About this Guide:
I have written this guide to help you when purchasing a second hand knitting machine. I am seeing an increasing number of people who have purchased a machine without seeing a good set of pictures or without a full description of the condition of what is being supplied and as a consequence they find that the item falls well short of their expectations when it arrives. With some care you can avoid most of the problems if you know what to look for.
I have been a machine knitter for over twenty five years. I have been selling & servicing machine knitting since 1985 when I started my first shop. My husband is a Brother trained Knitting Machine engineer and does all of our repairs & servicing. Now I specialize in supplying and servicing the range of Brother Knitting Machines. I have probably the largest range of spares and second hand refurbished Brother Machines in the UK. I have designed and published nineteen pattern books for machine knitting.
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Buying a Second Hand Knitting Machine:
When you buy a second hand knitting machine you need to make sure of the following:
Is the machine complete? Check the front of the instruction book you should find a complete list of all the components sold with the machine when it was new. Some of these items can be very expensive to replace if they are missing. It is essential to get the instruction book otherwise if you’re a beginner you will have no chance of learning the basics and finding out what each of the components do.
What is the condition of the machine? I frequently see machines described in one of the following ways. “Near new”, “Unused”, “Unwanted gift”, “Still boxed”, “Never used”. Now unfortunately the chances are that this machine may be over five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years old. It may have been stored in the loft, under the bed, out in the garage or even in the garden shed. It may have been dusted off and wiped down to restore that “Near new” look but you should be aware that the machine may not be in as good a condition as it looks. It will almost certainly need a new sponge bar, number strip & the odd needle or two. In most cases it will need a major service, this will need to be carried out by a trained knitting machine engineer you should budget around £75 for a full service plus parts & postages for a mechanical (punch card) machine. Electronic machines have a number of extra considerations. Whilst a punch card machine can be refurbished and if given some basic TLC with a few exceptions it will go on indefinitely probably outlasting it’s owner. The electronic is a different matter. The electronic components have an undetermined time limit to them because they suffer with a phenomenon known as dry joints. This in simple terms means that the solder joints dry out causing intermittent failure at the start leading to a complete break down making the machine all but useless other than as a plain knitter. This phenomenon can occur any time but the older the electronics the more likely the problem. Unfortunately the manufactures of machines do not carry on making spare computers for very long after they discontinue or upgrade a machine. Dealing with a trustworthy seller is an essential. Don’t get carried away with the extra features and pay too much for these machines, in good condition they are worth more than a punch card but not that much. Electronics still need the mechanical parts servicing the same as the punch card machines. Finally in simple terms a knitting machine is no different to any other piece of equipment, car, bike or washing machine they all need to be serviced and kept clean. I recommend your knitting machine should have a major service at least every ten years, more if the machine is receiving heavy use. There are some models you should not buy at any price, top of the list is the very early electronics, consider them to be time expired.
Additional information 08,May,2008:
It has been drawn to my attention that there are some electronic spares still around from when Brother were still selling Knitting Machines in the UK. I understand that these may be available from one or two retailers but a word of caution, I guess this stock will be at least the same age as when Brother stopped marketing and distributing machines, some time in the late 90s or early 2000, most of this stock is almost certainly considerably older. You should be aware that electronic components age as well as wear out so the clock is ticking on any electronic stock on the shelf the same as when it is installed in a machine. Electronic components of any type have an undetermine shelf life, they do not have to be used for them to deteriorate and become time expired, a lot depends on how they are stored, I frequently see machines that have been in store with very little or no use but the electronics no longer work. As any computer engineer will tell you PC components suffer from the same problem.
Check list when buying:
- Have the seller confirm that all the components are there as per the instruction book.
- Confirm that the instruction book is being supplied.
- Ask if there is any damage to the machine?
- How old is the machine and how long has the seller owned the machine?
- When was the machine last used?
- If the machine has not been used for some time ask how it has been stored?
- If it is claimed that a service has been done recently, find out when and by whom, are they qualified to do a proper job?
- A cleanup & replacement of a sponge bar is not a service.
I hope you found this guide useful. I am happy to help with your enquires during normal business hours Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, or just ask your question by eBay email.
We sell a wide range of fully refurbished Brother knitting machines, ribbers, accessories, books & spares.
Why not take the gamble out of purchasing a knitting machine from an auction. If you want a knitting machine or ribber that works, is complete, comes with a guarantee arrives properly packed & has after sales telephone support then buy from us. Unless otherwise stated in the listing all of our machines have been fully refurbished & tested by our resident Brother trained knitting machine engineer. Take the worry & disappointment out of the purchase, we have the expertise to look after you with a reputation for good after sales service. Please read our feedback.
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Guide 1. THE BROTHER RANGE EXPLAINED
Guide 2. BROTHER ACCESSORIES EXPLAINED
Happy Machine Knitting
Kind Regards Carol Callow HKC Knitting Machines
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