When it comes to a vintage all-metal machine that is the most versatile using built-in capability, this is our best one. By varying the two controls on the top-center of the machine, a wide variety of stitch patterns emerge. Also, cams or special disks can be purchased which increases the number and variety of stitch patterns.
Some folks claim this is the last of the good metal machines. After making these machines, the industry began using space-age plastics for some parts, however, the change effects the way the machine sounds and feels. There is no question that the newer machines have more capability such as drawing graphics, stopping the needle at the desired point, ease of making buttonholes, etc. Still, for those of us who like all things mechanical, we prefer heavy metal.
The 500A Slant-O-Matic feature moves the needle over 1-inch closer to the operator. The average bed is 7 inches wide and the needles are usually centered. On the Slant-O-Matic, the needle is less than 2-1/2 inches from the edge of the bed. This is a significant difference for some of us old people with failing vision.
We have two of these machines, which were found within a few days of each other. The first 500A we obtained was found sitting beside the road for any passerby to pick up. It also contained an accessory pack containing five special cams. Although the machine was free, we spent nearly $200 to get a minor repair and purchase a few more disks and other accessories designed just for the slant needle.