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How To Quickly Judge Condition Of A Used Knitting Machine – Brother, Studio, Singer, Silver Reed

Let’s look at three basic ways of judging the quality of a used knitting machine, beyond an inventory of missing parts.

1. Slide the carriage off the needle bed and look at the underside.

knitting machine carriage underside

Is it simply dirty from old oil or is it loaded with gooey lint? It takes more than a few sweaters to clog up a carriage. It is fairly easy to clean out.

sight down knitting machine gate posts

2. Sight down the gate posts. Are they all in a line or are some bent? They can usually be bent back to their original positions.


feel needle bed for dings dents or nicks

3. Push all the needles forward as far as they will go and run your hand slowly down the needle bed.

Is it smooth or do you feel sharp metal dings? The latter indicates that the carriage has jammed the needle butts into the sides of their slots.

You can remove the needles and take a metal file and sand the burrs down. If the metal slots are visibly badly indented, the machine may catch a needle in the indent with every pass.

There is no recovery from this level of damage. In fairness, I have never found a machine with this problem. Metal burrs yes, significant indentation, no.



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November 20, 2006


1 Elizabeth Jones Qld Australia { 11.01.08 at 12:09 am }

Whilst this will give an indication of damage due to being badly used or overused (and is a very helpful list of things to look for), twice this year I have had problems with carriages where the sub drum has ceased onto the post that carries it and the carriage cannot be moved as a result. In both instances the machines were stored for long periods and had not been used. The oil had set as a tough brown stain that wasn’t moving. There were many hours spent removing these subdrums and replacing them bask once the old oil had been removed.
The lesson to be learned from this is that we should try to remove all oil from our machines before storing them. Soaking in an alcohol / spirit (in Australia we call it metholated spirits) can be helpful. If there are any doubts about whether the oli will gum up the wokrs, get the machineout on a regular basis and use it. Even if you are using waste wool for a few rows, it iwll help keep thigs moving. Better to do this than come back five years from now and have a carriage that is frozen. It is very hard to get off the rail once the drum is ceased to the post.

Side racks perish too, and these should looked at when the spongebars are renewed. They are the hard rubber parts behind the rail at each end. They are corrugated and allow a smooth transition from carriage not on the rail, to carriage on the rail. Without them, the carriage with jerk into the notches at the ends and the plastic parts at the bottom of the drum can be damaged..

Great blog, I love my machines, all eight of them, but I have seen a Passap for sale….and when looking for some information on the machines, I came across your site.

What would you say is better than Singer in a passap machine?


2 Esmaeil { 09.05.09 at 11:18 pm }

Hi people,

i have recently bught a singer 313 knitting machine and I am trying to work out how to use it. The question I would like to ask is, ” what kind of yarn i can use. Should it be a 4 ply or even 8 ply?” Thanks for your help and wish you good knitting !

3 Clare { 05.15.10 at 10:05 pm }

Hi all,

I recently inherited a Singer model 500 knitting machine, singer model 500 ribbing attachment, and the original table that goes with both from my grandmother.
I have been trying to find information about how much they are worth, either seperately or as a package, as I have no use for them, and would like someone who knows how to use them and enjoys that sort of thing to have them, rather than letting them gather dust in my garage.
There seems to be a gap in the model numbers from all the reading I have done on the web, with model 500 not appearing anywhere!
The machines were bought in either Tasmania or Melbourne Australia.
Any information would be great!


4 Nan { 02.17.11 at 5:05 pm }

Just purchased a brother 260…I can not get it to stop jamming. If I push the carriage it is fine, once I add on the sinker plate I have jamming issues. Can anyone help me?

5 Yin { 07.02.11 at 11:43 am }

Make sure you push the sinker plate to the end of the carriage and tighten the screws. Then, check the sponge bar.

6 mags { 11.28.11 at 5:00 am }

I have been having problems with knitting catching over the gate posts across several stitches in various places along some rows. I have to lift the knitted piece from below and up over the posts to free them, usually dropping stitches in the process. Is this a sponge bar issue. My machine is in pieces being cleaned at the moment and I have a new bar and needles, Just wondered if it may be more to do with the tension I am knitting at rather than the mechanics of the machine itself.

7 Cristina { 02.01.12 at 10:44 am }


You may not have enough take down weight on your knitting. Try adding some weights to you knitting, disturbing the weights as evenly across as you can. Make sure you have weights in the edge, and don’t put too many weights.

8 jason { 02.16.12 at 9:14 pm }

clare, i have the same modle, I think they are to old, and singer made other 500 models in powerd units. in good condition should be worth about 500 for the pair from what i can gather. i dont have the table so i dont know how much more that would add. 200 or so. bout to list mine on ebay so i,ll know soon enough. jason.

9 farah { 09.23.13 at 1:46 am }

j’aime savoir ça coute combien une passap duomatic bonne occasion, le prix qu’elle mérite















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