Summary: Unfortunately the machine I purchased was well used and abused with the cost of repair prohibitive. The machine was returned to seller. Another Bernina 1008 was acquired and works beautifully. Sound inner workings, easy to use. A good purchase for the beginner.
Summary: I wanted a basic mechanical sewing machine to do basic sewing projects. This machine is solid, and relatively simple to use. Sews sheer as well as thick denim hems w/ no problems. I was surprised though that it needed oiling after 3-4 hrs of sewing. Another glitch was the operating manual, you have to read it if you are not familiar w/ this machine(I had a Viking previously). I miss my old Viking(no parts avail to fix), but am happy w/ this replacement.
Summary: My Bernina 1008 has a great stitch and seems to adjust the tension to whatever I am sewing - typical Bernina quality here. It is very easy to use-just sit down and go. It is a basic machine and as such functions well. I have had two issues with it. First the foot pedal didn't immediately start the machine and then all of a sudden it took off and only operated at race horse speed. I ordered a new solid state foot pedal and this problem has disappeared.
Summary: As a professional costume designer, I need a sewing machine that is sturdy, well-constructed and reliable. The Bernina 1008 is my all-time best-pick. What it lacks in "bells and whistles" it makes up for with speed, all-metal construction and a solid stitch. I would suggest this machine for beginners through professionals and everyone in between.
Summary: The Bernina 1008 has 16 built in stitches, as well as having a built in 6 step buttonhole. There is a chart with the stitch settings right on the top of the machine, making all of the different stitches easy to use, because it even tells you what presser foot to use! The 1008 is a mechanical sewing machine because it has the heavy, nearly all metal mechanical workings & cams.
Summary: Bought this machine for my daughter for Christmas. She uses the identical model at college and wanted the same one because she was very familiar with the way it works. These machines are very expensive, but are supposed to last a lifetime. Bought this one used (7 years old) and it looks and works as if it were brand new.