Embarking on the search for a new sewing machine can be quite the task. With a plethora of brands and models to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But one brand that stands out for its longstanding reputation and high-quality products is Elna. Hailing from Switzerland, Elna has been a leader in the sewing machine industry since 1940, renowned for its innovative and reliable machines.
In this review, we’ll delve into the Elna Excellence 680+, a modern marvel that stands on the shoulders of its predecessors, such as the well-reputed Elna 680. The ‘plus’ in the 680+ is not just an add-on to the model number; it signifies an enhanced version, one that brings forth additional features, capabilities, and accessories to provide an even better sewing experience.
Overview Elna Excellence 680+
The Elna Excellence 680+ sewing machine, an exceptional model in the sewing industry, distinguishes itself with a plethora of features, stitches, and accessories. It has a substantial weight of 10 kg and a machine size of 475 x 316 x 223 mm, which ensures stability and durability.
Advanced Stitching Options
The Elna Excellence 680+ boasts 170 built-in sewing and utility stitches. These include a straight stitch, zigzag, one-step buttonholes, various quilting stitches, applique stitches, heirloom stitches, and decorative stitches. All these inbuilt stitches facilitate versatile sewing operations. Plus, the machine has inbuilt alphabets that can be used for creating your quilt or garment tags labels.
Unique Stitch Width
This machine is unique from many others on the market due to its impressive stitch width. It can create stitches up to 9 mm wide, which adds a special touch to any garment. The wide stitches can be used on any decorative stitch or zigzag stitch, and can also mirror image for a fresh look on the fabric.
Efficient Computer Board and Controls
The Elna 680+ is designed with a user-friendly computer board that facilitates easy selection of the preferred mode. The touch panel control system ensures straightforward access to every stitch, giving you the flexibility to change the width and length on all sewing patterns up to 9mm.
Thread Management and Bobbin System
This model simplifies the threading process with an easy and guided threading system. It features an auto declutch bobbin winder with integrated thread cutters and a built-in Superior System needle threader. It uses a rotary horizontal hook plus a transparent bobbin for ease and convenience.
Precision in sewing is assured with the semi-automatic thread tension control and manual presser foot pressure adjustment. It also has the ability to adjust the needle position in 91 different ways, giving you the freedom to maneuver easily while sewing.
Function Buttons for Ease of Use
The Elna 680+ includes several function buttons that enhance its user-friendliness. These include start/stop, reverse, automatic-lock (knot) stitch, up/down needle position, automatic thread cutter, speed control slider, and direct stitch selection.
Flexibility in Sewing
The Elna 680+ offers a free arm measuring 100mm from the needle, offering versatility for different types of sewing projects. The machine offers a sewing space of 210 x 120 mm, providing ample workspace. In addition, the machine has an adjustable knee lifter that aids in raising and lowering the pressure foot without the need to remove your hands from the fabric.
Ample Lighting and Accessory Storage
The machine is equipped with six built-in white LED lamps in three areas, providing clear visibility for accurate sewing. It also includes an Elna-exclusive front storage and arm for safekeeping your accessories.
Wide Range of Standard Accessories
The Elna 680+ comes with a variety of standard accessories, including a variety of feet like standard, rolled hem, zipper, satin stitch, open-toe satin stitch, blind hem, overlock, ¼” seam, darning, even feed, and automatic buttonhole foot. Other accessories include a straight stitch needle plate, bobbins, 10 unit-kit Easy bobbins, seam ripper, needle set, lint brush, spool holders, additional spool pin, screwdriver small, touch panel stylus, knee lifter, extra-wide extension table, foot controller, and a semi-hard cover.
Pros and Cons
Before diving into any significant purchase, especially one as substantial as a sewing machine, it’s vital to balance the scales of advantages and disadvantages. The Elna Excellence 680+ is a top-tier sewing machine that promises an array of impressive features. But it’s also fair to acknowledge areas where it might not meet everyone’s needs or expectations. To aid in your decision-making process, let’s navigate through the pros and cons of investing in this sewing powerhouse.
- Versatile Stitch Library: With 170 built-in stitches, this machine offers incredible flexibility for a wide range of projects.
- Advanced Features: The machine boasts a variety of advanced features such as an automatic thread cutter, built-in needle threader, and a semi-automatic thread tension control system, all designed to make sewing easier and more efficient.
- Large Sewing Space: The generous 210 x 120 mm sewing space, which is larger than many other models, provides ample room for bigger projects.
- Exceptional Build Quality: The sturdy 10 kg machine is built to last, ensuring it will stand up to years of regular use.
- Incredible Accessories: The list of included accessories is impressive, allowing users to tackle a variety of sewing tasks without needing to purchase extra items.
- Price: While you do get a lot of value for your money, the upfront cost may be prohibitive for some, particularly beginners or occasional sewers.
- Complexity: The wealth of features and functions can be overwhelming for beginners. However, with patience and practice, users can gradually learn to make the most of these.
- Size and Weight: The machine is on the heavier side and takes up a fair amount of space. This might be a consideration for those with limited workspace or who need a more portable option.
- No Built-In Embroidery Features: While the machine offers a range of decorative stitches, it does not have built-in embroidery capabilities. This might be a disadvantage for those looking to do complex embroidery work.
Warranty and Manual
When purchasing the Elna Excellence 680+, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the warranty and manual that accompany the machine. As a standard, all Elna sewing machines come with a two-year guarantee from the date of purchase, which speaks volumes about the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. For more info on the warranty’s terms and conditions, you can refer to the detailed warranty programme provided by Elna here.
There is also the choice to prolong the two-year warranty by an additional one, two, or three years, thus extending the coverage up to five years from the date of purchase. However, it’s important to note that this decision must be made within 30 days of acquiring the sewing machine.
To ensure optimal use and care for your Elna Excellence 680+, the manufacturer provides a thorough and easy-to-understand manual. You can access the manual for the Elna Excellence 680+ here. This resource offers invaluable guidance on everything from basic setup and use, to troubleshooting and maintenance.
Pricing and Value
As with any high-end sewing machine, the Elna Excellence 680+ comes with a price tag that reflects its feature set and great quality. As of writing, the machine is typically priced around £1,299 in the UK market.
While this might seem steep at first glance, considering the machine’s robust build, high performance, and expansive stitch library, it is a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about sewing. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a dedicated hobbyist, the Elna Excellence 680+ offers exceptional value for money.
The Elna Excellence 680+ is truly a model of high standards in the sewing world. With its extensive range of built-in stitches and versatile standard accessories, it’s ready to handle a wide array of sewing projects. Moreover, its user-friendly interface, advanced threading system, and adjustable settings make it a remarkable tool for both novice and seasoned sewers.
The balance between automation and manual control is what makes the Elna 680+ stand out. Whether you’re into quilting, making garments, or crafting, this machine has the precision and flexibility to help you create your projects with ease. Its top-notch lighting system ensures your work area is well-lit for precise stitching.
The Elna Excellence 680+ sewing machine features a drop feed sensor, a retractable 7-piece feed dog, and an adjustable knee lifter that further enhances its sewing capabilities. The touch panel control system simplifies the sewing process, allowing you to concentrate more on your creativity.
Investing in the Elna Excellence 680+ is a wise decision for any serious seamstress or hobbyist. The machine’s robust construction and advanced features offer an excellent sewing experience. With its high-speed stitching capability of up to 1000 stitches per minute, it allows you to finish your projects faster, saving valuable time.
The Elna Excellence 680+ sewing machine is a splendid blend of quality, performance, and convenience. Its numerous features and generous stitch options are testament to its flexibility and user-friendliness. If you’re looking for a sewing machine that can grow with you as your skills and needs expand, the Elna Excellence 680+ is an excellent choice.