Viking sewing machines

luvtosharedivsSeptember 21, 2007

Hi all,

It's my first time on this forum, and I'd like to ask if any of you have Viking sewing machines, and how do you like them?

My very old Singer (probably 35 years old) needs expensive repair, and I'm thinking of purchasing a new machine. The owner of the store/repair shop sells Vikings from about $400 up to $7,000. I was interested in one about $600, not made in China.

Also, if anyone would recommend a different make, please advise.

Right now I'm working full time and can't sew any big projects, but when I retire in a year or two, might start some machine quilting. I used to sew all my clothes, but only mend things now....need a heavy duty machine that doesn't bog down when mending blue jeans!

Thanks for any and all comments!


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I had a Viking many years ago and it was a workhorse, I loved it. It was all metal, which I don't think they do anymore. I traded up to a Bernina, and I have had 3 in the past 25 years. They are very well made also. I sew for a living just so you don't think I need a new machine every few years.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:13PM
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When my old Singer died, I began looking around for another machine, like you. My local sewing center is a Viking dealer, so I went over to test drive one. The minute I started to play with it, I loved it, and it was so user friendly!! They had a used Daisy for sale(a very basic model) and I bought it. I think a sewing machine is like a musical instrument. The minute you play it, it just feels right or not.
Interestingly, I just bought another used Viking, a Rose, to do embroidery and other stuff and it is great and alot of fun as well.
Only thing, is that the feet and accessories are unique to the brand and not too cheap, but that is all I can think of that would be a negative.
Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:48PM
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I currently have four Viking machines. First one is a 1978 model which I bought new. It's a workhorse. I keep it because it has a low gear which is great for sewing on very heavy fabrics (sometimes I sew upholstery fabrics, also Sunbrealla, etc)
Second is a serger(936) which I love - easy to thread, easy to use and reliable.
Third is a Designer 1 which I bought used off ebay. I'm less thrilled with it because I've had to put some $$$ into repairs - I suspect the original owner did not take proper care of it.

And, two days ago, I bought a Designer SE, my first new sewing machine in nearly thirty years.

Yes, the feet are expensive; if you want a foot, be sure you have a need for it. Some of them really are useful.

Having said all that, Bernina and Pfaff also have very good reputations. If you have a good dealer who has a machine that is a good fit for you (feature and price), I'd buy it from them.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Hi luvtoshare,
I have Vikings, and would highly recommend them. I have the Designer SE, and recently purchased the Sapphire 850, which I absolutely love. If you are thinking of taking up quilting later on this is the machine for that. It is a little more than you said you wanted to pay, but still you may want to check it out.
Good luck and happy sewing on whichever brand you choose.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:50PM
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Thanks for your input, everyone!

My only problem, is that a Viking wouldn't fit in my old Singer cabinet/table, so I'd either have to buy a new cabinet for the Viking, or set the Viking on a table, which would make it higher than what I'm used to.

Do any of you set yours on a table?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 10:13PM
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Yes, I set it on a table and use an office type chair from Staples that cranks up higher than a regular chair to make up for the height of the machine.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Thanks Holly!

I could probably use my old cabinet as a table then.
I never thought of a crank-up office chair....great idea! That would save me big bucks, not to have to buy another cabinet/table.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:56AM
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I purchased an old desk from Goodwill. It was in good shape and all wood (no particle board). I had DH cut a hole in the top, remove the top middle drawer and put a support there. Then I painted it and cleaned up the hardware. Now I have my machine at the right height for regular sewing. When I attach the embroidery unit, I put a piece of wood over the hole and set the machine on top. I love all of the drawers right at my fingertips.
Cost of desk was $65.


After DH cut the hole


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:04PM
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Awesome, 8grandma!

I'm certain I can use my old Singer cabinet. We have a carpenter friend who could design it to fit my new machine. I bought one today, a Viking Scandinavia 200, with some simple computerized functions.

Thanks for sharing your pictures! I'll save them to my clippings for future reference.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:23PM
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Zone8gramma,that turned out very nice.I also got my desk at goodwill,in fact i bought 2 of them for 35 dollars each.One for the sewing machine and one for my computor which is in my sewing room..I don't have a hjole cut in mine i just set my machine on top,and i also use an office chair on wheels in my sewing room.

PS i have the Viking Rose.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 12:33AM
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Hi Zone 8grandma,
What a lovely sewing desk, DH did a fabulous job. Do I see a thread rack to hold your embroidery thread in back of your machine? That looks smart too.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:51PM
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And I love one other feature of the office chair.....zipping around my sewing room from cutting table to machine to supply shelf on wheels that fly!!!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:27AM
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Julie how much were the repairs to your machine if over 200
you need to look for a new place to shop.
They dont get out of time often and other than a cleaning and timing $35-50 cannot think that it would cost more unless gear broke.Phaff Nicchi Viking Bro White are the only
machines That I would look at today the others are $200 plastic wonders(wonder why it sews at all)
If you are going to throw your old machine away please donate to me to repair and sell for Seniors in our area that are living on S.S. only. Only help Seniors that really need it if they have bunches of money they can fend for themselves. Harold

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 3:50PM
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I have a Viking 190 which I loved until foot wore out, machine stills works, but I can't afford to replace foot. I bought the new Husky C20 to replace old machine.....I love it and my "grands" love all the fancy stitches. The old Viking and now new Husky are in a machine cabinet bought around 1975 for a New Home that melted in a house fire. With no modifications, of course it doesn't have a falt sewing area which is fine since I use free arm only

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 3:26PM
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How did I miss this post on Vikings??? I love my Viking - a Quilt Designer - and I loved my first Viking, a 450 that now belongs to my niece. My machine sits on a table and I have been used to that since I had the 450 so it's no big deal. In reality, a machine set into a desk or table might not give you as much room to your left if you are quilting a large quilt or making long drapes, etc. I do have two rubber door stops that prop up the back of the machine to tilt it a little toward me when sewing...makes it easier to see the bed.

If need be I would buy another Viking in a heartbeat. I just think they are very well made machines and pretty much trouble-free from my experience. I take it in once a year or so for maintenance - cost about $50 - and keep it dusted well. IMO, the Pfaff, Bernina, and Babylock brands are also good quality.

dizzyhal - that is very fine of you to repair older machines for seniors on fixed incomes. I applaude you!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:31AM
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I'm on my second Viking. My first was a Daisy Viking, simple, non-computerized but a great little workhorse. I traded up for a Platinum 750. They're both great machines. In fact looking back I should've just kept the Daisy for a back-up and spent a little more for the Platinum.
I agree with teresa ncy, about Pfaff, Berina and Babylocks. They're all nice.
When I did my comparison shopping before I traded up, I decided that I could get more machine for my money with Viking than with Pfaff and Berninas. As far as Pfaffs go, I know a couple of gals who own computerized Pfaffs and have found them hard to figure out, where as I found my 750 to be very user-friendly. I found that Babylocks, were least expensive and their accessories were more reasonable also.
My only gripe about Vikings is that their accessories (extra feet and stuff like that) for them are pretty expensive, but Viking dealers do have sales and when they do--I take advantage.
One other brand that I've heard some folks like is Janome, but I've used my mother-in-law's and wasn't crazy about it myself.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:06AM
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Vikings here too I have a Platinum 770 and a Scandinavia 300 for embroidery. Love them both.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:23PM
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I have two Vikings and love them both! One is a small 350, and it runs great. I purchased the other one when I forgot to bring my power cord to a quilting class. They let me use one of their Quilt Designer models, and it was love at first stitch! The only maintenance is the yearly cleaning.

Now, if I could just get it to start my husbands morning coffee.......

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:07PM
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Well, since this thread started, I've acquired my fourth Viking (a Designer SE). :)

Unfortunately I need to sell my D1 to help pay for it :(

But I sure do enjoy sewing with it (and embroidering, and quilting)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Vikings are very good machines. About a sewing table, folding tables are sold, can be used either as a flat top table or one part adjusts down for a free arm machine to provide a large flat surface.
Old Singers die?? NEVER ! At least the ones I call old, made in the 1940s or before,also into the 50's. a bit of oil now & then, ( real sewing machine oil, NOT 3 in One ) and they will sew forever. Old long shuttle ones are not so nice to use, round bobbin ones are smoothest running machines ever.
The cute old small black or white Featherweights that fit into a compact carrying case are worth a great deal of money now.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 4:18PM
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PLEASE HELP! I have a quilt designer II, and after jamming and breaking a needle the buttons on the right side that control the leg and needle will not work, as well as the foot peddle. I realize that it is computerized, but is there anything I can do before bringing it in for costly repairs. Has this happened to anyone before? Almost finished reupholster project and am so bummed out. Much thanks!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:47PM
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From others here, I've heard that the electronic machines almost have to be looked at by a competent repair man.

For the record, I too have a Viking. It's 21 years old and I've had it "tuned up" and cleaned up professionally a few times, and it's still going strong. Probably will need another tune-up and clean-up, when my serger (not a Viking) comes back from the shop.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I wanted a sewing machine for making patchwork quilts and curtains. I bought the Quiltmaster, which I am really happy with. It wasn't expensive and I have made some really nice patchworks since having the machine, I am yet to make my curtains, but that's my next project. Hope you found one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Quiltmaster

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 9:31AM
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i have a sapphire 835 and its great. had it for 2 years now without much issue. i'd recommend it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Goodness, it's been a long time since I've been here!
(Been hanging out on the Quilting forum.)

The Viking Scandinavia 200 that I bought (see my post on Sept. 22, '07...above,) has been a wonderful workhorse, and I thank all of you who encouraged me with your positive experiences with Vikings:)
And thanks to the pics 8grandma shared, I was able to use the talents of a friend to build a support shelf in my old Singer cabinet and was able to set the Viking in the same sized cut-out where the Singer had previously fit.

Four years later, (and after retiring,) I became addicted to quilting, and wanted a machine with a bigger 10" throat. So, upgraded to a Viking Sapphire 875Quilt. (Melissa, I think mine is very similar to yours.)
DH was able to cut the hole wider in my old cabinet, which is still sturdy after 40 years!

I kept my smaller Scandinavia, since it's lighter to carry for work outside my home. It's interesting though, that the Scandinavia was made in Sweden with all metal inside parts, but my newer Sapphire was made in China. The (much less expensive) Scandinavia has not given me an ounce of trouble. But the (more expensive) Sapphire gives me a slight problem with the bobbin winder spindle getting stuck. Minor problem though...a repairman showed me how to overcome that. So....we shall see.

Here's my Sapphire 875Quilt sitting in my old cabinet:


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Hi Julie,

It was fun going down the Viking memory lane as I read this thread. You were smart to hold on to your Scandiavian. That was a really nice line of machines.

I still have my Platinum and I still LOVE it. But I think I may need to take it in for it's first tune-up, as it's starting to run a little slow sometimes. Glad to hear you were able to get your bobbin issue dealt with.

Very neat cabinet--I ended up buying one about 4 years ago and it's worked well.

One other thing--As mentioned, the feet for Vikings are pricey, but I have to say, the walking foot is wonderful. I bought it originally for quilting but it's also a must-have for purse making.

Happy sewing!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:16PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have Mom's old singer 401 from the 60s which is still a fabulous machine. Mom used to sell Vikings in the 70s so I had inherited her old one from then when she passed away. Great machine....then I couldn't get the tension right, so I started messing with it...I mean seriously messing and I think I screwed up the timing. Rats! Turns out it wasn't the machine but rotten thread. But I still had to get the damage I did fixed, so I took it in to get it repaired, besides i dont think it had a tune up since the 1970s. So while i was there, just for fun, I sat down to look at the new ones. Auto presser feet adjustment? Needle threader? I was in love. So now I have a Sapphire 835 in addition to two other great machines...but I can't part with any of them. That old Viking is an incredible work horse, especially with that low gear.

I have the new Viking on the counter in my craft room. Rather than have them built in like the old days, I bought an extension table for it to give me a larger work area which I can just take away when I need to use the free arm...a nice feature.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:35PM
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If you are building your own table, make sure you will be centered in front of the needle. Unfortunately, most of the old desks have you sitting too far to the right.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:59PM
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I have a Viking-Husqvarna 500 which I dearly LOVED until it started having some issues with the stich designs. Eventually it got to the point where it will only sew straight stiches. My Singer repairman says it will cost me $300 to replace the stitch panel since they don't repair them. I was tempted to bid on some I saw on Ebay but the ending bids were more than what it would cost to repair mine. I have gone back to using "old faithful" my 46 yr old Brother which has sewn around the earth and back. Sometimes the oldies really ARE the goodies.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 4:33PM
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