This would be my 10th push-button machine cleaned, serviced and tested for customers. I love push button machines for their reliability, resiliency, simplicity and hard work.
Brother KH710 (aka Genie) is a metal-flat bed knitting machine with 200 needles, 4.5 mm apart from each other. This distance (4.5 mm) makes this machine a standard gauge.
Brother (Genie) KH 710 is an 8-push button machine with a full pattern center that makes needle selection much easier and more automatic. The pattern center consists of the slide display, 8 push buttons to select the needles, one push button to deselect all selected needles, A-B lever to select the needles according to either pushed (position A) or unpushed (position B) buttons and a L/R sliding knobs which enables knitters to slide the needle selection by the corresponding number of positions. I know it might now make any sense now but refer to the manual – it explains everything very well.
The machine is in excellent shape including needles and there are absolutely no signs of rust. I still cleaned and inspected the needles. Additionally, all the needles were tested on a full bed to make sure all latches function properly. (In my video, you will see that one needle started mispatterning, which I identified by the tucked stitches first but then by its bent latch. This needle was replaced and the swatch- and the full-bed-tests were performed again to make sure all needles function properly).
A completely new sponge was attached. I reused the retaining bar. Because the sponge is still very puffy, it is somewhat resistant to go into the retaining bar channel. The ends of the retaining bar need to be pushed down when inserting it to make sure the tape does not come off.
The machine comes with all major accessories.
The minor ones not included are:
- Cast-on thread: any smooth strong yarn will do (not too thick though)
- Wax – the one that came with the machine was too old and just crumbled
- Oil – the one that came with the machine was too old and yellow so I discarded it. A good oil for knitting machines is gun oil available on Amazon.
- A toolbox and a toolbox lid will not be included. They did not come with the machine. The toolbox is to store the tools right on top of the bed when the machine is put away. The way the toolbox sits on the main bed and clings to it is convenient for storage. However, I find that I do not use the tool box when the machine is out because it is hard to easily get the tools out of it. All the tools will be packed carefully for transport.
- A hard copy of the manual will not be provided but an electronic copy can be found here.
The machine was tested on a full bed and everything works great. I knitted hold-stitch pattern (butterfly pattern), tuck-stitch pattern and stockinet. The lace carriage was not tested but all the buttons move freely. It is not a complex carriage and it is very unlikely it will not work. The fabric I knitted during these tests was converted to these two cowls/neck warmers:
A general recommendation: tuck-stitch requires somewhat higher tension than stockinet on the same machine with the same yarn. However, for slightly thicker yarns (even sport weight) it might be a problem because on higher tensions the machine might choke up). This is why I tested the tuck-stitch with 1×1 needle selection using two different yarns: a thicker one (green) and a thinner one (power pink color). I was able to knit a nicer tuck-stitch using the thinner yarn.
However, with the cast-on on every other needle (also shown in my video), even yarns slightly thicker than sport weight can be used.
A couple minor flaws and hiccups that came up during tests are:
The wrench tool has a cracked plastic handle. I could still use it without problems.
When using a pattern that requires switching between A and B positions, I strongly recommend putting the L/R indicator onto the 2 or above position (but not at 8). When L/R indicator was on one, the switching needle position when A/B knob was used sometimes did not work as expected. I suspect that the gear is not engaging properly at the very starting position but it engages very well when the L/R is on two. I opened up the machine and checked and there are no visual wear/tear signs on the plastic gear. When I used the settings I just described to knit tuck-stitch (where every other needle was brought to C position and those needles were alternating on every row), I absolutely did not have any problems. My video confirms that.
- I discovered that the ratchet tool (the wrench) needs to be used with confidence and medium-strength force, especially when a significant amount of needles needs to be moved to C positions (like, in my video, where I had to move 100 needles to C position). Force lighter than medium might result in not all needles being moved forward. Just be on the lookout for that while adjusting to this machine and to which force to use to move the needles forward.
Despite these two potential hiccups, which just need a bit of adjustment and a bit more paying attention, everything else was great on this machine. I hope you will enjoy using it.