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Vintage Kenmore model help
model comparisons
clecogirl
clecogirl
Member since 8/1/13
Posts: 2
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Date: 8/19/13 4:04 PM

Hi there - newbie here with information overload. I'm on the hunt for a sewing machine that can handle upholstery and sunbrella tasks a few times each year and am having trouble finding information about 70's machine.

Does anyone know what a Kenmore Model 158 16600 SMW1 is?
How would it compare to a 158 1941?

I'm looking for a free arm machine with a moosey motor and a large harp. Suggestions?

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 2638
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In reply to clecogirl <<


Date: 8/19/13 6:29 PM

There are a bunch of Kenmores. I think the 1941 might be older than 70s but not sure about that. I have one that I bought in 1980 on clearance. It could certainly do what you want. I wouldn't want to use it for constant heavy use but you should be fine. I would think alot of vintage machines of that era could handle those tasks pretty easily.

1975Jumby
star
1975Jumby
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/19/08
Posts: 623
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In reply to clecogirl <<


Date: 8/19/13 8:12 PM

Those are both fine machines and could very easily handle upholstery or Sunbrella. They are all metal machines with a reputation for going just as long as the energizer bunny. And they're easy to maintain as well. However, the 1941 has a stronger motor at 1.2 amps and the 1660 is 1.0 amp....not a huge deal, but worth noting. Both are free arm machines, neither accepts cams, but do have a nice selection of regular, stretch, utility and zig zag stitches.

The 1941 is a super high shank machine as opposed to the 1660 which is a low shank machine. The super high shank feet are not impossible to find, but low shank is obviously a lot easier to locate. Both will have the same harp size area and when it comes to these older machines, you can't expect the area to be too big.

If the price points were the same, I'd go with the 1941. It's a pretty popular model. Nice, simple and a workhorse. You wouldn't be disappointed.

------
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Helen in CO
Helen in CO  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Colorado USA
Member since 4/6/12
Posts: 204
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In reply to clecogirl <<


Date: 8/20/13 11:10 AM

I can't help with a comparison of the two machines. But I bought the 158.1660 new from Sears in 1977. I used it until around 2001 or so and then it sat in its cabinet until recently when I had it serviced. The grease had gotten hard so that was removed and replaced with new and it was oiled. The tension was checked out.

It's now sewing like new.

As has been pointed out, it's all metal. So no plastic gears to warp and be costly to replace. The plastic gears are available but there's a lot of labor involved to get in there to remove and replace.

This will be the machine I use to sew anything heavy. The first thing I sewed with it back in '77 was a heavy cotton velour terry cloth robe for my father. There was a lot of sewing through four layers of fabric and it powered through.

I'm looking forward to finishing a denim bbq apron for my husband. My Janome 4800 balked going through more than two layers so I set the project aside. I know the Kenmore will do fine going through four or more layers.

Hope this helps and that you can compare the two machines by testing them out. Good luck!

clecogirl
clecogirl
Member since 8/1/13
Posts: 2
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Date: 8/20/13 8:15 PM

Thanks so much for the input. Trying to line up a machine in decent condition is a challenge and my choice seems to be to buy online - makes me a little nervous...

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