Member since 7/7/12
Date: 3/18/13 4:38 PM
Hi Everyone :-)
I have heard that some of the vintage sewing machines are the best and I do not have any expertise in any brand or year. So, I thought asking the sewing goddesses/gods would be the thing to do.
I have a choice between a Bernina 530 Record and the Pfaff 332. Both come with several different feet and are in really good condition.
Do you think one would be better than the other? I am a new sewer, but I plan on sewing for a long time and learning as much as my older brain can absorb :-) Is there one that will be better for the long haul?
Thank you so much and I have been able to learn so much from what everyone shares here on Pattern Review.
Have a blessed week!
Member since 2/3/07
In reply to Susan Harmony
Date: 3/18/13 9:35 PM
Susan, I don't know anything about the Pfaff 332. I currently own a Pfaff 130 which is several years older than the 332. Great machine
I owned a Bernina 530-2 for a few years but did not sew on it much. It was a very nice machine and the motor was very powerful! I think that thing could have sewn through anything I put under the feed dogs.
I suspect if you like vintage machines, that these are two of the best from that era. I love the vintage European machines!
Bernina 880, Bernina 630, Bernina 820, Bernina 1150MDA, BLCS-2
Member since 11/13/04
In reply to Susan Harmony
1 member likes this.
Date: 3/19/13 3:00 AM
I have a vintage Bernina Record 530 and a vintage Pfaff 332.
The Pfaff 332 has 80 utility/decorative stitches,the Bernina 530 has only 12 utility/decorative stitches.When new,the Pfaff 332 came with an 80 pattern stitch wheel to set the automatic decorative stitches.You can see one side of the stitch wheel in the picture here.
The Pfaff 332 presser foot lifts up higher than the Bernina presser foot lift.The Pfaff 332 has a foot power control,the Bernina 530 has knee power control.If you like to,you can download free pdf manuals online and look at both manuals.Here is a free Pfaff 332 pdf manual and here you can download a free Bernina 530 Record pdf manual.
One machine is not better than the other,it depends on which brand of sewing machine one likes to sew on.Both machines are old,I like old sewing machines.
-- Edited on 3/19/13 3:22 AM --
Member since 12/5/03
Date: 3/19/13 1:49 PM
Can you possibly get both?? (Only half-joking!) How much do they cost?
Can you try them out and see what feels good to you? Maybe take along an experienced sewer who likes vintage to help. I have a Bernina 600 that feels like a well-oiled Swiss watch! Love it, even if it is much plainer and has fewer features than the '30s.
-- Edited on 3/19/13 1:50 PM --
Janome serger 634D, Brother PC6000, Singer 500A, Kenmore Mini-Ultra, vintage Bernina 600, White Rotary treadle, New Homestead A VS treadle
Member since 3/28/06
1 member likes this.
Date: 3/23/13 12:10 PM
I have a Bernina 730 and a Pfaff 3322 so may be able to help a bit. My Bernina is the slightly newer version of the 530. The Pfaff 332 was reviewed by me here and so was the 730 Record. You can read them for some more information.
Consider the condition of the machines, if one is in better shape that makes a difference. If one has a full set of attachments that is also a factor as each one seems to work best with it's own make rather than generic ones.
If I had to choose, it would be the Bernina. For general garment sewing it is very reliable, precise and the presser feet so well. You can get ones made for later models which work too, such as my fave the invisible zipper foot. The Pfaff beats it out in two areas, heavy work and buttonholes. I prefer a buttonholer and the Bernina will not fit one. It does make a good mechanical one though but I am lazy about it. Thicker fabrics do not slow the Pfaff. Bernina can do denim no problem but anything more than that it lacks power, common in most home machines. If you plan on that type of sewing the Pfaff is tough to beat. With a big needle it sews very well on heavy materials like canvas. It also does a great job on ligher fabrics so I do not discount it as a general seamstress machine. I do feel the stitch quality on the Bernina is better and more consistent with varying fabric types. Each seems to favor a different end of the fabric spectrum. As an aside, my Pfaff was in bad shape when I got it so perhaps that is a factor. The Bernina was and is in top condition.
Getting both if they are cheap is actually a good idea. I use mine each for different things: Bernie for garments, the Pfaff for upholstery fabrics (bags and crafts).
edited to add.....oops I see they are in good condition with extra attachments. Boy do you have a tough call. Both are excellent and in my opinion, beautiful too.
-- Edited on 3/23/13 12:14 PM --
Member since 1/6/13
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 4/12/13 8:49 PM
I have both a Bernina 530-2 (the one with foot control) and a Pfaff 320.
I just want to add my experiences. I find the Bernina 530 more silent and nicer to work with, but heavier to transport. The Pfaff 320 is a real work horse and I haven't seen any compact machine so strong and solid.
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