The Pfaff Smarter 260c is the latest addition to the Pfaff line of ‘Smarter’ sewing machines for beginners. When I reviewed it at Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in Tamarac, FL, I was most impressed by the quality of the stitches that it produced.
At A Glance
The Pfaff Smarter 260c is easy on the eyes. It has a stark white exterior with cool turquoise accents. There is an on board needle threader, presser foot adjustment dial, tension adjustment dial, easy to follow threading and bobbin winding guides.
There is also a needle plate with seam guides etched on both sides of the needle, a start/stop button and a reverse stitch control above the needle; buttons that are used to program the needle to stop up or down, set the machine to tie off the ends of seams as well as stitch length and width adjustment controls and an LCD display that shows the selected stitch number and tells you which presser foot to use.
The most prominent thing, however, is the stitch selection table that appears on front of the machine. More about this very interestingly functional feature below.
Beneath the stitch selection guide is a black switch that allows the user to adjust the speed.
The free arm and drop feed control are exposed when the accessories case/work surface is removed.
- 27 Decorative, quilting and utility stitch options
- 12 Utility stitches including 1 buttonhole
- 6 Quilting stitches
- 9 Decorative stitches
- On board needle threader
- Bright LED lighting
- Reverse stitch
- Drop feed
- Free arm
- Variable speed slider
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Twin needle capability
- Automatic tie off
- On board information button -tells you which presser foot to use
- Needle up/down
- On board thread cutter
Working on the Pfaff Smarter 260c
On board guides make threading the Pfaff Smarter 260c and winding the bobbin very easy… easy enough, in fact for a child in elementary school t master with just a little bit of adult supervision. After just one or two times, they will probably be able to do it all by themselves.
The feature I like most of all on this machine is the stitch selection process. I couldn’t be any easier than simply touching the icon depicting the stitch you want, and that’s all it takes.
A simple touch of your fingertip on the desired stitch does it all. The default stitch length and width settings are flawless. Each stitch I sampled came out perfectly.
I adjusted the length of the straight stitch, just to see how easy or difficult it would be for a beginner and I am pleased to report that all it takes is a mere touch of the button to shorten or lengthen the stitch setting as desired.
The results of the stitches at default settings are so well defined and well formed, I can’t see much need for making any adjustments to any of the decorative or quilting stitches.
Removing the accessories case/work space to gain access to the free arm and drop feed and replacing it are literally a snap. With some machines, it is necessary to use a little bit of force to get the case to move. Not so with the Pfaff Smarter 260c.
This is just one of the many things I find on this machine that make it easy for use by children and senior citizens who want to continue sewing but are not comfortable with fully loaded computerized sewing machines that have all the bells and whistles.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 5 Snap on presser feet
- Standard foot
- Fancy stitch foot
- Blind hem foot
- Zipper foot
- Buttonhole foot
- 3 Bobbins
- Felt pad
- Screwdriver for needle plate
- Multi-purpose tool
- 2 Spool caps (1 large/1 small
- Seam ripper/lint brush
- Edge/quilting guide
- Auxiliary spool pin
- Hard cover
- Owner’s manual
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
I tend to think that when they designed the Pfaff Smarter 260c, the manufacturer had children in mind because everything about it is so very easy and simple to use and to understand.
Not only do I believe a child as young as five or six will be able to master its use very quickly, I have no doubt that older people, especially senior citizens who are not comfortable with all the bells and whistles available on fully loaded computerized sewing, embroidery and or quilting machines.
The Pfaff Smarter 260c is an excellent first sewing machine for anyone… young of old. Students of all ages will be very happy with this machine. Learning to sew on this is definitely easy and no doubt a very enjoyable experience.
If your sewing skills are at the intermediate or advanced level, you will be pleased with this machine’s ease of operation and stitch quality as well.
Although the Pfaff Smarter 260c has an adjustable presser foot control and the manual says it is safe for multiple layers of fabric, I think a machine as lightweight as this one will run into problems if you use it for heavy duty sewing on a regular basis.
For this reason, I disagree with the manufacturer and advise anyone who purchases this machine not to use it for sewing anything heavier then medium weight denim.
My only issue with this machine is the inconvenient placement of the drop feed control lever. For the life of me, I cannot imagine why anyone would think that putting it behind the bobbin, beneath the accessories case was a good idea.
I have seen this on other brands as well and have complained vehemently. The good news is I am beginning to see that other manufacturers have begun moving this control to a more accessible location on their machines.
Hopefully, the folks at Pfaff will catch on and follow suit because better placement of the drop feed feature is truly the only thing that makes using the Smarter 260c a challenge, which is why I could not give it a perfect score for ease of operation.
The hard plastic material that is used for some of the exterior parts of the Pfaff Smarter 260c is a bit of a concern for me in that it may tend to become brittle and crack with age.
I cannot predict if this will, in fact, happen, but it is a concern, and something that I think anyone who purchases this machine should be aware of.
Only time will tell if cracking will take place, and my gut feeling is if you really want this machine, you should not allow this concern to stop you.
The Pfaff Smarter 260c is an excellent sewing machine that produces excellent stitch quality and is so easy to use that anyone can learn to operate it regardless of their age or skill level.
I love the fact that it is lightweight enough to take to class, to the dorm or on vacation yet produces such superlative results.
Anyone who has been sewing for any length of time probably already knows that when it comes to true portability, you generally have to sacrifice quality. That is not the situation with the Pfaff Smarter 260c.
If you invest in this portable machine, you will not have to give up anything for the convenience. In addition, the hard cover makes the Pfaff Smarter 260c a perfect travel companion.
Even with the misplaced drop feed control and my concerns about the materials used for the outer shell of the Pfaff 260c, I think this machine is an excellent choice for anyone who is in the market for a brand new sewing machine that is not only portable, but an ideal pick for every home sewer, regardless of whether they are young or old, or if they are just beginning to learn to sew or if they have been sewing for many decades.
The Pfaff Smarter 260c is affordable and can be purchased at any authorized Pfaff dealer. If you think the Pfaff Smarter 260c might be a good fit for your sewing room and your lifestyle, visit your local Pfaff dealer and ask for a demonstration.
- 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.
- Ideal for beginners
- Fingertip stitch selection
- Excellent stitch quality
- Placement of drop feed control