Collectable Sewing Machines
The first thing to consider when you're buying a collectable sewing machine is what you are going to be doing with it. Is it purely for collecting? If so, you may not have any requirements beyond age and style. If it is intended for use, then you need to make sure you buy something in the right category. For example, if you will be making curtains and upholstery, you need a heavyweight sewing machine that is fit for purpose. If your passion is dolls clothes or crafting toys, a smaller machine may suit your needs better.
Mechanical Collectable Sewing Machines
The advantage of a mechanical sewing machine lies in the ease of operation. Experienced sewers appreciate the manual control a mechanical machine gives them over every aspect of the sewing process, as there is no reliance on electrical components. Everything in a mechanical sewing machine is controlled by knobs and dials and there is no external power source except you. Some of the vintage or antique models from the late 1800s and early 1900s are hand-cranked sewing machines; these are often beautifully decorated and look great in the home as well as being fully utilitarian.
Computerised and Electronic Collectable Sewing Machines
Computerised sewing machines are automatic and rely on inserted cards loaded with pre-programmed patterns. There is very little manual work beyond supervision and the results are invariably superior to mechanical models, with some offering embroidery as an addition to utility and decorative stitches.
Electronic Sewing Machines are somewhere in between the other two types. They require an external power supply, typically have an LCD screen that allows you to monitor and adjust the stitching and offer a wide range of utility and decorative stitching but no embroidery. The sewing speed may be manually controlled by a foot pedal.