The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Consumer Reports rating for sewing machines

I really like Consumer Reports as they take no advertising, and you do have to subscribe to their magazine or online service (I prefer the online service as their whole database is searchable – love that).

And their ratings of almost any product are usually right on….when we had to get a car for Walt’s daughter, I hoped on the site quickly and for what we were looking for, found instantly what we needed for safety, available safety for the granddaughter, fuel economy, durability and looks – it was just all so easy, whereas it used to take weeks at the library to get all this information (and interviewing gobs of friends!).

So this is not brain surgery that this should be your first stop for looking at sewing machines, and all the usual suspects are at the top of the list.

In their “Best Buy” category:

  • Mechanical:  Pfaff Select 3.0 & 4.0
  • Electronic/computerized: Bernina Activa 230PE, Brother Innov-is 40 Project Runway Edition, Janome Memory Craft 6600P
  • Combination Embroidery/sewing: Bernina Aurora 440QE

There’s more on their site, but as I figured Bernina and Pfaff trade places back and forth on top honors, with Brother & Janome following behind.  Singer and Kenmore were rated at the bottom.  But it means nothing if you do not have a dealer that will stand behind your machine.  When you walk into the dealership, if it feels lively and active, you’ve probably hit on a good spot.  If it’s boring and inactive, it’s probably a good bet that they don’t have good customer service.

For as much as you will be spending on these machines, it’s really wise to get a great machine.  I can not tell you how much it saves you, and how much your sewing will improve – it makes that much difference.  My sewing turned professional almost overnight with my first Bernina.  So don’t discount this.  Even if you are a beginner, you can get a store model or often good dealerships will make machines available to universities and schools in the area and these machines come back in great working condition and the dealer will make fabulous deals on them.  But whatever you do and whatever machine you buy, make sure it’s from a good dealer and one of the good machines mentioned above.



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