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Should I buy a used Bernina 1080 for $500? Listen to my situation... :)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm hunting for a GOOD quality machine that I can grow into and that has some fun features and is easy to use. I am pretty much still a novice sewer, but I really don't think I'm going to move beyond that status with this piece of junk Walmart machine I have. I'd like to learn to sew clothes, home projects, and maybe even quilts someday... So, I want something nice, and something that I'll have lots of room to grow into so I don't have to upgrade in a few years.

I went shopping today. Hubby gave me a budget of $450 and says he wants me to get something really nice/good quality that will last a long time and I'll enjoy. I told him about this machine and he said go for it, even thought it's over the limit by $50.

So, now I just have to convince myself! Remember, I don't know much about anything sewing related, but I've heard Bernina's are great. She said this machine new went for $1200 or so, but they don't make it anymore so I can't find any good info on it--like a brochure or something.

I tested it a bit in the store and it is AMAZING! I mean, anything will be amazing compared to what I'm using now, but this thing--you just push a button and it sews the stitch you selected! It automatically adjusts the tension, length, width, etc. It is awesome.

But, I don't want to be an uninformed buyer! Does anyone have one of these or something similar? How happy with it are you? And do you have any problems with it? Anyone know if this is as great a deal as I think it is? The lady said they sell for $600 used usually. They just got a bunch of these in because some school upgraded or something. So... What do you ladies think?

Thanks for even reading my longwinded post!

post #2 of 8
thats a realy good deal for a bernin and they are nice machines. there are brands I like better but at that price you can't go wrong.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but what about for an older bernina? I am not sure how old the 1080 is, I'm trying to find a good site that will tell me.

Also, does anyone know of a rating system for machine brands? I know I've heard the good ones are Pfaff, Viking, Bernina, Babylock, Janome... any others? And anyone know what order these would go in as far as quality?
post #4 of 8


I am not sure there is any point in rating the brands in terms of quality. Everyone has a different opinion, and the relative quality is dependent on the time of manufacture. For example, Singer is no longer considered a top brand, but if you take a vintage machine from 50 years ago or so, a Singer might be a better machine than what could be purchased new (it wouldn't have any features, either, but...). If you test out several models/brands, you will just get a feeling for the type you prefer. Some expert sewers love x brand; others would only sew on a y brand. If you like this machine and feel confident that you will get good service from the dealer, then that is a pretty good start. I'm sorry I don't have any advice on that particular model.
post #5 of 8
Somehow I missed that it was used. I thought it was a floor model. are you buying it from a shop or from a person? if you are just buying it from some person ask if you can take it into a shop to have it lokoed at first. Old doesn't mean nearly as much as how ued is it ya know. $500 does seem like a lot. I would offer less. Couldn't make a guess on how much les. my friends are insane negtiators and usually start at half. people rarely argue. : But if you are butying it from a shop ithas probably been recently overhauled. that is worth about $100 in and of itself.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am buying it from a shop, one with a very good reputation. They have a bunch that a school traded in for newer models. They've been overhauled AND they're offering a 2 year warranty on everything, so that's a nice bonus for a used machine. I already asked if they'd go down to $450 (my husband's original limit for me, he'll go for the extra $50 to get me something nice though). and she said no, they've actually been selling them for $600 and recently dropped the price. It comes with several feet and I think tools and instruction manual and everything.

Today I looked at a used Viking for same price--not sure what model though. It has a few extra features that I like, but no warranty (except a year of free adjustments, which won't help if anything really goes wrong). It is also from a lady who brought it it and traded it for something else.

So... I don't know. I'm going to test drive both again tomorrow--hopefully with dh there. Wish I knew the up ratings though.

Thanks for all your replies.
post #7 of 8
I LOVE Bernina. I learned to sew on my mom's old Singer, and when I took home ec, my teacher swore by Berninas. I have a more basic model of Bernina (1001), and it does great things. I have heard in the last few years that the all-metal parts of Bernina's reputation have been replaced and the new ones aren't as good. I don't know this for sure, but I would say with an "older" Bernina you can't go wrong. Mine came with a 20 year factory warranty. It's now about 11 years old ....

Anything at $500 would be a very good price.

My sister swears by Husqvarna/Viking, herself. I wonder if that has as much to do with the fact that the sewing machine shop in her town carried Viking.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I bought the Bernina and I'm loving it so far! I found out it was made in 1996 so it still has about 11 years of the 20 yr factory warranty. Plus my dealer has a 2 year warranty on it. They said they were selling these for $799 (used) just a couple of years ago, but they had to lower their price on it because they had some NEW machines for less than that. You can get a brand new machine for $650--so who would pay 800 for a used one?

I almost went for the new $650 myself (the fact that it still had a 20 year warranty was convincing, plus a few more fun stitches!) but the salesperson actually convinced me to go for the cheaper one! He said that's what he would do anyway--because the used one was "top of the line" in it's day, whereas the new one I was looking at is their cheapest model there. The one I got went for 1200 new!

Anyway, he said he's sure mine would sell on eBay for more than I paid for it. They just can't compete with their own newer model prices!
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