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Bernina feet
How to tell the fake vs genuine?
naturopatica
naturopatica
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Date: 2/4/12 3:37 PM

Is there a way way to tell if a foot is genuine?

I have bought a great Bernina 830e record, with a great collection of feet. They have little white plastic tag or label that say swiss made and have an engraved number. They look like the real deal. To increase my collection, I have purchased on ebay (by auction) some that look the same (have not received them yet), but after reading a few post on PR, it seems like there are a few fakes out there? How would I tell them appart?
Part of my original purchase of the machine and feet was one foot #37 which only had a paper label with a number on it. Some of the feet I have bought from this lady on ebay have this type of label. Could they be fake? Again, how to tell them apart?
Any help is appreciated, and I thank everyone in advance!

crankyoldlady
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Date: 2/4/12 9:38 PM

Do any of them have ridges down the side where they came out of the casting mold?

naturopatica
naturopatica
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Date: 2/4/12 10:09 PM

Hi,
The 37 # has, front and back, but they have been smoothed out. The others have too, and again, smoothed out, not a rough finish.

crankyoldlady
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Date: 2/4/12 10:26 PM

I have one foot I know to be not genuine Bernina. When I compare it, side to side, with the real deal, under a magnifier it is less smooth and the two little teeth on the top front are crudely matched.

Under close comparison it just doesn't have the quality of my authentic Bernina feet.

naturopatica
naturopatica
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Date: 2/5/12 0:42 AM

I was wondering that of the #37 foot. I was wondering if the change in quality was due to a change in manufacturing - from old style with engraved numbers to the ones with stickers or if it because I have a fake.
I will have to wait to receive the recently purchased ones to compare them too - I so wished I had discovered the threads on PR before buying! We don't seem to have much of the copy at buy it now price on ebay australia, certainly not as much as when I check on ebay us.

Thanks for this info.

crankyoldlady
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Date: 2/5/12 0:54 AM

I should add, however, that my foot functions just fine. Bernina feet are pricey. And if I find a non-OEM at a better price that works as well...so be it.

But I would be very grumpy if I paid full price for a counterfeit.

naturopatica
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Date: 2/5/12 3:23 AM

Oh, I was under the impression the fakes/generic were not as good and may even affect the sewing machine? Anyone with a different opinion out there?
Thanks for the input so far...

iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 2/5/12 6:19 AM

This is an interesting topic and something that has been the centre of conversation in several quilt classes I taught last year. Taking a look at some of the feet that students had bought I could tell immediately that knocks off often have much lower quality metals and platings used on them, they flaked off under pressure from a fingernail rubbed over them, had sharp bits here and there, and I think the risk is that bits of metal could easily wear or be knocked off and work their way into your machine. And that is before you get to differences in shape or dimensions that you may not notice when shopping online that differ to the original they are attempting to imitate.

One class I taught saw a student bring in a knock off quarter inch foot sourced from an online auction site. It was not close to the correct width, and the marking lines behind and ahead of the needle were not the same distance from the needle. Student had paid well over $20 plus high shipping for it. Would be a nightmare if you tried to use this foot for patchwork and tried to set a seam in using the lines on the foot as they are designed to be used.

Some feet may well be slightly longer or shorter than they should be- if longer they could rub on the feed dogs increasing wear on that area and if too short would not give proper contact for fabric feeding.

I also saw another fake one once that was totally defective- the attachment point where it fits over the cone was not deep enough and the little lug where the latch positions down over it was the wrong shape. I heard the company that sold it did not wish to refund until a complaint was lodged against them to force them to comply to consumer protection legislation.
I see all sorts of things from students on a variety of machines, Bernina and other brands. I know and can understand that they are wanting to try to save money. I have just seen feet so badly made and imitations of finely honed feet from at least three high quality brands that I believe this is not the place to save money. Feet are an incredibly important part of the recipe to getting good results in sewing.
Flaking paint and metal and incorrect size are the biggest concerns I have- apart from the fact that some companies are ripping off patented designs developed by others, which are modern and still under protection-and sometimes are attempting to pass them off as genuine.

I also think that using feet made of cheap metals or coatings that can flake off could easily rust once inside the machine, and incorrectly sized feet could absolutely cause some damage to your machine in the short or longer term.

Truly if you want to save money on feet, wait until they are on sale at your local dealership, or until you can be sure you are buying second hand used feet that are genuine-correctly branded and coloured packaging and part number is a good way to check this. Websites state the part number on many of their feet.

Ultimately the quality difference between genuine and original is huge- where the price difference over time between genuine and knock offs seems insignificant relative to the lifespan of those products. I have feet from vintage Berninas and an old Elna from the 70's that have passed with flying colours the test of use and time.

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

naturopatica
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Date: 2/6/12 2:03 AM

Thank for your answer ISewQuiltArt, I could not agree more about buying genuine feet. I am just starting with sewing and I do not want to ruin my "new" old baby. I am more trying to ascertain that what I did buy (and some feet are yet to arrive) is genuine. Because of my total lack of exposure to Bernina product previously, I am very grateful for any enlightenment on the subject. And your answer is fabulous.
So far so good, they are all smooth, no flaking, they feel solid and fit the machine perfectly. I tried them all with the help of the bernina manual.

Cheeky of me, I have another question for you - when the feet went from being engraved (old numbering system) to the white sticker (new numbering), the quality and aspect did not change in any way, is that right ? just a change with the label? On the newer ones, should there be a "swiss made" somewhere? or did bernina give away with this?
Thank you so much again!

iSewQuiltArt
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In reply to naturopatica


Date: 2/6/12 2:53 AM

Right, I am going to upload some photos shortly to a link ( I have to install some software first, new camera..) so you can actually see what I mean but the new feet on my Berninas across four models I own are all with the red diagonal lines at the top on the white.
The old feet do vary. Some say Swiss Made but others do not. There is subtle difference in the shape of the prongs. The old feet I sourced from my 807 that I bought second hand. Presumably some of these feet were bought by previous owner at different times and some may indeed be from other Berninas of that era. The finish is nice on all of them though. Interestingly I bought a while ago an edgestitch foot and an open toe embroidery foot that were newly produced and were authentic Bernina feet. They have no number stamped on the top under the prongs but have agood quality plastic feel white sticker with black writing. the fakie I saw once on a student had a piece of paper with poor print number on it. It was very thin and not glossy like the newly made old style foot from Berina was.
I have seen fake packaging around with red and white, it even looks about the same shape but it does not have Bernina written on it. Bernina have always positioned their Brand prominently at the top of the insert and never leave it blank. Most of my feet also indicated on the bottom that they were made in Switzerland. They do not say it on the foot but on the packaging. I say most as a couple I have had did not- maybe made in the Thailand factory but definitely a Bernina product sourced from dealership in original packaging.
The differences you can see on the old and new manufacturer embroidery feet/ darning feet with the spring are subtle but both are deisgned for these old machines, one is just made more recently than the other.

For comparisons please See these photos
Look at the files before and after that linked image to see other feet.
HTH!!
-- Edited on 2/6/12 6:41 AM --
-- Edited on 2/6/12 6:42 AM --

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

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