Bernina 730 Record
I won the 730 on the auction site last week and only bought it because it was cheap (they usually go for much more). When I got it home it was way better than I expected. It hadn't seen all that much use, particularly for a machine made 49 years ago. This is commonly described as identical to the 830 Record but with an all steel body. Not sure why they aren't worth as much as the 830 but I've had the latter and this machine felt better, smoother and generally nicer. Also heavier of course but that shouldn't bother me for another 20 years or so.
This machine came with an adaptor for short shank feet (so I could use Singer feet if necessary) but it came with nearly every standard and optional foot. I stole one from the 530-2 and it seems to now be complete. My friend described her Bernina (a 740 Favorit) as "just very pleasant to sew with".
The machine has the same 20 built-in stitches the 830 has.
Oh, and she's a keeper: Just too nice a machine to part with.
|It's a free arm. Table removed with simple lever.|
|Amazing condition and very shiny|
|Accessories swivel and don't have to be removed|
What's with all this hook business?
The 740 has a full rotary hook (the hook keeps going around in the same direction) but the 30 somethings (530, 630, 730, 830) are all oscillating hook machines. I used to think the rotary hook must be better since it didn't have to keep stopping and changing direction, but that's not necessarily the case. Industrial machines nearly always have rotary hooks because going continuously in the same direction means they can go faster. However there are exceptions: The domestic 201 Singer has a full rotary hook while the 31-20 industrial (the tailor's machine) has an oscillating hook. Also, all model 15s are oscillating hook, and the 115 has a rotary hook. The 15 is widely considered to be a better machine than the 115, mostly due to the heavier components but the rotation of the hook seems to have no bearing on its abilities. The 115 was dropped about a hundred years ago, in case you were wondering. My conclusion is this: Rotary hook is fantastic for speed but tailoring and flexible domestic machines seem to favour oscillating hooks. The 201 is pretty hard to beat, but it only stitches in a straight line (and it does this perfectly).