Quality Vintage All Metal Sewing Machines – Are They Worth the Price?

Take a look at this… it is a Brother ZU2-B687 “Pacesetter”. It was manufactured by the Brother Sewing Machine Company in the 1960’s. This model is all metal (except for 2 plastic camstack drive gears, the stitch length control end cap, … and the light switch knob). Everything else is metal. It weighs 27 pounds, which is hefty by today’s standards. Is this an advantage? Well, the weight makes it solid as a rock on the table and makes it a smooth running machine. It features 25 stitch selections, including automatic button hole and straight stitch. It has a 1.2 amp motor, which is a beast compared to most modern machines. The feed dogs drop for free motion embroidery or quilting. It travels in a virtually indestructible case. It has a 2-tone paint job and stainless and chrome accents that give it both personality and style… Every mechanism is designed for adjustments and serviceability.

This machine produces beautiful stitches…

I have seen this machine sell on eBay for around $100.00 (including shipping). If the machine was reconditioned I would expect it to sell for about $250.00.

It has been sewing for 50-60 years and is showing no sign of stopping.

Some people would say “That’s a lot of money for an old sewing machine…” But I couldn’t disagree more.

For a comparison, this is a Brother CS6000i.

The Brother CS6000i is a very popular machine. It gets generally good reviews and people prefer them over other similar machines in its class. I used this plastic machine for my comparison to the Brother Pacesetter because it is a Brother sewing machine, and it is comparably priced.

This machine is almost all plastic. It has metal in places that are necessary, such as the needle bar, the presser bar, the motor internals, and a few bits and pieces inside the machine. The machine is light and portable. It weighs in at 10 1/2 pounds. It features a .65 amp motor. The feed dogs drop for free motion embroidery or quilting. It has an array of 69 stitches and a few other features that are useful. The mechanism is designed for only basic adjustments and it is not easily serviced.

It doesn’t have a case but it has a convenient built in handle molded into the top of the machine.

It is white plastic, has some blue accents around the information LCD display, and is about as plain as a light pole.

It is not likely that it will be sewing reliably in 50-60 years. It’s control relies on printed circuit boards and it will die as its planned obsolescence design requires it to do.

The machine also makes beautiful stitches (I don’t have any pictures, its been a long time since it was used).

You can purchase this machine today for about $170.00 with some added attachments included.

Now, I have to ask myself. Which is the better value? Which machine is built to last and sew reliably for a lifetime? Which machine has the better style? Which machine is powerful enough to sew heavy fabrics as well as delicate fabrics without punishing the drive mechanisms?

Some people would say “That’s a good price for a new sewing machine…” But I couldn’t disagree more.

Assuming they were priced the same, which sewing machine would you choose. Well, I choose the vintage Pacesetter. The biggest question I have is not why these quality all metal vintage sewing machines cost so little, but why don’t they cost more?

What do you think?

Published by pungoliving

First and foremost, I decided to share some of my experiences with vintage all metal sewing machines. It is a natural progression of my life experience exercising my hands and my mind. My background is a simple story... graduating High school, I wanted a trade. I landed an apprenticeship at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in welding. 5 years later after earning certification and working in many different environments, I decided to enroll in College and earn an Engineering. At the same time, I married a wonderful girl and started a new life. Graduating College with a degree in Structural Engineering, I began a 35 year career in the Federal Government. Along the way, we were blessed with 3 beautiful children. Earning a Masters degree in Engineering and registration as a Professional Engineer I worked for the benefit of my family and my Country. Over the years, I have pursued many different hobbies... woodworking, car mechanics, astronomy, and taking apart and putting together all sorts of things. Pretty much anything I could put my mind and my hands into. So now, many years later, I am retired and finally able to wile away my days at home with the love of my life. Her interests have always been in sync with mine, but spending so much free time with her, I realized how broad her talents are! One interest she is particularly fond of is sewing. It didn't take me long to put 2+2 together and realize that I could do something with this. So, acquiring, adjusting, servicing, and restoring sewing machines was a win-win. I have a hobby that is detailed, involves tinkering with precision engineered high quality manufactured machines, while she has an opportunity to sew on various different makes and models of sewing machines. While there are many that have information on line, and what I have to say more than likely has already been said, I wanted to contribute to that conversation and learning gleaned from my experience and research.

2 thoughts on “Quality Vintage All Metal Sewing Machines – Are They Worth the Price?

  1. Ho would you mond if i ask you for help? I have the same equipment my problem is I can’t find manual how to operate it.


    1. Hello Faye,

      I don’t have a manual to give you but I find most of the manuals I need from a web site called Sewconsult. they are $4.95 each and a great price for a manual.

      I hope this helps!


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