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Bernina 1090 - better or worse than Bernina 830?
Abcd1234
Abcd1234
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Subject: Bernina 1090 - better or worse than Bernina 830 (vintage model)? Date: 4/30/13 11:34 PM

I saw a post on my local craigslist yesterday for a Bernina 830 Record with an attached sewing table. I didn't really know much about sewing machines, but I figured for $65 it had to be a good deal. I emailed the seller a couple of questions (e.g. does it work?) shortly after the ad was posted and then looked online at info about this machine...quickly realized it was the deal of the century. So I emailed the seller again only a couple of hours later that I wanted to buy it. He/She replied that it was just sold. Crap!!!!!

Since yesterday, I have been so upset that I missed out on such an amazing deal. I'm not a sewer but would like to become one...and now I am obsessed with Berninas.

Today, I happened upon a classified ad for a Bernina 1090 - spoke to the seller - she was the only owner and it sounds like it is in great condition. She is selling it (and the accessories it comes with) for $300.

The 1090 has some computerization to it...which I didn't really want. I wanted a mechanical because I've heard they last forever and are real workhorses.

Can anyone tell me what some of the advantages and disadvantages are of the 1090 over the older fully mechanical ones like the 830 (vintage model)? Can the 1090 handle really thick fabric (like denim) as well as delicate fabrics?

Thanks.
-- Edited on 4/30/13 11:37 PM --

Soolip
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Date: 5/1/13 0:12 AM

I would say better, as long as it's in working order. It has forward/reverse stitches which the 830 lacks. All Berninas, fro the 700s onward, have plastic gears, so there will be little difference as far as feel and power.

Abcd1234
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In reply to Soolip <<


Date: 5/1/13 0:56 AM

I thought the vintage Berninas (700s, 800s, 900s) were all metal - that is not the case?

Soolip
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Date: 5/1/13 0:58 AM

No, they started using plastic with the 700 series (1960s), possibly eariler. You can still purchase replacement gears for these machines.
-- Edited on 5/1/13 1:01 AM --

tericloth
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Date: 5/1/13 2:59 AM

I have a Bernina 1090. It is a much newer machine than the 830 and is wonderful. It was made in the early '90s and has a larger stitch selection to choose from.
If you get it, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Teri

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Doris W. in TN
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Date: 5/1/13 8:49 AM

Those gears are not plastic. They are nylon, per all the posts I have read from the folks at BerninaThirtySomethings group.


One thing to know and remember --- Any type of computerized sewing equipment needs to be unplugged when not in use. Power surges or nearby lightning strikes can damage the computer stuff inside. Purely mechanical machines don't have the same electronics and are less vulnerable.

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VivianZ
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Date: 5/1/13 9:04 AM

I have a 1090 bought new and it is a great machine. My Bernina dealer wishes she had one. It is my only sewing machine and I have no desire for another. It has every feature I ever wanted, a button to let the machine go down every time you quit sewing, a 3 step buttonhole, 2 lights, and quite a few decorative stitches including a reverse stitch button, and it sews through anything. I have gotten a new serger which also was a Bernina, but my 1090 has been faithful. I did have a power serge when a tree fell on the electric line, but serge protectors work, and it didn't faze my machine. There was a burn mark at every protector in the house though and I had to get all new ones, but they work if never triggered. I would recommend buying it.

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height 5'2" bust 36, waist 31, hip 39.
I have way too many yards to count, and I will never use them up, but I will die trying!

Soolip
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Date: 5/1/13 10:20 AM

Quote: Doris W. in TN
Those gears are not plastic. They are nylon, per all the posts I have read from the folks at BerninaThirtySomethings group.

Nylon IS plastic. "A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable." Nylon is a synthetic polymer, a thermoplastic.

Saying nylon gears are not plastic is like saying an apple isn't fruit.

If you don't believe me: All about nylon.

-- Edited on 5/1/13 10:23 AM --
Mufffet
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Date: 5/1/13 10:33 AM

Really now. Although that is true, when people say "plastic" it gives the impression of an inferior product. There are many polymers that have been terrific additions to the materials we use. I think our machines with plastic-nylon gearing are right up there with the Space Shuttle and it's use of plastics.

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Soolip
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Date: 5/1/13 10:43 AM

But plastic, used in this context simply denotes the material. It's not like saying someone's personality is plastic, or that a figurine of Jesus is kitsch because it is made of plastic. Plastic has two advantages in sewing machine gears. It is heat-resistant, and it doesn't have to be oiled. The trade off is durability and power.

BUT THE POINT, is that the OP suspected she might experience a downgrade in performance by switching to a newer machine. I pointed out, quite rightly, that the innards of both machines were similar, so there was no harm in going with the newer machine.

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