704 might be too much machine for your needs. Can you get a good coverstitch machine for the same price? It sounds like it's really want you want.

Just some food for thought.

Meshale
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Date: 8/28/11 0:56 AM

Well my hope was to find a good dual use machine so that I could get rid of my serger and save some space. If I get a seperate coverstitch I really am not sure where I could put. My sewing table is full (overfull really) with my embroidery, regular sewing machine and serger all lined up,lol

I have been doing as much research on this model as humanly possible and it seems like overall people are very happy with it but that f any issue arises it always has to do with the coverhem. I cannot find any complaints regarding it's serging function at all.

I appreciate all the input here, thank you all very much!

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