SIGNUP - FREE Membership and 1 FREE Sewing Lesson
| FAQ | Login
 

Platinum Sponsor
PatternReview.com
PatternReview.com

Forum > Sewing Machines > Computerized vs. Mechanical ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
Computerized vs. Mechanical
Big enough difference to buy a computerized?
Sewing 4 Me

Sewing 4 Me
Intermediate
Member since 12/5/05
Posts: 74
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 9:23 AM

I'm looking at computerized machines one for $190 One for $699. I have a mechanical that works fine...

I don't quilt... just garment sewing. I just perfected my buttonholes on my mechanical.... But an auto buttonhole maker might be nice - I think? I would like a few more heirloom stitch choices. A auto thread cutter that pulls the thread to the back would be a bonus...

Has anyone purchased a computerized after their mechanical? Is it THAT much better? Are those few features worth the money?
Thanks

Trinity.
starstar
Trinity.
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 10/9/05
Posts: 1386
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 9:58 AM

I recently upgraded from a cheap mechanical Brother (from WalMart) to a Kenmore computerized (the least expensive one). So I'm comparing low-end mechanical to low-end computerized.

First off, the Kenmore is quiet. Very quiet. But the Kenmore does not sew lightweights or heavyweights as well as the Brother. On medium weights, though, it sews like a dream. The auto-buttonhole, to me, is over-rated. I perfected my buttonholes, too, and mine look better than the auto buttonholes.
Also, when a stitch gets interuppted, since it's computer controlled, it's hard to start again where you left off.

What I do love and is well worth it (to me) is the decorative stitches. I am keeping this machine, but I think I am going back to a mechanical, probably a Janome-made Kenmore, for my everyday sewing.

Keep in mind, this is a comparison of low-end machines.

------
Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

parope
parope
Advanced
Oklahoma USA
Member since 11/10/04
Posts: 56
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 10:01 AM

The vast majority of machines on the market are computerized now. (It looks like you've discovered that.) Women are demanding them because they want the special stitches and extras that they afford. My first computerized machine, a Bernina 1530 was bought in 1992. It is still going strong and has never required any work at all, even though I used it professionally for seven years! The machine before it was a Kenmore TOL bought in 1973. I loved my Kenmore and never thought that I could find a machine better, but I did. Machines are like anything else, there are good ones and there are bad ones. Right now for all practical purposes, there is little difference in the mechanical vs the computerized. Many of these companies, Pfaff, Bernina, Janome, and I'm sure others, have been making computerized machines for about a couple of decades now and so far, so good. Whether you'll be able to use it for a hundred years from now, like my 1901 hand crank? I don't know. The jury is still out on that.

sewlily
star
sewlily
Advanced Beginner
Iowa USA
Member since 2/21/04
Posts: 423
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 10:02 AM

I don't know if it is worth it. I have a very expensive Bernina. It was TOL when I bought it. It has the ability to sew a hundred different stitches. I use about 4 of them. I do love my automatic buttonholer but sometimes even that doesn't work right. If you have perfected the mechanical buttonhole, why mess with it?

Do you have a serger? Maybe you would be better off buying a serger rather than another sewing machine.

Gigi Louis
starstarstarstar
Gigi Louis
Advanced
Member since 4/4/02
Posts: 7876
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 10:21 AM

IMO, yes. My first computerized machine was a Singer 2010 from the 1970s. It had been my MIL's machine and she gave it to me after DH and I were married in the early 80s. Boy, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I've been sewing mostly on computerized machines ever since. In my business I sew on a mechanical industrial zigzag machine. It's a great machine but, for garment sewing, I prefer my computerized Bernina and Pfaff. I very rarely use any of the decorative stitches but I do love the selection of buttonholes and utility stitches as well as needle up/down, continuous reverse and other features you don't find on a mechanical machine.

That being said, I agree with Sewlily regarding the serger. If you don't have one I'd start there before I upgraded my machine. It's the microwave of the sewing room!

Dellen
Dellen  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Minnesota USA
Member since 9/29/04
Posts: 192
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 11:32 AM

I have a Bernina 1530 (computerized) and a Bernina 830 (mechanical) and love them both dearly for different reasons. I must say that buttonholes on the 1530 made it worth the purchase price right there -- I always dreaded buttonholes on the 830 even though it's a great machine and I still use it all the time.

One thing I would say, if you upgrade to a computerized machine: keep the mechanical one as a back-up, just in case!

------
dellen

Betakin
star
Betakin
Advanced
Arizona USA
Member since 4/22/04
Posts: 7282
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 3:36 PM

Computerized machine models vary even among the same brand. Some don't have the features of others and they are very different than mechanicals. I have a Kenmore 19365 Elite that has the 7 pc. feed dog system and pressure control and it feeds well on all fabrics with all threads that I have used just about as well as my mechanical Pfaff 1530 with the IDT. The Kenmore does 7 styles of one step buttonholes beautifully but I prefer the buttonhole on my mechanical Pfaff because I just don't care for one step buttonholes when doing placement. I love the Pfaff's IDT and it has a rotary hook which not all mechanicals have, some front loaders have an oscillating hook which is more likely to jam. Machines with top loading bobbins are rotary and jam proof and slanted spool pins give a nicer flatter stitch. I feel the Janome Kenmores are great machines for the price offering many features that are offered on top of the line machines and that you would have to pay much more for in other brands. There are many nice computerized machines of different brands on the market today. After having both of my machines now for some time I have no complaints and feel I made a great choice from being away from sewing and selling machines for some time and after having several new computerized other brands turn out to be lemons in a matter of weeks after performing well in the beginning. My machines are totally different and I could not decide between the two. I feel both types are needed for the types of sewing that I do. I had originally gone to my dealers to purchase another machine but after sitting and sewing and test driving I changed my decision. I highly recommend to test various models before purchasing. If the machine still performs as well after the first couple of weeks you will most likely be a very happy sewer. Happier still with a nice serger. Please excuse the many edits, bad fingers always leave off or miss letters and to the editing I go after the bad eyes misread my first post. I will soon be known as "the editor" at this rate.
-- Edited on 1/18/06 4:39 PM --
-- Edited on 1/18/06 4:44 PM --

Mufffet
starstarstarstar
Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 11186
Send Message

      



In reply to Betakin


Date: 1/18/06 4:20 PM

Quote:
Please excuse the many edits, bad fingers always leave off or miss letters and to the editing I go after the bad eyes misread my first post.


Kylnne2, I always read your posts, and don't worry about editing! My goodness, I have edited mine sometimes three times. First there's a word missing, and then a thought...etc.

This thread asked just the question I had really, and your answer was most illuminating. I had thought maybe the computerized would be worth the price for the buttonholes alone. I seldom use decorative stitches. Then I thought, "WAIT". the Kenmore on sale this week again for $299.99 has a simple alphabet, and I could sew initials on my little grandsons clothes...hhhmmm...so I am falling into the pit pretty fast. I think the Kenmore 19233 looks like a very good machine.

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

I have sewing machines

rubytuesday
rubytuesday
Intermediate
Member since 12/19/05
Posts: 4
Send Message

      



In reply to Sewing 4 Me


Date: 1/18/06 4:34 PM

I am getting my first computerized machine, maybe in February. It will probably be a Janome-made Kenmore. I intend to keep my mechanical machine and use that also. It does a nice job on some things, but does not have decorative stitches and other features that I want.

I make great buttonholes on the mechanical machines I have used...even on my very first machine, which was a straight-stitch Singer that I bought a zig-zag attachment for. The attachment looked and sounded like it was getting ready for take-off every time I used it, but it did the job. Even though I can make good 4-step buttonholes, I want the one-step method, mostly for the time it will save.

I think a computerized machine is worth the extra $$$, because you can get a really nice one without breaking the bank. I would love a top of the line Janome, but I cannot afford it and I probably do not need it.

If you do decide to go computerized, take a look at the Kenmore models. They are reasonably priced and they are good machines. I am on medical disability temporarily and cannot get out of the house or I would have my new machine already, because they were recently on sale. Hopefully they will be on sale again in February or whenever I can get out to the mall.

Let us know what you decide.

Lori Sews
star
Lori Sews
Advanced Beginner
Member since 10/20/05
Posts: 803
Send Message

      



Date: 1/18/06 5:24 PM

I want to buy a Kenmore computerized sometime in the future. Of course I would love a higher end Bernina, Pfaff, or Janome, but I don't want to push it with the budget. I have just got back into sewing clothes recently, and I have a perfectly nice, new mechanical Pfaff. :)

Anyway, a few questions about the Kenmore's: are feet and accessories easily found? How do you like the service at Sears? A few of you say that you don't care for the one-step buttonhole--that is what appeals to me. Is it not worth it? Thanks.

Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview

printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on PatternReview.com. If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Sewing Machines >> Computerized vs. Mechanical

 
adv. search»
pattern | machine | member
        
Online Class
Clone Your Favorite Garment
Clone Your Favorite Garment

Class Details

Online Class
10 Clever Techniques To Help You Sew Like a Pro
10 Clever Techniques To Help You Sew Like a Pro

Class Details

Sew Chic Fantasia Dress Pattern (ln9005)

Sew Chic Fantasia Dress Pattern (ln9005)

More Info
You Sew Girl 200mm Kiss Purse Pattern

You Sew Girl 200mm Kiss Purse Pattern

More Info

Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Shipping Rates | Returns & Refunds | Contact Us | About | New To PR | Advertising

Copyright © 2014 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.