With 160 stitches to choose from and a wide variety of intuitive time-saving features, the Husqvarna Opal 650 is a great example of a machine that uses technology to its advantage. It features a handy graphic screen with touch-button selection and comes pre-loaded with Husqvarna’s exclusive Sewing Advisor software, which evaluates the fabric you’re using and the technique you wish to work and automatically selects the best stitch style, width and length for your make. This is especially attractive for those who want to advance their sewing skills and take the next step in their stitching journey with a little help from the experts.
Alongside the Sewing Advisor the Opal 650 features a variety of other time-saving solutions, such as an automatic needle threader, ‘fix’ button (which anchors the thread at the start and end of each seam), and handy start/stop function, which regulates the speed of the work and takes away the need for a foot pedal, though one is provided for those who wish to stick to more traditional methods.
What is the Husqvarna Opal 650?
The Husqvarna Opal 650 is a computerised sewing machine that’s packed with handy time-saving features. It offers 160 different stitches alongside Husqvarna’s exclusive built-in Sewing Advisor software, which evaluates the fabric you’re using and the item you’re making, before optimising your settings to produce great results every time.
What does the Husqvarna Opal 650 do?
The Opal 650 is a tech-heavy mid-range machine, and as such can take on a wide range of projects with ease. It features an array of efficient features such as an automatic needle threader, a start/stop button and seven one-step buttonholes – and with a generous 200mm sewing space to the right of the needle, there’s enough room to tackle quilts and other large scale projects, too.
- Computerised machine
- 160 stitches
- Three programmable fonts
- Seven one-step buttonholes
- Four memory slots to save your stitch patterns
- Exclusive built-in Sewing Advisor software
- Large 200mm sewing surface
- Twin needle capability
- Start/stop and needle up/down buttons
- 29 different needle positions
- Automatic needle threader
- Seven presser feet included
How much is the Husqvarna Opal 650?
This machine retails at £699, which is at the higher end of the mid range for sewing machines of this level. You’ll get an impressive range of functions for the money.
Is the Husqvarna Opal 650 good value for money?
The Opal 650 offers a good selection of stitches and functions for its price point, and definitely feels like a robust machine that is built to last. The addition of exclusive extra features such as the Sewing Advisor also elevates it above many comparable machines from other brands.
Is the Husqvarna Opal 650 easy to use?
I must admit that upon opening the box, I was slightly worried that the Opal 650 might be a little complicated to use. I was concerned that the abundance of buttons and the detailed graphic display would almost give me too much information to handle – but I was soon proven wrong. The machine is easy to set up, with detailed, illustrated instructions given within the included manual. The drop-in bobbin is easy to wind, and with two built-in spool pins you can do so mid-project without unloading your top thread, which is another great time-saving feature.
Once the thread and bobbin are in place, it’s easy to select your chosen stitch using the machine’s graphic display, and of course the aforementioned Sewing Advisor is also on hand to offer assistance. It assesses the fabric and technique you’re using, then selects the optimum stitch (even tweaking the width and length) to produce the best results. It also suggests the best thread tension, though it leaves that up to the user to change themselves.
The range of automatic features included in the Opal 650 is impressive and the needle threader and ‘fix’ functions took both time and frustration out of the more fiddly parts of my projects. I also enjoyed using the start/stop button, which acts as a ‘cruise control’ for your machine and negates the need for a foot pedal, ensuring your stitches are worked at an even speed throughout.
Husqvarna Opal 650 quality / durability
The Opal 650 is a sturdy machine that feels like it has been built with longevity in mind. It’s fairly heavy at 8.5kg, but came supplied with a hard cover case that will keep it well protected when not in use. The machine features a range of exclusively-created metal parts and mechanisms, all designed by Husqvarna’s in-house team of experts.
The computerised nature of the Opal 650 is a bonus for those who prefer a high-tech machine, with less bulky parts attached to the body that could be snapped off or damaged throughout the years. It also features a spacious accessory storage area located underneath the main arm, which can be used to stow away the seven presser feet that are included plus a small DIY kit, which was also provided in the box. It features a variety of handy items such as a seam ripper, brush, screwdriver, two felt spool pads, a spool cap, five bobbins, and a set of spare needles. With these on hand users should be able to get stuck into projects straight away and handle basic day-to-day maintenance themselves – though the location of the storage caddy’s opening, which is at the back of the machine, can be awkward to access in an emergency.
Husqvarna Opal 650 functions and stitch options
The Opal 650 comes with 160 built-in stitches, including utility, quilt, satin, heirloom and decorative options. It also features three programmable fonts (offering both upper and lower case letters) and seven one-step buttonholes. The machine also comes provided with an Exclusive Sensor one-step buttonhole foot, which sews both sides of your buttonhole in the same direction for evenly balanced, symmetrical work every time. This function also works in tandem with the aforementioned Sewing Advisor to select the best buttonhole for your fabric type and weight, too.
The Opal 650 features a memory function, which gives users the option to save personal stitch settings and programs for quick and easy future access. This is ideal if you’re using the machine to produce several of the same item, or if you just have preferred settings that you want to use as standard. The bank has space for four permanent memories, each of which can include up to 20 stitches or letters at a time.
The machine offers a range of other handy features, including a mirror function (which allows you to flip decorative stitches, perfect for working around the edges of quilts, for example), twin needle sewing and a button sew-on option, which once again took an annoying, time consuming step of my project and sped it right up for me. The only time the machine failed to keep up with my makes was when I was trying to work through several tough layers of fabric at a time – the needle snapped, but replacing it was quick and easy to do and with the spares provided in the box, I was off and sewing again in no time.
How portable is it?
As previously mentioned the Opal 650 is a fairly hefty machine, coming in at 8.5kg, but it isn’t so heavy that it’s impossible to take with you on the road. It features a sturdy built-in handle and most importantly, a solid hard cover case, which is included in the box as standard. The case is strong enough to protect the machine from a wide variety of day-to-day bumps and scrapes, and feels safe and secure when in place.
Our verdict: should you buy the Husqvarna Opal 650?
Overall if you’re looking for a highly intuitive mid-range machine that can handle almost any project you present it with, the Opal 650 could be a great option for you. The range of automatic functions trimmed a lot of time and faff from my projects and made tricky parts go by without a hitch, and the built-in Sewing Advisor was fantastic when going from one project to another. Looking to the future, there’s a wide range of accessories available for the Opal 650, including a huge variety of different feet (including several pin-tuck feet, cord threaders, embellishment options and more), as well as four different extension tables, which are perfect for those looking to focus on large scale projects.