Originally Posted by jimrafford
You might want to look at Defenders machine. It's $500 That's what we have.
That is the one that I mentioned earlier.
The major differences between the two machines are:
* the Barracuda (sold by Defender and Amazon) doesn't come with the case. The case is worth the ~$100
* the clutch on the Barracuda slips more easily. Sailrite make a very nice improvement here that is expensive to add on. The "Cuda Crank Wheel" from Defender/Barracuda gets you part of the way there by using set screws to lock the wheel instead of using the stock clutch.
* The Sailrite machine has a lot of internal improvements that aren't immediately obvious and I don't think they change the sewing results, but may allow the machine to last longer. There have a video that shows them, and the Barracuda is identical to the older Sailrite machine that they compare to.
* The Barracuda manual is nearly useless, but at least you can buy the Sailrite one for $10 (online/PDF).
Once you add the case ($125) and Cuda Crank Wheel ($100) the price difference between the Sailrite machine and Barracuda machine is under $200 (less when Sailrite has a sale).