Things To Look for When Buying a Used Sewing Machine

Buying a sewing machine whether new or used can be hard but much harder if you are buying used. This can be for a number of reasons but mostly due to parts being missing, something is broken or the machine is past being able to be used.

When looking at buying a used sewing machine there are some things to look out for. Make sure the machine is in working condition, is being sold by a responsible seller and has recently been serviced.

In this article, I am going to break down what to look for in a used sewing machine and how to look for a reliable used sewing machine.

Is A Used Sewing Machine Worth Buying?

Yes, it is. Although a new sewing machine is a good investment, it’s also a great investment when you find a high-quality sewing machine from one of the bigger brands. With the right used sewing machine, you can use it for a very long time and benefit from your purchase.

The average sewing machine can last for over 5 years, and so if you purchase a used sewing machine, there’s a good chance that it still has a lot of life in it. If you’re buying a computerized model, it has a life expectancy of over 25 years, so you can even use it even more.

Used sewing machines usually have generally better build quality, high-quality components and will also last longer than some new machines in the market today. As long as the used sewing machine was used properly by the previous owner, you can benefit from the fact that it has been properly tried and tested.

But, don’t be afraid to buy a used sewing machine. Significant brands in the sewing machine industry make high-quality units that can last for longer than you’d think. It would be a good investment that you will enjoy for a long time.

There are different benefits that you can enjoy when you use a used sewing machine. They include:

Low Price

You can buy a used sewing machine from one of the biggest brands out there, and spend way less than what the previous owner spent on it.

With the low price, you can enjoy the sewing machine and also expect high-quality, only if you purchase the right one using our guide.

Tried and Tested

Unlike a new sewing machine that has never been used before, a used sewing machine assures you of high quality.

The used sewing machine would’ve been operated repeatedly by the previous user, and if it’s still standing strong, durable and working perfectly, then you can be sure that it is a great purchase.

Mechanics are Reliable

The mechanics of the used sewing machine would be more reliable than that of a new one, especially if you want to restore the unit after buying it.

It’s also easier to find parts of an older model than one that was just released.

It Helps You Respect the Planet

When you buy secondhand sewing machines, you can respect the planet and prevent overconsumption. You can also go against the continuous increase of waste. If you want to achieve this, you can go for used machines.

You can only enjoy the benefits of secondhand sewing machines when you purchase the right kind. You have to consider where you’re buying it from, how it was used and if it’s worth the price.

As we go on, we would look at things you have to look at when buying a used sewing machine.

Factors To Look Out For When Buying A Used Sewing Machine

Before considering these factors, you have to have an idea of the sewing machine you want. This includes the features that you want the machine to provide, and what you plan to sow.

For instance, if you’re not planning to quilt or embroider, you need a used mechanical sewing machine. But, a computerized machine will work sewing that involves lots of stitches.

You might also want a high-end model, and since it’s a used machine, it would be way cheaper than you’d expect. This allows you to get all the sophistication it has to offer, at a lower price. Let’s take a look at the factors to consider when purchasing a used sewing machine.

Model Type and Year

The first thing to consider is what kind of model you’re buying and if it’s still being produced. This is because you can’t get the parts of the machine if the model has been discontinued, and so if the unit is damaged, you won’t be able to use it anymore.

Even if you find the spare parts for repair, they would be highly scarce and expensive whenever you need them to be fixed. You can hope that the sewing machine is never damaged and in need of repair, but you still have to be prepared for the worst.

This can only be achieved when the model is still in production.

Before buying a used sewing machine, ask the seller for the manufacturer’s name and the model. Then, check the manufacturer’s website to see if that model is still being produced. If it has been listed as ‘expired,’ or a similar word, then it’s best to avoid purchasing the sewing machine model.

Apart from whether the model is being produced or not, you also have to ensure you’re buying from a top brand. Sewing machines from top manufacturers usually last longer than others, which means you enjoy high quality and durability.

If you’ve never heard of the brand before, then you shouldn’t buy the sewing machine. Even when it comes to parts, the parts of top brands are more popular and easier to find than no-name brands. You can even ask the seller if the warranty is still intact.

Condition of the Machine

Check the secondhand sewing machine for rust, cracks and weird sounds before you buy it, by carrying out a complete inspection. If it looks damaged, then you shouldn’t buy the machine.

Of course, used machines might have a few scratches here and there, but there should be no cracks or rust, as this would threaten the total state.

You should also listen to the used sewing machine during an inspection by using it, as this can be a sign that it’s damaged. You should especially listen to the motor or bobbin area, although this can be because it needs to be cleaned.

Even if it’s secondhand, it should run as smoothly as a new sewing machine.

Another thing you need to inspect your sewing machine for is rust. You shouldn’t have any single rust on the machine if you want to buy it, even if the rust is removable.

If you’re buying the used sewing machine online, then you can ask for a video of it while it’s running, so that you can listen for weird sounds and watch the way it operates.

Where You Purchase It From

The place that you purchase the sewing machine from is also important, so consider this when purchasing one. It’s usually good to buy from a dealer shop because it comes with a warranty, and also a guarantee of high quality. Dealerships also have a good reputation for used models.

If you can’t buy from a dealer, it’s much better to purchase from a trusted source, especially from a repair shop. Repair shops might have loads of sewing machines, and so would retail stores.

You can also buy a secondhand machine from someone you know. And, if you’re buying from the internet, then you should ensure it’s a trusted website and seller before paying.

Front Loaded vs Top Loaded

When buying a used sewing machine, you also have to decide between the front-loaded and the top-loaded models. Machines with the front-load bobbin system have the bobbin in front of the machine, so it would face you.

As for the top-load system, the bobbin would be under the needle, horizontally.

Although it depends on your needs, it’s usually advisable to buy a front-loaded sewing machine and not a top-load. This is because they last longer, are more durable and harder to damage. If the previous owner kept the machine well, it would also have a metal bobbin case for better durability.

If you use a top-loaded model, you face the risk of an inefficient machine. This is because they come with different bobbins, and the previous owner might not have used them properly.

They might also have used the wrong size for the bobbin, but this cannot happen if you’re using a front-loaded machine.

Refurbished vs Used

Refurbished sewing machines are a bit different from the new ones because they were used for a shorter time, and so they might still have the warranty.

Even if they were previously used, you can expect better from refurbished sewing machines than from the secondhand ones.

They last longer, are more durable and can be returned to the shop if it isn’t working well. Even with this, refurbished sewing machines would be more expensive to get than used ones, because of the warranty that it comes with.


Finally, you have to consider how much the sewing machine is before buying it. The point of getting a used sewing machine is to buy a high-quality unit at a low price, and so you should buy one that offers good value for your money.

A proper functioning machine would cost about half of the new retail price of the machine. So, you can save money and get a good price. But it should depend on the features of the machine.

Just ensure you get a good price when purchasing the machine. It should be reasonably priced and offer you top features.

When you consider all of these factors, you will get an idea of what exactly you’re looking for. Consider how you’ll use the machine and the projects you’ll take on. Then, you should also look at the brands, prices, types and other features of the machine.

Ensure you check it thoroughly so that you’re not left with a half-broken machine. As long as you have everything you need, you’ll get the best, new ‘used’ sewing machine. You can start hunting for it now. 

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