When an object breaks, the first thing most people consider is whether they should fix it, or replace it. In the case of sewing machines and vacuums, it can be a tough – and expensive – decision. I’ll be splitting this post into two main sections: vacuum repairs, and sewing machine repairs.
As always, vacuum repair estimates are free. Even if you think your machine is beyond repair, drop it off and we’ll make sure.
Generally, we suggest to replace a vacuum whenever the cost of the repair is more than half of the purchase value of the machine. If you bought a vacuum for $250, we’d recommend any repairs under $125. Of course, if you really like your vacuum, or it is no longer made, you may decide that it is still worth repairing if it is more than that value.
If your machine is starting to run sluggishly or fall apart, we may suggest against repairing it. Strong odors cannot always be effectively cleaned out of machines.
However, how a machine looks is not always indicative of repair worthiness. We see plenty of machines that match the walls closer than the original color! A durable machine will last years beyond its beauty.
Another important thing to consider is how available parts and accessories are for your machine. In the case of an older machine, parts may be hard to come by. Bags and belts typically are available for many decades (especially with popular machines like the Kirby), but brush rolls and filters sometimes are only available for a limited time after the machine is made.
If your machine is poorly supported by the manufacturer, there is no guarantee how long you will be able to use (and repair) it. Belts and brush rolls are high-wear items, so if they are not available, you may want to consider a new vacuum.
Finally, you have to consider how much you like the machine. Is it a machine you’ve had for twenty years and enjoy using? You may consider repairing it even if it is 3/4 of the purchase value. Is it heavy and hard to carry up the stairs? Maybe it may be worth considering replacing your machine with a lighter one.
At the end of the day, we cannot decide if your machine is worth fixing – you have to. It comes down to how you feel about the machine more than anything else.
Just like vacuum repairs, sewing repair estimates are always free! Deciding whether or not to repair your sewing machine is a little more difficult, but I promise I won’t make your head spin!
You guessed it – the first thing thing to consider is the original cost of your machine! On sewing machines, we typically recommend any repairs under 75% of the original purchase price.
This part is more important when repairing older sewing machines. Sewing machines get a lot of use, which means components wear over time. Although many wear items can be replaced or even fixed, we don’t always recommend it. Sometimes, repairs will make a machine work properly, but not perfectly – everyone has certain preferences and expectations of a machine! For instance, machines with a worn needlebar can still work, but they may not work very well on certain stretch fabrics.
Your Sewing Needs
This is the most important thing to consider before repairing your machine. If you want to sew boat covers on your machine, but the machine is made completely of plastic, we aren’t going to recommend repairing it. A lot of modern machines just aren’t capable of sewing on heavy fabrics – which means you’ll be coming back for a repair every few months.
If you’re looking to sew heavy materials, we’re going to recommend replacing a cheap machine with an older, steel-gear machine or an almost-industrial machine. Don’t be fooled by machines labelled “heavy duty” – if they have a plastic housing, they aren’t going to go through heavy fabrics more than once.
If you have an older sewing machine – especially one with steel gears – we’re almost always going to recommend repairing them. As time goes on, these machines are harder and harder to find. However, these machines will sew just about anything with very little problems.
Sewing Machines are Investments
You’ll notice we frequently suggest getting your machine tuned up once a year. If you do this, eventually the total investment of repairs may exceed the original value of the machine – don’t let this dissuade you! Think of your sewing machine like a car – you bring it into the shop every now and again to make sure it runs well and lasts a long time. A good sewing machine is an investment, and you should treat it as such. As time goes on, it is getting harder and harder to find quality sewing machines that are easy to learn. Replacing your sewing machine with a new one means there will be new settings to learn and adjust to. Every machine is slightly different – even within the same model.
I hope this guide helps anyone out there who’s trying to decide whether or not to repair their machine. I understand it can be a daunting decision, which is why we’re here to help! Estimates are always free, and we will always give you our honest opinion to help you decide. We don’t want to sell you the most expensive option, we want you to make the right decision for you.
Jeremy Thompson says
I was thinking about having my wife’s sewing machine repaired as she loved using it way back in the days. That is why it’s quite disconcerting to think that the parts of older machines may be harder to come by as your article stated. Hopefully, the machine would still have parts available for it as it was quite a popular brand and model back then. Thanks for the helpful article on when to fix or replace one’s sewing machine!
Hi again, Jeremy! If you have any issues finding parts for your wife’s machine, I highly recommend e-mailing us or calling us! We can get parts for almost all sewing machines. We’ve been formally trained in repairs directly from manufacturers, as well – so there’s very little we can’t fix!
Larry Weaver says
Thanks for explaining that bags and belts for a vacuum cleaner are typically available for decades. My vacuum gave up the ghost when I was cleaning up after a birthday party, but I suspect that it is just the belt that broke. I’ll be sure to call a repair company to see what parts I need to get so my vacuum can be repaired.
Laura Diz says
I have brothers modal CE-4000 computer sewing machine that needs the tension adjusted top/bottom along with a yearly servicing. The 2 places in Modesto,Ca that do this want about $100 bucks or close to it. Is it worth paying the price ?
Hi Laura! That is pretty average for most repair shops that are worth their salt. The reason a tune-up or yearly maintenance is so expensive is that a service tech will completely disassemble your machine, clean and oil it, and then adjust several different moving parts with specialized gauges. It’s a very time-intensive process and is not something you would reliably be able to do at home.
Typically we recommend spending the money for maintenance and repairs on sewing machines over buying a new one unless you’re willing to spend $400+ on a new machine. Sure, you can buy an $100 machine new, but the quality will be significantly lower and you’ll end up replacing it at least once a year on average. If you really like your machine and it has been working very well for you since you’ve had it, I absolutely believe it is worth paying the price to get it maintained.
Hope this helps!
Natica Taylor says
Can you give places where in CT that will repair sewing machines.
Hi Natica, unfortunately I am not very familiar with repair shops in CT, and wouldn’t be comfortable recommending any as a result. I’m sure if you went to a local fabric/sewing store and asked around, people would be happy to recommend a place!