When I read that the Husqvarna/Viking Opal had received the Consumers’ Digest Best Buy award, I simply could not wait to review it. That opportunity finally arrived on a recent visit to Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, FL.
The Opal comes in two different models, the 670 and the 650. On the day of my visit, I had an opportunity to review the 670.
- Good transitional machine for people moving up from mechanical to computerized sewing
- Fewer features and accessories than many other computerized sewing machines in its price range
At A Glance
One look at the Husqvarna/Viking Opal 670 is all it takes to recognize that this machine is somewhat different from all the other machines in the rather extensive line of Husqvarna/Viking computerized sewing machines.
The machine itself is a little smaller and the LCD screen is smaller. Upon closer examination, however, it is obvious that most of the other standard features found on Husqvarna/Viking sewing machines are right there at your fingertips.
The list of standard features available on the award winning Husqvarna/Viking Opal 670 includes:
- 200 decorative and utility stitches
- 4 alphanumeric fonts
- Automatic thread cutter
- Bobbin thread sensor
- Monochromatic LCD backlit Touch screen with stylus
- Automatic tension adjustment
- Start/stop button
- Variable speed control
- Stitch memory
- Fix function
- Mirror end to end and side to side stitching
- 3 bright LED lamps
Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Opal 670
On board graphic guides make winding the bobbin and threading the Husqvarna/Viking Opal is as simple as can be.
If you are accustomed to a mechanical sewing machine, there may be a slight learning curve when it comes to the stitch selection process.
The stitch selection guide beneath the lid is very helpful. The first thing you must do, however, is to go into the stitch/font selection menu to identify the stitch category you want to choose from and then dial up the desired stitch number.
As soon as a stitch is selected, the Sewing Advisor pops up on the LCD touch screen. It not only shows you a graphic display of the stitch, it will also tell you which presser foot to use and helps you determine the best stitch length and width that would work best for your specific sewing project.
The fix function assures that each seam is locked at the beginning and end points. The speed control mechanism is operated by touch, not by a slider like on many other machines.
The Husqvarna/Viking 670 runs quietly and steady. The construction is solid and there is virtually no vibration whatsoever, even when sewing at the highest speed setting.
The stitch quality is good. Stitches are tight and secure. Although I can’t pinpoint the specific reason, I wasn’t too impressed by the final look of the decorative stitches.
A comparison between the Husqvarna/Viking Opal 670 and the 650
Both the Husqvarna/Viking 650 and 670 are loaded with great features. There are, however, some differences. This table is a snapshot of some of the differences.
For a full comparison between the two machines, visit husqvarnaviking and click on the Comparison Chart link.
|Total stitch options (including fonts, etc)||557||420|
|Utility & decorative stitch options||200||160|
|Exclusive Sewing Advisor®||Yes||Yes|
|3” Monochromatic touch screen||Yes||Yes|
|Programmable alphanumeric fonts||4||3|
|Programmable My Stitches memory capacity||8||4|
|Bobbin thread sensor||Yes||No|
|Mirror end to end||Yes||No|
|Mirror side to side||Yes||Yes|
|Sew on button program||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic tension adjustment||Yes||No|
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 7 snap on presser feet
- 2 Utility feet
- Buttonhole foot
- Zipper foot
- Blind hem foot
- Sensor one-step buttonhole foot
- Glide Sole
- Seam ripper
- Lint brush
- 2 Felt pads
- 5 Bobbins
- Spool cap
- Extra needles
|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
When it is all said and done, it’s easy to see how the Husqvarna Viking Opal won the Consumer’s Digest Best Buy Award. In my opinion, however, there are a few things to be desired with this machine. That does not mean it’s not a good buy.
Personally, I would like to see the stitch selection process a little less complicated and the stitch quality a little better. The Opal is a solid machine that runs quietly, has no vibration and once you get the hang of it, does a great job.
I believe the Opal is a good choice for those who are moving from a mechanical to a computerized sewing machine. There is, as I said earlier in this review, a learning curve, which is to be expected anytime you step up to a more complex piece of machinery.
As a rule, I hesitate to recommend computerized sewing machines for use by beginners. The Opal may be one of those exceptions.
Not only is it a good transitional machine for those who have worked almost exclusively on mechanical sewing machines, it could very well be an ideal choice for the older beginner who wants to dive into the deep end of the pool.
Someone with even a little bit of experienced on computerized sewing machines will be able to work on the Opal with just the owner’s manual to guide them.
On the other hand, if you have never worked on a computerized machine before and are interested in purchasing an Opal, make sure your dealer offers tutorials.
The 670 has more to offer than the 650, and the price reflects that. For the $500 difference, I think the beginner or anyone who has worked on a mechanical machine for a number of years might be happy with the less costly model.
The additional features are wonderful and a great advantage for the experienced home sewer. I sometimes wonder, though, if a beginner or a seasoned home sewer who has never worked on a computerized machine might be overwhelmed by suddenly having too many options and features to choose from.