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Topic: recommendation for HEAVY DUTY machine  (Read 10672 times)
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« on: October 09, 2009 08:11:26 PM »

I want a machine that will sew leather and denim without acting like I'm killing it.  I've seen some Omega machines on ebay, are they as good as they sound?  Necchi?  What about the newer Vikings?  My 23 year old Viking that would eat through anything kicked the bucket and is more expensive to repair than it's worth.  *sigh* I loved it so. 


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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009 04:44:13 AM »

So, your looking at some "induistrial strength" machines on eBay, huh? 

While many domestic sewing machines are high quality, sturdy, machines capable of a wide variety of sewing applications, they are, by no means, industrial or "industrial strength".  In fact, "Industrial Strength" is simply a sales term with no factual definition or meaning when it comes to sewing machines.  However, many vintage/classic models such as the Singer, cast iron straight stitch machines,  some of the Necchi's and others,  have been favored and used successfully for decades by serious dressmakers, tailors and alteration shops. They are designed to handle a wider range of materials, weigh much less and offer more versatility than a true industrial. However, a constant diet of heavy duty projects will certainly takes its toll on such a machine eventually, and they are not suited to extremely high production applications at all.

Since not all industrial machines even sew thick or heavy materials, the term industrial strength is obviously meaningless. Take it for what it is - a clever marketing term meant to confuse and mislead.

I have several buying guides on my blog that will help explain things even further.

Guide to Buying a Sewing Machine on Ebay

Industrial, Commercial Grade, Professional, Industrial Strength & More- Sewing Machine Buying Guide

If I had a 100 foot pole, it wouldn't be long enough for me to touch one of those industrial strength Omega's on eBay.

Go to your local sewing shop armed with samples of heavier items you might want to sew, and test them out yourself on any machine you are considering.

Sew-Classic                                                                Sew-Classic  
I Was gonna make a tomato sandwich... that is until the sand started pouring outta my pincushion 80)...
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009 09:50:18 AM »

I own several of the older "metal model" sewing machines  (singers and necchis)... like Sew-Classic mentioned most are not designed for constant heavy duty use but will chomp through it when called upon. I prefer to use my Necchi BU Mira for the tougher jobs, she seems to enjoy it better than my Singer 99k's. I regularly see the "BU" model Necchi's up for sale on Ebay and Craigslist. I also own a Necchi Supernova which I have been informed will perform well on heavier fabrics, multi-layers, but haven't used her for any heavy jobs yet. I recently met a man who uses a BU Mira to make Sails and has had it the same 'primary' machine for over 30 years!!! Proof enough for me, it's no easy task sewing sails, that's as heavy duty as it gets, LOL.

I also recently purchased a Husqvarna Viking "Emerald 203" new. I haven't tried it out yet on leather and canvas (or anything else for that matter, it's still in the box) but the instore demonstration was quite impressive. When the sales-lady sewed over 6 layers of denim combined with several layers of cottons, I listened CLOSELY for any motor strain sounds, NONE!!! That pretty much closed the deal for me...

« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009 03:06:55 PM »

Thanks for your input.  I'm not looking for a true "industrial" machine.  I was hoping to get something newer (and perhaps quieter) for occasional use on the heavy stuff.  I just found a Singer 237 on craigslist for a good price, I think I'll pick it up and try it out.  It's cheap enough I can resell it if I don't like it. 

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