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Forum > Sewing Machines > Upgrading sewing machine: Husqvarna vs Pfaff ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Upgrading sewing machine: Husqvarna vs Pfaff
eirenep
eirenep
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Date: 3/15/12 10:18 AM

I am relatively new to sewing but a would like to upgrade my cheap plastic sewing machine with something more robust and reliable that will last many years and will satisfy my -hopefully increasing- sewing skills. I am sewing garments and home projects (but not quilting). I would rather prefer mechanical machines and I have made some research about the new Husqvarna Tribute 140 M (very recent model) or Emerald 118 and Pfaff Select 4.0- it seems these models have very good reviews. The Husqvarna models have -I think -all the features that I need fo a better price but I have an understanding that Pfaff is more solidly build (aluminium body) and and more powerful (?). Can you help me with your experience? What is your opinion?

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to eirenep
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Date: 3/15/12 11:02 AM

This will be your investment and you will have to decide what is best for the type of sewing you will be doing.

Visit as many sewing machine dealers as you can find. Tell them what your plans are and they will help you select the brand and model that will fit your need.

There may be more than one brand or model that you like. The dealer/staff should demo and then let you try the machine.

The next step is to purchase the machine from the dealer who is the most helpful and patient in helping you. A good dealer will have at least one free lesson and then offer additional lessons and classes as an option.

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

andye
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Date: 3/15/12 12:11 PM

May I ask why you think you'll prefer a mechanical machine?

Also-- the highlight of the pfaff line (including the Select 3.0 and 4.0) is IDT-- the built in walking foot.

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bellsew
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Date: 3/15/12 12:37 PM

I do love mechanical Pfaffs! Their design has been around for decades, just has had different names. The IDT is a wonderful help to any sewer, especially a new one, it helps the seams stay even, even very long seams:)

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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In reply to eirenep <<


Date: 3/15/12 3:56 PM

I've never heard that one is more solidly built than the other and power should be the same. They are both made by SVP now and have many similarities. If you test-drive an Expression, you will see how similar they are. The Expression DOES add IDT which is a nice feature and some of the decorative stitch patterns are different. Both have the long harps and both have plastic casings like most machines now. Both have had their share of issues FOR QUILTERS, but garment sewers do fine with both. You want to pay attention to buttonholes on whatever machine you buy, bc that's what can cause you to like or dislike it (all else being equal). I recently had an opportunity to test the new Pfaff Ambition. It seemed to have the best of Pfaff and Janome combined in a bit smaller package. In fact, it uses Janome bobbins. It is very difficult to go by brand now because of all the changes. Brother is nice too, btw. You get lots of nice features for the $$ and their threader is amazing on the mid to upper end models. Little more power too than Janome. Same is true of the Pfaff and Vikings. If you liked the Sapphire, I think you might like the Pfaff even more.
-- Edited on 3/15/12 3:57 PM --

PortlandMaine
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Date: 3/15/12 4:35 PM

the selects seem really nice - pricy - imo. but, nice.

i hear there is a new select line comming.

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Quilting up a storm!

JTink
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In reply to eirenep <<
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Date: 3/15/12 7:09 PM

I have been working with an Emerald 116 at our new Joanns, because we will be using them in the classrooms. I'll give you my "low down" on that one, even though you are looking at the 118.

I also, like a mechanical machine. I find the 116 is similar to my Kenmore 18221 in how they are threaded, but that's about where it ends. The quality just isn't there. What sewing I did on it, was fine. The stitches were nice. I wasn't crazy about how you have to pull the feet off and push them back on. Looks like that would wear out.

It has this wimpy little chart, that pulls out of the lower portion of the machine...took me forever to figure it out and it just seems like something that will get broken. I learned more by reading the manual. Nothing is really marked on the machine. My Kenmore(and old Singers)have the width and length controls marked as "width and Length". It has an auto buttonhole attachment, but when I tried to do an oversized button hole, without the attachment and according to the book, it wouldn't work. The instructions were the same as with my Kenmore, so I knew what I was doing.

I asked the Viking dealer how much the 116 was selling for, in the event, one of my students wanted to buy one. He said they would be on "sale" for $329.00 till the end of March. I almost fell on the floor. I would be hard pressed to pay $200.00 for that machine. I told the dealer I couldn't get it to make an over sized button hole. He said "Oh it doesn't do that, it has an automatic button hole attachment"...I knew I didn't have "Stupid" stamped on my face! I told him that I knew that, but the machine and manual is set up to make over sized buttons. He said, "no it's not". After going back and forth on this for a bit, he said he would do some research on this and let me know.

I did see the 118 sitting there, but didn't take a good look at it. I can't say if it's built better than the 116 or just has more do dads on it. If the Emerald 118 is more than $250 or $300(and it probably will be), personally, I think it's way over priced for the quality. But that's just my Opinion ;-)

My suggestion: Try the machines(since these are pretty pricey) and see which one you bond with

AminaHijabi
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AminaHijabi
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Date: 3/15/12 9:13 PM

prices of machines have gone up. Even my 12 stitch Janome 2212 is $150, and it's vertical bobbin and no adjustable pressure foot pressure. When I bout it 1.5 years ago I got a pretty bag and cool shears with it, but you don't even get that now. You can't even buy the Kenmore's anymore. Considering the market $330 is probably a good price, relatively speaking similarly equipped Janome mechanical now is the Janome HD 3000 and it's $450 (online, I'm sure it's a lot more in a dealership) with all of 18 stitches (19 if you add the buttonhole)

Why is adjustable presser foot pressure such an expensive, difficult to find feature on a machine anymore? I mean really? go from 12 stitches to 18 and adjustable presser foot pressure and you more than double the price?
-- Edited on 3/15/12 9:13 PM --
-- Edited on 3/15/12 9:14 PM --

Maia B
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In reply to PortlandMaine <<


Date: 3/15/12 10:09 PM

Agreed, I think the Select 3 and 4 are a bit overpriced. Weird collection of stitches too. But very solid/sturdy. Least expensive machines with idt.

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Baychel3
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Date: 3/16/12 8:57 AM

I have used Vikings (all top of the line) since 1977, and have never been disappointed. However, my understanding is Singer bought Viking and Pfaff. While Singer used to be the Premier sewing machine -- years ago -- they are definitely no longer a machine I would consider purchasing. The Brother, in my opinion, is a very good machine to start with. You might want to consider that.

Good luck with whatever you choose, and Happy sewing!

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