Last Updated on December 9, 2023
Are you in the market for a used sewing machine? Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or a beginner looking to kickstart your sewing journey, purchasing a pre-loved sewing machine can be a cost-effective and sustainable choice.
However, paying attention to key features and factors is crucial to ensure you’re getting a machine that meets your needs.
- Consider the type of shuttle – oscillating for beginners, vertical rotating for advanced users.
- Thoroughly examine bobbin case, plastic case, and needle plate for any signs of wear or damage.
- Ensure the machine performs essential stitches and operations, inviting an expert for validation.
- Confirm the presence of a manual, sewing feet, and a basic tool kit for a hassle-free sewing experience.
- Opt for a heavier machine with an intact housing for increased reliability and durability.
Buying a Used Sewing Machine Near Me: 20 Things to Look For
Here, we’ll walk you through 20 important things to consider when buying a used sewing machine, helping you make an informed decision.
Type of Sewing Machine Shuttle
Oscillating or Vertical Rotating: Oscillating shuttles are ideal for beginners. Vertical rotating shuttles are considered superior. Ensure the presence and condition of the bobbin case finger.
Bobbin Case Inspection
Examine the bobbin case surface meticulously. It should be free of scratches, chips, and rust. Aim for a mirror-like shine, and check that the shuttle hook tip is sharp.
Plastic Case Condition
Thoroughly inspect the plastic case for any gaps between parts. Loose connections may suggest prior disassembly attempts, potentially affecting the machine’s integrity.
Bobbin Winder Test
Check the bobbin winder stitch. If it can be easily held with a little effort, the rubber ring may need replacement over time.
Test the main stitches, operations, and the reverse stitch functionality. Consider inviting an experienced seamstress to assess the machine’s overall performance.
If included, a removable table can enhance the machine’s versatility, aiding in tasks such as hemming jeans and sleeves.
Confirm the presence of a manual. Having one on hand will facilitate a quicker and more comprehensive understanding of the sewing machine’s features and functionalities.
Sewing Feet Set
Verify that the sewing machine comes with a basic set of sewing feet. Lack of presser feet may necessitate separate purchases.
Tool Kit Inclusion
Check for essential tools such as screwdrivers, a brush, spare light bulbs, sewing needles (including double needles), and bobbins.
Not all bobbins are universal. Ensure compatibility with your sewing machine to avoid potential issues.
Avoid Metal Bobbins
Metal bobbins often have nicks, rust areas, and defects. Opt for non-metal alternatives to ensure smooth operation.
Needle Plate Inspection
Examine the needle plate for nicks, breaks, and rust. Replacement can be costly, so ensure it’s in good condition.
Feed Dog Condition
Use a magnifying glass to check the condition of the feed dog. Ensure the teeth rise about 1 mm above the needle plate and are not worn or blunt.
Needle Bar Movement
Acceptable needle bar backlash is from left to right, but there should be no movement towards or away from itself.
Foot Pedal Condition
Inspect the surface of the foot pedal for frayed areas. Worn-out rubber feet may indicate heavy usage.
Working Light Bulb
Confirm the functionality of the sewing machine’s light bulb. Replace if necessary for optimal visibility during sewing.
Run the machine without thread at full speed. Excessive noise may indicate the need for oiling or potential wear on metal parts.
Weight and Housing Integrity
A heavier sewing machine with intact housing suggests more metal parts, indicating durability and careful previous use.
In complete darkness, run the machine and ensure no sparks are visible through cracks. Sparks may indicate electrical issues that need addressing.
By paying attention to these 20 key factors, you can confidently navigate buying a used sewing machine near you.
Remember to take your time, thoroughly inspect each aspect, and consider seeking the advice of an experienced seamstress to ensure you make a wise investment in your sewing endeavors. Happy sewing!