82.6 The Singer Prelude 8280 is a very basic, mechanical sewing machine. Controls are simple and the unit would best fit entry level sewists or perhaps those who intend to do small, occasional projects. This is a fairly lightweight machine and the provided instructions are quite good. However quite a few owners have reported issues with thread jamming and tension. The machine seems rather temperamental and some folks find sewing with their 8280 frustrating.



Consumer Ratings
Owner ratings were gathered and compiled in the table below. In total we found 210 owner ratings and when a weighted averaged was applied we got an overall score of 82.6/100. This is a fairly average score when compared to others on our site. You can see all of our sewing machine scores in our sewing machine ratings table.

Source Consumer Rating # Ratings
Amazon 4.2 stars out of 5 188
Walmart 3.4 stars out of 5 14
Singer.com 3.8 stars out of 5 8

We’ve done a thorough review of 8280 owner comments and reviews and found common likes and dislikes.

- Inexpensive
- Includes helpful DVD
- Simple machine
- Not too heavy

- Tension issues
- Some owners report frequent jamming
- Many comments about the unit needing repairs
- The machine is somewhat temperamental
- Not designed for handling thick fabrics

Singer 8280 Prelude

What Are Owners Saying?
Owners like the included instructional DVD and owner’s manual and feel they are very helpful. As a matter of fact some say that watching the DVD and reading the manual are critical steps before attempting to setup and use the Prelude 8280. We found a very useful comment from an owner who provides some great tips and tricks on getting the most out of your Singer Prelude and highlights some things you need to know before you start. Check out the comment on Amazon here.

Singer 8280 needle area

Another thing this unit has going for it is the price. Currently (December 2020) you may find prices a little high due to increased sewing machine demand (pandemic related), however in the past we have seen this particular machine in the low $100's.

The 8280 is fairly lightweight and this makes it a reasonable choice for those looking for portability. It is also a very simple sewing machine and the minimal features/options reduce complexity. As a basic machine some owners say that the Singer 8280 is great for beginners, but others who have struggled with the unit’s problems feel otherwise – understandably.

Singer 8280 top

The two biggest complaints about the 8280 are that the thread frequently jams and there are tension problems. These two issues have resulted in many an owner having to take the unit in for repairs. Sometimes the cost of repairs may be prohibitive for such an inexpensive machine.

Setup can be rather finicky and some people report that it is critical to get things setup just right or you will run into problems. Many wish the machine was a little more forgiving.

Singer 8280 Front Dials

Also, this is not a powerful sewing machine – which frankly is not uncommon at this price point. But it does mean that if your goal is to use it for sewing thick fabrics or perhaps multiple layers of fabric, you may run into problems.

All-in-all we’d say that approximately half of Singer 8280 owners are pleased with their purchase and the other half are not. This is a fairly high ratio of dissatisfaction in our opinion. We believe there are some better Singer machines out there. Consider some of the units below for example:

TIP - Better Singer Sewing Machines
If Singer is your brand of choice you may want to consider some of these higher scoring machines.
Model Avg Consumer Rating
Singer Stylist 7258 sewing machine 93.1
Singer Heavy Duty 4452 sewing machine 88.6
Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist sewing machine 88.4
Singer 1304 Start sewing machine 86.4
Singer Fashion Mate 3333 sewing machine 85.3
Singer sewing machines that do not score well and you might want to consider avoiding include:

- Singer QuickFix
- Singer 6699 Starlet
- SInger M3500
- Singer 2932
- Singer 6199 Brilliance
- Singer 3116 Simple
- Singer 5400 Sew Mate
- Singer CG-590
- Singer C5200

Key Specifications
- 7 built-in stitches (6 utility and 1 decorative)
- 1 automatic four-step buttonhole
- Free arm
- Front loading bobbin (class 15)
- Adjustable stitch length
- Adjustable stitch width
- Reverse stitch lever
- Adjustable tension
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Extra high presser foot lifter

Stitch Chart
Following is a chart showing the Singer 8280 stitches. For an explanation of each stitch check out the manual (which is provided at the bottom of this review).

Singer 8280 stitches

Other Features & Characteristics
This machine has an aluminum frame which helps keep the weight low. The 8280 weighs in at 12.98 lbs (basically 13 lbs) which is good if you are after portability. However this unit is still not as light as the machines in our “Best Portable Sewing Machines” list.

You will also find a light built into the machine and this illuminates the sewing area. The LED light uses a 100,000 hour bulb and is therefore designed to last a very long time (likely longer than the life of the sewing machine).

Should you wish to do free-motion sewing with the 8280 there is an issue. You cannot drop the feed dogs. However, one of the accessories provided is a darning plate (or a feed cover plate). You can place this plate over the feed teeth and this stops the teeth from coming in contact with the fabric, thereby allowing you do to free motion sewing.

Also, a removable storage compartment provides access to the free arm. This storage compartment is generally used to store the accessories that are included with the unit.

Singer 8280 storage

You will get 4 presser feet with your Singer 8280: General Purpose Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Button Sewing Foot, Zipper Foot. You will also find a darning plate, a pack of needles, class 15 bobbins, a screwdriver, a seam ripper, spool caps (large and small), a quilting guide, and a foot control. In addition, there is an operating manual, an instruction DVD, a power cord, and a dust cover.

Singer 8280 Accessories

Note: Singer.com does not state that the 8280 comes with an instruction DVD, however we have noticed that most owners report that it does. We would suggest you check with the retailer if this is important to you.

This unit carries the usual Singer 25-year limited warranty. It is important to know that this does not mean that the entire machine is covered for 25 years. What this means is the following:

- Limited 25-year warranty on the sewing machine head.
- Limited 2- year warranty on electric parts such as motors, lighting assembly, wiring, speed control, switches, and electronic components.
- Limited 90-day warranty on attachments, belts, bulbs, rings, and adjustments.

Sewing Machine Manual
The operating manual is provided in three languages: English, Spanish, and French. It covers such things as the basic components of the machine, winding the bobbin, threading the machine, setting the tension, reverse sewing, choosing a pattern, buttons, zippers, and virtually all the other features. It also covers maintenance and troubleshooting. See the manual here: Singer Prelude 8280 Manual


See our Sewing Machine Ratings Table!  It provides sewing machine ratings from our reviews all in one place...  

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About me...
About me - sewing machine ratingsHello!  My name is Alison and I started Sewing Machine Ratings over 10 years ago. Since then I’ve reviewed scores of sewing machines. Sewing has been a hobby for me since I was a young and I love to make my own clothing.
My website should help you find the best machine for your sewing needs. In addition to reviews, I gather owner ratings for each machine and calculate a score. So you can quickly compare one machine to another and also see how others feel about their sewing machine before you buy.
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