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Singer 500A "Rocketeer" Sewing Machine Video Demo and Review

Originally Published - August 2015
Last Updated - July 2020

Ahh, the Singer 500A "Rocketeer" sewing machine, what can I say about it?  This sewing machine may actually boast the most names ever.  Its model name is the Singer 500A, the A stands for where it was made Anderson, SC.  It got nicknamed the Rocketeer since it came out during the space race.  Then it got called the Slant-O-Matic.  Doesn't that name just scream the 60s?  I'm not sure if Singer was attempting to appeal to the entire population when naming this machine or what but I do know it's an excellent machine.  So I don't care if you call it a Singer 500, a Singer 500A, Singer Rocketeer, or a Singer Slant-O-Matic I just hope you call it yours.  This is the machine that sold me on vintage sewing machines.  I haven't looked back.

singer 500 vintage sewing machine

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My new machine broke a gear and while it was under warranty.  It was a day drive to get it to an authorized warranty repair shop.  While I debated what I was going to do with that machine I needed to keep sewing and Paul suggested that I give the Singer 500A a shot.  Then I took a quiz on a sewing machine manufacturer's website.  It told me I would be the happiest with an all-metal machine.  I decided to let Paul have a shot at fixing the computerized machine, which he did, and I moved to vintage sewing machines.  New machines have their place and if I had the budget for the one I really want it would be a member of the herd.  The Singer 500A doesn't see much use now but it was the one that brought me to the vintage side.

Video Demo of Singer 500A Rocketeer Sewing Machine

The one thing I did not cover the cams in the video.  Cams allow the machine to make even more stitches.  I do have a set of cams, but they didn't come with the machine.  We've pieced the set together from second-hand shops and garage sales.  You can purchase the cams online but there are enough built-in stitches you might never need the cams.   It just depends on what you are wanting to sew. 

Mel's Final Thoughts On Singer 500A "Rocketeer" Sewing Machine

Some will tell you that the Singer 500A was the last great machine that Singer made.  Their next line of machines was the Touch and Sew machines.  Those machines also introduced plastic and nylon gears and those gears deteriorate with age meaning they were not meant to last.  There are some that are still out there running and they do have their own set of fans as well.  Those are another blog post though.  I like the Singer 500A machines because of the built-in stitches and the ability to use cams, giving it a lot of options for your sewing.  It's a really cool looking machine and it turns heads when someone sees it.

Want to see all my vintage Singer sewing machine demos?  Check out this great round up where you will find them all.  To see all of the great vintage sewing machine content I have either click on the sewing machine tab at the top of the page or click here.

singer 500 vintage sewing machine

Would you like to comment?

  1. I love old sewing machines! This was fun to watch and I look forward to seeing more machines in the future.

  2. I had two of these sewing machines. One I purchased with help from my mother-in-law in 1975. She was a seamstress and told me it was a fabulous machine. It came with everything and I used that machine for at least 28 years. The other was given to me when a friend purchased a newer machine. I sold them both a few years later and regretted doing so. They were wonderful sewing machines! The one I had used for 28 years was pretty worn. The thread had worn a groove where the bobbin went and I couldn't get the parts I needed to replace it. Today I might find something online but then there were not sales sites for these sort of things. I really wish I had them back!
    I currently own a Bernina 1260 I purchased in 1999. I love this machine and have made a number of quilts with it.

  3. I still have mine that I bought in 19611 works great. Now my daughter has it, she learned to sew on it In all those years it cost me about 1$ for a screw that was broken! I've sewn tent canvas , covered vinyl chair seats a faux fur coat and just about everything in between! Best money ever spent!

  4. I love my 500a. Makes perfect button holes!

  5. Scored a 500a at a yard sale a few of years ago for $35 including all the attachments and a cabinet. It had to go into storage for several years due to lack of space. It has now been hauled out, lubed and it ready to roll. My daily use machine is a 1958/9 404 that belonged to my mom. Also have a 201-2 that was acquired for $15, including the cabinet (suspect the cabinet may be from an even older unit). Love my vintage Singers. Pretty easy to source parts and will run forever with minimal issues.

  6. I never knew the A stood for Anderson SC! I live in Greenville SC, less than an hour away. My Mom used it to make slipcovers and draperies for the neighborhood. This later led her to becoming a self-made interior decorator, which provided an income at least enough to raise 4 children as a single Mother with no alimony or child support. When my Mom passed at the ripe old age of 85, I got it and it's been sitting in storage for 10 years. I've gotten it out and am cleaning it up. I'm looking forward to sewing on this as soon as it's fixed up! Thanks for the blog on this machine that brings me many happy memories!