White Sewing Machine Model 565 Review

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The White model 565 is the proverbial, strong, sturdy, simple, reliable Class 15 machine made in Japan.  It sports the retro styling of the mid-1960's when it was most likely made, and it has no plastic gears, linkages or other non-metal innards.

(Download the free White 565 Sewing Machine manual at the end of the review)


The stats for this machine:
  • Built-in zigzag capabilities long with other stitches via insert-able cams.
  • Adjustable needle position
  • Adjustable stitch length
  • Adjustable stitch width
  • Adjustable presser foot presser
  • Extra presser foot lift to aid in getting bulkier material under the presser foot
  • Reverse sewing
  • Feed dog drop
  • Class 15 bobbin
  • Side loading, vertical oscillating hook
  • Standard home sewing machine needles
  • 1.3 amp motor
  • Low shank, screw-on feet
  • Automatic de-clutch and bobbin winding
  • Built-in light
  • weight- approx. 36 pounds

This is a beefy machine, with above average piercing ability, and is capable of a fine stitch.  The controls and threading are fairly straight forward.  The needle is inserted with the flat side to the right and thread left to right.

Once the machine was fully serviced, I tested it on some standard quiting cotton and 10 layers of heavy denim.   I also used it to hem some jeans for my son. The machine had no problem going through the thicker fabric, but as with all machines, it is important to keep the presser foot as level as possible when sewing over the 'hump' on a jean hem. (I use a do-dad called the jean-a-ma-jig)


I like the fact that it is a low shank machine.  The low shank feet & attachments are some of the most common and least expensive to get, and I have quite the collection myself.

Unfortunately, the machine didn't come with any of the cams or the manual.  I do have threading instructions, and the machine is simple enough to operate without a manual. Although it won't do any "fancy" stitches without the cams, the zigzag stitch is built-in. Manuals are available on line.

The adjustment on the needle position is almost infinite allowing for precise placement of the needle.  This could come in handy, especially for piecing and manual buttonholes.   Speaking of buttonholes, the machine does a lovely satin stitch, and it's manual buttonholes are equally as nice, but it will also accept the vintage, low shank automatic buttonhole attachments.

This White model 565 has the same hinge spacing  and bed shape and size as most of the vintage Singer machines, and it can fit into a cabinet, be installed in a case or even just set on a table top (that's how I used it).  Some Class 15 machines cannot be operated on a table top due to a clearance issue between the moving parts of the machine and the surface of the table.  This is not a problem with this machine.

Things to look for when purchasing "attic fresh":

On this particular machine, there was the usual lint built up under the needle plate, but it also required a new block and cord set for the wall plug and foot controller. 

It's not very common for these machine to have timing issues, but this one did.  The hook clearance was to great and the needle bar wasn't centered in the opening.  Even with these issues, it still sewed fine on most fabrics. Now that these setting have been adjusted properly, it is sew great on everything that I've sent it's way.

Other than that, this machine just needed some lubrication and a chance to strut it's stuff!

If you are looking for a basic, sturdy, zigzag capable machine, the White 565 would be one to put on your list.  Since they aren't as "collectible" as many of the older Singers and European machines, you can usually get them at lower prices.
White 565 Sewing Machine Manual FREE pdf

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  • Tuesday, October 07. 2008 Karendee wrote:
    All of these thorough reviews makes me want to collect each and every machine. Perhaps I should collect machines for a hobby, instead of sewing. LOL.
  • Sunday, October 26. 2008 Marissa wrote:
    This is my second sewing machine and I really LOVE IT! It is smooth, quiet,and very heavy duty. So far I have made a couple dog toys using heavy cotton canvas and made a dog coat with sherpa and a sherpa pillow for my daughter. I was very pleased with how clean it came! It works like its brand new! I will probably never buy a new machine...I've found my vintage sewing machine lady

    Thanks Jenny!
  • Monday, October 27. 2008 Anne wrote:
    What a gorgeous machine! I had never seen this particular model. Excellent review that's packed with pertinent information.
  • Monday, June 15. 2009 Melinda wrote:
    Jenny, Just picked up this machine at an auction, in a cabinet. It doesn't have any accessories with it, but I have plenty that will work with it. The hinges on the cabinet are broken, do you know where I can pick up some replacements? I haven't even plugged it in yet, but it is good and clean.
    1. Monday, June 15. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      The hinges can vary depending upon who made the cabinet.  You''ll probably have to "steal" them from another cabinet.  I would suggest the usual places, ebay, thrift stores, etc..
  • Monday, June 15. 2009 Melinda wrote:
    Thank you. I have no idea what brand of cabinet it is. I've looked all over it and can't find a name. I'll start watching ebay.
  • Sunday, August 16. 2009 Carm wrote:
    Would you be so kind as sharing the threading instructions? I just started up the machine we have had in our kitchen for over three years and it works great! We just have no idea how to thread it! Thanks.
    1. Sunday, August 16. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      The threading directions went with the machine to it's new home.  The manual is available from several on-line sellers.
    2. Monday, September 28. 2009 mz.choize wrote:
      This may be a tad late but, if you go to Singer website, and type in your model# you can download the entire manual free! Singer is affiliated with White. In the search box type W565, I have the 568 which is basically the same machine. Presently I'm searching for info on the type of cams used with these models, if you have any info on that, let me know....
  • Monday, August 31. 2009 Annette wrote:
    Jenny, thanks as always for your extremely helpful and interesting information. Could I ask if you have an opinion on the White 165? I know someone selling a pristine, fully loaded machine of this type and I'm considering a purchase but have become dependent on your expert opinion!
    1. Monday, August 31. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Gee, I don't have every model memorized in my head, so I can't really give you much just off the top of my head.  In order to evaluate this indiviual machine that you are considering, I'd suggest fully testing all of it's features, sew on a variety of test samples and opeining it up to get a look at the internal design and construction.  If YOU like it and feel good about buying it...well... there's your answer.  
  • Monday, August 31. 2009 Annette wrote:
    Jenny, thanks as always for your extremely helpful and interesting information. Could I ask if you have an opinion on the White 165? I know someone selling a pristine, fully loaded machine of this type and I'm considering a purchase but have become dependent on your expert opinion!
  • Monday, August 31. 2009 Annette wrote:
    You don't?? Well, I'd like my money back! Didn't mean to sound like I was asking you to do my homework for me; your experience is so obviously extensive that I thought you might have run across one and have an opinion.

    Also, sorry of the previous comment tried to post twice. I was twice prompted for the numerical code.
    1. Monday, August 31. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:

      You're right- some I know right off the top of my head- others I don't know so well or I just can't recall.  If I knew, I would certainly give you the knitty gritty, but general advise is the best I can offer for this one- maybe next time, heh? 

  • Monday, March 08. 2010 June wrote:
    Hi Jenny: I just got this machine, and the repairman that sold it to and I were discussing the fact that when the bobbin winder is employed, the clutch doesn't release, and as the wheel turns the needle continues to go up and down. The manual is no help. He wasn't sure he knew how/what to fix on it. Do you have any ideas/suggestions?
    1. Monday, March 08. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
      I sold this machine some time ago, and I don't have it here to look at.  I do recall that the clutch mechanism was tie into the engagement of the bobbin winder via some springs/levers.  IMHO,  a good mechanic should be able to visually inspect  something like this and understand how it is supposed to work.  I don't know if your technician lacks this skill, doesn't want to bother, or feels that it's not repairable for a particular reason.  

  • Monday, May 17. 2010 Liz W. wrote:
    I just inherited this machine from my husband's grandmother...I'm happy to report that she had the cams, attatchments, and the only thing needing replaced is the rubber on the bobbin winder! However, she is a smoker and the machine has become yellowed over the years. I was wondering if you knew of anything that would clean the machine up a little? My husband suggested bleach, but I'm not so sure that would be safe...?? lol...Thank you for any tips in advance!

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