Bernina 590 Bugs

A few months ago I bought this nightmare of a sewing machine. It’s obviously not swiss made, and doesn’t even feel designed in Switzerland. Honestly with all the annoying software bugs it feels more like some ex Microsoft employees were put in charge of the software.

I’ve started a playlist of all the Bernina 590 bugs on my Youtube channel :


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6 Replies to “Bernina 590 Bugs”

  1. I’ve only had my new Bernina 590 for two weeks now and was sewing away using straight stitch, when for no reason it jammed. I was then unable to remove the bobbin, so eventually I removed the hook unit as well, so have better access, but simply have not been able to remove the bobbin. Very frustrating and disappointing for a brand new sewing machine!! Has anyone else had this problem / knows how to resolve the issue? Thanks

    1. Make sure you properly threaded it through the top hook behind the tension disks. The thread needs to snap into place and move freely. If not it’s problably half way in and stuck and adding uneven tension and causing it to jam.

  2. I am so glad to find this blog. I am in tears over the constant jamming on my Bernina 590. I traded in an older Bernina 3 months ago and I am about to exchange this one for a new one. Every time I change the thread, it jams within 6 inches of beginning to sew. I have been sewing for 20 years and this machine is making me feel like an idiot. What I’ve been doing is changing the thread and then doing small piece work for a little while until the machine somehow “finds it’s groove” and then it will stop jamming. The store where I bought it has taken it completely apart and cannot find anything obviously wrong. My husband contacted them on my behalf about an exchange and they have agreed. I have been back and forth to their shop with it a dozen times now to try to figure out what I’m doing wrong and no one can tell me.

    1. This might be a long shot but have you tried rethreading the top thread? The first hook on top before the tension disks is VERY particular on this machine. You have to really yank it through until it “snaps” into place in that first hook. If you don’t it will stay wedged and will out too much tension and it will keep jamming. The thread should glide very easily once it snaps in.

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. Like you I discovered how crucial it is to get that initial thread hooked in correctly – it’s a good idea to use two hands to make sure the thread snaps into place! But my first machine still jammed no matter what. My replacement was fine in that regard. Check the comments on my initial review of the machine where I discuss some shipping problems bernina had early on which made it impossible to balance the machine and how to make sure yours isn’t effected by it.


  4. Hello Paul,

    I just found your website today. I bought a Bernina 590 last year from Creek Bank Sewing Machine Shop located near Mount Forest in Ontario Canada. They are very good on service and do not blame you for any problems with the machine. I have dealt with other shops though that do blame you for any problem.

    They went over threading the machine and using correct stabilizer etc with me because when I first got the machine, it would stitch fine for an hour and then when I changed threads and was tire it would jam. I did find that the threading system at the top of the sewing arm is a bit touchy if you don’t get the thread in properly and will cause the bobbin to jam. I use two hands now to ensure the thread has caught properly – since doing this the machine has not jammed on me. I have done some very nice embroidery designs with it but sometimes the machine will leave little loops in the design as if it is not catching properly. The dealer does not know why it does this – they have not seen it in other machines. I cut the loops off and it does not seem to adversely affect the design. I bought the machine mostly for embroidery and to take to sewing classes so I have not tried the button hole foot and only tried a few decorative stitches. After reading your blog I will try some other things while the machine is under warranty. I do find that the securing function often does create a knot at the back of the fabric. Sometimes the end secure is worst than the beginning. However, what I like about the machine is the good lighting, and the height of the foot so you can sew some thick items easily.

    I also own a Bernina 820 (the quilters edition of the 830) which I bought in 2012. I wanted the foot of space between the arm and the needle. I think I got mine after the problems with the 830 had surfaced and Bernina made changes to the 830. I found that I have to ensure the needle is in the full up position to ensure the machine will thread properly. I sometimes take the small cover off with the tool provided so I can see that the thread has gone through the correct path. Then the machine works fine and I have made a number of quilts, including 2 queen sized bedspread quilts. I do my own free motion quilting with this machine as I have it sitting in a quilting sewing table.

    I still have my Bernina 180 which I bought in 1998. The embroidery attachment doesn’t work but the machine still works. I had trouble with the buttonholer working evenly but since I have made very few items with buttons it has not been an issue for me.

    I have a Babylock serger but other than that, have only had experience with Bernina’s. I bought Berninas because they are powerful machines and can handle a wide variety of fabric thicknesses and were accurate. I wondered if it was wise to buy the 590 when it first came out instead of waiting to see if there were bugs but thought because it came with a 5 year warranty, I would be OK. Right now my machine has stopped stitching after I inadvertently clicked the wrench icon for maintenance. I am calling the dealer on Monday to see if the dealer has to enter a code or something with clicking this icon. Previous to this the machine was working well.

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