1What is the brand and model of the machine?

    • Japanese machines
      • Brother and Knit King were made by the same manufacturer
      • Toyota is another common brand
      • Singer, Studio and Silver Reed also were made by the same manufacturer
    • Passap
      Passap machines are a different breed altogether. Most machine knitters either use Japanese machines or Passap, but many use both. Research the available gauges and base your decision on what type of knitting you want.
    • Is one machine brand better than another?
      No, but the logic and terminology between the brands is different. If you are purchasing more than one machine, it's suggested that you choose to stay with one brand and lesson the learning curve.
      Knitting machine brands from around the world

    2What is the gauge of the machine?

    In other words, you are asking what weight of yarn would be used with the machine. If the seller doesn't know, have them measure (in millimeters) the distance from the center of one needle to the center of the needle next to it. Needle Pitch

    3How old is the machine?

    • Using the machine model number, check the Knit it Now Knitting Machine Database for details about the machine.
    • The most commonly available used machines were manufactured in the 70's, 80's and 90's.
    • Check here for new machines that are available today.
    • One potential problem with a used machine is finding parts. (Especially with electronic machines) Metal bed machines are workhorses. Unless they were used for production knitting (another question to ask), and if they were cared for and not dropped, the majority of machines need minimal parts or repairs.

    4Where has the machine been stored?

    • Is there visible rust?
    • How much was the machine used? (was it used for production knitting?)
    • Yes, rust can be removed, but depending on the age of the machine, replacements for rusty needles may be difficult to find. For machines made 1980 or later this shouldn't be a problem.

    5Is there an instruction manual?

    Manuals are available online for many machines, but it would be best to have the manual for the machine you are considering

    Visit the Knit it Now Manuals and Documents Database for available free manuals.

    6What is included with the machine?

    At a minimum there should be a needle bed with needles, the carriage (2 pieces), a tension mast, instruction manual,power cord (if it's an electronic machine),and hand tools.

    Get a copy of the free instruction manual for the machine and examine the drawings of what should be included.

    7Is the machine working?

    • If you are purchasing from a knitter, they should be able to demonstrate that the machine works with the parts being sold. Have them do a little knitting for you. Ask for photos or videos of the machine in action
    • There are many machine knitting forums online with helpful knitters that can answer specific questions about machine brands and models.

      Visit the knit it Now Knit Club Community (it's open to any machine knitter not just members)

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