The Singer 66K and the Singer 99K – how to tell them apart

Standard

The Singer 99K is the baby sister of the Singer 66K.  Or to put it another way, the 66K is the full-size machine, and as such it fits into any vintage Singer domestic treadle base.  A 99K doesn’t, and that’s why if you ever see a treadle 99, it’s a DIY job.

The bed of a 66K is just over 14.5 inches long.  The bed of a 99K is a couple of inches shorter, and getting on for half and inch less front -to-back.  So a 66 will fit into any ordinary “full-size” base and case, even those horrible all plastic ones sold in the late 70’s/early 80’s to “up-date” the classic portables.  A 99 will only fit in either the base it was sold in, or that 99-specific Singer table called the Cadet Cabinet.

Most of the mechanicals are the same on both machines, and in practice when you switch from a 66 to a 99 there’s only two differences.  You lose maybe 2 inches throat space (or what some Americans bizarrely call “harp”), and you save about 6lb in weight, which is definitely noticeable when you cart one about.

Pictured there is a 99K in front of a 66K less its needle plate and slide plate, and as you can see, the difference isn’t exactly obvious.  This of course makes it interesting when a machine’s listed on Ebay, say, by somebody who doesn’t know, or professes not to know, what model it is, and all you have to go on is the usual side-on view of the machine.

OK then, can you tell which is which?

The answer is that the top one’s the 66K, and if you don’t have a picture to compare it with, the easiest way to tell is to look at the gold Singer badge.  On a 66K, the top of the badge is level with what is properly called the stitch regulating thumb screw.  On a 99K, the badge is well below it.

And you’d be surprised how many people don’t know that …

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7 responses

  1. Hi Sid,thank you for getting back to me,I have spent most of today reading your blog and I sense an addiction taking hold.On the subject of the 2 prong plug,is it as simple as putting on a 3 prong 3 amp and leaving the earth out?also which oil do you recommend ?

  2. That’s a 1940 machine, Mhairi. There’s loads of stuff which might help you on the blog, but do be careful with that wiring. Get somebody who’s good with electrics to have a look at it after they’ve checked out the wiring diagram I posted.

  3. Hi there,I have just bought a 99(for the unbelievable price of £10)but I am a complete beginner and don’t know where to start ,it is fitted with a 2 prong plug(possibly why it was £10) so I know it will need rewiring,it looks very clean has all the attatchments plus light,I would love to get it working as it is such a lovely machine,it has the letters ED 16600 so any advice would be wonderful. Mhairi

  4. Many peripheral parts are, but bear in mind that the 99 is basically 3/4 the size of a 66 in all three dimensions, so few of the structural and drive parts are.

  5. Hi Sid. Do you know if the parts are interchangeable between the 66 and 99? I would think so if for no other reason than a manufacturing cost standpoint but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet.

  6. This 99 is like the one I have, I really love it, just finished oiling and polishing it up, have a little more to do though, It sews perfectly.