3: To Buy or Not to Buy
It may be an awful play on a Shakespearean quotation, but it is an important question, the answer to which is: ‘Not to buy’, not if you can help it, and particularly not new.
Sewing machines, like so much else are often bought with good intention, but find their way to the back of a cupboard never to be used. So your aim should be to get your hands one of these, initially as a loaner and ultimately, if things work out, to keep.
First stop should be your spouse or partner, then parents, relatives and so on, and with a little bit of luck you should get hold of a machine, if not for free, for much less than you would expect pay for one.
However if you are not in luck, and need to buy a machine, go for a second hand one from dealer who should have inspected it, serviced it and will give you some form of warranty.
In actual fact older machines are generally better since they tend to have:
- Metal bodies and gears rather than plastic ones.
- Are electro-mechanical (cams, gears and linkages) rather than electronic (computer chips, stepper motors).
- They also tend to have manual controls, rather than attempting to automatically adjust things like presser foot pressure and thread tension.
The only downside of older machines is that they tend to require a greater level of maintenance in keeping them clean and lubricated.