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Forum > Sewing Machines > Verical Bobbin vs. Drop in top load bobbin ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Verical Bobbin vs. Drop in top load bobbin
speattle
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Date: 5/13/13 12:35 PM

****ARGHHHHH! I just saw I misspelled "vertical" in the title! I hate it when I do that. If any mods can fix the typo in the title, I would appreciate it. Thanks.



Over the years I've had several different sewing machines. I had a Morse of some sort that was handed down to me in college (1970s). It had the vertical bobbin and it was a PITA. It seemed the case was always falling apart, it was awkward to manipulate it etc and I was so happy to ditch that machine for my Elna Lotus TSP in 1977.

Elna has a top loading drop in bobbin. I loved that it had a little dial to adjust bobbin tension for times when I used perle cotton in the bobbin or did free-hand machine embroidery.

Fast Forward to current day and I have a year old Brother 1250D with a drop in bobbin.

Now I will say that my mom's old 1970 Kenmore has the vertical bobbin and it seems to function just fine for my DD who now owns the machine.

All in all I seem to think the drop in bobbins are so much easier and a vertical bobbin would be a deal-breaker for me in a new machine.

So what is the advantage of either, and why do you prefer or not prefer one or the other. I know that some people really like the vertical bobbins and I want to find out if there is something better about them that I am missing.

Thanks.
-- Edited on 5/30/13 1:50 PM --

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Elna Lotus TSP, Singer 503a-Rocketeer, Brother Innovis 1250D, Pfaff Passport 2.0, Kenmore 10-Stitch, Centennial Singer Featherweight from 1950

LynnRowe
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In reply to speattle <<
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Date: 5/13/13 12:42 PM

I have both types; all my Feathers, Berninas and 2 Pfaffs are vertical, my BL Espire was drop-in, as is my PCP.

I don't find any real difference, other than the drop-in is easier for me and my fumble-fingers, but if I were looking for another machine, vertical vs drop-in bobbin wouldn't be on my Features List.
-- Edited on 5/13/13 12:43 PM --

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

jayl65
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Date: 5/13/13 12:51 PM

I have both and both sew equally well. It is said though that vertical bobbins do better at free motion quilting. This is because the thread doesn't have to make a loop while forming the stitch. With top loading bobbins the thread makes a loop and creates a twist in the thread while making the stitch. I find that a quality well calibrated machine will be fine with either system. I prefer vertical myself since I can reload it without having to take the work out of the machine. But honestly it doesn't matter.

Cat n Bull
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Date: 5/13/13 12:54 PM

Some people will insist there IS a difference in stitch quality if you sew a straight stitch with the needle out of the center position, but I have never experienced that issue. Nearly EVERY time I do topstitching on an edge I move my needle over and I would not do it if the stitching was not perfect. I will move it left or right, depending on which one is easier to sew.

For me it is a matter of convenience. I HATE fiddling with the bobbin case under my cabinet, I much prefer the drop in where it's all easily SEEN and manipulated.

I also do free motion work, and have never had any issues with the drop in bobbin, on any of the machines I have used. Now that I am passed the initial free motion learning curve, I am able to get perfect tension, good stitch quality and none of that bobbin spinning I have heard of. I am still working on consistent stitch quality around curves, but I am getting better at it!

------
Cathryn

speattle
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Date: 5/13/13 1:07 PM

I learned to do free motion on a top load bobbin myself and it was just great.

I've never noticed any topstitch skewing on my top load machines either.

I'm like you. I don't like the fiddly-ness of the front loading ones.

Hah! I just realized... I much prefer a top loading washing machine to the newer front loaders as well. I just bought a new washer a few months ago and went for the top load Speed Queen.

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Elna Lotus TSP, Singer 503a-Rocketeer, Brother Innovis 1250D, Pfaff Passport 2.0, Kenmore 10-Stitch, Centennial Singer Featherweight from 1950

AminaHijabi
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Date: 5/13/13 1:40 PM

It's personal preference. I've had both types of machines and didn't notice any difference in stitch quality. Top loading bobbins are more sensitive to lint though. *confession* on my old vertical bobbin machine I never thought to clean the bobbin area. I went so long in fact that it stopped working... because the feed dogs were jammed with lint.

bes
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Date: 5/13/13 1:50 PM

I have a Pfaff 7570 with front loading, a Pfaff Creative Performance, with top loading, and had a Bernina 200E with front loading. Sewed for a long time on a Singer Golden Touch and Sew that was top loading. (Best thing about the Singer-you could unscrew the bobbin and just take the thread off instead of unwinding it like all the others) Honestly, I don't think I care one way or the other. I constantly move needle positions for top stitching and for piecing. I have never noticed a difference in the stitching. I did learn to do bobbin work on the 7570 and the Bernina 200 by just bypassing the bobbin tension or loosing it quite a bit on a second bobbin case. My PCP is new and I am not sure about bobbin work on it, will have to find out one of these days. I guess, it is like any machine, just try them and see what feels right for you.

bes
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Date: 5/13/13 1:50 PM

Sorry, posted twice?
-- Edited on 5/13/13 1:53 PM --

suesewserge
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Date: 5/13/13 2:29 PM

I like the convenience of the top loader when first dropping the bobbin in...... but I think sttich quality depends on the machine. I think my old old Singer straight stitch did a beautiful ss with a top loading bobbin. The only thing I've seen pass that in perfect ss quality was a Juki or Brother ss high speed machine (98? 1600? Have my eyes on one on ebay now I like the ss so much hehehe!) and they have vertical loading bobbins.

But - for machine embroidery - though you do have to skooch down to see into the bobbin case to replace a bobbin on a vertical loader I MUCH prefer a front/vertical bobbin so I don't have to remove the hoop to put in a new bobbin. It doesn't seem like a huge thing but I am now extremely careful not to even touch the hooped fabric within the hoop and to lay it on a perfectly flat surface so as not to "bump" within the hooped area and cause the slightest change of tautness (if that's a word!) in the hooped fabric as I've seen it throw off the stitching area just enough that the design's ruined. On a front loading machine you don't touch the hoop or risk this. Even a couple fabric threads over and you can see the design shift.
So -- I think it depends on what you're using it for.

Cat n Bull
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In reply to suesewserge <<


Date: 5/13/13 2:49 PM

Quote: suesewserge
I like the convenience of the top loader when first dropping the bobbin in...... but I think sttich quality depends on the machine. I think my old old Singer straight stitch did a beautiful ss with a top loading bobbin. The only thing I've seen pass that in perfect ss quality was a Juki or Brother ss high speed machine (98? 1600? Have my eyes on one on ebay now I like the ss so much hehehe!) and they have vertical loading bobbins.



But - for machine embroidery - though you do have to skooch down to see into the bobbin case to replace a bobbin on a vertical loader I MUCH prefer a front/vertical bobbin so I don't have to remove the hoop to put in a new bobbin. It doesn't seem like a huge thing but I am now extremely careful not to even touch the hooped fabric within the hoop and to lay it on a perfectly flat surface so as not to "bump" within the hooped area and cause the slightest change of tautness (if that's a word!) in the hooped fabric as I've seen it throw off the stitching area just enough that the design's ruined. On a front loading machine you don't touch the hoop or risk this. Even a couple fabric threads over and you can see the design shift.

So -- I think it depends on what you're using it for.

I don't have to remove the hoop to change the bobbin during embroidery, I just ask the hoop to scoot back out of the way, then when the bobbin is changed I ask it to scoot back to where it left off.

Easy peasy!

------
Cathryn

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