a friend recently gave me her brother vx-940 sewing machine. before this, i'd only mended rips or sewed buttons by hand, but i've come to love my sewing machine. it did take me a while to learn to use this sewing machine. there seems to be a lot of twists and turns involved in threading it which was difficult to master. being a novice, i don't know if all sewing machines are like this, but if you do choose this machine i'd recommed finding someone familiar with it to help you learn. once i was confident threading it, however, i began to really love the fun and ease of using my brother sewing machine. after only few weeks i'm now able not only to repair clothing, but to create and embellish items too. the brother sewing machine runs smoothly, and i very rarely get a knot or tangle. it has many different settings that are surprisingly easy to understand, with the instruction manual of course. the brother is the only sewing machine i've used, so i don't have a comparison, but i have found it easy to use and it has really made sewing an enjoyable pastime for me.