Repair vs Replace: How Much Does Sewing Machine Repair Cost

Repair or replace. This is an ongoing debate everyone has with themselves when their treasured item is wearing down and showing signs of age. Even sewing machine owners go through it as they are comfortable with their older machines and not sure if the replacement is a good idea.

How much does sewing machine repair cost? The replacement may seem like the best alternative, especially when repairs can cost upwards to $180 just for the repairman to replace a simple spring. Even a simple tune-up can run you about $75 to $100. So replacement costs are looking very economical.

To learn which direction is best, just continue to read our article. It explores this debate and gives you the facts so you can answer the question for yourself. Replacement is not always the best way to go.

Average Sewing Machine Repair Cost


The good news that will come out of all of this data is that estimates will always be free. Those estimates will help you decide if you should buy a new sewing machine or fix the old one.

To give you an idea of what you are going to pay when you want to service your sewing machine, you are looking to pay about $90 for cleaning, oiling, and adjusting the tension at just one repair shop.

The sad news is that Elna, Pfaff, Bernina, Viking, and electronic machines the cost goes up another $60 to $150. Serger machines are at the same price. But keep in mind that the words ‘and up’ come after those prices so those figures are just the starting point.

Singer sewing machines in California are not that much different in repair costs. To do basic repairs you are looking at paying about $85 to $90. The cost will go up depending on the type of machine you are needing to be repaired. Multi-needle embroidery machines can start at $240.

If you have a cheap sewing machine buying another cheap sewing machine may save you money initially but it may not save you from experiencing the same expensive repair problem that caused you to buy the new machine.

Sewing Machine Timing Repair Cost


There is the possibility that you can fix the timing yourself and supposedly save yourself some money. All you would need would be the service manual and not the operating manual, or owner’s manual, that came with the sewing machine.

If you think that is the way to go, be prepared to pay about $700 approx. for the service manual for the computerized sewing machine. These books give you the complete breakdown of the machine so you can fix any part of it. So they are not going to be cheap.

To save yourself some money on buying the service manual you can take your machine to a qualified repairman and he should be able to repair the timing for about $50 to $80.

That fee probably will change depending on where you live and the type of machine you need to have repaired. Then after [paying that amount of money, you may not want to learn that all you did wrong was put the wrong sized bobbin inside your sewing machine.

Simple, fixable mistakes like that could mount up after a while if you are not careful. It is best to double-check first before going to a repairman or buying a service manual.

Sewing Machine Tune-Up Cost


The good thing about owning a cheap sewing machine is that they are not going to cost you a lot of money when they need repair. Well, not as much as an expensive machine would set you back.

For a simple tune-up on a cheaper sewing machine, the cost may run you around $89.95. and up That expense alone may have you thinking about buying a new machine. But it won’t if you own a Bernina or another high-quality sewing machine.

The $149.95 & up cost for a simple tune-up is far below the purchase price of a brand new Bernina sewing machine. It will all depend on the repairman, how honest they are and where you live.

Some markets like LA and New York are far more expensive than Iowa City, Iowa. Geographical location will influence your repair bill somewhat. Now if you run into a dishonest repairman, you may be charged as much as $200 for a simple repair you could easily do yourself.

You just need to get estimates from several top quality repairmen before making that repair decision.

Industrial Sewing Machine Repair Costs


The cost of an industrial sewing machine can reach as high as $5,000. Luckily the prices keep falling making a replacement purchase seem more economical than a repair cost. It may be the cost of parts that drives the bill up higher.

While you can get an industrial sewing machine repaired for as little as $300 that price may not include the parts. In some stores, parts range from $16 each up to $148 and more.

As usual, the problem and the type of machine you have will influence how much you pay. But with new industrial sewing machine prices, you may have to bite the bullet and pay the repair costs.

One of the things we noticed as we did our research is that industrial sewing machine repair services did not offer even a ballpark figure for labor. You are left to contact the repair company and get an estimate.

About the only price that could be found was for sharpening scissors at $5 a pop. Just keep in mind that industrial machines are more complicated than household ones and their repairs should be a lot higher than the latter machines.

Why Does it Cost so Much to Repair a Sewing Machine?


This question is probably as old as the repair or replacement debate. It is asked every time someone sees the estimate handed to them by the qualified serviceman. One of the reasons why sewing machines cost so much is that you are paying for the expertise of the repairman.

A lot of repairs can be very tricky and time-consuming so that means he has to put in a lot of hours fixing one part. Labor is never cheap. Just ask a car mechanic. Also, sewing machines are precision machines so you have to know what you are doing when fixing a sewing machine.

You are paying for the education that the repairmen received in order to do top quality repairs. Then, the repairman has to pay for the parts and he is not going to give those away at cost.

There will be some mark up involved as the repairman also has responsibilities and bills that he needs to pay for. Then if the repairman guarantees his work, he will want any redos covered.

All that is talked about here is standard throughout the repair industry no matter the mechanical device that needs repairing. A lot of times it is cheaper to just buy new because there is no guarantee that another part of your older machine will not break next week and cost you even more money to repair it.

Repair vs Replace Sewing Machine

When your machine breaks down, and you are faced with the repair or replacement debate, there are some questions you should ask to help you make a final decision.

1. What is the value of the machine

If you paid a lot of money for your sewing machine, then paying the small repair cost is the way to go. Some sewing machine repair shops recommend repairing as long as the cost does not exceed 75% of the original purchase price.

2. What is the condition of your sewing machine

If you have looked after it and did all the cleaning and took it into the repairman for annual cleanings and so on, then repair is the way to go. If your machine is still in top shape, then you should repair it.

If the parts are beginning to show their age, then you may want to consider replacing the sewing machine as repair costs may put a strain on your bank account.

3. What fabrics are you sewing

This is an important question as some machines, especially the ones made of plastic, cannot sew heavy fabrics. If you want to make clothes or other fabric items out of that level of cloth then repairing a cheaper machine is not the way to go.

You have to look at your sewing needs to see if repairing an older, cheaper model is worth the time, effort, and cost. The broken sewing machine may be the time to think about upgrading so you can expand your sewing projects

4. Are you ready to relearn sewing settings, operation and so on

Let’s face it, when you have used a sewing machine for many years, you get used to how it works, how to create the settings, tension and so on. You know what to do when and how heavy or light a hand you need to work that machine.

When it breaks down, you need to ask yourself if you are ready to relearn all of that on a new sewing machine? It is most likely not going to work as your old model did and there will be some adjustment.

Unfortunately, since every sewing machine is different, even if you bought the same model as your old one, you will have to relearn the same things all over again.

5. What is the sewing machine made of

The construction materials used in creating your sewing machine will influence the outcome of the repair or replace debate. If it is a cheap plastic model, it may not be worth the time and trouble, let alone the expense to repair it.

But if it is a solidly built machine then you should consider repairing it as those machines are hard to come by anymore.

Is it Worth Repairing An Old Sewing Machine?


Without a doubt, it can be worth repairing an older sewing machine when a part breaks. The machine may be a family heirloom and very important to you as it links you to your mother and grandmother.

Or it may still be in great condition and still can sew up a storm including heavy fabric. There are lots of situations where repairing your sewing machine is the way to go...

But... you need to know when to pull the plug and send the sewing machine to the great scrapyard in the sky. Look at it in this way, a cowboy has an old horse who has served hi well. The horse never let him down once in the many years the man owned him.

Then one day the horse steps into a gopher hole and breaks his leg. Of course, the cowboy could have fixed the leg but the horse would never be the same and always be in pain.

To spare the horse this bad life, he takes out his rifle and puts the horse out of its misery. The same has to be done to old sewing machines. You have to know when to pull the repair plug and toss the machine away.

Except instead of ending the suffering of the sewing machine, you are ending your never-ending repair bills, sewing interruptions, and source of frustration. You just have to learn when it is time to let go and upgrade to a newer model.

Some Final Words

It is doubtful that the old debate between repair or replace will ever end. In the final analysis, it is up to you to make that decision as you know your history with the sewing machine, how much money you have and so on.

Sometimes it is just best to let the broken machine go and treat yourself to a newer model so your sewing doesn’t suffer. In other words, the answer to the debate is up to you and you alone.

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