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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Bernina Conundrum ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Bernina Conundrum
Bernina 440 or 550. Which would you choose?
mkhpaintsew
mkhpaintsew  Friend of PR
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IN USA
Member since 4/5/06
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Date: 4/25/12 3:10 PM

I have the opportunity to buy a new Bernina 440 for $2795. This includes the BSR only. I can get the embroidery for another $800. I'm not sure I want that. I can also purchase the Bernina 550 for $2987. It's a demo at the quilt show in Paducah KY. Which would you choose?

SewBusy63
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SewBusy63
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In reply to mkhpaintsew <<


Date: 4/25/12 3:28 PM

Are both of these available from a dealer? Full factory warranty included? Have you been able to test either machine? I like the looks of the 440 over the 5 series, but that is cosmetic. I think the 550 will have better lighting. Both machines come with BSR and walking foot. I'd ask them to throw that into the deal with the 440 if you choose that one. You should get the Barbie case with the 440. The 5 series do not come with them. I would choose the 440, but you can't go wrong with either of them. Let us know which one you buy!

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

GreenMtn
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GreenMtn
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In reply to mkhpaintsew <<


Date: 4/25/12 3:52 PM

Well, with the 440 you can always have the embroidery option, but not with the 550. I have a 440 and really like it. I also have a 350 (similar release version to the 5 series). The 350 seems to sew "smoother" and quiter, although I certainly would not complain about that on the 440. The lighting on the new machines is also very good, but once agian I find the lighting on the 440 perfectly good.

The one difference for me between my 350 and 440 is the needle up button. On the 440 it is almost an instant up/down when I press the button. On the 350 I must hold the button in for a few seconds before it reacts. This may not be the same with the 5 series. I do not know.

I think they are both good machines and you can't go wrong.

andye
andye  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/25/12 4:01 PM

If you do get the BSR, would you prefer straight stitching, or do you want zigzag as well?

------
Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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In reply to andye <<


Date: 4/25/12 4:21 PM

delete
-- Edited on 4/25/12 4:22 PM --

karen149
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In reply to mkhpaintsew <<
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Date: 4/25/12 4:24 PM

On the 5 series you can do zigzag with the BSR...not sure about the 440? I tried a 550 and a 440. The 550 was quieter and has excellent lighting. You will also get the walking foot with 3 soles on the 550.

The 550 has a multi-directional menu where you can scroll through and choose a pattern on the screen or use the included card(I immediately went to Staples and had mine laminated)to punch in the numbers like on the 440. The 440 has a smaller card that clips onto the machine.

The 550 has an an onscreen sewing advisor, much like the Vikings. You can choose your fabric type and it will recommend settings.

The 550 has a nice table that attaches and clicks into place onto a metal piece on the machine. When I tried the 440 the table popped off while I was sewing...not sure if I was leaning on it or the fact that it simply snapped into place

The price you've been given for the 550 is not bad. If you think you may want to add embroidery then the 440 could be what you want. I'm not really into embroidery(yet ) so I bought a separate Brother embroidery-only machine for under $600 if I want to do that type of thing.
They are both nice machines. Try them both out and see which one seems easiest to use as far as buttons, screen, etc.

-- Edited on 4/25/12 4:30 PM --

mkhpaintsew
mkhpaintsew  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/25/12 5:43 PM

Both of these machines are at the dealer. Both machines have the BSR. I think the walking foot comes standard with the 550. I mainly sew clothing and an occasional quilt. I played with the 440 quite a bit. I really thought I'd want the 550 with the better lighting. I liked the fact that the 440 didn't get tangled up underneath at the beginning of the seam and when I took my foot off the pedal it came to a stop without taking another stitch. The 550 was quieter, but I loved the stitches on the 440. My granddaughter got sick at school so I had to go pick her up and didn't have a lot of time to play with the 550.

Does the prices for the 440 seem reasonable for a discontinued machine?

SewBusy63
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In reply to mkhpaintsew <<


Date: 4/25/12 5:50 PM

To me it is reasonable since it is new, not a demo or floor model if I am understanding correctly. My dealer sold it for $2995. The walking foot came standard with the 440 as well. The 2 sole version. Get them to throw that in. You'll want it.

------
~Diana~

♥ Bernina 830E ♥ Bernina 1150MDA serger

✝The Lord is my Light and my Salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1✝

mkhpaintsew
mkhpaintsew  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/25/12 6:02 PM

This is a floor model, but has no previous owner. I'm not sure if they have any boxed machines left. They are supposed to get back to me about that. I'm always surprised by the price of Berninas, although I want one.

PhaVic
PhaVic
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In reply to mkhpaintsew <<
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Date: 4/25/12 11:29 PM

At that price point, I'll go with the 550. Especially because the new BSR on 550 is both straight and zigzag, and the bsr B440 is straight stitch only (I might be wrong, but that's what I read).
As the 550/440 are geared towards quilting, it's imho better to go with the new bsr, and more so, bc the price difference is not so big.

Also, the B550 has a pattern repeat feature that I use very often when doing decorative work (I have the B530) : you can set the sm to repeat the patterns up to 9 times, I'm not sure the B440 has it, I don't think so.

Plus : for 800$, you can get a very good stand alone embroidery machine, so if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't chose the sm based on the possibility that I might one day buy the embroidery module. Also, if you decide to buy the embroidery module later, you might have compatibility problems with your PC operating system. Apparently, the Bernina combo that were bought 10 years ago had NO such problem, but personally, I wouldn't be confortable buying an expensive embroidery module that could become obsolete too quickly. But that's just me (fyi I cannot read the Bernina CD that comes with my B530 on neither my PC or my laptop, that are both under XP Pack2 and should be ok per Bernina's requirements).
If I buy one day another embroidery machine, I'll do it after I upgrade all my computers at home, so everything will be the same generation.
That said, if the 440 were greatly discounted, I'd buy it, but with a 180$ price difference, I wouldn't.

------
Always a novice

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