Locate Your Model # Look for the model number on the handwheel side of the machine near the on/off button or the electric cord receptacle for sewing machines built after around 1990. The model number may be found on the front panel of machines made in the 1970s and 1980s. These numbers are usually printed in black on a white background.
If you don't see any numbers, check the bottom edge of the handwheel. If it's not visible there, contact the manufacturer for assistance identifying your model.
Here is a list of some common models with suggested repair information if needed:
80s and later: These have plastic handwheels that can be removed for cleaning. Inside each wheel is a metal hub that holds the pinion gear that drives the fabric feeder shaft. This part needs to be cleaned regularly with an oil-based lubricant to prevent friction and wear which could lead to jamming or damage to the mechanism.
70s and earlier: These have wooden handwheels that cannot be removed. They need to be replaced periodically as they will swell and shrink over time due to moisture in the environment causing binding or other problems. Check the manual or contact the manufacturer for replacement instructions.
Find Your Model Number Sewing machines built in the 1960s often have the model number above or below the stitch length controller on the front panel. The model number is displayed on a tiny plaque on the front of machines built before to 1960. If you cannot find your model number, contact the manufacturer.
An OE sewing machine has its name and serial numbers engraved on the base of the bed where the needle drops into place. Original equipment manufacturers (OMI) also add some decorative touches to their machines. A serial number from an OE machine will match the number listed on the box or manual for that machine. If you cannot find this number, contact the manufacturer for assistance.
A little maintenance goes a long way with these machines. Change the needle when it becomes dull; this will help prevent damage to the thread feeder mechanism. Check the bobbin case regularly for wear and replace it if necessary. Clean the area around the hook gently with a damp cloth to remove any lint or dust that may be sticking to it.
Your pocket sews up pretty quickly if you don't manage it properly.
There are various locations to seek for the model number of your Singer sewing machine. From 1990 until the present, the model number may be found at the handwheel near the on/off button or near the electrical cable region. Older models may not have a handwheel and instead have a small black box with white lettering that contains the model number. This can be found behind the bedpan container on the floor next to the footboard.
If you cannot find a model number, check the owner's manual or call Singer customer service for assistance. The manufacturer website also may contain information about your machine.
Model numbers help identify your sewing machine so they are very important for keeping it in good working order. Without a model number, we would not know what type of sewing machine you have, such as a domestic, international, or antique. It could even be part of a series such as Singer 3300.
The model number is usually printed on a label attached to the back of the machine. If you need help finding this label, read our article on how to remove the front cover of your Singer sewing machine. You will see one or more labels underneath the base plate. Remove these labels and take them with you when you bring your machine in for repair or replacement parts.
To determine when a model was manufactured, first locate the Singer sewing machine serial number. On modern machines, the number is located near the on/off switch, but on older machines, it is located on the front panel or on a little plate. Using a multimeter, check that number for continuity. If it's not working, the machine may be dead. A dead machine can still be useful as a storage unit, but it won't work with modern electronics.
Next, look up the number in this database to find out more about each machine. This will help you understand why one model was discontinued while another was not. For example, some models were only made in certain sizes so they're not suitable for today's sewists who like to make everything themselves. Others were designed for commercial use and therefore have parts that are too expensive for home use (like the bed frame) or parts that are not strong enough (like the armature winding). Still others are just plain old-fashioned in design and no longer popular.
Finally, take your time when shopping for a new sewing machine. There are lots of great options out there, and what might seem like a good price tag at first glance could cost more in maintenance fees over time. Let yourself be happy with whatever choice you make and know that it's quality not quantity that matters most when it comes to these machines.