Problems With The Bernina 820 (Solutions Included)

No other sewing machine manufacturer in the world makes use of modern technology integration into their sewing machines quite like Bernina. They incorporate some of the very best technologies into their sewing machines and thar sets them apart from the competition. Indeed Bernina sewing machines are some of the very best computerized sewing machines in the world, and the Bernina 820 does not shy away from this reality at all. It is said by the company that the Bernina 820 will help you sew faster, smarter and more creatively. But does this hold any truth? Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems of the Bernina 820.

Table of Contents

1. The Bernina 820 Is Not For Beginners

A serious problem with computerized sewing machines is that they are quite difficult to learn and the Bernina 820 is no exception. Unfortunately all the bells and whistles that the Bernina 820 comes with will not make it any easier for beginner sewists to learn, and it can be a big challenge for some experienced users as well. To top it all off the Bernina 820 and its complexity to operate comes at a hefty price.

What You Can Do

  • The Bernina 820 is not for everyone and if you are not willing to take the time to learn to use this computerized sewing machine then you’re one of the people that this sewing machine isn’t for. But if you take the time to understand it, you’ll be able to use most of its awesome features.
  • There are plenty of other beginner-friendly computerized sewing machines on the market that can do most of the things the Bernina 820 can do.

2. The Bernina 820’s Lighting Can Stop Working

The Bernina 820 has a lot of lights on it and for good reason too. The screen (touchscreen) display requires backlighting in order to be visible in various surrounding lighting conditions. The area atop the needle plate (responsible for housing the needle) also requires some lighting to illuminate your work area when you are sewing. But the problem is that all or most of this lighting on the Bernina 820 is subject to burning out or being defective at some point when using the computerized sewing machine, sometimes a lot earlier than you may anticipate.

What You Can Do

  • Before you resort to any extreme measures or before you deem your Bernina 820’s lighting defective, you should first make sure that the ECO function on the sewing machine is turned off. This is a power-saving function that makes the Bernina 820 use less power than usual so most functions (of the Bernina 820) may not work.
  • If it is not a case of the ECO function then your sewing machine needs to be taken to a certified Bernina dealer for repairs because your sewing machine’s lighting may have burnt out.

3. The Bernina 820’s Automatic Needle Threader Doesn’t Always Work

This problem is as infamous with sewists and sewing machines as that of thread tension and it is no different for a sewing machine like the Bernina 820. The main cause of problems on sewing machines like the Bernina 820 is that most functions and/or features are connected to one another, so if one feature becomes redundant or dysfunctional then so does another. The automatic needle threader is one example of this. For the automatic needle threader to work, then the sensors (located on the needle threader) of the Bernina 820 sewing machine also have to be fully functional. Another feature on the Bernina 820 is the ‘double-needle limitation’ which is a security feature on the sewing machine that can totally prohibit the needle threader from functioning correctly.

What You Can Do

  • Make sure that the ‘double-needle limitation is turned off in the Security Program of your Bernina 820.
  • If you do the above but the automatic needle threader still isn’t working then you may have to take it in for a diagnostics check at your Bernina dealer because the sensors of the needle threader may be damaged.
  • If the needle threader itself is broken then you may have to take it to your Bernina dealer.

4. The Bernina 820 May Not Recognize The Presser Foot

The presser foot is one of the more important parts on a sewing machine, it allows the sewists to control the speed at which the sewing machine sews (it also acts like a secondary switch.) Gone are the days when sewists had to hand-crank their sewing machines or use a mechanical presser foot (which require a lot more energy and muscle to use.) The modern presser foot is not only efficient, it can also be calibrated to control more things on computerized sewing machines. You can imagine how problematic it is when the main thing that controls the rate at which you sew stops working or doesn’t work to begin with. That’s the case with the Bernina 820, however this problem can be solved from the comfort of your own home.

What You Can Do

  • Use a clean (microfiber) cloth to clean the sensors of both the presser foot and the Bernina 820 (where the presser foot will be connected.)
  • Most of the problems on this list (for the Bernina 820 computerized sewing machine) can be solved by turning off the Bernina 820 for at least 10 minutes and then turning it back on again. This is an effective way to reboot the Bernina 820.


There you have it, some of the most prominent problems of the Bernina 820. Now it is up to you to decide whether these issues are the end-all or be-all of you overall buying decision. However when you disregard most of the problems in this article, you’ll find that the Bernina 820 is quite a remarkable computerized sewing machine. Sticking to the well-known roots of Bernina quality and functionality. Even if the Bernina 820 isn’t for beginners, most Bernina sewing machines are not. They are for a particular group of sewists who had mastered the art of using Bernina sewing machines to the best of their abilities so as to get the most out of them.