Deciding on the best sewing machine can be overwhelming with so many features. Besides, there is no such thing as a sewing machine to be the best for everyone. Some units are recommended to beginners, while others come with a better value for money.
Table of Contents
- Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
- Best Sewing Machine for the Money
- Best Sewing Machine for Home Use
- Best Sewing Machine for Quilting
- Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
- Best Sewing Machine for Kids
- Best Mini Sewing Machine
- Sewing Machine Buying Guide
- Types of Sewing Machines
- Main Features to Look for in a Sewing Machine
- Helpful Tips in Buying a Sewing Machine
- Final Thoughts
It is up to you to determine what your priorities are, not to mention your expectations. All in all, for each of these categories, there is definitely a front runner to dominate the segment. So, what are the best-rated options on the market and what makes them so special?
Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
You probably need help buying a first sewing machine for yourself, especially if you are new in the field of sewing. Yeah, we know that choosing the best sewing machine for beginners is quite challenging. But don’t worry, we are here to help you to pick one that suits your needs. We have three candidates that can catch your attention.
1. Janome Crystal
Janome’s best sewing machine is designed with beginners in mind due to its straightforward features. However, it is well featured, so even more experienced users can benefit from it. It features 15 different stitches – basic, quilting or heirloom to name a few – and a four-step buttonhole.
It is more than enough to customize pretty much any project. At the same time, you have three piece feed dogs, which means you can sew on smooth fabrics as well. No matter what stitch you want, the length is adjustable. The same rule applies to the zigzag width.
The front-loading bobbin is simple to access, whether or not the fabric is already in. There are detailed instructions on the bobbin, so you do not have to search for the manual of instructions in the middle of the action.
A four presser foot is part of the package – sliding buttonhole, blind hemming, zipper, and general. The storage compartment can be removed if needed. The feature is excellent when you need to do small operations, such as sewing a ripped shirt or sewing some pants.
The spool pins are vertical. This type of design eases fabric feeding. Other than that, the sewing machine weighs 12 pounds and it is easy to move around if your available space is limited and you cannot always keep it out.
- Enough space for two spools
- Spool holders retract for easy storage
- Removable arm for small items
- Good and even stitches
- Free motion quilting
- No thread cutter
- Front loading bobbin might be a bit difficult to get used to
It is rated as a full-size machine though – it measures 16 x 7 x 12 inches. Any misunderstandings or issues will most likely have solutions in the manual of instructions, which is easy to read and features detailed illustrations.
2. Brother XM2701
Brother is a reputable name in the sewing industry and covers pretty much every level of experience. When it comes to beginners, the XM2701 model is probably the best sewing machine from this manufacturer.
The unit weighs 12.6 pounds – just enough to be portable if you lack space, but also to stay stable while sewing (no jumping around). It measures 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches, so it is a full-size machine. While featuring many considerations for newbies, more experienced users can easily benefit from it as well.
Brother took the amount of stitches to another level. There are 27 different stitches in the sewing machine. Some of the most important ones include decorative, quilting and blind hem stitches, among others.
The threading system is one of the features designed for newbies. It is simple to use and features an automatic needle threader. Basically, you have to do is handle the level on one side and the thread will go through a needle – simple as that.
The stitch selector does not require any experience or technical knowledge. Each stitch is clearly mentioned on a dial, which acts as a selector. Simply turn it around to choose the stitch you want and get to sewing.
- Easy to use.
- A stitch type for anything.
- Simple threading mechanism.
- Detailed manual of instructions.
- LED light is a bit dim for long hour projects.
- Presser foot lever features an inconvenient location under the arm.
The top drop-in bobbin is based on a unique system that you can only find in Brother sewing machines. Not only is it jam resistant, but it also ensures that the bobbin will always stay in place as you sew. In other words, all your stitches will be even and identical – reliability taken to a new level.
3. Spiegel SP3201
Spiegel’s best sewing machine for beginners is actually advertised to be perfect for anyone. It is a bit heavier than the average machine in this segment – 15.76 pounds. However, it is still portable. Besides, the weight is almost never an inconvenience in sewing machines.
The lighter they are, the more they tremble, shake and jump while you use them, so you need stability. All in all, the machine comes in full size – 15 x 6.2 x 11.8 inches. Given its weight and size, you can store it safely if you do not have enough available space to let it out all the time.
It makes no difference if this is your first time sewing or you sew for years already – the SP3201 model will most likely make your life a breeze. It is rated as a sewing machine for beginners because each feature is clearly explained. This model is easy to use and intuitive. But other than that, it is fully featured and makes a good addition to a professional’s sewing experience too.
The one-step automatic buttonhole is one of the most attractive features. It clears the need of manual work in small projects and offers exquisite results at all times. Another automatic feature is the needle threader – another time saver.
- Straightforward and intuitive.
- Simple to use.
- Suitable to both newbies and pros.
- Automatic features.
- Plastic window covering the bobbin is fragile.
- Inconvenient location of the stitch dial.
The whole process – from a brand new spool to the eye of your needle – will barely take a few seconds. If you still feel overwhelmed, the manufacturer’s applications have plenty of tutorials to help you get used to it and push your limits.
Best Sewing Machine for the Money
If your budget is your biggest concern, there’s no reason to throw your money away on an overpriced sewing machine that under-deliver. However, there are some factors you should consider when looking for the best sewing machine for the money that fits your needs and budget.
The most important thing to pay attention is the main features of the sewing machine you would like to buy. In the end, you should be asking yourself the right questions in order to narrow down the sea of electronic sewing machine choices.
But, if you ask us: What is the best-valued model on the market? Our answer is: we have two options that are worth to consider (keep in mind: these reflect our own preferences and biases)
1. Brother XR9550PRW
If the value for money is your primary concern when looking for the best sewing machine, this model from Brother will bring you a wide plethora of handy features at a cost-efficient rate. The machine comes with a large and straightforward LCD display.
It allows changing most settings. You can choose the ideal stitch for your project, as well as other settings. You can also see what you chose on the screen before you actually get to work. Not only does it allow you to double check your settings, but it is also great to experiment around.
There are not less than 110 different stitches for any type of sewing. You can use decorative, utility, alphanumerical or heirloom stitches, among many others. The needle threader is automatic and does not require too much work.
It pushes the thread through the eye of a needle and clears the hard work for elders or those who struggle with this step. It is also worth noting that the machine comes with a full package. You also have a hard protective case for storage or transportation, not to mention the large table to accommodate big projects.
- Large screen.
- Easy and intuitive settings.
- Plenty of stitches.
- Case and table included.
- Solid and stable.
- No automatic thread cutter.
- Monogramming is a set size.
Among those stitches, you have eight different buttonholes. The result? Pure perfection. It makes no difference what size you want. The whole procedure involves one step only. Sizing is automatic.
As for sewing feet, you have eight different options – zigzag, zipper, overcasting, monogramming, buttonhole, button sewing, blind stitch, and quilting. No matter what kind of projects you are involved with, chances are you can tackle it in no time.
2. Janome 2212
Janome is better known for designing machines with an excellent value for money and the 2212 model makes no exception either. Janome’s best sewing machine comes with an extremely high rating among past buyers.
The package weight is just over 15 pounds. It might feel a bit heavier than other machines (especially those for beginners), but you do want stability. Without weight, the machine will shake and jump whenever it is in use. Other than that, it has a standard size – 17 x 13.5 x 9 inches. You can easily store it away if you do not have enough space.
The unit is advertised to be an entry-level model, mostly because it is so easy to use. There are no bells and whistles, but just the features that everyone needs. For this reason, it makes a good choice for more experienced users as well.
After all, you do not really need 150 stitches, unless you are a professional running a sewing business. Instead, you have 12 stitches – more than enough for most projects. You also have a four-step buttonhole and a crystal clear selection through a dial. The stitch length is also adjustable.
- Great value for money.
- Small bonuses included.
- Just the right types of stitches.
- Easy to adjust.
- The lever to raise and lower the foot has an inconvenient location for left-handed people.
- The cord could have been longer.
Other handy features include the free arm and drop feed. They add to the ease of use and versatility. Janome has also included some bonuses with its 2212 sewing machine – a pack of 10 bobbins and size 14 needles. A manual of instructions with illustrations is also included, yet you will find plenty of tutorials over the Internet as well.
Best Sewing Machine for Home Use
For your daily household tasks, you still need a quality sewing machine that can deliver great results. In this category, we recommend two models that will fulfill your needs.
1. Janome Magnolia 7318
Coming in a package of 17.65 pounds and measuring 18.8 x 10.5 x 14.8 inches, the Magnolia 7318 unit could be the best sewing machine for home use. It is compact and versatile – just the perfect size to be easily stored away if available space is a problem for you.
It features a five-piece feed dog. In other words, no matter how smooth the fabric is, the feeder will never have a problem moving it around. Most machines come with three pieces and they can do alright, but five of them will never give you a problem.
There are 18 stitches to choose from. You will mostly find utility and decorative stitches. Fortunately, there is also a four-step buttonhole. Stitches can be customized in small details. Interested in setting a different length? Consider it done. How about the width? No problem at all. They are limited though – 4mm in length and 5mm in width maximum. Other features include a drop feed, an extra presser foot lift, and a free arm.
- Plenty of stitch types.
- Great stitch customization.
- Good value for money.
- Compact and easy to move or store.
- Handy carrying handle.
- No automatic threader.
- The feed drop might seem a bit too hard to reach.
Locking stitches has never been easier. The reverse lever is easy to reach and will provide an instant job. Furthermore, choosing the right stitch is a piece of cake. You have a selection dial and each selection defines a particular stitch. Settings are clearly labeled for convenience, so you do not really need the manual.
See also: Janome Memory Craft 12000
2. Singer 7258
Singer’s best sewing machine for home uses comes with a straightforward operation. Threading it is a piece of cake – it should not take more than a few seconds to start from the spool and finish with the eye of the needle.
You do not even need to check the manual for instructions, as these instructions are printed on the actual machine too. The needle threader is automatic and can save you lots of time. The bobbin can be loaded from the top, so putting it in is fairly simple. As for the cover, it is clear, so you can always keep an eye on the bobbin.
The unit features a LED light to keep the working area clear and well lit. Optimal viewing will never be an issue. The bulb is promised to last for over 100,000 hours. Unlike other machines, this one will not overheat the bulb. There are no risks to get burned or suffer from a breakdown in the middle of the action.
There are 100 stitches to choose from – decorative, stretch and basic Buttonholes are also included – six of them and each of them can be selected with a button only. Whether you are into the home, quilt, heirloom, fashion or craft sewing, chances are you will find something good right away.
- Many automatic features.
- Plenty of stitches.
- Multiple options for buttonholes.
- Easy threading – almost instant.
- Varied stitch selection.
- Manual of instructions can be confusing at first.
- Light does not always feel bright enough.
You can program the needle to finish the program up or down. Each option has its uses. For example, a needle stopping down is excellent for pivoting or quilting fabrics. The same rule applies to appliquéing. On the other hand, having the needle stop up is beneficial when you remove fabric from the unit. Last, but not least, you can choose the optimal stitch with a simple button.
Best Sewing Machine for Quilting
If you are also thinking about quilting, then having the best sewing machine for quilting is a must. Quilting can be fun if you use the right machine in order to help you create awesome quilts smoothly and effortlessly. If you need some recommendations, we have already picked three models to choose from.
1. Juki TL-2000Qi
Many sewing machines come with quilting capabilities as an extra feature. However, they are not specialized in it, so you cannot always count on the highest quality standards. Juki’s best sewing machine for quilting revolves around it, but it also provides access to a series of other types of sewing.
The machine is not at its first generation, but it certainly comes with some improvements. Compared to previous models, it features LED lights for extra visibility while sewing, as well as one pedal operation.
Whether you want to quilt apparel or home décor, you will benefit from 1,500 SPM. It comes with a straight stitch and an automatic needle threader. While the automatic feature will not change the world for you, it is an excellent option for convenience, as it can save lots of time.
The machine features an aluminum die-cast arm, not to mention the bed. It produces close to no vibrations, mostly because of its build and weight. It measures 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches and weighs around 37 pounds – heavier than other units in this segment.
- LED lights for extra brightness.
- Excellent capabilities in quilting.
- Comes with an extension table.
- Stable and well put together.
- Automatic needle threader to save time.
- Manual of instructions might be difficult to understand at times.
- Carrying handle might rattle at high speeds.
Interested in a wider work area? You have an extension table included in the package. Speed control is also part of the game if you need more precision. Other than that, if you are not too experienced, the detailed manual of instructions will give you all the details you require. Finally, when it comes to quilting, the feed dogs can be lowered a little for a free motion operation.
2. Brother PQ1500SL
Brother’s PQ1500SL machine is excellent in terms of features and capabilities if quilting is your primary concern. It comes with a large work area that can also be expanded on request. This model will make working on large projects a breeze due to the extension table.
It measures 5.7 x 8.6 inches and allows more movement. The pressure in the presser foot is fully adjustable and should go in tandem with the feed dog height. The two settings are color coded for a perfect coordination. This way, you have a consistent stitch throughout the entire fabric.
When it comes to needle threading, Brother has its own system known as FAST. It is automatic and easy to use – no effort involved from your side. Bobbins can be changed within seconds when the time comes.
Moreover, the bobbin system is also enhanced with a thread cutter for convenience. Tension control is quite accurate and fully customizable. You have a thread tension dial that allows you maximum adjustability, so your quilting operations simply cannot go wrong.
The needle can be stopped in any position you want – up or down. It is a setting that you can make automatic. Unless you change the setting, it will stop in the down position. This way, you will be able to rotate the button without too much hassle.
- Automatic thread cutter.
- Plenty of automatic features.
- Dials with labels for a deep customization.
- Good value for money.
- Extension table for large projects.
- Needle threader takes a while to get used to.
- No indication of when you run out of thread.
The precision pin feeding system allows sewing all kinds of fabrics, regardless of their thickness. Finally, a knee lifter makes it easy to lift the presser foot with nothing but your knee – hands free operation.
See also: Best Embroidery Machine
3. Brother CS6000i
Brother’s best sewing machine for quilting will impress you with its simple operation. Pretty much every setting is available and controllable through an LCD display. It allows you to choose the stitch you want within seconds only. Not sure about one stitch or another? Once you decide on a stitch, it will also be displayed on the screen for you to double check before proceeding.
Threading is just as simple and requires no experience. You do not require the manual of instructions either, as all the instructions are clearly printed on the machine. Following the instructions on the numbered diagram should take seconds only.
Brother gave the user full control over more aspects and when it comes to quilting, having full control over speed is a must. Adjusting it is fairly simple through a smooth slide. The needle threader is automatic.
Handle the lever on one side and the unit will push the thread through the eye of a needle with a quick movement. To make it even better in quilting, the package also includes a large table for large projects. You have more space to maneuver your stuff then.
- Lit working area.
- Oversized table for large projects.
- Adjustable sewing speed.
- Straightforward LCD display.
- Well put together.
- Light could have been brighter and more intense.
- Bobbin can feel finicky at times if the fabric is caught.
See also: Brother SE625 Review
The working area is flawless. It is well lit and can provide more control even if you sew on a dark fabric. A free arm is included too. It is mandatory to perfectly dew sleeves, cuffs, baby apparel and other small things. As for bobbin winding, the diagram printed on the machine will show you exactly what to do.
Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
If you are going to do some upholstery projects or to take on more advanced projects, you need a heavy duty sewing machine. This type of sewing machine is ideal to sew thick materials such as leather or denim. There are some models you can consider, but these two machines are worth considering to buy.
1. Janome HD3000
Janome does not fool around when it comes to pushing its best sewing machine for heavy duties further. This model features a series of small features for extra convenience, but it also comes with a heavy duty build to ensure long-lasting sewing sessions.
It is a common model among professionals and it measures 19 x 10 x 14.7 inches – slightly larger than the average size. It weighs around 23 pounds, so it is still portable, yet heavy enough to prevent vibrations.
The simple stitch selection leaves no room for mistakes – just turn the dial to the one you want. The chosen model will show up in red, so you know precisely what to expect. Not sure which stitch is right for your project?
You have the option to go through all 18 stitches and watch each of them upfront. The needle threader is automatic. Forget about going blind trying to do it yourself. As for the bobbin system, it loads from the top and is built to be jam proof – no more hassle and frustration.
- Automatic needle threader.
- Multiple stitch options.
- Easy setting selection.
- Adjustable presser foot pressure for thicker fabrics.
- Plenty of accessories in the package.
- Speed cannot be locked, so keeping it under control can be challenging.
- Lighting is not perfectly accurate on the working area.
The presser foot pressure is adjustable. Again, all you have to do is turn a dial for more or less pressure, depending on the fabric thickness. You have a free arm capability and lots of accessories – a hardcover, leather needles, few bobbins, multiple foot options and so on.
2. Singer 4452
Singer’s 4452 model could be the best sewing machine for heavy uses if you are interested in convenience and value for money. It comes from one of the most reputable manufacturers in the world, so you can count on a quality service and great machines.
Threading is relatively simple. You can thread the whole unit within seconds only – from the actual spool to the eye of the needle. There is no more frustration involves. Also, it features a buttonhole style setting. The process is quick and straightforward – place the button in the foot and the unit will sew the buttonhole in the perfect size.
The bobbin system is simple and quick. It loads from the top, so insertion is a piece of cake. The best part? The bobbin cover is transparent. You can keep an eye on the bobbin and tell when your thread supply is about to reach to an end.
The bed plate is smooth and large. It is made of stainless steel, so feeding smooth fabrics will never cause any problems at all. Your apparel and accessories will never rip apart. As for the stitching speed, you can count on a powerful motor that can boost sewing through anything – canvas, leather, quilt, denim and so on.
- Heavy duty and durable metallic construction.
- Comes with a full package – accessories included.
- Powerful motor and high speeds.
- Smooth and simple bobbin system.
- Easy threading system.
- The cord is a bit too short.
- Might feel a bit loud for some users.
The metal frame is heavy duty and made of metal. It keeps the machine in place and prevents shaking and jumping at high speeds. Despite the construction, it only weighs around 17 pounds, so it is still portable and easy to move around.
Given the durability of its skeleton, every part will be properly kept together for extra durability. Plus, dropping the feed lever will disengage feed dogs for more customization and capabilities.
Best Sewing Machine for Kids
So you are looking to teach your kids to sew and you have a difficulty in choosing the right sewing machine for them. Yes, finding the best sewing machine for kids is a daunting task. But in our opinion, it should be discovered for less than one hundred bucks unless you want something with more features. If you need recommendations, these two decent models can be a great choice for your kids.
1. Singer 1304
Looking for the best sewing machine for kids? Whether you want your little one to develop a new hobby or you are insistently asked for a smaller, yet fully functional machine, the 1304 model is perfect.
It comes with features that even a newbie adult can use. It features six different stitches – scallop, zigzag, straight, blind hem, satin, and buttonhole. Choosing the right one does not require any experience at all. There is a dial on the front side of the machine, so arranging the optimal stitch is a matter of a few seconds. Simply choose the one you want you are ready to go.
The dual spool pins represent an idea that many professional sewing machines should have, yet most of them lack it. The feature might seem childish, but it will actually provide some extra decorative capabilities. It can only be used with a twin needle though.
It ensures perfectly parallel rows of stitching – no need to be careful and follow the line two times, but do it once and do it right. Twin sewing implies purchasing a twin needle though – not so expensive.
Threading is simple because you have some diagrams printed on the front side of the machine. It takes seconds to get the whole job done. A three presser foot is also included, while the construction will ensure its durability.
- Heavy duty metallic frame.
- Twin needle sewing capability.
- Simple stitch selection.
- Comes with six stitches.
- Three-foot presser.
- Takes a bit to get used to how it works.
- Manual of instructions could have been more detailed.
The internal skeleton is made of heavy-duty metal, so it can take some beating from less careful kids. Furthermore, it takes seconds to get started, as the stitch width and length are preset – no adjustments required, unless you want some.
2. NEX Sewing Machine
NEX has demonstrated its capabilities in designing professional machines at a small scale – ideal for children. Its model could be the best sewing machine for kids in both design and features.
The package is complete and includes all the requires accessories – the actual machine, a foot controller, two thread spools, two bobbins, two extra needles, and a needle threader. Basically, your little one has everything they need to start using the machine out of the box.
There are 12 stitch patterns that you can also use for small works – straight, different, curves and even a couple of them for buttonholing. The machine is designed at a smaller scale – it only measures 10.6 x 4.7 x 9 inches. Also, it measures 5.65 pounds.
It is extremely lightweight and portable, but it will not rattle or shake when in use. It comes with a reverse stitching design as well. The fabric does not have to be rotated in order to go backwards. Instead, the needle can go back and forth for a beautiful design.
- Comes with a full package.
- Well lit working area.
- 12 stitch patterns.
- Plenty of adjustability.
- Funky design for kids.
- The knob to switch stitches can be difficult to turn for kids.
- Too much plastic used in its composition.
The maximum sewing thickness recommended is 2.5mm. To help you get an idea, it can go through five thin layers of denim as well, yet most kids will probably use it for way thinner fabrics. The stitch tightness is also fully adjustable. It can all be done with a button. A higher value underlines a tighter upper thread. A light is included for extra visibility while sewing.
Best Mini Sewing Machine
A Mini sewing machine, of course, is not a great option for intermediate-advanced users. But, it will be working great for some small stuff sewing such as craft, child’s pants, purse, apron, etc.
Whether you need a sewing machine on the go or you simply need one for small clothing repairs, it makes no sense to invest in a large unit. Besides, space would be a problem if you barely use it once a month.
At this point, finding a mini unit seems to be the ideal option. The best sewing machine in this size from Varmax will impress you with its size and capabilities. It measures 8.6 x 3.5 x 6.8 inches and only weighs around two pounds. It is so simple that you can even put it in your luggage if you think unexpected situations will arise while on holiday.
The machine comes with a lamp – enough light to properly see the working area. You do not have to strain your eyes or get too close, as the focal light will take care of that for you. Moreover, it has a thread cutter.
It is not automatic, but it is built into the machine, so you can do it right away once you are done sewing. Given its portable profile, it comes with more choices of the power supply. You can stick some batteries in or you can just use the power supply if you are home.
- Works on most fabrics.
- Impressive power for its size.
- Compact, lightweight and portable.
- Easy to rewind the bobbin.
- Small learning curve.
- Does not feel too sturdy.
- No bells and whistles, but just basic operations.
In terms of the fabrics it can work on, your options are countless. You can easily use it with soft denim, silk, canvas, and even silk. Believe it or not, professional craft paper is also doable. Even if you are new to sewing machines, you will have no problems handling this one. It has a winding pole, as well as a thread spindle to rewind the bobbin right away.
2. NEX Sewing Machine Mini Size
NEX has probably designed the best sewing machine if you are after compactness, convenience, and portability. This unit comes in a perfect size – 7.7 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches. It only weighs 2.2 pounds, so you can literally take it wherever you have an emergency.
It may not have all the bells and whistles fancy machines come with, but it makes a perfect choice for small operations and repairs. The NEX sewing machine features a double switch, so you can start it in two different ways. You can use a foot pedal, but you can just as well use the push button. It makes no difference in terms of operation.
Unlike most expectations, it does come with a couple of speeds – low and high. You have a good stitch control for your skills and capabilities. Whether you are experienced or you are using a sewing machine for the first time, you will get used to it in no time. As for the operation, you also have a couple of options.
You can run the machine with four AA batteries that must be purchased separately. The option is ideal when you need to use it somewhere with no electricity, such as a camping trip. You can also plug it in and use it continuously.
- Convenient, lightweight and portable.
- Multiple speeds.
- Easy adjustments.
- Dual operation.
- Safety features.
- Not suitable for large projects.
- Not suitable for thick fabrics.
The package comes with more than what you would expect. You have an LED light for maximum visibility on the working area, not to mention a safety cover on the sewing area around the needle. Its main role is to prevent accidents.
Bottom line, choosing the best sewing machine clearly depends on your priorities and needs. Know what you expect from it, how often you will use it and what kind of features you need before making a final decision. The good news is that no matter how complicated the task is, you do have a few options regardless of your necessities.
Sewing Machine Buying Guide
Still unsure about the best sewing machine? We do understand, and you are not the only one. Your skills, expectations and available budget are the overall considerations to keep in mind. You do not necessarily need to spend a fortune on the best machine on the market because you are likely to find similar features in less expensive units.
On the same note, the cheapest machine will not take you too far. All in all, this sewing machine buying guide should give you all the details you need for a smart and informed decision.
Types of Sewing Machines
There are several types out there, but one of them clearly dominates the market these days.
1. Mechanical Machines
These models are no longer popular because they require too much manual work. People want convenience these days, hence the popularity of other types.
2. Electronic Machines
Electronic machines are worth it if you sew more often. They come with more digital features and computerized settings – easier to deal with and more convenient.
3. Embroidery Machines
Embroidery machines represent the next level in sewing. Take the most featured electronic machine and add a few extra functions, such as doing embroidery or monogramming. The hoop under the needles will move in all directions according to the designs you want – computerized features, multiple designs, texts, color changes and so on.
Main Features to Look for in a Sewing Machine
Even if you are new and your skills are still low, you should still search for certain capabilities, such as automatic functions, types of fabrics to handle and adjustability.
1. Feed Dog Adjustability
Whether it comes to repairs or small adjustments, you will need to conduct some freestyle sewing. This is when you need to adjust the feed dog mechanism by dropping it under the sewing surface for more space.
2. Overall Weight
If space is a problem for you or the sewing machine simply does not match the décor, you will most likely keep it in a closet. You will only take it out when you need it. If it weighs 100 pounds, you will lose all your excitement before doing any work, so opt for a machine in the middle range.
You may not find this tip in every sewing machine buying guide, but an ultralight machine is a bad idea too, as it will shake and tremble when in use.
3. Threading Needles
You can do it yourself, but it will put some tension on your eyes and it can become frustrating at times. A modern sewing machine should be able to pull the thread through the eye of your needle. It saves both time and your nerves.
4. Power Switch
A power switch may miss from a sewing machine. It can be quite inconvenient if you have kids around. You do have another option if the machine stays out most of the time though. Plug it into an outlet with a master switch or at least an extender with such a function.
5. Loading Bobbin
Back in the old times, the bobbin was threaded in a specific compartment. It was hard to access and running out of thread was a nightmare. Today, you should get a machine with a top loading feature. Make sure the cover or the side is transparent, so you can see how much thread you have left – useful during big projects.
Some machines come with six stitches, while others come with 100 stitches. The number varies from one model to another. Some of the most common ones include zigzag and straight stitches. More is better, but do not exaggerate, as you are less likely to use dozens of stitches. Just get a few extra decorative options. More importantly, the stitch width and length are not to be overlooked either.
Sewing a buttonhole could take ages – turn the fabric around a few times, go on all sides and so on. Modern machines will sew a button within seconds only – some of them even come with more sizing standards.
8. Needle Positioning
Every sewing machine buying guide will mention the needle positioning. It is all about moving the needle, as well as the line of the stitching. You can set the needle to be up or down when the machine stops, depending on your needs.
9. More Speeds
Simply put, you need to be able to select what speed the fabric is pushed through the machine at.
Controls must be simples and intuitive. Symbols must be straightforward and easy to read, whether you have manual or digital controls. As for ergonomics, a machine with plenty of room on the right side of the needle will inevitably give you more space for hands.
The thread tightness should be fully adjustable or you will pucker the fabric (too tight) or end up with loopy stitches (too loose).
12. Presser Feet
You need at least four presser feet – zigzag and straight stitches, zipper and buttonhole feet. Anything extra is good, but not mandatory.
Helpful Tips in Buying a Sewing Machine
Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping around.
Opt for a reputable brand with more products. Solid brands are more expensive, but you have quality and good service.
Never overlook the warranty – find out what it covers, as well as the things that are not covered. If you can try a machine in a local store before buying it online, your decision will leave no room for surprises.
Invest in the right needles or you can damage both your fabrics and the sewing machine. Needles must be changed on a regular basis too.
As a short final conclusion, this sewing machine buying guide should cover everything you need to look for when buying a sewing machine. Given the affordable market, more and more people opt for advanced embroidery machines that allow a deep level of personalization. However, before taking one aspect at a time, make sure you are aware of your skills, but also consider your further growth and determination as you gain experience.