The Singer Athena 2000 Sewing Machine (Review and History)

Sewing manufacturers made a lot of machines. Not only did Singer, but so did just about every other manufacturer who thought they could succeed at making and selling sewing machines. Not all were great and some machines were loved by some people while others did not care for the same model.

It may be called the Athena 2000 but the original model was made in 1975. It was said to be an all-metal machine and superior to the current models made long after the 70s ended. Its manufacture date makes it a retro machine, not a vintage sewing machine.

To learn more about Athena 2000 just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. This information will help you decide on the spot if you will buy one when you see the price as low as $5.

When Was the Singer Athena 2000 Made?

This model was made in 1975 and it was advertised as the world’s first electronic sewing machine. Its original price was $800 which in today’s currency value may be on par with some of the more expensive modern models sewing machine companies produce.

That price was just from one source and they may have gotten the machine when it was on sale. Some people have said that the original price was $2400 and another said they paid $1000. All that tells us is that the original price is either lost or Singer had its dealers put on a lot of sales to move the new model.

The good news is that the circuit boards are or were replaceable. If they went down then you could possibly find another one. This series seems to be still in production but that was as of 2019 resource.

Over the years it seems to have gone through a variety of upgrades as the Singer website has owner’s manuals for about 5 different Athena models.

Singer Athena 2000 History


The history of an individual sewing machine is better if you look at the people who bought it. From the Singer website, all we get is one mention that the company made the first electronic sewing machine in 1975.

The rest of that history does not mention the Athena again. But when you look for an owner’s manual for the Athena 2000, 5 different manuals pop up in the results. The model numbers are 2000, 1200, 1060, 2210, and 2009.

So Singer did make some upgrades but they were not noteworthy enough to put on their historical timeline. The personal history of the ownership of the 2000+ is far more interesting as one elderly lady used her 2000 only twice in all the years she owned it. One day she gives it to her neighbor’s daughter who then went on to make several quilts on the machine.

Some sad stories go with the individual purchases of this sewing machine but those stories only make the history of this model richer. One lady bought it at a garage sale one year but was told it was not worth repairing by a qualified repairman.

Sadly, she passed away before her daughter found out that it was repairable and worth repairing. So, the actual history of this machine may not be so good but the individual stories that go with it are very memorable.

Athena 2000 Review

When this machine was first built, it was easy to thread and wind the bobbin. Also, it came with about 15 different stitch patterns that anyone could use like a pro. One of the best aspects of the original machine was that it was built with all metal parts.

That made this sewing machine a workhorse, like the machines made during the early years of the sewing machine industry. It can last for 40 years with minor problems that may reoccur.

The replaceable circuit board was a nice innovation at the time and only comes in handy today if good use is available. One of the weaker parts may be the drive belt and it can break after years of use and long before the metal parts are done.

Its drop-in bobbin on the top of the machine near the feed dogs was a feature used in earlier models of different sewing machines and made loading the bobbin interesting. When it came with a cabinet it was the perfect gifted for the dedicated sewer.

The cedar option for the cabinet provided a nice look to the machine and upgraded the look of any sewing room.

Athena Sewing Machine Price and Value


Like any sewing machine, you will pay more for it when it is new unless it is a rare antique that is still in top condition. The old price for the Athena seems to have ranged between $800 and $2400 in 1975 dollars but you won’t get anywhere near that today for the used model.

One listing on Craigslist was for $150 and then a lucky person found one at a garage sale for $5 but that last price is not the actual value of the machine. eBay has listings for about 3 machines and their price is between $110 and $160.

Some people in the different sewing machine discussion forums are willing to accept reasonable offers (their words). So you may have to pay about $200 or so to get theirs. One thing we haven’t mentioned so far in all these ‘histories’ of different machines asking for the value is that a trade-in will get you more value than if you sold it.

Dealers have negotiating room and the value is only a paper value but it does save you some money in the long run. As well as get you a little more for your machine. And if you have caught on by now, the most value you can get for an older machine like the Athena 2000 is to sell the parts.

Take it apart and make the parts available as more people need one or two than they do the whole machine. It is something to think about and explore.

Finding a Singer Athena 2000 Sewing Machine for Sale

This is not going to be a big problem as Rover Bay does a lot of its sewing machine sales through eBay and they have one listed there at the time of this writing for $150. They are not the only ones selling this sewing machine through eBay.

Then some online companies are selling these sewing machines. One price that caught our eye was $40. As mentioned earlier, you can look at Craigslist to see who has placed one up for sale at that classified website.

And classified is a keyword as you can turn to traditional classified ads to see if any are available right now. Then check with sewing machine repair shops or even some antique stores to see if they sell any. Thrift shops and auction houses are also a good bet as are estate sales and yard sales.

Your local fabric or sewing accessory stores may have some or at least leads on where to find one. Some owners do allow their customers to post on a bulletin board if they are willing to sell their machine.

It just takes a little brainstorming to think up some good places where you can find an Athena 200 sewing machine.

Singer Athena 2000 Accessories


Finding Athena accessories and parts is not going to be that difficult either. In fact, there may be more places selling these items than complete sewing machines. The reason for that is that the Athena is not vintage nor an antique sewing machine.

It was made recently enough and in great enough numbers to make parts readily available even 45 years after the initial production. An internet search is the best way to locate any accessories that are missing or replacement parts.

There is no need to link to them in this article as they are very easy to find once you place Singer Athena 2000 accessories and parts in the search box on your computer screen. Myriads of options show up in just a few seconds.

Because the Athena was made by Singer almost everyone has parts for this sewing machine model and subsequent models that followed it in this series. If the internet does fail you then your local sewing machine repair shop should be able to help you out and fix the sewing machine at the same time.

What you pay is between you and him and your negotiating ability.

Download Singer Athena 2000 Manual

This too is a simple task as these manuals have not disappeared like vintage and antique manuals have done over the decades. The first stop will be the Singer website as it has 5 different manuals you can download. It didn’t cost us anything either. Just click here to find the one you need.

One of our go-to websites for download manuals has one as well and it may have the others also. Click here to get to its pages. The good thing about this website is you can look at the pages before you pay and download the booklet.

Here is another location where you can get the 25-page manual from. Just click on this link to get to its website. Then you can go to this link and get one as well. For our Australian readers click on this link to go to Singer AU. It may take a few minutes to find as it is not a very well-organized web page.

As you can see, there are lots of places to find this manual and download it. That tells you that the Singer owners from around the world can get their hands on a manual with relative ease.

How to Thread a Singer Athena 2000 Sewing Machine


The first step you need to take is to place the spool of thread on the right spool holder. 

Next, move the take-up lever to its highest point and then raise the presser foot to release any tension discs. After that, you take the thread through the guidepost eyelet and then onto the rear thread guide.

Go under the rear thread guide to and through the pretension and across the slot to the top of the machine. Now making sure the thread is firm bring the thread into the tension disc on the right of the tension separator and go down the right channel and back up the left.

Next, take the thread to the take-up lever and put the threads through the slot and into the eyelet. Go back down the left channel and follow it diagonally to the lower thread guides. Thread the needle from front to back and bring about 4 inches of thread through the eye of the needle and you are done.

How to Use a Singer Athena 2000 Sewing Machine

The first page of the manual gives you an overview of how to use this machine. It is a bit complicated for those who have never used an electronic sewing machine before. To begin with, you should become familiar with all the buttons on this unit before turning it on.

The stitch selection is easy as all the available stitches have buttons and they have little lights letting you know which one you have selected and are currently using. If you want to make adjustments for the specific fabric you are working on, or want to add your personal preferences, there is a panel to remove and you have to manually adjust the dials under that panel.

For reverse, you have to touch and hold the reverse button all the time you want the machine to go backward. Keep holding the button as the machine will straight stitch only no matter the forward stitch pattern you selected.

To remove the fabric from the machine, raise the needle and foot and move the material to the left of the machine. Those are the basic instructions on how to use this sewing machine.

How to Wind Bobbin and Bobbin Tension


The first step is to open the slide hatch and move the bobbin lever to the left. Next, slide an empty bobbin into place with the slot showing on the top.

Leave the slide plate open until the bobbin is wound. Turn on the bobbin winder and press the straight stitch button. Now move the bobbin lever over to the right and into the wind position.

Next, attach the thread to the bobbin and release it. Do not hold onto the thread. The thread needs to go under the presser foot and up and around. Once the thread has been attached correctly, start the sewing machine and put it at moderate speed.

Do not allow the thread to wind more than the full sign. Close the slide plate, making sure the lever is in the sew position, and pull the thread back under the presser foot.

Singer Athena 2000 Maintenance

One of the issues you have to deal with on this machine is the circuit breaker. If by chance your machine’s light goes on and the needle bar is going up and down and you can’t select a stitch pattern, you need to press the red circuit breaker button to reset the sewing machine.

On the portable models, this reset button is found on the bottom of the machine. Then this machine has permanently lubricating parts so oiling is not required. The qualified and approved Singer repairman will look at those parts to see if more lubrication is needed.

According to the manual, there are no user-serviceable parts inside this sewing machine. If an unauthorized repairman (DIY included) tries to service those parts, any warranties are void. 

If you need to change the light bulb, do not try to unscrew it. There is a tab that needs to be manipulated in order to remove the burned-out bulb.

Some Final Words

The Singer company scored a world coup when it invented the first electronic sewing machine. It opened the door to all the technological upgrades that have come in the past 45 years.

The Athena paved the way and it is still a good sewing machine to use when it is made of 100% metal parts. Buy it when it is cheap now before it becomes a vintage machine.

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