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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Yuliya
Date: 11-12-2005, 12:00 PM (1 of 5)
Good morning/evening everyone,

Please, share your expertise with me:
How does the automatic tension work, and is it good to have, or you can do without it as well?

Also, do you think it is considerably convenient to have built-in narrow hem plate?

I am still not sure if I should buy used 5-thread Pfaff without those features ($189), or new 4-thread White or Juki with those features ($299). It is so hard to choose!

Thank you.
User: Yuliya
Member since: 11-11-2005
Total posts: 7
From: Kylnne2
Date: 11-12-2005, 04:02 PM (2 of 5)
I suggest to sew on the serger and see which one you are most comfortable in using. Automatic tensions are wonderful. I never have to adjust tension on my Elna 744 no matter what stitch I am using if coverhem or overlock etc. It is very time saving. Some sergers need constant changing of tensions for different stitches where others need less adjusting. The built in feature for rolled hems is also time saving. If you have to stop in the middle of a project to change the plate on a serger without the built in feature it takes up time but it does not mean that the serger is of lesser stitch quality. Sergers that need a plate change for rolled hem still give superior stitched rolled hems. It's just a matter of convenience to not have to change the plate. I hope you find a serger you love and are comfortable using. The more you like it the more you will use it.
User: Kylnne2
Member since: 07-10-2004
Total posts: 629
From: MartySews
Date: 11-15-2005, 11:44 PM (3 of 5)
I have a Pfaff serger with automatic tension but I find that I like to overide the settings to get the stitch that I want. Pfaff is a very good brand. What model is the 5 thread serger? The price seems to be wonderful since most of the Pfaff machines sell at $600 & up (even for a used one). Happy Stitching!
Marty :bluewink:
It takes one moment to change a life.
User: MartySews
Member since: 02-23-2003
Total posts: 504
From: wghmch
Date: 11-17-2005, 02:35 PM (4 of 5)
"Automatic tension" is kind of a misnomer. Sewing machines cannot think, and can only change as you instruct them to do. In this case, the so called automatic settings are simply a predetermined variation from the way it is normally set. It's kind of like you know that your old SM needs to have the upper tension reduced about two #s for a good satin stitch, so that's what you do. On the "automatic tensions" there is usually a little servo motor that does the same thing for you.

All that being said, the higher quality sergers require a lot less adjusting than the Elcheapo models, but none of these are going to fall into that better catagory.

Bill Holman
User: wghmch
Member since: 03-04-2003
Total posts: 249
From: Yuliya
Date: 11-17-2005, 11:17 PM (5 of 5)
Thank you very much, everyone's advice helped a lot!

That old Pfaff model is 797 if I remember correctly. I heard that model is around 10-15 years old, and it looks like it had been used quite a bit. It should not be a problem for a good brand, I think.

I figured I should just close my eyes, and buy one of them. If I don't like it, then two years later I will close my eyes again and buy another one :0)
User: Yuliya
Member since: 11-11-2005
Total posts: 7
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