How To Buy Used Sewing Machines

Some equipment and machinery are best bought brand new. However, if you lack the funds to buy these straight from the dealer or manufacturer, you can always buy secondhand. Some older machines are even better than newer ones, because of the quality of the materials and the build of the entire machine.

If you’re into sewing, then you can make the most of your resources by buying a used sewing machine instead of a new one. Rather than spend all your money on a sewing machine, you can spend some of it on a handful of fabric and other accessories.

  • Decide on your purpose for the sewing machine. If you are already planning a project, you will need to look for specific features and capabilities of a machine. Different machines work best for different purposes. For example, some are good for quilting. Some are good for upholstery. However, if you plan to do mostly general sewing, then you will not need to look for any specific features.
  • Make an inspection  and do a test before you make the purchase. Try to thread the sewing machine and sew a few sample stitches. Try to see if the sewing machine has even upper and lower tension. If you cannot adjust the machine’s tension to make it balanced, then find another machine to test.
  • Inspect the throat plate and bobbin case. If these have needle marks, this means that the machine might have problems with alignment or timing. If it’s being sold for a very low price, you might be surprised at how much repairs will cost before the problem is fixed.
  • Try to see if there are attachments that are made for the machine. This will come in handy when you are doing projects that require special shapes and stitches. Some used machines might come with attachments, but some come as-is.
  • Consider features like seam allowance guides, zig-zag stitches, adjustable armrest, automatic buttonholes, and the like. You will also want other basic attachments like the zipper-foot and the all-purpose foot.
  • Check if the user’s manual is included in the package.
  • When you are buying a sewing machine shop, ask if they have pre-owned models. Most of these were returned or exchanged after the original owner upgraded to newer models. If it’s their brand that they’re selling as a used item, you can be assured that these are quality items.
  • Be sure to ask the seller to demonstrate how he disassembles and assembles the mechanism. Ask him to show you how to thread and wind the machine, and how to insert the bobbin.
  • Note that if a sewing machine looks roughly used, and if it has missing parts, think twice before buying the machine. Chances are, it wasn’t taken care of, and will likely be a headache when you buy it.

Buying a second hand sewing machine can save you a lot of money, which you can use to purchase other sewing accessories. Go for a reputable brand and buy from a shop that offers warranties and service.


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