Not everything Singer made was golden or their best effort. The company made its share of turkeys over the years and some of them still seem to be in existence today. Just make sure you avoid the bad sewing machines in order to enjoy your sewing hobby.
Judging from the comments and seeing the design of this sewing machine, Singer did not hit a home run with this model. One 306k was so ill that they placed it on the road and abandoned it. There are reasons for that action.
To learn more about the 306k and why people think so little of it, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you can make a sound decision and avoid potential frustration. Why Singer designed the machine this way is anyone’s guess.
According to Ismac’s website, this model of Singer sewing machine was first made in 1954. February 19th to be exact and it was made at different times throughout the year and all models for this sewing machine started with the letters EM in their serial numbers.
Roughly 147,000 306ks were made that year and according to the same website, this model was in production until about 1962. But we are not sure if that is the right last date of production or not.
The 306k was supposed to be the upgraded model of the 206 and it replaced the cast iron body with another material for the overall body. There are several versions of this sewing machine and they were all given a different letter at the end of the number.
The K was made in England, while the W was made in Connecticut and the M was made in Italy. The 319k was a sister model to the 306k and had very few differences from that latter model.
In looking at the design it is no wonder production stopped on all of the 306s around the early 60s. The largest production date was May 1 1958 when 180,000 units were made and sold. The next largest number of machines ever made was 50,000, which occurred several times throughout its run.
This model sewing machine never got close to having 1,000,000 units made and sold.
This will depend on who you talk to and what condition the sewing machine is in. One person left his or her model on the side of the road like they would an unwanted dog. According to some comments, we have read, that is about what this sewing machine is worth.
If they can’t get it really cheap, they do not want it. Sadly, not everyone agrees with them as we have seen some 306ks in very good condition and they are commanding a price in the mid $600 range.
Other units in this series are not so lucky as they are being sold for less than $200. This was one of the last black and gold sewing machines ever made and it was an upgrade over the 206 which was the first zig-zag stitch machine made.
It is the design of the machine, not the history or the upgrades, that have people placing a very low value on the 306k. There are legitimate reasons for their hesitation to accept a $600+ value for this sewing machine. We will get into that later on in this article.
Believe it or not, there seem to be quite a few places that have the 306k sewing machine for sale. One place is called Rover Bay and they do their selling over at eBay. They, along with other sellers have a wide range of prices for their sewing machines.
The non-Rover Bay sewing machines at that outlet range between $150 and $600. The manual for sale by Rover bay is $119. You read that right, just the manual. Your best bet for any leads is to start with an internet search as small private firms are selling one or two of these machines (that popped up in our search).
Then your next best place to look will be auction houses, sewing machine repair shops, antique stores, garage sales as well as flea markets, and estate sales. The classified ads, both traditional and online, will be another place to look.
As it is with eBay, it is all a matter of timing. You may get lucky and find a really cheap one and still in running condition or you will only see the expensive models for sale if you find any at all.
This section is for those legitimate reasons many people hesitate to place a lot of value on this sewing machine model. The first impression one gets when looking at an image of the sewing machine is that it is a very basic sewing machine.
The design is not outstanding or even cutting edge and it looks like a product of its time. But that is just one reason people do not like this sewing machine. The next reason is the location of the bobbin. it is underneath the machine and you have to tilt it up to reach it.
Fortunately, there is a latch to hold the machine up while you work with the bobbin. Another reason is the needle needed to use this machine. But we will go into more detail on that issue shortly.
Then for some reason, Singer decided to play hide and seek with the serial number and when you gain access to the bobbin you should see that number on the bottom of the machine.
On top of that, the stitch length lever can easily be bet and is somehow connected to the reverse function. if that lever is out of whack, you may not be able to sew forward. Also, there is this issue “ The machines are noisy, clumsy to use, and rotating and oscillating machinery is exposed to catch long hair or thread.” We couldn’t have said it better than that.
These are just some of the complaints that overshadow anyone’s p[raise for the machine.
There is at least one manual for sale at eBay but unfortunately, they are not downloadable options. Plus, at least one is priced at $120 which seems to put it out of reach for most people.
Then one of our go-to download manual sites has at least one ready to be purchased. We like this site because you can read the manual before you download it. This website is another place to go if you want to get one through the internet. The landing page says it is free.
Finally, you can always try Singer. They seem to keep very good records and you just might be in luck that they keep digitalized versions of all their manuals. Try this link and if one does not appear in your search, use their contact page to ask them.
For our Australian readers, there is this Singer website to try. There are more options if one has the time to go through tall the search results but these few should put you on the right track and get you the manual you may need.
This should not be a problem to find either. In fact, the unit left by the side of the road also had the attachments in the same container. In a quick internet search, more than enough outlets selling parts and attachments came up.
Those results included Singer itself. Here is a link to their web page that offers 306k parts for sale. Another link to try leads you to this company and it is n the business of selling sewing machine parts. That makes it a good source when you own more than one sewing machine.
Rover Bay claims it has lots of parts for this sewing machine model. it does its selling at eBay and a good search should turn up some nice attachment options. Then for our British readers, there is this online outlet. It seems to have a lot of parts available including universal needles which is a topic we will now move on to.
This was the topic that had the biggest complaints. The 306k and a couple of other Singer sewing machines are very picky about the type of needle you place inside of it. Those machines are the 206, 306, and 319 and you will be lucky if you can find a universal needle that will work with those models without adjusting the timing.
The needle that is required is the special 206x13 needles and according to one expert on these machines, they only come in sizes 12, 14, and 16. That means that if you need a size 11 or 18 you are out of luck.
Also, this style of needle is more of a special order than a common selling item in most sewing accessory shops. That means you should expect to pay a lot more for them if they can be found. Availability of the needle is also a problem as the 16 is hard to find right now.
When it comes to bobbins, also expect to pay a lot for this little part. They can be rare as well.
That is why we like that manual location as we can get the information you need quickly and easily. The first step is to lift the take-up lever to its highest point.
Then place the spool of thread in its place and take the end of the thread down to the self-threading guide coming into it from the underside. Then go down to the center tension and through the loop of the take-up spring.
Next, head to the slack thread regulator and go under. Then go up to the take-up lever and going from right to left put the thread through the hole. After that, go back down to the two guides on the faceplate and into the guide on the needle clamp.
Finally, moving from front to back thread the eye of the needle. Make sure to draw about 2 inches of thread through the eye before you start to sew.
There is a little chart showing you the different needle sizes and the fabrics that they work best with. It is best to study that link to make sure you have the right needle for the fabric you want to sew with.
Then the thread should be selected that will match up with the material it is supposed to hold together. After you have done all that, make sure the eye of the needle is large enough for the thread to pass through easily.
Take care to see that the needle you use is not dull or bent in any way. Also, use the same thread in both the needle and the bobbin to avoid trouble.
Your experience with this sewing machine may be different from those who have their complaints and hesitation. That is okay as not everyone gets a good sewing machine to work with.
According to one expert, this machine is one of the 3 that should never have been made. he was thankful that Singer saw the mistakes they made and corrected those mistakes in future models like the 401. Even Singer is not perfect.