The Singer 293B is a simple, (mostly metal) straight stitch only Singer made in Bonnieres, France in the 60s. It was imported, and marketed as a low-priced basic machine, and at the time of it’s introduction, it sold for about $75. (This would be a little over $500 today, adjusted for inflation.)
Concurrent machines like the Singer 400 and 500 series, with zig-zag capabilities, were becoming the “must have” machines for most people. They came at a price of around $250-300 (depending on where in the model line you were buying), but were often sold via payment plans, and an easy up-sell in the Singer showrooms.
This machine has a side-loading horizontal-axis oscillating bobbin, a belt drive 0.85 amp external motor, and all stressed parts are metal. There is plastic in this machine, (most significantly in the cover to the bobbin race and it’s fingers) but the drive train itself is all metal.
While a competent straight stitcher, (with a heritage reaching back across the ages) it really didn’t “fit” anywhere and as such does not have the current day following of say the Singer 66, 99, 221, 401, or 500 machines. The influx of more capable (and cheaper) zig zag capable machines from Japan, as well as Singer’s own upcoming bedeviled Touch n Sew series (better known as the “curse and throw”) left these units victim to lackluster marketing by Singer.
My particular example comes to me by way of the local dump. It was discarded by someone who apparently had purchased the wrong size drive belt, and the motor was slipping badly when I first carted it home.
A few relaxing hours with some Simple Green (to remove layers of heavy cigarette tar) and Ballistol gun oil has restored this unit to a smoothly operating HEAVY little machine. Unlike other machines I own, (which were evidently “closet queens” that were rarely used), this 293B shows signs of being well-used, based on the dust bunnies in the feed dog area and chips in the paint.
Unfortunately, just like when brand new, this machine really doesn’t fill a practical niche in my line up (that is not covered by some other machine), though the price was right. It sews a nice stitch, but is nowhere as smooth running or quiet as my (current favorite) Singer 500a “Rocketeer”. (Of course, the Rocketeer originally sold at four to five times as much, so this is like complaining a Chevy doesn’t have the panache or refinement of a Cadillac.)
As a relatively “rare” model (as in “not often seen“, not “incredibly valuable, buy it now!!!” like on eBay), there is little information to be found online about this model. A few show up on eBay occasionally, often with (ahem) optimistic prices, but I’ve yet to see one actually sell.
If you have come here from a search engine seeking info about the Singer 293B, your efforts shall be rewarded with a FREE parts list of the machine: Singer 293B Parts List .