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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Brother Innov-Is 80 or PRW 420 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Brother Innov-Is 80 or PRW 420
totally torn--need comparison help
jensoko
jensoko
Member since 9/19/10
Posts: 7
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Date: 9/20/10 5:04 PM

Here's hoping some of you can sound off with opinions or comparisons...

I've been using a Euro-Pro Denim & Silk for about 13 years, bought for the tough construction and the ability to sew through 4 layers of treated tent canvas for what amounted to miles of flat-felled seams. I love the thing for its workhorse capabilities, but it's getting older and so am I--the 14 stitches are fine, but I want more now--more decorative stitches, and more bells and whistles that keep me from having to fumble-finger with bobbins, manually threading my needles, and having little or no sense of thread tension.

Enter the Brother PRW420. I researched this machine and saw consistently astronomical reviews. But dropping 500 bucks on anything makes me want to take it for a test-drive first. My local Brother dealer didn't have the 420, but did show me the Innov-Is 80 and boy is it niiiiice, too.

My dilemma: I know the Innov-is machines are dealer-only, and aluminum construction, and there could be a difference in quality between this and the 420. But the 420 seems to have a lot more for less money--more feet, and holy crap more stitches, plus that knee lifter.

Has anyone had a chance to sew with both of these models? Comparison-test them? Please share! Thanks!

Jensoko

Vineta77
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Vineta77  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
WA USA
Member since 10/20/08
Posts: 32
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Date: 9/20/10 5:10 PM

I test drove the Innov-Is at the dealer when I was looking to buy the PRW 420. They are very similar, and seemed to be the same basic shell, but the 420 has more features such as the thread cutter and knee lift. The price they quoted me for the Innov-Is was actually more than I was going to pay for the 420 (Joann's had it on sale for $400 online with free shipping!) I'm really glad I test drove the Innovis, since I too was hestitant to order something that expensive without testing it first. I absolutely love the PRW 420!

Laurie Lou
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Laurie Lou  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MN USA
Member since 10/16/05
Posts: 404
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Date: 9/20/10 5:21 PM

Everyone at Amazon.com give the 420 5 star rating. most of them come off of older or basic machines. I bought it and think I love it but don't know if it is me or the machine but seems to sew off to the right. I think there is something out of whack on the feed dogs and wish I had bought from a dealer that would've fixed it for free.

------
Laurie Lou

Lil Flo
Lil Flo
Advanced Beginner
LA USA
Member since 4/17/09
Posts: 1678
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In reply to jensoko


Date: 9/20/10 5:32 PM

HSN has the 420 with flex pay and if you don't like it, you just ship it back. No hassles. That way you could see if you prefer the 420 or the already test driven innovis-80. The 420 has lots of rave reviews. Check out the review section. I've heard good about the innovis-80 also. I think they are both really nice machines. I myself love my bells and whisles and wanted the extra decorative stitches also. The 420 seems to have all you want. Order it and try it out. They give you 30 days to make up your mind.

MaryStern
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MaryStern  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VA USA
Member since 2/11/10
Posts: 8
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Date: 9/20/10 7:38 PM

A few major differences exist between these machines: the PRW 420 has a longer arm, a Pressure Foot Adjustment Dial and weighs a little more than the Innov-is 80. This means you can move more fabric to the right of the needle plate, and have the ability to really get a good stitch on either heavy or lightweight fabric with the Pressure Foot Adjustment if needed. The PRW 420 machine is light enough to carry to class, but substantial enough for big sewing jobs and without vibrating your table.

I would second LilFlo's suggestion of trying it out from HSN first. You probably will not be sending it back. I've had mine for almost two years with no problems at all.

------
MaryKS

jensoko
jensoko
Member since 9/19/10
Posts: 7
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Date: 9/21/10 10:55 AM

I'm still torn. Because while the PRW 420 has the extra feet (walking foot!), the thread cutter, the longer arm (and that longer arm is really selling me--I do a lot of bigger stuff), the Innov-is 80 has dealer support and unlimited free classes, as well as a nice trade-in/trade-up policy with the dealer.

I'm stuck now because of the construction--I know the Innov-is is all aluminum inside, and I haven't "felt" the 420. I'm really worried that the plastic parts in the 420 (if there are, such as they might be) won't stand up to the abuse I put sewing machines through. I've always sewn with aluminum machines--either "retro" machines or my lovely little Euro-pro workhorse. They take the beatings I give. Will a plastic machine do the same?

I really wish my local box stores had one of these to touch.

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 3/4/05
Posts: 2974
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In reply to jensoko


Date: 9/21/10 4:25 PM

Quote: jensoko
unlimited free classes, as well as a nice trade-in/trade-up policy with the dealer.

How many sessions do you think you will need to learn how to operate a sewing machine? When it comes down to it, they will not be holding your hand every time you want to change a presser foot. Many times, they don't know all the little features of your model anyway. Besides, you can ask here! Brother has great manuals...and the trade up policy is not all that great, as I recently found out. Sure, I got a fabulous deal on my first purchase but if I wanted to trade it for something else, of course they will give me what I paid for it...but only towards the listed retail price of whatever I wanted to trade up to, which turns out to be no deal at all. He said I was better off selling it myself and then he would bargain with me on the new machine.
-- Edited on 9/21/10 4:26 PM --
Lil Flo
Lil Flo
Advanced Beginner
LA USA
Member since 4/17/09
Posts: 1678
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In reply to jensoko


Date: 9/21/10 4:27 PM

This is just my opinion, but if you have doubts about the plastic machines, maybe the Brother is not the right machine. Janome machines are plastic, but can handle abuse probably better than the Brother. I have a Babylock, simiuliar to the PRW 420 and feel it is a little more delicate than Janome or Kenmore machines.

ETA: Karen149 is right. You will not get the support that you are expecting on the Brother you are looking at. These machines are very easy to operate. Classes are truly not needed, even for a beginner. I would just order the 420 off HSN and see what you think about it. You may not like it and may not be an issue or you may be so comfortable with it and wonder why you were so worried. Also, the trade up value is not that great. Even people that buy $8000 machines don't get the help they expect or were promised.
-- Edited on 9/21/10 8:36 PM --

auragone
auragone
Member since 3/6/09
Posts: 41
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Date: 9/21/10 9:55 PM

There are some great points made here, as I have been debating a variety of machines too. I have a f/u question - is it taken as a given that the 420 does have some plastic parts internally? Otherwise this machine has the features that the more spendy singer quantum l-500 and the new pfaff smarter machine has for a LOT less money.

One thing to note too is that the PC 420 has a 6 pt feed dog system and the Innovis has a 7 pt. Does that really matter? I don't know. But it might be worth it to note.

I myself would like to try the 420 out, especially to see if it can handle denim, topstitching, etc. (Essentially, will it make a good pair of jeans?) Let us know what you decide!

Betakin
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Betakin
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AZ USA
Member since 4/22/04
Posts: 7282
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Date: 9/22/10 2:02 AM

The 420 is very much like my Brother Innovis Q. It has the same exact head style but my machine is Lt. blue/gray on the lid and stitch panel. Both machines seem to have the same features. My Q has a 6 point feed also. I don't know if all of their features are the same and I think the newer machines might be a bit smaller and made in a different country..maybe China. My machine was made in Taiwan.

I love to quilt with this machine. I have other brands like a Kenmore (also a quilt model) with 7 point feed and also have a Pfaff (with extra quilt feature in a special setting on the needle bar) and Viking that I love. I have quilted with all of my machines but I use the Brother most for quilting. It is a strong quiet machine but what I really love about it is .. the auto cutter, push button threader on the nose of the machine, knee lift and extension table and larger bed than even some of Brother's full size machines in the same head style.
I also like the many feet that came with my Brother including quilt kit with walking foot and I think that the 420 also comes with a nice selection of feet.

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