- Overall Best Sewing Machine – Brother SE400
- Best Sewing Machine for Beginners – Brother CS6000i
- Best Computerized Sewing Machine – Brother HC1850
- Best Sewing Machine for Quilting – JUKI TL-2000Qi
- Best Embroidery Sewing Machine – Brother PE770
- Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine For Leather – Singer 4452
- Best Serger / Overlock Machine – Brother 1034D
- Best Sewing Machine for Kids – Janome 13512 Red Hello Kitty
- Best Sewing Machine Brands
- Sewing Machine 101
- How to Select the Right Sewing Machine
- Sewing Machine Features
- Wrap Up
Sewing machines come in similar shapes and almost the same sizes, but there is a world of difference between the models. Then again, there is a lot of things you can do with a sewing machine apart from basic stitches. With a lot of choices, there is the issue of choosing the best sewing machine for your needs.
Lucky for you, we have taken the time to professionally put to the test some of the bestselling models on the market. The models that salesmen will generally claim they are right for your needs, without even understanding what it is that you need. That is why we have prepared unbiased sewing machine reviews so that you can make a decision before you go to the shop.
Overall Best Sewing Machine – Brother SE400
Even though Brother SE400 combines computerized sewing and 4×4 inch embroidery, it’s not that hard to use. You can easily quilt, embroider and sew whatever comes across your mind. There are 67 uniquely-designed sewing stitches and 70 embroidery designs already built-in. If that isn’t enough, you can always connect it to your computer and download new designs.
Cable connection also lets you update your machine in the future. Don’t worry about the memory, this unit can store thousands of designs. The whole menu is shown on a touch-screen backlit LCD screen. This sewing machine comes with a 25-year limited warranty and free phone support during the life of the unit.
Read More: Brother SE400
Best Sewing Machine for Beginners – Brother CS6000i
If you are new to sewing, or your sewing needs are quite simple, it’s a good idea to invest in a beginner sewing machine. Brother CS6000i comes with a wide table perfect for large quilting projects. When it comes to additional features, the thing that makes this machine user-friendly the most is its intuitive LCD display.
Also, there is no need to squint anymore when threading the needle because this unit has an automatic needle threader that does everything for you. Your eyes will also be thankful because the work area is lit. That is great for working on dark fabrics.
Read More: Brother CS6000i
Best Computerized Sewing Machine – Brother HC1850
Computerized sewing machines are great for more advanced projects, but are still easy to use so that you can just do basic sewing with ease. This Brother HC1850 sewing machine has more than 130 unique stitches you can choose from, but what makes it so special is its monogramming ability. You can select 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches that are great for basic monogramming.
Sewing is easy with additional accessories like 8 specialty feet, detachable wide table, and free-motion quilting ability. Rest assured that the manufacturer has your back because this sewing machine has a 25-year limited warranty, including the phone and online customer support during the life of the product.
Read More: Brother HC1850
Best Sewing Machine for Quilting – JUKI TL-2000Qi
If quilting is your passion, then you shouldn’t look further than the Juki TL-2000Qi. It’s a great quilting machine that can also support all your other sewing projects with ease. This unit is quite durable and belongs to semi-industrial sewing machines. Some of the features that you would love on this model include an automatic needle threader and an extra wide work surface in the form of an extension table.
This model is great for even, straight stitches that support heavy fabrics. No matter how hard you drive it, due to its aluminum body, this sewing machine will produce low vibrations. You get 3 feet with this model, the free motion foot, the straight stitch quilting foot, and walking foot.
Read More: JUKI TL-2000Qi
Best Embroidery Sewing Machine – Brother PE770
Embroidery designs look amazing on any fabric, and with Brother PE770. You can make your own embroidery designs! One of the reasons why this unit will be great for your embroidery projects is its expansive field. This sewing machine comes with a 5×7-inch expansive field, which means you can take on larger projects with ease.
You can simply choose one of the 136 built-in embroidery designs that come with the unit, or you can import others via USB memory stick. Another great ability that this embroidery sewing machine has shines through when you want to edit the designs. You can rotate, resize, use the mirror-image effect, and more.
Read More: Brother PE770
Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine For Leather – Singer 4452
If you are a more advanced user who needs a heavy duty sewing machine, then Singer 4452 heavy duty is the right choice. Any type of fabric, any sewing project – this machine can endure it all. It is built to last, and that’s why this unit has a 60% stronger motor. The heavy duty feature also has the benefit of faster sewing, even if we are talking about heavy fabrics.
Also, this sewing machine comes with 32 built-in stitches that range from basic, decorative to stretch and fully automatic buttonhole stitch. If you purchase this model, you will also get access to Singer’s app classes and full sewing tutorials.
Read More: Singer 4452
Best Serger / Overlock Machine – Brother 1034D
Brother 1043D is a great sewing machine if you need to have edges finished professionally. This serger can also perform edge finishing on fabrics, linens, formal wear, and even knits. There are more than 22 built-in functions for stitching that include 4-thread overlock, 3 thread-overlock, ribbon lock stitches, and more. Also, this sewing machine has a differential fabric feed, which means that it can provide a professional edge finish and even stitch quality, even on thin and stretchy fabrics.
When it comes to additional accessories, you will get 2 snap-on feet, needles and a foot controller. This model is really easy to use, and it comes with an instructional video and printed manual.
Read More: Brother 1034D
Best Sewing Machine for Kids – Janome 13512 Red Hello Kitty
Sewing machines for kids have to be safe to use, but they can also be a useful tool for beginners just getting into the world of stitching. Janome 13512 is one of the most durable kid sewing machines on the market. It has 15 stitches, including the adjustable stitch length.
For a children’s sewing machine, this unit has some of the most modern functions. There is a vertical oscillating hook bobbin system, and also left and center needle position. Made from aluminum, this sewing machine is very durable, and it can even support basic household sewing projects with ease.
Read More: Janome 13512 Red Hello Kitty
Best Sewing Machine Brands
Brother is a Japanese company that started out as Yasui Sewing Machine company in 1908, and in 1955 Brother emerged as their overseas international corporation. Even though they have a range of electronics, they still started out with sewing machines first, and that tradition continued for the past 110 years.
Brother sewing machines are very reliable in general, they rarely break down, but if they do, this manufacturer often provides a 25 year-long limited warranty, and a lifetime email and chat support. With such a strong background in sewing, Brother has a range of sewing machines for home and industrial use, and more than hundreds of models you can choose from.
Just like Brother, Janome is also a Japanese sewing machine manufacturer that has been delivering high-quality products since 1935. They achieved global expansion and now they export into more than 100 countries worldwide. Janome solely specialized in sewing machines and accessories, and today, they are known by offering good price-quality ratio.
Not many people know that Janome was a pioneer in sewing advancements. They are the first company to develop a computerized sewing machine. In 1990, they were the first to introduce professional embroidery built-in in their machines. Janome machines are durable and have a very good price-quality. They come with enough built-in stitches in their machines for home use.
Singer is one of the most famous world brands and their sewing machines are legendary. The reason for this bold statement lies in the fact that Isaac Merritt Singer first patented and created a practical sewing machine. He did that in 1850, and just 5 years later, Singer has been awarded the first prize at World Fair in Paris. With a heritage going back 160 years, and with the quality they keep delivering, it’s clear that Singer still dominates the market.
You can do a lot with Singer machines, but their commitment to the customers is still going strong. In 2017, Singer launched the Sewing Assistant App, showing that they can keep up with modern times.
Bernina is a brand that delivers Swiss quality at affordable rates. The company was founded in 1893 when its founder invented the first hemstitch sewing machine. Fast-forward to today and Bernina has 15 international companies around the globe, doing business in a total of 80 countries.
Bernina is famous for manufacturing sewing machines for quilting, embroidery, serger/overlocker, and home use. Apart from high-quality sewing machines and outstanding customer care, Bernina also sells computer software for the embroidery design. The users can import, combine and make custom designs, fully editing their embroideries in the program.
Being in the business for the past 80 years, Juki has managed to make a name for themselves when it comes to the industrial sewing machines. As of lately, they have started to manufacture machines intended for domestic use as well. They have models that can perform straight, zigzag, decorative and overcasting stitch, with the addition of buttonhole and free motion zigzag stitches. Some models are capable of performing rolling stitches as well.
Yuki manufactures sewing machines of outstanding quality, and their customer support is worth mentioning. They are also mindful of the environment, practicing green logistics, green procurement and environmental consideration in production.
Sewing Machine 101
Sewing machines have been around for the past 200 years, in one form or the other. When you are doing small repairs by hand, you know how exhausting it can be, but imagine back in the day when clothing was made by hand stitching entirely! The need to automatize sewing soon arose and inventors have perfected various sewing machines for various types of stitching. We will discuss how to select the right one for your needs.
How to Select the Right Sewing Machine
Before you go and buy a sewing machine, think about what you need to do with it, and assess your skill level. If you are just starting, you need a good but basic model that will get you into the world of sewing. Same goes if you know your way around a sewing machine but you want to use it for basic stitching, small repairs, and occasional household project. If you want to design your own clothes and use the sewing machine regularly, it might be worth investing in a heavy-duty unit.
Sewing Machine Features
Sewing machines come with various features that can be a differentiating factor when you are making a decision which one to buy. Some of these are quite handy, and can really improve your sewing projects.
1. Variety of Stitching
There are hundreds of stitches out there, and sewing machines nowadays come with at least several of them. More expensive models like electronic and computerized machines usually have a wide selection of stitching applications. There are functional stitches that keep the fabric together, and there are decorative stitches that will do so while upping your design game.
Even the most basic machines today come with a couple of built-in decorative stitches. If you love decorative stitches, then investing in a computerized machine where you can download hundreds of them makes sense.
2. Automatic Buttonholer
Sewing buttonholes are one of the most tedious tasks out there. First, the work area is incredibly small. If you are working on an older machine, stopping and turning the fabric will make you dizzy. Some machines require that you turn the dial. But… With an automatic buttonholer, you can create a buttonhole in seconds.
There are even units that let you put a button in the loader, and then the sewing machine makes a perfectly-sized hole for that specific button. Neat!
3. Sewing Speed
Some sewing machines let you adjust the speed of fabric you are feeding to them. To beginners who will be taking things slow, this function probably isn’t that important, but professional tailors and advanced users will find it very useful.
Thread tension is really important in sewing. If it’s too tight, the thread might condense and pucker up the fabric, but if it’s too loose, the stitches might get loopy and fall apart. Depending on the model, some sewing machines have automatic tension adjustment, for some, you have to use the dial, and then there are models where you cannot even adjust the thread tension.
5. Needle Threader
When the thread runs out, fitting it into the tiny hole in the needle is probably one of the best eye exams you could have. All that squinting and various needle threading techniques might be fun to watch if you aren’t the one doing them, but if you are, it gets really frustrating. That isn’t the case if you have an automatic needle threader. This handy feature pulls the thread right through the needle, automatically.
6. Needle Position
This feature allows you to position the needle properly. In basic terms, you can move the stitching line from side to side, and when you stop, you can also move the needle up and down. When the needle is down, you can lift the presser foot, turn a corner, and save yourself from dealing with a jump stitch.
A jump stitch is a piece of thread that you have to clip by hand. It occurs where it’s supposed to be the empty space between stitches. With a needle position functionality, you will be making fewer jump stitches.
7. Presser Foot
A presser foot is the metal thing that is keeping your fabric in place. Generally, sewing machines come with more than one presser feet. There is the basic, all-purpose sewing foot, zipper foot, edgestitch foot, buttonhole foot, embroidery foot, and many more. All sewing machines should come with the additional zipper foot at least.
8. Feed-Dog Adjustment / Drop Feed
Feed-dogs are ridges below the throat plate that move while you sew so that the fabric can pass freely, uninterrupted between the stitches. Sewing machines that have the drop-feed ability let you turn off the feed-dogs so that you can move the fabric manually, in all directions. This is an important feature for embroidering and quilting.
Machines that have a drop-feed functionality can also pull the fabric backward and form a backstitch.
9. Knee Lifter
Knee lifter is an embroidering feature. This one lets you raise the presser foot up and down, by installing a lever of sorts, which you push to the side with your knee. That way you can keep your hands on the fabric at all times.
10. Top-Load Bobbin
Top load bobbin lets you load the bobbin directly in the compartment, and you do it by simply pushing it inside. Older machines required a lot of patience for threading setting the bobbin. This feature is definitely a nice addition to any sewing machine.
There are some models that have a clear cover, which lets you see when you are running out of thread.
This is an easy feature to explain – you have heavy duty machines and compact ones. Some industrial units weigh a lot, but they are also packed with other additional features. They aren’t easy to move, and they shouldn’t be. Even if we are talking about a heavy-duty sewing machine for home use that will be on the heavier side, it’s still the one used by professionals, so chances are it will often be in use. No need to store it away.
Light, compact units are either for kids, beginners, or people who need a very basic machine for simple and occasional repairs. These units should be light because they will actually be stored away most of the time.
Electronic and computerized machines have a screen panel. Depending on the model and the level of sophistication, these sewing machines can have anywhere from basic to touch screens and anything in between. Some of them even have LED indicators. The menu and functionalities have to be intuitive, especially with computerized machines that have hundreds of stitches and possibilities.
13. The Looks
Okay, this might not even be a feature to most of the professionals or beginners alike, but if you have a kid and the Hello Kitty design – to them it’s probably the most important feature in the world.
14. Warranty and Customer Support
When choosing the right machine, you have to take into consideration the warranty of each unit, and the brand’s customer support. While mechanical machines rarely break down, they offer limited options when it comes to more complex sewing designs.
Some brands like Brother and Singer often offer 25 year-long warranty and unlimited chat support. A warranty often tells you a lot about the brand, too. You know these are quality units when they offer such longstanding warranties.
This has been a short overview of some of the most popular sewing machines on the market today, and their manufacturers. It isn’t easy choosing the best sewing machine, and we’re not sure what is harder – when you are the beginner at sewing or a seasoned veteran with plenty of experience.
Beginners aren’t sure about what they want, and professionals know exactly what they need, but can’t find it packed in one sewing machine. With our unbiased sewing machine reviews, we hope you will easily make the right choice.