Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies. Since their invention, they have greatly improved the efficiency and productivity of the clothing industry. But they have also come to play a big part in home’s too.
From the early 2000s, homemade clothes became celebrated again with slow fashion and conscious consumption fuelling the sewing revival. Home sewing machines mean the days of hand sewing with needles and thimbles are long gone. The availability of home sewing machines means anyone with an interest can have one at home, and the now automated process of stitching saves so much time in our busy lives.
Sewing machines are designed for specific sewing specialties and therefore come in a wide price range. Sergers, Embroidery and Quilting machines all have additional capabilities than a basic sewing machine, but they come at an additional cost. There are also different classes of sewing machines needed for professional level projects.
In this review we will look at the types of sewing machines currently on the market and the top benefits of sewing. We will discuss considerations before buying a sewing machine, we will give you some information about what to look for before purchasing a sewing machine and we will compare a low-end versus a high-end machine. By the end of this review, you’ll know which sewing machine is right for you and have all the information you need to make an informed purchase.
There are many different sewing machines on the market including personal, specialized and industrial machines. Let’s take a look at all three types.
|3 basic types||3 types||4 main types|
|Mechanical Sewing Machines – these are controlled by wheels and knobs||Serger Machines – these make a more professional and durable seam than a standard sewing machine. To prevent fraying, the threads lock around the seam and the machine cuts off the seam allowance as it sews.
Sergers are fast but they aren’t stand-alone machines and can’t replace a standard machine in most situations. You will still need to have a standard sewing machine for topstitching and zippers.
|The Flatbed – this is the most common type of industrial machine used to sew flat pieces of fabric together. It
closely represents the personal sewing machine.
|Electronic Sewing Machines – these are controlled by buttons and sometimes have additional features||Quilting Machines – these create better straight stitches and is useful for free motion machine quilting. It functions for both straight, zig zag and decorative stitches.||The Cylinder-bed – these feature a narrow, horizontal column instead of a flat base. This type of machine is used to sew cuffs onto shirts, and it can sew saddles and shoes.|
|Computerized Sewing Machines – these are controlled by customizable software and offer more than 100 stitch options||Embroidery Machines –
these are used to create patterns on textiles, they are used commercially in product branding, corporate advertising, and uniform adornment. They are also great for personal sewing and craft projects.
|The Post-bed – these have a flat base and a vertical column of bobbins, feed dogs and loopers that rise 4 to 18 inches above the base. These machines give good access to hard-to-reach areas and is great for sewing emblems or making boots and gloves.|
|The Off-the-Arm – these are the least common type, which require the sewer to feed material along a horizontal column. These machines are used for sewing sleeves and shoulder seams.|
Whether you want to make your own clothes, make repairs or embark on elaborate embroidery a sewing machine can be a gateway to creativity and self-sufficiency. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of sewing:
Determining the best sewing machine for you depends on your budget and your skill level. Before buying a sewing machine, assess your needs and skills.
Use – the first thing to consider is what type of sewer you are and what you intend to make (clothes, soft furnishings, creative crafts etc.) as this will determine which type of machine will best meet your needs. Basic clothing creation and repairs won’t require a state-of-the-art, computerized sewing machine, but buying the cheapest machine could prevent you from developing your skills beyond the basics.
Cost – there are so many sewing machines on the market that you need to consider your budget:
Setup – another consideration is where you’re going to set up your machine. Make sure it’s somewhere comfortable (you might end up spending hours here) and well-lit as most machines have limited lighting. Set up your machine space as if it were your work desk.
Every sewing machine is different. No matter what type of machine it is, the way it runs and works is unique to itself. What sets a machine apart from its competitors are the features. Depending on your intended use, the features determine how much you can do and how efficiently it will perform.
There are a number of features to keep an eye on when you’re shopping for a sewing machine:
Number of stitches – for basic sewing you only need a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch and most machines will come with slightly more, but the more stitches you have the higher the price. Check a machine’s maximum stitch length and width to determine its capabilities and whether it will meet your needs.
Bobbin type – Top-loading or drop-in bobbins often have a transparent cover allowing you to see how much thread is left without opening the machine. They’re generally easier to remove and replace than front-loading bobbins.
Automatic Needle Threader – this frustration-free feature can be useful if your eyes aren’t great as it prevents you from squinting, and saves a lot of time as you don’t have to manually thread the needle.
Needle Position – this feature allows you to move the needle from left to right and up and down, which makes for easier sewing and less jumped stitches.
Tension Adjustment – different material and thread types will require different tension for the best result, so you’ll need to be able to change how tight the thread is. Any good machine should have this feature but some of the cheaper models might not.
Automatic Buttonholer/Button holes – this feature allows you to sew a buttonhole in one step so you don’t need to stop and turn the fabric.
Feed-Dog Adjustment – this is great for free-style embroidery or darning, some machines lower allowing you to sew in any direction without restraint.
Fabric feed cavity space – machines with a large feed cavity, or an optional wide-table attachment, make feeding through larger pieces of fabric much simpler and smoother.
Flywheel – how easy is the flywheel to grip? If it’s recessed it can be harder to grip.
Presser Feet – these help the machine adapt to different projects – with dozens of presser feet for different tasks and fabrics, the more presser feet that come with the machine the more versatile your sewing can be.
Lever to raise and lower pressure foot – for most machines, if you’re right-handed, you have to reach through the machine to the lever which can be problematic if you have lots of fabric, so the position of this lever is important.
Foot Pedal – ideally you want a decent-size, stable, foot pedal with an anti-slip base.
Power Switch – this is a great safety feature if you have children. If there’s no power switch think about where you can set the machine up away from little hands!
Light – you could end up spending hours at your sewing machine so check how much light comes with your machine and where it’s located, a well-illuminated work area is a must if you want precision sewing.
Noise – consider the noise level of the machine; most machines range from 66-80dB (70dB is a loud conversation and 80dB is heavy traffic).
Size – the size of your machine will largely affect how you use it. If you want to transport it, you‘ll need a lighter machine or one with a wheeled case that you can carry around. You’ll want a machine with compact dimensions if space is limited at home.
Design – while sewing machines come in many designs, one of the main things that set them apart is computer capabilities. Mechanical machines let you change stitch selections with a dial, but computerized machines let you change stitch selections using the LCD display.
Accessories – sewing requires different tools and accessories to complete different projects so a machine that offers several accessories will offset the cost. The inclusion of needles, spool caps, screwdrivers, a seam ripper and a cleaning brush will help with sewing projects and the maintenance of the machine. A cover is good if your machine will be inactive for any length of time.
Warranty – sewing machines can be difficult to run due to having so many different parts and accessories, and may need maintenance from time to time. Most come with a lengthy warranty but the electrical parts and accessories often have shorter warranties so look for a machine with a solid warranty to be safe.
Welcome to our 10 Best Sewing Machine reviews section. Here we check out the best models available for purchase.
SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover
This mid-range computerized sewing machine comes with 600 built-in stitches with a Stitch Reference Chart located on the upper lid of the machine, allowing you to quickly see your stitch options and choose the right stitch for your project.
At 1,250 stitches per minute, the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist is the fastest machine in our top 10. With 13 automatic buttonhole styles, this is a dealer quality machine at a fraction of the cost giving you reliable results every time.
Its automatic features eliminate guesswork producing precision sewing. Threading the machine is simple thanks to the time-saving automatic needle threader; you can have the entire machine threaded in around six seconds!
The Top drop-in bobbin system makes it simple to load bobbins, and the clear cover makes it easy to see when your thread is running low.
18 presser feet expand your creative possibilities, and the extra-large sewing area is ideal for large projects like quilting.
Brother Project Runway PC420PRW 294-Stitch Professional Grade Computerized Sewing Machine with 3 Built-In Lettering Styles, and Carrying Case
This feature-rich mid-range computerized sewing machine helps you achieve professional results with its comprehensive built-in features and accessories, typically seen only with higher level machines.
The Brother Project Runway PC420PRW comes with 294 built-in stitches easily viewed on its backlit LCD display. A great feature of this machine is its exclusive My Custom Stitch feature which allows you to design your own stitches and save them to the machine’s memory for future use.
At 850 stitches per minute, this machine comes in third place in terms of speed in our top 10. But a nice feature is its adjustable speed control which gives you control over how fast or slow you want to sew.
It features 10 automatic buttonhole styles and 11 presser feet allowing for flexibility and creativity in terms of projects. The automatic needle threader makes for easy threading – simply follow the numbered threading diagram printed on the machine and the machine will do the rest for you.
It’s easy to load thread via the Top drop-in bobbin system and also features an easy bobbin winding system; once the thread is in place you simply move the bobbin to the right, push the Start button, and the bobbin is quickly wound for you.
This machine also features an automatic thread trimmer (which includes a programmable trimmer that cuts the upper and lower threads at the end of each task) this is a super time saver for quilting projects.
The easy-to-read, multilingual LCD display screen shows you the settings, stitch length and width, and type of presser foot to use for your selected stitch.
Another great feature of this machine is the 6-point feed dogs which allow you to feed your fabrics through with great ease, allowing you to sew on a wide variety of fabrics, helping achieve more precisely formed stitches.
Built into this machine is independent lighting in the needle area which brightens the detail and is easy on your eyes, this is a great feature for sewing dark fabrics.
This machine gives you precision and customization allowing you the opportunity to sew any project you can imagine.
Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Quilting Table, and Hard Cover
This computerized sewing machine offers a range of sewing and quilting features at a price that’s easy on your budget.
The Brother CS6000i comes with 60 built-in stitches including decorative stitches, 7 automatic buttonhole styles and sews at a speed of 850 stitches per minute, putting it in joint third place for speed. It’s adjustable sewing speed means you can choose how fast or slow you want to sew.
Threading couldn’t be easier on this machine thanks to its automatic needle threader, it’s easy to follow numbered diagram printed on the machine and its Top drop-in bobbin system.
Again, the Brother CS6000i offers versatility and creativity with its 9 presser feet. It also features a built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
Visually, this is a great machine with its super bright work area and simple to use, LCD display stitch selector. All stitching options are displayed at the touch of a button.
A unique feature of this machine is it’s detachable, oversized table for larger projects such as quilts. And its convenient carry case means the Brother CS6000i is portable so if you attend a sewing class you can easily take it with you.
SINGER 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with DVD, 10 Presser Feet, and Metal Frame
This computerized sewing machine comes with 100 Built-In Stitches for all types or sewing. It sews at a speed of 750 stitches per minute, but its speed control feature gives you complete control over speed by simply sliding the Speed Control lever to the desired maximum speed which makes it great for beginners.
With the SINGER 7258 you can choose from 6 different one-step buttonhole styles, and the versatility of it’s 10 presser feet allow for all kinds of sewing projects.
The automatic needle threader makes threading the machine simple and time-efficient, you can have the machine threaded in around 6 seconds meaning you don’t have to wait to get started. The Top Drop-In Bobbin System makes it easy to use and you can conveniently see when the thread needs replacing due to its clear cover.
Fabric can be easily removed from this machine thanks to the programmable needle that allows it to stop in the highest up position. The needle can also be programmed to stop in the down position for pivoting, appliquéing and quilting.
The light on this machine is another great feature. Its StayBright LED Light Illuminates your workspace and the long-lasting bulb stays cool regardless of how long the machine has been in use.
Janome 8077 Computerized Sewing Machine with 30 Built-In Stitches
This computerized sewing machine sews at a speed of 820 stitches per minute. It comes with 30 built-in stitches which are easily selected with the Front Stitch Panel and LED Screen. Included in the stitches are 6 One-Step Buttonholes that sew a buttonhole exactly for your size button.
The automatic needle threader is simple; you pull down the needle threader, put your thread in the hook and in front of the needle, pull back and your needle is threaded. No more straining your eyes!
The Janome 8077 also features a Top drop-in bobbin system making it quick and easy to use, and the see-through bobbin cover means you can see when you’re running out of thread. It also has an auto-declutch bobbin winder and its Free Arm Capability means free motion quilting is easy using the drop-feed system.
This precision machine has a bright LED screen which displays the number of your stitch, and the stitch width and length. The Janome 8077 comes with several dials/buttons making tasks quick and easy. At the touch of a button you can easily adjust stitch length and width, you can sew without a foot control thanks to the Start-Stop button, and the precision tension dial lets you set your tension and keep it there.
Brother Project Runway CE7070PRW 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with Wide Table
Brother Project Runway delivers couture-level, consistent stitch quality at a great value. It sews at a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute putting it in joint second place for speed in our top 10.
This computerized sewing machine comes with 70 built in stitches that cover a wide array of sewing opportunities for beginners and experienced sewers. Its specialty stitches cater for blind hems, zippers, sewing on elastic, plus fine decoration. For easy reference, the convenient stitch chart is printed on the front of the machine displaying the entire selection of built-in stitches at a glance.
This machine lets you choose from the 7 styles of built-in buttonholes automatically sized to fit your specific buttons creating a professional, designer finish,
Threading this machine couldn’t be easier thanks to its automatic needle threader which gives reliable, easy threading at the touch of a lever. The exclusive Brother Quick-set top-load, drop-in bobbin system makes the threading process reliable and easy to use, and the jam-resistant feature is a great addition.
The Brother Project Runway has an LCD display screen with easy stitch selector showing all your important settings in a clear, easy to read format. The LED-lit work area provides a bright area to view the intricate details of your project.
JUKI HZL-27Z Sewing Machine
This high quality, light-weight mechanical machine is perfect for beginners. With 22 built-in stitches and 4 automatic buttonhole styles it works at a speed of 550 stitches per minute. It features a large, easy to use, stitch selection dial and has a reverse lever right in front of the machine.
Threading this machine is simple thanks to the time-saving automatic needle threader and the Top drop-in bobbin system adds to its ease of use.
The JUKI HZL-27Z only has 2 presser feet but it does have 7-point feed dog just like the bigger machines.
This machine comes with LED lights for a brighter sewing area improving viability and the precision of your projects. The free arm and stitch variety give you lots of flexibility making this machine very attractive.
Janome Skyline S3 Computerized Sewing Machine with Bonus Bundle
This computerized sewing machine is the most expensive machine under review here. Its been designed for every type of sewing – every day, home décor, high fashion, patchwork and quilting making it a very appealing machine.
With 120 stitches, including a choice of 7 styles of buttonholes plus an alphabet, the Skyline S3 offers creativity on every sewing project. The Easy Stitch Reference Guide means you can view all your stitch options at a glance.
You can control the maximum sewing speed for precision work, and at 820 stitches per minute it’s quality is excellent. Its special built-in features means it can take on almost any sewing challenge, and this is what you’re paying for.
The backlit screen with fast navigation makes it easy to choose stitches, and to customize the stitch length and width. At the touch of a button you can thread, trim both top and bottom threads, and pivot on corners with the needle up/down feature.
The specially designed bobbin case and cover mean there’s no need to pull long thread tails up and through when you first thread the machine, the built in cutting blades will trim them to the correct length for a super-clean start.
The Janome Skyline S3 has a new bobbin winder plate with five cutting blades offering faster and smoother winding, and easy thread cutting.
2 key features to this machine are workspace and lighting. It provides a dazzling work area with its ultra-bright LED lights in three locations illuminating the bed of the machine. It also has the largest workspace in its class making it the most versatile machine able to take on any sewing project.
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate
This computerized sewing machine comes with 120 built-in stitches making it a versatile machine which is very easy to use.
Threading is simple with the automatic needle threader which takes the effort and frustration out of getting started, and the convenient Top Drop-In Bobbin with its clear view cover makes it easy to monitor the bobbin thread supply. The unique bed plate ensures smooth fabric feeding for even sewing.
The SINGER 4423 boasts a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute and a motor 60% stronger than conventional sewing machines. This high-speed powerful machine allows you to finish projects in less time than a conventional machine and can sew through just about anything you throw at it.
It comes with the Singer Sewing Assistant App which demonstrates sewing techniques, offers tutorials and answers questions about your machine. It’s available for download at Google Play store and iTunes.
Whether you’re looking to start a new project from scratch or make garment alterations the Singer 4423 allows you to bring your creative ideas to life quickly.
Janome Magnolia 7325 Sewing Machine with Purple Tote
This electronic machine is great for beginners. With 25 built-in stitches it has an easy to use stitch selection dial. It sews at a rate of 1000 stitches per minute and features a speed control slider to manually control speed.
The Janome Magnolia 7325 features an automatic needle threader and automatic thread tension control. It also has a memorized needle up/down feature.
It’s Top drop-in bobbin system makes it quick and easy to use, and it features a push-pull bobbin winder. It comes with 4 snap-on presser feet, an extra high presser foot lift and foot pressure adjustment.
Here’s a look at what you get with a low-end and a high-end sewing machine…
|SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate||Janome Skyline S3 Computerized Sewing Machine with Bonus Bundle|
|Price $||Only 23 built-in stitches||120 stitches||Price $$$$$|
|Automatic needle threader||Only 1 automatic Buttonhole||7 styles of buttonholes|
|Top drop-in bobbin||Needle up/down feature|
|1,100 stitches per minute||7mm wide stitch styles|
|60% stronger motor||Designed for every type of sewing|
|Stainless steel bed plate||Maximum sewing speed control|
|Automatic Reverse stitch||Built-in automatic thread cutter|
|Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure Control||Easy Set Bobbin Case and Cover|
|Free arm||Bobbin Winder Plate with Cutter|
|Backlit LCD Screen with Easy Navigation|
|Four Ultra-Bright LED Lights|
|Largest workspace in its class|
|Superior Feed System Plus (SFS+)|
|Carry case on wheels for easy transportation|
Thanks for visiting our 10 Best Sewing Machines reviews page. We hope you have found all the information you’re looking for and are now informed enough to make your new purchase