We recently had the pleasure of reviewing the new BERNINA 830 LE sewing machine, the top of the entire BERNINA line.
This machine, with its attractive burgundy colored face plate is sleek, modern looking, and can do just about everything the home sewer could imagine.
It can be used to sew, quilt and embroider; and it performs each function exceptionally well. For starters, the BERNINA 830 LE is so exclusive that the manufacturer produced only 4,000 to be distributed and sold worldwide.
As a member of this elite group of people privileged enough to own one of these machines, anyone who purchases the BERNINA 830 LE is invited to an exclusive VIP retreat at BERNINA’s US headquarters in Chicago.
The retreat will feature two full days of workshops, where they will learn new techniques, work on innovative sewing projects and get inspired to create their own fascinating original designs.
At A Glance
The BERNINA 830 LE is one of the most aesthetically pleasing sewing, quilting and embroidery machines we have ever seen. It almost literally calls you by name, inviting you to touch it.
The lush red floral motif, polished metal work space and oversized work table with a clear window, enabling the user to see the bobbin supply are among this machine’s many assets.
When combined with the 830LE’s ability to hold up to three large thread cones and the on easy to read high resolution color LCD touch screen, this machine is among the most user friendly sewing, embroidery and quilting machines on the market.
The BERNINA 830 LE sewing machine can sew up to 1,100 stitches in a single minute. When in the embroidery mode, it can render as many as 1,000 stitches per minute.
The 15 inch extension table and 12 inch clearance to the right of the needle make it possible to sew extremely large embroidery projects with ease.
In addition to the embroidery hoops included with the accessories the purchaser has the option of buying additional embroidery hoops as large as 260 x 400 mm.
The color touch screen brings decorative and embroidery stitches to life even before the sewing project is begun.
The standard stitch regulator makes sewing zigzag, quilting and embroidery stitches easy and trouble-free.
The oversized bobbin not saves time by holding up to 40 percent more thread, built in sensors on the bobbin itself signal you when the bobbin thread is getting low.
This feature alone is one of the most popular of all the features offered on the new BERNINA 830.
With this standard feature, the user will have to stop less often to change the bobbin; and fewer interruptions mean much more freedom to let your imagination and your creativity go unimpeded.
Other standard features on the BERNINA 830 LE include the self threading and automatic tension adjustment features on both the upper thread and the bobbin.
Taking the worry out of setting the right tension for specific fabric and thread types makes the entire sewing experience a complete joy.
For the purposes of this BERNINA 830 review, we opted to do a couple of simple embroidery projects. Theading the machine was simple.
Winding the bobbin was pretty much the same as winding any other bobbin. Its larger size and the shiny sensors were immediately obvious. In a way, the bobbin looks a little more like a shortened spool of thread than a bobbin.
The automatic bobbin winder stops itself when the bobbin is full, and you simply snap it into place beneath the needle plate. The upper thread is even simpler.
The machine threads itself with just the touch of a button. Before you know it, you are ready to select an embroidery pattern.
With so many to choose from, it was difficult to make a selection. The machine is capable of rendering designs with as many colors as you can imagine, but we finally settled on a simple, one thread floral design for starters.
Once we identified a pattern and made the size selection, all that was left to do was push the start button and watch the BERNINA 830 LE to its thing.
The stitching was precise and fast, producing a jumbo single color embroidery design in just under five minutes.
We learned that in the event of a power surge or in case work came to a sudden stop because the bobbin needed rewinding, the 830 LE is capable of starting right back up where it left off without missing a single stitch.
Another interesting fact is that when lettering or producing separate designs in succession, the 830 LE will automatically snip the threads between the designs for you, leaving you free to create without having to be concerned with such mundane details as going back to cut stray connecting threads.
While the BERNINA 830 LE is capable of rendering intricate multi-colored designs, it can only handle one thread color at a time. When working on a multi-colored project, it will fill in all of one color then stop.
After you change the thread color, it will complete all of the requirements for that color and stop again to wait for you to change the thread so it can go on to the next color.
When it comes to quilting, the BERNINA 830 LE has one of the largest work spaces available. The quilt arm can be removed to provide a much larger than average workspace to accommodate the most intricate of quilting projects.
But, do not think for a minute that the model 830 LE is strictly for embroidery and large quilting jobs.
The workspace can be removed altogether to reveal a free arm that enables the user to work on sleeves and other small intricate sewing projects with the same amount of ease and comfort as they have when working with those big jobs.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The list of accessories that come standard with the BERNINA 830 LE is almost mind-boggling. Unlike other embroidery/quilting/sewing machines, the 830 LE offers the user an exclusive BERNINA alphabet collection and embroidery CD featuring 1,000 designs as a standard accessory.
If you purchase one of these exclusive machines and happen to go through all of the designs offered here, you have the option of purchasing BERNINA’s embroidery software, which will put an almost infinite number of design options at your fingertips, guaranteeing that you will have the ultimate experience in creating the perfect design each and every time you sit down to sew.
In addition to the accessories mentioned above, other standard items included with your BERNINA 830 LE include: a fabric cover; a removable extension table; an embroidery arm; an instructional DVD, 12 different presser feet; owner’s manual, operating instructions and product leaflets, including an accessory booklet and overlock brochure; a Limited Edition certificate of authenticity; a set of Limited Edition red boxes for storing manuals, presser feet, and accessories; a needle threader; a magnifying glass adapter; four bobbins; two thread nets; a pair of tweezers; seam guides; spool caps; needle plates; an oil pen; a thread lubrication kit; a hook cleaning tool; a cloth machine head cover; a USB memory stick; a touch pen; three embroidery hoops; an embroidery module; an embroidery kit and a registration card.
Optional accessories, available from the manufacturer include quilt frames; quilting and cut work software as well as ‘My Label’ software, developed to help users achieve the perfect fit that can only be achieved through customizing each garment according to your precise individual measurements.
Other items available from the manufacturer to enhance your experience with the 830 LE include cabinets and sewing tables specifically designed to accommodate this particular machine.
The BERNINA people even offer continuous inspiration and technical support over the internet through www.BERNINA8series.com.
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean loopers and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Overall, the BERNINA 830 LE is an excellent sewing machine for the avid home sewer. With such a hefty price tag, this is not a machine for the person who does not have a passion for the art of sewing.
If all you are interested in is a machine that help you with repairs, hemming and minor alterations, we suggest that you look at another machine. Perhaps a lower cost Bernette would be more suitable for you.
If, however, you have a passion for sewing and love to create one of a kind clothes, home accessories and quilts for yourself, your family members and friends, then by all means, this is a machine that you should give some serious consideration to.
The BERNINA 830 LE is not only one of the highest rated sewing/quilting/embroidery machines on the market it is one of the most efficient. The fact that it is capable of performing so many functions so well is a huge plus.
Having to change the thread each time an embroidery pattern calls for a different color is a minor inconvenience when you consider the quality of the finished product.
Besides, very few, if any, embroidery machines designed for home use can change thread colors on their own. This machine does so much we get spoiled and expect it to do everything for us.
With a suggest retail price of about $14,000, nobody would want to spend that kind of money on a machine and not give it the best possible care. The good news is taking care of this machine is easy.
It goes without saying that you should also make sure your BERNINA 830 LE is never exposed to moisture, or extreme hot or cold temperatures and that the accessories, especially the extra needles, the needle plates, feed dogs and presser feet are protected by storing them properly so when they come into contact with the machine, it will function properly.
Although the model 830 LE is designed to be portable and has a carrying handle, it is quite heavy for the average person to move around like one would move some portable sewing machines.
Perhaps, this is why one of the available options is a table for permanent mounting. We believe the option is definitely a very good idea that deserves serious consideration for anyone who purchases this particular machine.
The self threading and automatic tension adjustment features are also in the plus column. These features make it possible for the home sewer to forget all about the mundane tasks associated with setting up a sewing machine and allows them to concentrate on the fun part of sewing.
When compared to an automobile, threading and adjusting the tension on a BERNINA 830 LE is something like driving a car with an automatic transmission rather than one with a manual transmission that requires you to shift the gears yourself rather than let the car perform the task for you.
True, there are people who get a thrill from feeling the engine rev as they shift the gears. Even in the 21st century, there are even people who do not like the idea of power door locks or power windows on cars. But for others, all that manual labor just takes the fun out of the whole driving experience.
If you are one of those people who enjoys the ride without having to shift the gears for yourself, or expend a lot of energy cranking the windows open and shut, or locking and unlocking each car door separately, then we recommend that you step up to the top of the line and test drive an 830 LE at your local BERNINA dealer.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Multi directional sewing
- Instructional DVD
- Extra large bobbin
- Limited availability
- Purchase price prohibitive for most consumers