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View Full Version : Feel Like I Have a Lemon - Bernina 830



tortugaquilter
October 10th, 2011, 02:48 AM
When I started quilting I bought a Bernina 830. Yes, overkill for a newbie, but I had an inheritance from my mom, and I wanted something that would last me for a very long time and that I would grow into.

I love this machine, but I have had it in the shop several times for problems in the bobbin area, mainly the cutter. It either hangs with the blade partially out, or totally extended and will not go back. That is what happened today. After a wonderful day of quilting yesterday, the first time out this morning I go to cut the thread and the blade hangs and no more quilting on that machine for the day.

Fortunately when I bought the 830 the dealer gave me a great deal on a small Bernina for classes and I was able to finish my project. Good thing I had finished all the free motion quilting and only had some straight line quilting and the binding.

I am very frustrated. I bought this machine in July of 2009 and I have had it in the shop five times for a bobbin area issue, three of those times were about the cutter.

Yes, I could just use the manual cutter on the side, but I think I should be able to use all the features I paid so dearly for and were shown to me to be big plusses.

I have also had it in the shop once for the threader, and it actually wasn't working this week, but I thought I would just get it taken care of the next time I took it in.

Very unhappy customer right now. I have a lot of projects to quilt in the next few months and don't have time to run the machine in and then wait on it.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Txgrandma
October 10th, 2011, 03:48 AM
I don't blame you for ranting, I would have done it before now and with the dealer. If they can't fix it to your satisfaction I would contact Bernina directly. For the kind of money I'm sure you paid you deserve better than all the aggravation. Rant away, we don't mind we all do it from time to time. Good luck with your machine.

Bubby
October 10th, 2011, 08:22 AM
Bernina machines are very expensive machines and normally are exceptionally reliable. Contact the dealer where you purchased the machine (not just an employee but the owner of the franchise or the manager of the store) and have a heart-to-heart. In my opinion your machine is near being a lemon....hold your ground and tell them what you want them to do for you....replace the machine. Good Luck!!! Hugs, Barb

Kizzie
October 10th, 2011, 10:04 AM
awww so sorry to hear!! my machine has just started to play up too and I'm not sure what it is!!! but thats cause I have no idea with these machines lol!!!

You rant away and vent your frustration! let us know what happens and I wish you luck!!!

Sandy Navas
October 10th, 2011, 10:44 AM
I'm with Barb - and I'm sure if I pick her up she'll go with us to the dealer and let him/her have a piece of our minds - three against one and you will walk away with a new machine. This is ridiculous!! Vent away!!

tortugaquilter
October 10th, 2011, 10:50 AM
I plan on going on my lunch hour today. I feel empowered by all the comments. Hope I don't chicken out when I get there. Thank yo uall. I will let you know if I stayed strong or wimped out.

debinmalaga
October 10th, 2011, 11:41 AM
Good advice from Mary and Barb, SOO glad you're going to the shop in person. Can't wait to hear what happened.

tfrankum
October 10th, 2011, 11:56 AM
I have an 820, and I know how frustrating it can be when things aren't working right. When the computer overrides you, it's irritating!!! I would contact Bernina directly. There may be something that needs to be replaced that the dealer isn't catching, or an adjustment that isn't correct. Plus, did they show you exactly how to thread the bobbin? I've had mine for over a year, and I just took a class (they finally offered one at the dealer I bought mine), and I had been threading mine wrong all the time. It sewed fine, amazingly enough, but when I tried to quilt, that's when it went crazy. There's a little 'v' shaped notch that the thread has to go into and on mine, the slot was so tight, you could hardly get the thread in. I have to get out the dental mirror and use it everytime I thread the bobbin now. But my quilting issues are gone! My 5 minute training of how the machine works when I got it left that important detail out. Trust me, every Bernina dealer is NOT created equal!

rebeccas-sewing
October 10th, 2011, 12:04 PM
Good advice from all. I'm sure they have you on file and/or you have receipts showing how many times you've had the machine in for service on this problem. I would tell them you want a replacement machine. If they give you a hard time then I would contact Bernina directly.

It's really frustrating to pay so much money for these machines and then have problems. For example, the automatic threaders work for a little while on my machines and then they don't work anymore unless I spend more money to have them fixed. So aggravating that I can't use that feature, but I don't want to take in the machines just for that so I just thread them by hand. Very aggravating!!!

tortugaquilter
October 10th, 2011, 12:10 PM
My dealer gave me classes before I was allowed to take the machine home. They even had me pack and unpack the machine there in the store. I know I am getting the bobbin threading right. It is the cutter that has been the problem. It won't go back to its resting place, so it either chops up my thread while I am sewing, or won't go in at all and the machine won't work.

Unfortunately, my dealer is taking the day off and I cannot take it in until tomorrow. I think I will do some research tonight regarding the problem so I can go in with even more leverage.

Thanks again for all the support.

tortugaquilter
October 15th, 2011, 01:09 PM
I have my machine back. There was a piece of thread caught in the cutter against the outside wall of the machine. How it got there is a mystery. The fact that it was blue thread, and I haven't sewn with blue thread since August, a mystery. Supposedly a lot of adjustments were made. We will see what happens. I have a lot of quilting to do between now and Christmas, just like every other quilter, so I am hoping for no more issues.

HandsOffItsMine
October 15th, 2011, 03:52 PM
Yea! It sure has been a couple of week of machine pains. Glad to hear that yours has been fixed.

My cheapy machine is doing great. Haven't had time to call other dealers on the Island for pricing, but will try next week. If not I'll probably sell it on eBay.

Nena
December 4th, 2011, 11:01 AM
hello--Just read your posting on your machine. Was just wondering--how is it working for you know that you have had it back for a while???? i hate when my machine acts up. It is very upseting.

JanetRoberta
July 19th, 2012, 03:26 PM
re: the new Bernina 830. I have had this miserable machine for 1 1/2 yrs. It need repairs constantly and it isn't exactly portable. It has cost me a fortune in down time. It take 4 or 5 times as long as it should to do anything because of the constant error messages. It has never worked right. It does NOT thread but that is the very least of the problems. I have to leave the front cover and the flatbed off at all times because I need constant access to the threading, top & bottom. The very expensive bobbins are disposable, after a few months of normal use the machine will no longer recogize them. Considering that this machine was not ready to be marketed that is just adding insult to injury.

It also will not allow me to use any special thread, at all. I used to use mono thread a lot but if I try to use with this machine it will punish me for the reast of the day trying to repair the damage. Can't use metalic thread for embroidering. I just like this machine to do what it was advertized as doing. It will not. It does not. I hate this machine. I'vew been sewing for over 30 years, I've used computerized machines for years, and I know computers and computer programs. This machine has turned me against sewing.

madampolo
July 19th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Janet, I don't own an expensive machine, but the trouble that you guys have had is not acceptable. I would forget the dealer and go straight to the manufacturer. Find out the President or CEO's name, and write directly to him. That gets attention. I have done that in the past.

buckeyequilter
July 19th, 2012, 03:46 PM
Those are expensive machines and I would not hesitate to contact Bernina directly.

tortugaquilter
July 19th, 2012, 03:56 PM
Quite frankly, I haven't been using mine enough lately to know how it is doing. My shoulder injury kept me down a good part of 2011 followed by the surgery. The few quilts I did were fine.

The automatic threader no longer actually threads the needle, unless it is at the dealers.

I have mixed feelings about this machine, and often wish I had gone cheaper, but when it works, it does beautiful work.

rebeccas-sewing
July 19th, 2012, 04:49 PM
I am shocked to hear continuing problems with this Bernina machine! I've never owned a Bernina but I thought they were supposed to be magnificent machines! I'm beginning to think Bernina is slipping. I would definitely contact the manufacturer. I don't know if it'll do any good but maybe if enough people complain they'll up the quality. I can't imagine you folks are the only ones on the planet with this complaint. If you get no satisfaction you might consider trading it in for something else. I know that's a loss but who wants an unreliable machine?!? Maybe something could be worked out with the company from whom you bought the machine so you could walk out of the shop with something more reliable.

Cellomom
July 19th, 2012, 06:25 PM
Wow. I'm also shocked that you both are having such horrible experiences with a high-end machine. Sewing is like therapy & to have a machine thwart your efforts is totally frustrating. I hope the problem will be resolved soon. We Quilties feel your pain.

Jean Sewing Machine
July 19th, 2012, 06:35 PM
So very aggravating to have a very expensive machine with a very useful feature not working properly. I love the cutter on my Janome 7700.

I have a 35 year old Bernina, and the dealer was so confident in that machine that she told me, "If anything doesn't work right on this machine, IT'S YOUR FAULT! YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG!" I must say, in 35 years, she's been correct about that. It was a simple mechanical machine, cost so much for such a tiny thing (it's called a mini-matic). I've never had one thing repaired on it except I burned up a foot pedal, and I've had it cleaned and oiled!

Guess Bernina got too over-confident in their products and production methods, I wonder if they are still as good as they were way back when. I know they expect a lot of money for them! (Was quoted 10.5K for a demo machine when one of the dealers closed) I also know two dealers in the area who stopped carrying them, one told me that Bernina wouldn't give them a proper cut of the profits on them to make their business viable, so they just say, "Goodbye".

Genny
July 19th, 2012, 06:47 PM
I've checked prices on these Bernina 830 machines and they're very expensive, too expensive to be having trouble with them all the time. I'll say it now and probably forever...Janome is the machine to buy. I've had quite a few of them and never had a moment's trouble, and like Jean, my cutter works great.

GrammaBabs
July 19th, 2012, 07:15 PM
I agree... Janome is the leader right now in value , gumption, and ease of use...
Brother is close second, but sometimes a gal just wants to pamper herself... right???
My dear friend... who has the money to buy what she wants... purchased a Bernina... higer end, embroidery/sewing machine... i know it had to be upwards of 8 grand...
We quilt once a week.. and just from watching and listening... i think she's a bit disappointed...we've already established that the "container" to hold all the wonderful feet... needs to be "wall mounted" because it's a "stand up" and will just be in the way...If your not a "book girl" or one to watch the tutorials in the machine... you'll have a big learning curve!!!!! So far i'm not impressed... Her last machine was a Designer 1,, which she's given to her DIL and i think she misses it... Truthfully, her D1 had an ongoing issue since she bought it at a quilt show,,, one time use deal...I have a D1 and the embroidery unit is the only thing i use it for.... People tell me it's a great sewing machine, but i'm a sweet and simple ,pedal to the metal kind of sewer.. so Janome and my Singer CG 500 are my go tos!!
I agree with all,,, make big noise to Bernina... "make it right" or "replace it".....Too many of us let things go,,, while they just keep making more fancy machines to catch our eyes and then don't "live up to it"...I have heard huge positives about the Horizon though....

Jean Sewing Machine
July 19th, 2012, 07:57 PM
I agree... Janome is the leader right now in value , gumption, and ease of use...
Brother is close second, but sometimes a gal just wants to pamper herself... right???
My dear friend... who has the money to buy what she wants... purchased a Bernina... higer end, embroidery/sewing machine... i know it had to be upwards of 8 grand...
We quilt once a week.. and just from watching and listening... i think she's a bit disappointed...we've already established that the "container" to hold all the wonderful feet... needs to be "wall mounted" because it's a "stand up" and will just be in the way...If your not a "book girl" or one to watch the tutorials in the machine... you'll have a big learning curve!!!!! So far i'm not impressed... Her last machine was a Designer 1,, which she's given to her DIL and i think she misses it... Truthfully, her D1 had an ongoing issue since she bought it at a quilt show,,, one time use deal...I have a D1 and the embroidery unit is the only thing i use it for.... People tell me it's a great sewing machine, but i'm a sweet and simple ,pedal to the metal kind of sewer.. so Janome and my Singer CG 500 are my go tos!!
I agree with all,,, make big noise to Bernina... "make it right" or "replace it".....Too many of us let things go,,, while they just keep making more fancy machines to catch our eyes and then don't "live up to it"...I have heard huge positives about the Horizon though....Horizon 7700 is wonderful, I 'm not ready to part with 8.4K for a 12000 just to emboider butterflies on my sweatshirts.

lilmouse
July 19th, 2012, 11:23 PM
I love my Janome and my newest Elna who is warrantied by Janome...love both machines ...the Elna is comparable to the Horizon...I just love it! I can quilt so easily on it....it will ease in seams..hence her name...Magic!

rebeccas-sewing
July 20th, 2012, 06:34 AM
Janome. Janome. Janome. Ask if they'll take it back and give you a Janome!

EnumclawGramma
July 20th, 2012, 04:26 PM
Wow. I sew on a Singer and couldn't be happier. It was an upgrade from my Pfaff. I LOVE it! It's only been a few months but so far it hasn't let me down. I read a TON of reviews from actual users before I bought it, I think that's important. REVIEWS on anything I buy is a must!

toggpine
July 21st, 2012, 01:54 AM
I have avoided sewing machines with computers and the extras just for these reasons.
I have a Bernina "Bernette 80e" with 25 stitches and a one-step button hole dealie. I have been very pleased with her so far. After nearly 10 years of work she's holding strong. My biggest complaint so far is that I can't find a darning foot that would allow me to FMQ. I can drop the feed dogs and the company implied that there is one in the manual, but none of the dealers can find it. I have an after market set that might work, but I haven't taken the time to play around and figure out how it fits. The other is that the manual wasn't written in English and is poorly translated. this leads to a lot of frustration and many notes on how to get things done properly.
I hope that you get yours working smoothly, or I'd be calling Bernina's Corporate office.

auntiemern
July 21st, 2012, 07:04 PM
You have tolerated the issues way longer than I would have. I would have had a replacement a long time ago. Don't talk to someone that does not have the power to rectify the situation, go to the top. Just goes to show that just because it cost more it is better. I also have heard wonderful things about the Janome machines, and they seem to be all the rage now a days. I have only had my new new Singer for less than 24 hrs, but the reviews for it are very good. My biggest problem at the onset was the bobbin. I was used to simple drop in. Now that I have that figured out I am good to go. I even tried a little FMQ on it last night and actually did better than my old machine.

MarianneK
July 23rd, 2012, 11:49 AM
I am shocked at the trouble you are having with your Bernina. I have a Bernina 1530 that I bought new back in 1992 and I still love it. I hope yours is fixed now.

Slokarma
July 23rd, 2012, 05:33 PM
Just a quick thought....... I just purchased an almost new Juki quilting machine and in the deal, they included a Brother that has embroidery features BECAUSE it didn't work and they said they took it to two shops to try to get it repaired. The A.shop said it couldn't be fixed, and B. shop said it was a hard fix and the cost of labor would be too much.....well, I took it to the repair shop I've been using for years and I told the guy what two shops said in Columbus.... turned out it needed a new bobbin case and needed the timing adjusted and he tuned it up, and the repair guy said it was kind of a tricky fix, but not THAT bad...cost me $110. (Kind of figured that was the problem when the woman said she tried to FMQ and forced fabric thru it and then thread started tangling in the "foot", meaning feed dogs) ANYWAYS, the point I guess I'm trying to make is that not all repair shops are created equal. Might be something to consider and yes, I would contact Berina too.

and wouldn't you know, that since I picked up these two machines and got the Brother fixed and home, family things have kept me on the run and I haven't even had the time to use either one of them!!!

rebeccas-sewing
July 23rd, 2012, 07:30 PM
Are you all noticing how many people have viewed this post! Incredible!

Slokarma
July 23rd, 2012, 07:54 PM
Now that you mentioned it, I just looked at the date it started...............ROTHFL........HEY, I went camping with three grandkids this wkend, and can barely read or type........WHEEEEEEE, I think I've finally stepped over the edge!

OK, I have to say it to get it right........rolling on the floor laughing..........ROTFL

tortugaquilter
August 5th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Well, here I go again. I haven't used the Bernina in several months as I have been hand quilting projects I had pieced last year. Last week I began piecing a top (now on design board), then yesterday I made two pillowcases in the afternoon, and then last night I started a gift card holder. When making the gift card holder my needle broke. No big deal, the end didn't go down into the casing or anything. I put in a new needle, rethreaded, and sewed another seam. Everything is going fine, start another seam and the bobbin is not working correctly. I take out the bobbin, replace it, still a problem, take the bobbin out again to see if there is a thread stuck and when I go to put the bobbin back in the little button that holds the bobbin will not work. Bobbin just falls out of casing. I could just scream.

I am seriously thinking about seeing how much the dealer would give me for this machine to see if it I can justify losing any amount I would lose on what I paid. I can't stand the frustration of it all.

I love to FMQ on this machine, but I am sure I can manage on other machines that don't break every third or fourth quilt top.

There are so many great features to this 830, but not if I can't use it.

The Plano Quilt Show is next weekend. I think I will be trying out some machines there.

BellasQuilts
August 5th, 2012, 08:05 PM
I would take it back to the dealer and have them fix it for you or give you another machine. I love my Bernina, but like with all machinery some just don't work they way they are supposed to. Take it back and just say, this doesn't work for me that I paid this much money and it doesn't work properly.

Peachy
August 6th, 2012, 03:55 AM
Oh no! Now you've got me worried! I just purchased the Bernina 820 (same machine minus the embroidery) and its still in the box. I'm in the middle of a big piecing project and don't have the time to learn the new machine at the moment.

I'm wondering what thread are you all using in this machine for piecing and quilting. I've heard it can be temperamental.

tortugaquilter
August 6th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Peachy, My friend has an 820, and she has had some issues, but not like mine. Yes they are temperamental when it comes to thread. I haven't been able to use Sulky at all. I can use invisible with some adjustments. Most all cotton machine thread works fine, but you have to keep the lint cleaned out, especially when you are using the BSR as it will interfere with what ever it is it reads.

GrammaBabs
August 7th, 2012, 04:11 PM
I will repeat.... my DF that bought the "hig end" Bernina.. not sure of the model.. i'll find out... is not impressed so far... not for the amount of money... are you living close to the dealer you purchased from???? Perhaps they could give you another to try... could just be a lemon...

tortugaquilter
August 10th, 2012, 06:03 PM
I have hope! I took my 830 to the dealer today and when I walked in and said it is the bobbin again they said good news. Bernina University has decided that the older model 830s did have a problem and they were authorized to replaced that whole part of the machine and a couple of other things I had problems with. I was so relieved! I told them that I went in there to find out if they would just buy it back from me because I was through, but now have hope. She said that the ones they had already replaced had not been back in the shop.

I am so excited to have a machine that might work. I went to a quilt show today and actually looked at other machines.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks to all for all the advice and encouragement.

Cheryl

KatiesQuiltingCorner
August 20th, 2012, 12:07 PM
I have hope! I took my 830 to the dealer today and when I walked in and said it is the bobbin again they said good news. Bernina University has decided that the older model 830s did have a problem and they were authorized to replaced that whole part of the machine and a couple of other things I had problems with. I was so relieved! I told them that I went in there to find out if they would just buy it back from me because I was through, but now have hope. She said that the ones they had already replaced had not been back in the shop.

I am so excited to have a machine that might work. I went to a quilt show today and actually looked at other machines.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks to all for all the advice and encouragement.

Cheryl

Oh that is such good news!! I hope you have better luck with the replacement. That sounds so frustrating. The 830s look gorgeous and my friend got one last year. She loves it so far!

GrammaBabs
August 20th, 2012, 05:54 PM
I'm so glad to hear that news.... it's good to hear that the high end company is willing to see something wrong and correct it... I wish you all the luck in the world with the new bobbin system.... Bernina didn't get it's reputation for nothing... here's hoping this does the trick for you...

tortugaquilter
September 19th, 2012, 11:49 PM
So far so good. The replacement parts seem to be doing the trick. I haven't have any of the issues I had and I have been zooming along with my eyeglass cases, table runners and other items for our bazaar. I hope it continues. Who knows someday I might actually learn to use all the features. :)

BellasQuilts
September 20th, 2012, 02:29 AM
What Barb said, I agree completely.

SoBuzy
October 29th, 2012, 03:36 AM
I have an 820, and I know how frustrating it can be when things aren't working right. When the computer overrides you, it's irritating!!! I would contact Bernina directly. There may be something that needs to be replaced that the dealer isn't catching, or an adjustment that isn't correct. Plus, did they show you exactly how to thread the bobbin? I've had mine for over a year, and I just took a class (they finally offered one at the dealer I bought mine), and I had been threading mine wrong all the time. It sewed fine, amazingly enough, but when I tried to quilt, that's when it went crazy. There's a little 'v' shaped notch that the thread has to go into and on mine, the slot was so tight, you could hardly get the thread in. I have to get out the dental mirror and use it everytime I thread the bobbin now. But my quilting issues are gone! My 5 minute training of how the machine works when I got it left that important detail out. Trust me, every Bernina dealer is NOT created equal!

I have the 830 LE....I thought the little v on the bobbin was for embroidery and free motion?

JanetRoberta
October 29th, 2012, 04:14 PM
You don't have a lemon. You have a Bernina! They're all lemons. I have the 830 myself and HATE it. But before I get into that......you should know there has been a recall on the bobbin casing. Within a month of using mine I brought it in with constant problems and they replaced the whole bobbin mechanism saying the factory had to reengineer it. After that, the sensor by the top thread blew out or something and that had to be replace, tieing up my machine for over 3 weeks waiting for Bernina to send the part to the dealer. Constant neverending error messages whether anything is wrong or not, constant jams, the tension is never right, you absolutely cannot use monofiliment thread! I tried it twice and both times had to take the machine to the dealer to be unjammed. It takes twice as long as it should to do anything with this machine. The built-in dcorative stitches are corney for the most part, there are only a couple that I use. I thought I could give my old Singer to my daughter but I cannot. I need it for some of the decorative stitches & to use mono thread. The very expensive bobbins on the Bernina are disposable, after a couple months of regular use the machine won't recognize them. This machine was not ready for market. I should have known better, I bought the 180E 10 years ago and that was nothing but problems, I thought that one was a lemon and it wouldn't happen again. I was wrong, it wasn't a lemon, it was a Bernina!