pete1123 wrote:Two things to take note of: drop in bobbin and auto "knot."
Drop in bobbins just don't seem to agree with me (if you think about it, the thread has to make a right angle turn, not a great idea.) Auto knot/tie off features are scary for delicate projects, IMHO. I am unfamiliar with this exact model, but other Singers move back and forth of their own magic to lock a stitch when you start from a stop - something you don't always want to do when sewing... especially basting or decorative work.
Think about how you wind the top thread around and about. It too makes 90 degree turns with no problem. A drop in bobbin is usually drop and go with automatic top feeding. As for the knot, the knot is great for delicate work and decorative stitches. It really isn't a knot to speak of, but a small set of stitches that are taken all in one spot, usually 3 rather than back tacking and messing up your design. The knot feature is automatic on designs and a traditional back tack optional for straight and zig zag stitches. I've got a collection of some 14 plus antique machines from hand crank to treadle to awesome mid-century turquoise, white and chrom. I have three pink ones. They are all mechanical and oscillating bobbins. My three newest are drop ins, made in the last 10 years, and work just as great, but I did not buy a Singer in any of them. I have antique Singers, including a 401A, and they work great, but are a ton to move. These modern ones are Singer only in name. They are good for learning and light weight work of normal fabric thickness. For most people they would do great, but I quilt, do home decor, and clothing repair that these new Singers can not handle much of. Consider what you are wanting a machine for and buy based on those needs. This one is well beyond the basics with all the decorative stitches, but will do some pretty things for basic decor of clothing and putting your kid's names on their things. It is a good starting point, price wise, with the serger as well that runs around $190 seperate. I too perfer a basic serger that does not need lots of tinkering to thread. I have a set of fine nosed tweezers I use for threading in all the loops.