The Greatest Portable Machines Ever ?

Maruzen Jaguarmate F3 – Kenmore 1060

I have long been a fan of Kenmore machines, particularly the Maruzen made machines of the early to mid seventies as their build quality and performance really were on par with, and often exceeded that of their European competition. When Singer’s quality started to decline in the late 60’s and 70’s Sears really upped their game and came to produce some of the best machines on the market.

One of the gems in their series were the portable 158.10xx machines which ranged from the simplest 158.1020 to the 158.1060 which had the most features, stitch range, and a free arm.

Kenmore 158.1030
Kenmore 158.1045

The thing that made these machines great was the fact that they were compact, just as powerful as their full sized stable mates, extremely well made, and once packed in their lovely little cases, the carry weight is about the same as a Singer Featherweight.

Kenmore 158 case for 1020 – 1045 machines.

After acquiring the European Jaguarmate model (pictured) we decided to sell our 158.1030 and 158.1045 and upon offering them up they only lasted minutes as they are an extremely desirable and sought after machine, with the 158.1045 probably being the rarest in the series as it was only made in 1976.

The Maruzen Jaguarmate F3 is a dual voltage model and aside from this and aesthetic changes, it is the same as the Kenmore 158.1060. My belief is that Sears designed these machines and then Maruzen got licensing to sell and distribute these machines in Europe under a number of different badges / brands.

They were also sold as a Frister and Rossman Cub in the UK, as “Privileg” in Germany, while the Jaguar was made for the European Asian market.. Jaguar is the market name for Maruzen made machines.

There might be other contenders for the greatest portable machine ever (Elna Lotus ?) but to me the features, build quality, and performance of these little Japanese machines is nearly impossible to beat.

Here is a great blog article on the series that I found to be very well written and informative.

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6 Replies to “The Greatest Portable Machines Ever ?”

  1. All of the older Kenmore are great. I found one a couple of years ago for my wife. It runs smooth and quiet and I haven’t had to touch it since I set it up the first time. Best of all I don’t hear any more cursing from the sewing room.

  2. Having recently acquired the 1060 (and having sold my featherweightst) I agree that these appear to be nicest portable machines!

    1. We are not sure where you are located, we do get them in regularly but if you are not local I would check your local buy and sell lists.

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