No Manual? Look For A Digital Copy Online, Or Simply Ask For One

Stephanie writes, “I’m guessing I’m not the only Consumerist reader to ever get a sewing machine hand-me-down or buy one from a garage sale sans operating manual.” In fact, there are all sorts of devices that require some level of instruction before you can get the maximal use out of them. The problem is, people lose manuals, and companies don’t always make them available for download once they’ve been pulled off the market. Stephanie almost paid $35 for a digital copy when she decided she’d try asking the company directly.

I e-mailed them Friday night. Monday morning, for free, I had a 40-page PDF copy of a manual for a sewing machine made in the 70’s.

So, before you assume that not hosting the manual on their site means you should pay for it from a third party site, it’s worth an e-mail to the manufacturer to see if they’re willing to help you out.

We’ve come across websites where old manuals are collected for future users, like, but they only cover a portion of the wide variety of things out there to be picked up from neighbors, garage sales, and CraigsList. Do you have any other suggestions for good (free) sources of manuals?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.