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Forum > Sewing Machines > Commitment issues - Pfaff Select 4.0 vs Passport 2.0 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Commitment issues - Pfaff Select 4.0 vs Passport 2.0
Trying to pick my first sewing machine
MrsMarkov
MrsMarkov
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Date: 8/13/13 10:41 AM

I've scoured reviews and threads, and I ended up purchasing a Pfaff Select 4.0 as my first machine earlier today. The shop did not have it in stock, so I just paid for it and left - they're supposed to get it in tomorrow.

Since getting home, I've been doing nothing but read about Pfaff Selects/ Pfaff in general, and I'm very interested in what I've read about the Pfaff Passport. I tried to do as recommended and test machines in a shop, but I'm having difficulty locating such shops - smaller shops in Denmark seem to not bother with establishing a web presence. The place I purchased from, while having machines on display, did not allow testing, so I got to touch a few machines, but I never got to run them.

I imagine I would use a sewing machine primarily for clothes: mending and alterations to begin with, but eventually making them. The salesperson managed to talk me into the Pfaff over the Husqvarna Eden Rose 250m that I was also considering, despite a 1000 kroner difference in price.

While I probably don't need 70 stitches (Passport), I think it might be fun to try some decorative stitches (I believe a heart and some leaves were mentioned in a review), and the one-step automatic button-hole sounds much nicer than the Select's four-step one. I also like the idea of a smaller machine, because I have a dinky, small crafts corner/desk. Although, I did get to see the Select 4.0 in person, and that would probably fit fine. Since I've never used a sewing machine before, I don't really have an opinion on mechanical vs electrical sewing machines (Passport seems to have a very basic computerized stitch selection thing).

They cost the same on sale - 3995 kr (which is about $710 US), but the MSRP for the Select is about a thousand kroner (~$180 US) higher than that of the Passport, so I kind of feel like that might be the better deal.

I'm sure I can't go wrong with either of them, but I would like some opinions before I fully commit so much money on a new and untested hobby. I won't find out until next week if it's even possible to get the Passport from the chain store that I bought the Select from, so I'm waiting until then before I pick up the Select/ return it to buy the Passport online if I decide I'd rather have a Passport.

Mufffet
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In reply to MrsMarkov <<
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Date: 8/13/13 10:51 AM

You know the Passport is a small machine? It is 3/4 size, and in my opinion (others might disagree) it will not fit the bill as a single machine on which you sew whatever you need to sew. You know they designed the Passport for a travel to class sort of machine. It is a nice machine, but nothing extra special. It does have IDT, which is a great attribute. Your Select will be a full size machine, and would be augmented with the purchase of a Passport as class machine or backup, but I doubt a Passport would be a choice for a main machine.

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

sewfrequent

sewfrequent
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In reply to MrsMarkov <<


Date: 8/13/13 11:06 AM

The Passport is a very light-weight, small machine w/ nice features and its popular for those who want small/light along with IDT. Most people who own one have another machine for regular, primary use. Maybe those owners can tell you if they feel it suitable for use as an "only" machine.

LynnRowe
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In reply to MrsMarkov <<


Date: 8/13/13 11:22 AM

I agree with what's been posted; the Passport is meant for class and travel. For a main sewing machine, I think the 4.0 is the better choice.

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) 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.

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 8/13/13 12:49 PM

Having tested both the select is a great choice for your 1 machine. The Passport is a smaller machine great for travel or smaller projects where the Select is better suited for general garment sewing. A full size machine will better handle drapes, jeans and bulkier projects.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

Karen31
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Date: 8/13/13 1:01 PM

The Passport is a 3/4 size machine as noted. That said, I sewed on a Singer 99K for over 15 years as my first machine because it was given to me and all I had and it never occurred to me that it was an issue because it was smaller. I was/am a garment maker with a few quilts/crafts thrown in. I made my wedding dress on it, a lot a lot of yards of heavy satin, big wooly things, small things - I made 'em fit!

The select is a great machine. So is the Passport. But as a garment sewer the thing that would make the difference for me is -- buttonholes. I want my buttonholes all exactly the same, I want to hit the foot pedal or start button and repeat repeat repeat the same one, and while I would like to have a mechanical machine on hand, I think having to manually measure and depend on perfectly repeating each side and bartack of each buttonhole on a garment with lots (I've done a lot of blouses, men's shirts with a lot of buttons), invites inconsistency. Doesn't mean it can't be done, but even my old Singer had a big ol' clangy Greist buttonhole attachment that used metal cams so they were each the same. If you were a quilter I may not feel the same.

So my opinion is it depends on if you're doing a lot with buttonholes. When I sit down to the Passport, though smaller than other machines, I don't feel limited, perhaps because of that early experience, due to space, but I would with a bigger bed/sewing area and manual buttonholes.

Does your dealer offer trade ups without losing any $? You could investigate each and if you exchanged for the Passport and decided in a certain amount of time you had more to spend for something bigger could trade without losing money. You have a good basic mechanical machine, but whether any machine does what we want it to do and where we're willing to compromise (i.e. space) vs. not (i.e. buttonholes in my case) varies individually.

------
Karen

MrsMarkov
MrsMarkov
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Date: 8/13/13 2:45 PM

The one-step buttonhole feature was what had me set on the Husqvarna in the first place, but I was convinced of the fact that the Pfaff was more of a workhorse, so I bought the Select. But now that I know there's a Pfaff that offers one-step buttonholes in my price range...

I didn't realize about the size - I only noticed the weight, so thanks for pointing that out. Passport really sounded amazing, and I couldn't understand why its MSRP was lower, but now I know. I'll have to think about that.

I kind of suspect I'll be like Karen31 with not noticing the difference; 3/4 isn't that much different - I iron on a less than half-sized board, and that I feel (you can see where my priorities are).

I doubt this chain store offers trade ups - they don't even sell floor models at a discount. (They're still considered new since they've never been used, which I guess is technically true.) But it is a good idea, and I will ask the next time I communicate with them.

P.S. Would the extension table take care of the size issue? I guess at this point I'm just looking for reasons to get the Passport; all those features! I love gadgets. But I can see why the Select might be a better beginner's machine. Sigh, I don't think I can justify buying two machines my first time out.
-- Edited on 8/13/13 3:01 PM --

Karen31
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In reply to MrsMarkov <<


Date: 8/13/13 3:22 PM

No the extension table does add support around the machine, it's very nice really, but the area from needle to right side of machine, the harp area, remains the same. I do know now if I'm using a smaller machine, I have a 3/4 size as well, but asked myself last time I used it if it would hinder my sewing if it's all I had. No. Because I'm adaptable and was so glad to be given that old Singer when I learned to sew only my imagination (and lousy feed or buttonholes) would limit me. Oh, and I did make a full size quilt with thick puffy batting on that 3/4 size machine, some additional twins, simple right sides together to join front, back, batting, turn and flip and tie through - but I got it all through there. Where there's a will....

Something else to check before deciding -- look at the Pfaff Ambition Essential. Around here price is pretty darn close to the Passport but you get a full size machine and a good amount of bang for the buck in the same price range. It's still easily portable for class or travel.
-- Edited on 8/13/13 3:26 PM --

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Karen

KPM
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Date: 8/13/13 4:00 PM

I'm sensing that you already have a mental bond with the Passport. I would not allow its smaller size to dissuade you, especially since your space is limited. For a new sewer, I think smaller is better. My first machine, a Singer Featherweight, was even smaller and it never limited me; but I must say I wasn't quilting in those days. I have machines with larger harp sizes, but I still favor one that "feels" the best.

Maybe after a couple of years you'll find a real sewing machine dealer where you could trade up if you wish.

------
Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

Karlyn M.
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In reply to MrsMarkov <<


Date: 8/13/13 6:04 PM

I would suggest going to the Pfaff site online and looking at the information given for the Select 4.0, the Passport, and the Ambition Essentials. Download the information on the stitches each has and see if that helps you make your decision.

I have the Select 4.0, and it is a great everyday machine, but I have lots of other machines that have a plethora of stitches to use for decorating. I don't make buttonholes often, so that's not an issue for me. I learned to sew on a Singer Featherweight of my grandmother's that was VERY small. I even made my first quilt on it, though that was a real task and probably not good for the machine. After that, I used a 3/4 size machine for years, so it can be done when space is limited.

I guess what I'm saying is really study the pluses and minuses of the machines carefully. All 3 are good machines. Go with the one you love the most. Believe me, you will end up with more than one before long. But go to the Pfaff site to get all the information you need to help you choose. Good luck shopping.

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