Products & Services
Quality Policy / Processes
All swing machines have a belt that drives the parts. You want a machine with a thicker, more durable belt, not one with a skinny rubber band. The belts will rot if the machine sits and plastic can become brittle-- so make these contents minimal.
A foot lever (the lever that raises and lowers the machine foot) should be metal also. A plastic cover is fine, just make sure that the lever itself is metal. This gets lots of use and is very important.
The bobbin area should also be all metal inside. There should only be plastic housing the bobbing parts.
Make sure the electrical cord and the cord for the foot pedal are thick and flexible. Check where they attach. It should be secure with no thin metal plates that will warp or looseness that will get worse as the machine is used, plugged in and unplugged over time.
Overall, a heavier swing machine will have more metal parts and be more durable. A heavy machine will also be more stable and have less tendency to "walk" while you are swing. Carefully weigh your options -- do you need portability? Or will the machine be kept in one spot? Portability will require a lighter machine, one that can withstand being taken down, closed up and transported. Look for one with built in cases. Many small quilting machines come with hard cases where the case becomes part of the swing platform. White has some very good models. But while portable and convenient, they lack in long term durability.
Low end Singers and Brother machines, like those found in department stores such as Walmart, tend to be bottom of the barrel for these manufacturers. You'll find a predominance of plastic parts. If you don't sew very often, or rather just mend once in a blue moon, then these models may suit you fine. They are also good for a beginner but can lead to some bad habits. A poor quality machine will not feed the fabric well and will result in the operator developing a tendency to "pull" the fabric through. Good quality machines will feed just fine without the extra help.