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?