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Bernina 820

by Judy

I don't like anything about it. It is no good for anything.

I don't like how slow it is, how difficult it is to thread, especially the bobbin which is impossible, how it constantly skips stitches, how the thread is always breaking.

In one hour of trying to quilt, the thread broke 16 times, then I gave up and stopped trying to sew.

The stitch regulator does not work at all. You have to sew so slow that you can't get any rhythm or the stitch regulator whistles to indicate its stopped working. It's better not to try to use it.

The shop I bought it from, Eddy's in San Jose, California was horrible - no help whatsoever, didn't even set up the machine for sewing. Did not offer free classes Refused to take it back when I knew I had bought a lemon within one week of purchase - offered no help at all.

Bernina headquarters was even worse - basically said they had nothing to do with the machine. I had to settle with the dealer - if the machine didn't sew, that was just too bad.

Finally moved and found a wonderful dealer in Santa Maria, California. They offered free classes, serviced my machine for free, doing the work the selling dealer was supposed to do but didn't, and tried to help.

But the machine is simply no good. It doesn't sew.

I paid for the instructor to come to my house for a one on one lesson but her best suggest was to buy a different machine, the Bernina is not made for quilting.

The biggest surprise that that Bernina was no longer a good company and their machines are no good.

Comments for Bernina 820

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Jul 30, 2016
820's a lemon
by: Syd

I hate my Bernina, big investment, supposed to last for the next 10 years. I love sewing, especially quilting but I spend more time trouble shooting than sewing. Thread breaks, knots behind, carries on as if I spent $20 not $4000.

Drives me crazy and I'm fast learning to swear. It replaced my reliable old Janome, friend of 25 years, and I wish I'd bought a Janome. I've even gone back to using the old one because at least it will sew until I choose to stop.

If you're considering one of the high end Berninas be very very careful. You may regret it longer than you can imagine.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and wish I'd never bought it.

Bernina HQ was very helpful, and I can't fault them on their efforts to rectify, but they won't admit that it's a lemon

Jul 25, 2015
Bernina 800 series
by: Anonymous

I love my Bernina 880, but you MUST buy from a reputable dealer, take more then one class, and use quality materials (thread, needles, etc)! This is the Rolls Royce of machines, and you don't take a Rolls to a Chevy dealer or treat it like a Chevy. I absolutely love my 880, but it's not my 440. My 440 is a work horse, my 880 can do anything, but must be be given good care. Once you learn how to use her, you will love her. One other thing, don't buy a Bernina on line, or from a vacuum dealer. Buy from a VERY REPUTABLE dealer. One that actually sews! I can call my dealer and he can and has walked me through any problem I have!

May 29, 2015
by: Pauline Curtis

I am very sorry to what happened to this poor customer. I had a similar experience with a Bernette serger I bought a few years ago. It never did work. I ended up buying another serger as my work depended on good performance of my machines. I had paid $900 for the serger and finally resigned myself to the awful truth that even the best sometimes produces a lemon. On the positive side my Bernina sewing machine has been a totally marvelous piece of machinery since 1993.

May 11, 2015
by: Gudeke

Bernina is a Swiss quality brand. I am superhappy with mine. I have 30 years of experience with different kinds of machines, but Bernina is truly THE Rolls Royce in sewing machine land. But you need to treat her like a queen. Use ONLY quality needles and thread. Read the instructions really well and she will treat you like an empress. And don't forget: she is a highly sensitive computer. She will sense every wrong move YOU make. You will find many instructions on Youtube & at Bernina on the internet to guide you.

Hope you will get to love your Bernina too.

May 08, 2015
I love my Berninas
by: Linda

A dealer who doesn't stand by his products or help his customers shouldn't be in business!

I have had nothing but good experiences with the five different dealers I have dealt with over thirty five years. My current dealer (three of the five have retired) will repair my machine while I wait if it is a minor repair, saving me the two hour trip. Phone help is just a dial away.

Because of this good service, I often refer people to my dealer and many have made purchases. Dealer success is built on word-of-mouth by satisfied customers.

May 02, 2015
simple bernina - no bells and whistles

I am happy with mine and have had it several years. I was also unhappy with the Bernina Shop, and it has closed. So far, no trouble and I look forward to it.

Apr 25, 2015
Not all Berninas are alike
by: Suzie Taylor

I have had a different experience with my Bernina 830. I purchased it 18 months ago, a store demo machine, and use it for clothing and costume construction, embroidery, piecework, and yes, lots of quilting. I will admit that the first few weeks were little difficult, largely because I had the machine shipped to me in an isolated area of the CA desert so wasn't able to take classes, didn't have dealer support except by phone, and had only online access to other users.

The dealer has been wonderfully patient answering questions by phone. I've had to call him at least 4 times when I haven't been able to figure something out. They've always been able to solve my problem fairly quickly. Just last week they suggested that I do a firmware update to fix my problem. To my delight it fixed 3 or 4 other minor annoyances too!

I have been sewing for over 60 years, own 5 machines of 4 different brands, and am a retired computer programmer. While experience is always useful, I suspect it is my programming background that helped most in learning to use my Bernina. It isn't as much a sewing machine as a computer that sews. At times, the best thing to do when something isn't going well is to simply reboot!

The machine is very touchy about threading--both upper and bobbin, but it's also very easy to thread. I love the needle threader! Even threading the hook bobbin for embroidery becomes second nature fairly quickly. Good quality thread is important too. Cheap threads with short fibers break on many machines, but are almost certain to give you grief on the 830.

I have read much online indicating that some Bernina machines, and even some 830s, have significant problems, but mine is performing beautifully. It is now my 'go to' machine for all sewing. I've even loaned a couple of my machines to other sewers--I am that confident that my Bernina can do what I need it to do when I need it done.

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