Quick NotesThe Singer 8280 is a basic, entry level mechanical sewing machine. It is easy to use and very affordable. This makes it a popular choice for those who are new to sewing, occasional sewists and young sewists. Very experienced sewists are likely to prefer a machine with more features and stitches.
Singer 8280 Overview
The 8280 model from Singer is an entry level sewing machine, aimed at beginners and occasional sewers. One of the appeals of this machine is its low price. It is available for under £100 (sometimes well under £100 if you find it on offer!). But is it worth it?
Well... I see the 8280 as a machine suitable for occasional use on simple projects, such as hemming or repairs, or to help introduce you to the wonders of sewing. If that's what you're after, then it will do the job. Its simplicity makes it a good choice for introducing children or novices to sewing, as it does not have a bewildering array of stitches or complicated settings.
But it is certainly not the type of machine that will last you a lifetime. And not just because of the build quality.
You may find it rather limiting as you progress and learn more about sewing, particularly if you start sewing regularly or if you progress to more challenging projects. For more complex projects such as quilting or freehand work I would definitely suggest thinking about investing in a more fully featured (but also inevitably more expensive) machine.
Whilst the 8280 is certainly very inexpensive, there are others out there which can compete, such as the John Lewis JL110. I would advise against being swayed too much by the Singer brand. These days it no longer has the outstanding reputation for quality which it once enjoyed. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can have a read of my review of the different sewing machine brands.
But you're here to read about the 8280 model, so lets take a look at some of its features in more detail!
The Singer 8280 sewing machine has the following main features:
- 7 Stitches
- 4-Step Buttonhole
- Front Loading Bobbin
- 85 W Motor
The Singer 8280 has a total of 7 stitches, not including the 4-step buttonhole. It has 6 utility stitches and one decorative stitch, a scallop satin stitch. This is a fairly basic selection, but will be enough for most simple projects. You can see all of the stitches in the image below.
The maximum stitch length is 4.2 mm, and the maximum stitch length is 5 mm. I do like to have the option of a maximum stitch length of 5 mm or more for things like basting, but even some of the high end machines don't have stitches that long, so I can't complain too much!
The 8280 is a lightweight and compact machine. It weighs just 6.2 kg. This portability is great as you won't struggle carrying it to classes, or lifting it up to store it out of the way. And it will only take up a small amount of space.
In terms of build quality, as I mentioned earlier the 8280 is not the most durable of machines. It has mainly plastic components, and the reverse button in particular is quite flimsy. I have heard several reports of it snapping or falling off!
The bobbin system on the 8280 is of the front loading type, as opposed to top loading. As I have often said, choosing between front or top loading machines is normally down to personal preference. Personally I tend to prefer machines with a top loading drop in bobbin. Examples of machines with drop in bobbins include the Brother LS14 and the Janome 525S.
It is not possible to drop the feed dogs on the 8280, but a darning plate can be used to cover the feed dogs. Fortunately one is provided as a standard accessory.
As far as I can tell the 8280 has an 85 W motor. I was pleasantly surprised by this, because that would make it more powerful than quite a lot of other machines within the same price range.
The 8280 comes with four different presser feet, which are of the clip-on type:
- All Purpose Foot
- Zipper Foot
- Buttonhole Foot
- Button Sewing Foot
Whether the Singer 8280 is the best machine for you really comes down to what you are looking for from your sewing machine. If you want something lightweight and compact, which is simple enough that beginners will be able to get started very easily, and don't plan on using it regularly for long sewing sessions, then the 8280 could be a good choice for you.
But if you think you might take on more complex projects, you might want to consider a machine with a wider range of stitches, or even a computerised machine. If you are willing to invest in something more expensive which will last you much longer, something like the Janome 525S may be a good choice.
Do you have a Singer 8280? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!