I get so many questions about sewing machines, and honestly I am NO expert on sewing machines, I only know what I have! So I thought I'd write a quick update about my sewing machines, what I'm using and what's working! Here is my last post 4 years ago that is more in depth with more links.
The Juki TL-2010Q:
Last week I was answering an email with questions about my Juki and I told her I've had it for a "couple of years"....then she emailed me back after reading my first post about it and said...."actually, you've had your Juki for 4 years". Whoops! And that's why I blog....because I can't remember ANYTHING unless it has been documented.
So...I've had my Juki for 4 years. I still LOVE this machine. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. I have had zero problems with it...but this is also my second machine. I had my first for a couple of weeks before I broke it and sent it back for a replacement within the warranty. You can read all about that at the bottom of this post. I purchased my machine here (I think SewVacDirect also sells directly on their website) and I would highly recommend buying an extended warranty. I bought this machine for $975 at the time before tax. I have no plans to upgrade or change machines...this baby should last me many more years (knock on wood)!
What I love about this machine: It is fast, it is reliable, it's very low maintenance, it has no computerized mechanisms I worry about breaking, it still has the needle down and thread cutter I love, it free motion quilts like a dream with a much larger throat space, it's powerful when sewing through multiple layers, and it's very easy for my kids to operate and sew on now that they are more interested in sewing (this model has the speed control, so I can turn the speed dial all the way to slow and it's perfect for kids). It's just a great, basic, non-fussy, powerful machine.
What I would change about this machine: The walking foot is still loud, clanky, and really a pain to use. I rarely use it, but on the plus side this machine is so powerful that I can bind quilts without the walking foot without any issues or dragging. The tension is the main problem I've heard with Juki's, and if it gets off it's really hard to get back to perfect. I've never had serious tension issues, but there have been a few times my kids have turned the tension dials just for fun and it's a nightmare to re-adjust. Also it's annoying there is no zig zag stitch, this is only a straight stitch machine. Luckily those have been very minimal things and are the only things I dislike about this machine (and maybe the walking foot issues have been fixed since I bought mine 4 years ago?).
The Bernina 440QE:
Okay so I have to first say that my Bernina 440 is about 7 years old, so there have been great improvements and changes to the newer models. So take what I say with a grain of salt...but also it's nice to know how your machine will hold up after 7 years and millions of stitches!
4 years ago this was my main machine and my Juki was my "once in awhile" machine...and now they have changed roles. I hardly ever use this machine! I do use it for all of my decorative stitches, and lately it's been sitting on my dining room table while I quilted a bunch of quilts using the a wavy stitch with my walking foot (Bernina stitch 4, width set to 5, length set to 3). But before last month it had been in my closet for maybe a year or more untouched (I hate typing that but it's true!).
What I love about this machine: It is so reliable, and makes a perfect stitch every single time. Also it has never once has tension issues like the Juki. I love using the walking foot on this machine, and it's quiet and pulls the fabric through like a dream.
What I would change about this machine: My light went out in this machine, and after taking it all apart they figured out it was a motherboard issue, and to fix it I'd have to have the motherboard changed. So my light doesn't work, but I have an external light attached to it that seems to work fine. It seems really slow after stitching on the Juki, it would be too slow for me now if this was my only machine. The throat space is so tight, so it's tricky to push a full rolled up quilt through it. Basically the same things that I didn't like before I still don't like, but they didn't bother me before I had the Juki and realized the difference. Newer Bernina's have larger throat space and are faster, but they are also thousands more than the Juki. My Mom has a Bernina 750 and it sews like a dream...but it also has way more functions than I would ever use.
Anyways...those are my long winded thoughts about my sewing machines. I love them both, I use them both, but now I've used the Juki as my main machine for 4 years. I also have a Bernina 1008 I was gifted when I got married, and I only pull it out when I travel or teach youth how to sew, etc.