The Bernina 130 & 140 were introduced in 1998. There’s not a ton of info online anymore, so here’s a bit for anyone who might see a deal on one.
It’s not a machine I would’ve gone for on paper — not as many stitches or features as my previous machine — but I love the adjustable presser foot pressure, the straightforward interface, and the sense of control, all at a more affordable price than many used Berninas, both older and newer.
The foot pedal allows you to sink the needle slowly when you need to be precise, definitely more slowly than my Bernina 1020 (which I love for other reasons), while hitting a similar top speed.
I only sew garments, and the 130 makes narrow seams on even slippery or sheer material without trying to eat the fabric. With the right needle and reduced tension and foot pressure, it sews knits well with straight stitch, zigzag & vari-overlock. The 140 has more stitch options for knits; it features jersey and honeycomb, among others.
The full manual (free pdf)
A couple of facts…
Although most Activas are 3/4 machines, the 130 and 140 are full size (15″ x 12 x 8).
5.5 mm max stitch width
9 needle positions
Heel tap pedal that allows you to take a half stitch (needle up/down).
Just 13 stitches on the 130: straight, zig-zag, vari-overlock, running, securing, triple, blind, double overlock, darning program, standard buttonhole, 3 decorative stitches.
The 140 has those and also super-stretch, honeycomb, jersey, universal, gathering, keyhole buttonhole, and 4 more decorative stitches.
Adjustable presser foot pressure
Stainless steel free arm
Made in Switzerland
The 130’s single buttonhole is a 4 step and can be programmed to repeat at the same size until you turn off the machine. The 140’s additional keyhole buttonhole is a 5 step. Second beads for both are sewn in reverse. (I prefer the buttonholes on my 1020 which has second bead sewn forward, though lately I sew most by hand.)
They were made with the low mass hook system, which includes a part plastic/part metal hook in the bobbin area. Mine has this hook and sews fine, but I’ve been told that if it gets scratched, you can have stitch problems that can be resolved by getting an all metal hook.
My 130 is quiet, but sometimes has a slight high pitched whine if it sits for a while without sewing.
Takes new style feet for category C machines* along with the Virtuosas, but unlike the rest of the Activas. Bernina’s 2016 Accessories Catalog gives a list of category C machines and compatible feet.
* Not to be confused with the C that follows the number in some “coded” feet, like #1C.
Even though it’s not built in, you can sew a basting stitch on it (and on most any machine) by sewing a zigzag or blind hem with a double eye needle. (see my video)
Bernina (in NZ at least) still has boards, hooks, extension tables, and presumably other parts, available for this machine as of 2016.