Home Sewing machines Best Sewing Machine Reviews in 2016

Best Sewing Machine Reviews in 2016

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Best sewing machinesDo your clothes look drab and uninspired?

Do you want the best sewing machine for your budget and skill level but don’t know where to start?

Keep reading our guide and we’ll soon have you in stitches. Who knows, you might even get a laugh out of it as well.

Sewing is such a versatile and rewarding hobby! Sure the first few tries might not end up looking as good as grandma’s work, but the more you invest in yourself and the more you earn, the better your own designs and products become.

It’s with a great sense of accomplishment that you can look at the result of hours of work and know that this particular garment, decorative piece or quilt will make someone very happy and possibly be in the family for generations.

The only thing missing in order for you to be able to unleash your creativity is a solid piece of hardware to help with your stitching.

We’re aware that there are many models out there and that going through dozens of review sites won’t help you much, especially if you are new to the craft. This is why we’ve assembled sewing machine reviews of what we think are the best products you can currently buy.

We’ve structured the guide in a comprehensive way. First we showcase reviews of premium machines we think are the cream of the crop.

After that we take a look at some more affordable models that can still perform quality work.

Lastly, we go over some additional things you might want to consider before purchasing.

We’re sure that whether you’re just starting out or have been sewing for decades, reading this guide will give you all the knowledge needed to make an informed purchase.

NameWeight (lbs.)Built-in Stitch CountLCD DisplayFree ArmWarrantyPrice
Brother HC185013.2130YesYes25 Years$$$
Brother CS6000i1360YesYes25 Years$$$
SINGER 7258 Stylist14.75100YesYes25 Years$$$
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty14.523NoYes25 Years$$
SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty14.511NoYes25 Years$$
Brother XL2600I Sew Advance1125NoYes25 Years$
Brother XM270112.627NoYes25 Years$
Michley Lil' Sew & Sew LSS-2021.40NoNo90 Days$

Top Rated Sewing Machine Reviews

1. Brother HC1850

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Sewing machine reviewsWe must say, when it comes to making high quality products, brother have knocked it out of the park with the HC1850.

Not only does it come with a slew of features that will make even the most diehard fiber enthusiast sigh in contentment, but it allows you to undertake so many different projects ranging from simple monogramming jobs or sewing holes for your buttons to grander undertakings such as quilting or making intricately designed tableware.

What’s great about this model is the fact that it is both beginner friendly and flexible enough for advanced users.

It features a large LCD screen that shows you exactly what stitch or preset you’re currently working with and allows you to easily cycle through its various option and always have the right operating method for the job you are currently undertaking.

The machine comes with a quick-set bobbin and has 14 different stitch functions that make both freeform and structured quilting easy and quick with an impressive array of versatility.

In all, there are 130 unique stitches. 55 of them are dedicated solely to monogramming, allowing you to make basic yet great looking monograms with minimal effort.

The stitches also include 8 one-step button hole types, 8 specialty symbols, 7 punctuation marks as well as a multitude of options for quilting, heirloom and embroidery stitches.

As for the feet, the options for this machine abound as well. You’ll get feet for overcasting, blind stitch, monogramming, zigzag, quilting, zippers, buttons and buttonholes, which is enough to make you sew for a long while with great results.

In terms of dimensions and weight, the HC1850 is 12.5″ x 19.25″ x 15.25”, making It a lightweight machine you can easily carry around with you to work or sewing classes.

The accompanying extendable table gives you a wide sewing area so you can handle bigger pieces of cloth more easily. The machine is also equipped with its own LED light to help you illuminate those tiny stitches or allow you to still eww in a dimly lit area.

If you are just getting into sewing either as a productive hobby or an additional source of income, Brother have made it easier for you to start b equipping this machine with an automatic needle threader and sped control.

Apart from that, you’ll get an instructional DVD that shows you how to set the machine up and use it properly so you can be well on your way to making your first piece in no time.

There are a few minor drawbacks to this model though. For one, it doesn’t have a knee lifter. Also, there’s no accessory storage feature so you’ll have to come up with a different means of storing the accessories that come with it.

These minor annoyances aside though, we can safely say that the HC1850 is the best home sewing machine we’ve had the pleasure of testing.

We loved the fusion of beginner friendly operation with a great deal of versatility and quality all in one package. Whether you’re just getting into it or need a new machine for your next big project, this is the model you’re looking for.

2. Brother CS6000i

4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

Best sewing machineWhat if you’re an experienced sewer though?

Being beginner friendly is all well and good, but sometimes you need a product that delivers speed as well as an array of options you as an experienced user can take full advantage of. Luckily, Brother know their user’s needs well and have created the CS6000i to please the best among you.

Make no mistake, this is a heavy-duty machine that can handle any kind of complicated quilting project you can throw at it. This does not stop it from stitching at a blazing 850 stitches per minute.

If you’ve been doing this kind of work for a while you’ll know how to use all of that speed to good effect, but in the event that you’re working on a more complicated or delicate project, or just don’t need the maximum speed all the time, the speed is adjustable allowing you to either slow the machine down or speed it back up again.

The CS6000i has a variety of automated features that help you get going faster. Similarly to the other model, it can automatically thread your needle. It also had an automatic bobbin winder and thread cutter.

What’s more, it automatically sets the stitch length and width, but you can always adjust these settings manually. Its maximum stitch width is 7 millimeters, and the maximum stitch length is 5 millimeters.

With this model you’ll be better equipped to design your own clothes. It has a one-step buttonhole operation as well as 7 different buttonhole styles to choose from. It also lets you create hemlines with its twin needle setting.

Controlling the CS6000i is easy as well. The actual sewing can be controlled either with a foot pedal or a start and stop button. Whichever one you choose, you can adjust the sewing speed yourself.

As far as programmability is concerned, the model comes with an LCD screen that lets you hose the type of stitch and pattern you want to use. The screen can also display a variety of error references in the event of a malfunction.

You’ll get a great many accessories with this model as well. Included are seven different presser feet that allow you to sew many different types of projects. Apart from those you’ll also receive a seam ripper, a needle set, an assortment of screwdrivers and a cleaning brush.

The machine comes with a transportation case that can act as a dust cover. Also included is a detachable sewing table you can use when tackling bigger projects.

One thing to note about the CS6000i s that the tension is manual and controlled by a dial. This means that you have to take care of having the right tension preset for the type of fabric you are currently using, so if you are working on different kinds of projects all the time it can be a nuisance to do so.

That aside though, the CS6000i is one of the best sewing machines out there.

Don’t just take our word for it, go ahead and look at various sewing machine ratings and you’ll find this one is consistently at or near the top. Combining speedy execution with a plethora of useful features and accessories, this model is bound to help you create dazzling sewing projects of any kind.

3. SINGER 7258 Stylist

4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Best sewing machine for beginnersEven if you’ve been living under a rock for the past century you’ve probably heard of the Singer brand. In many countries the mere word is synonymous with a sewing machine. The company has been around the block since our grandma’s grandma was making her own clothes and they have a reputation to uphold.

The 7258 Stylist is one of the newer in a long line of successful models whose innovative features and quality execution speak volumes about the brand and company behind it.

One of the most annoying and time- consuming things when picking out a new machine is choosing a model that comes with the right number of stitches.

There have to be enough different ones to take into account a wide variety of potential sewing projects since you can’t add additional ones yourself later on.

The 7258 Stylist has 100 stitches in total. All of the stitches are numbered and conveniently printed on the face of the machine for quick reference. You can look up the stitch and style you want and select the right one in seconds.

The 7258 Stylist covers your basic utility stitches – straight, zigzag and their varieties, stretch and hem stitches. Apart from those there are heirloom, decorative and quilting stitches.

There’s even a 1-step buttonhole stitch the manufacturer claims is perfectly balanced. What this means in practice is that each side of the button hole is sewn in the same direction, making all of them even. The buttonhole corners are even reinforced, making for a sturdy end result.

With this model you’ll get 8 snap-on presser feet, which is more than we’ve seen with the competition. Included is a general purpose foot as well as feet for tippers, buttonholes, overcasting gathering, rolled hem, darning & embroidery and satin stitch.

Most machines allow you to make freehand embroidery or quilting but some don’t provide the right foot. With the darning & embroidery included in this package you can start experimenting with your own freehand monograms or quilt ideas straight away.

As we’ve seen in our other sewing machine reviews, the best models have embraced the digital age and this one is no different. Although it is computerized and sports an LCD screen, the controls are straightforward as well as intuitive so you’ll be comfortable using them in a matter of minutes.

There are six buttons in total – two control stitch selection by putting in the correct number for your desired stitch. Four other buttons control the width and length settings of the switch.

There’s also a start / stop switch which means you can do your sewing without the use of a pedal.

One thing we weren’t satisfied with is the fact that the presser foot pressure is automatic and can’t be adjusted. Other than that, this model has a maximum stitch length of 5 milimeters which is smaller than the standard 7 mm we’ve seen on others.

All in all though, the 7258 Stylist is one of the top rated sewing machines when it comes to the number of available stitches and reliability in their execution.

Pros and newcomers alike will have an easy time with its setup and can start creating beautiful clothes or custom made freehand projects right out of the box. So what’s not to like?

4. SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty

4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Best sewing machinesHaving versatility in your product is great, but if your livelihood depends on being able to produce a large amount of quality stitched pieces in a short amount of time without much fuss and with the assurance that your trusty Singer brand won’t kick the bucket mid way through, then the 4423 Heavy Duty is one of the best sewing machines for your needs.

As its name suggests, this model is used for bigger projects and has the sturdiness and build to support that. It all starts with a motor, and this model has quite the beast under its hood.

Singer claims it is up to 60 percent more powerful than most other motors found in machines of comparable sizes.

It can also work as fast as 1100 stitches per minute, so if you know your stuff, and you probably do since you’re still reading these sewing machine reviews, you’ll be able to blaze through large orders or complicated stitches. On the other hand, its stainless steel bedplate ensures that it can handle a heavy load while providing balanced and even results.

This model also comes with an automatic needle threader that will find the needle’s eye for you as soon as you put the thread in. You can easily control the drop feed with a built-in , conveniently located lever.

You have the option of three different needle positions and the presser foot pressure can be adjusted as well.

The biggest drawback, if you really want to call it that on a specialty model such as this, is the limited number of stitches available to you.

There are 23 built-in stitches – 12 of them are decorative, 6 are basic, 4 of them are stretch stitches and there’s even an automatic 1-step buttonhole stitch. The width of these can go up to 6mm, which isn’t as small as with the 7258 Stylist, but still falls a bit short of the 7 mm standard we’re used to.

There also aren’t as many presser feet, four in all. You’ll get a zipper foot, a buttonhole as well as a button sewing foot and, of course, there’s an all-purpose foot for all your other needs.

When all is said and done, we find that the 4423 Heavy Duty is the best sewing machine for the money if you’re into specialized work.

It might not let you make fancy patterns and its stitch count leaves a lot to be desired, but with this model you can be sure that the basics are covered and that you’ll produce a high volume of great quality sewing for decades to come.

5. SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Sewing machine ratingsSometimes less can be more. Studies have shown that the more choices we have, the harder it is for us to actually commit. It’s similar with a sewing machine – what’s the point of having dozens of stitches when you won’t use 80 percent of them in your practical work?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a model that does a few basic things, but does them extremely well and is by a brand you can trust to pull that off successfully?

If you’ve been nodding along pragmatically, then Singer has the answer yet again, this time with the 4411 Heavy Duty.

Let’s get the stitches out of the way first. This model comes with 11 of them. Yes, that might seem a bit spartan even to single-minded seamstresses, but the ones it does have – 6 utilitarian stitches, 4 decorative stitches and the unavoidable 1-step buttonhole stitch are enough to cover all your basic needs.

Similar to its older sister, the 4411 Heavy Duty has a powerful motor capable of performing 1100 stitches per minute, letting you realize all your sewing plans quickly and efficiently.

It also lets you work with a vast array of fabrics. Whether you’re working on satin or leather, this model can handle it.

Concerning make, this model exhibits a sturdy, reliable construction. Its frame is made out of metal, it comes with a stainless steel bedplate that helps you handle larger quantities of fabric, and it also has an on-board storage compartment for all your tools and accessories.

What can we say, the 4411 Heavy Duty is a solid product that does the few things it is supposed to do perfectly.

It also offers a great quality to cash ratio, so if not compromising on the quality while still wanting a relatively affordable model was your excuse for not getting a replacement for your old beater yet, we’re afraid you’ve just run out.

Best Rated Cheap Sewing Machine Reviews

1. Brother XL2600I Sew Advance

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Top rated sewing machinesWe all have to start somewhere, so why not begin your sewing journey with a machine which is both very beginner-friendly and inexpensive to boot? Brother have made sure that you’ll remember the XL2600I Sew Advance as the first sewing machine on your path to greatness.

To make starting out as easy as possible, this model has an automatic needle threader and is jam-resistant, making for an uninterrupted sewing experience.

It is also really user friendly – all of its options are easily accessible using the dial and buttons on its face.

There are 25 stitches in total, which is more than we’ve seen in some of Singer’s models. They form a solid basis for learning and initial exploration without overwhelming the newcomer with a lot of obscure features.

This model is also very light and ideal for easy transportation to sewing class. Sadly, since corners had to be cut somewhere, the make isn’t as sturdy as we had hoped, so be careful if you’re moving it around.

In spite of this though, the XL2600I Sew Advance is THE best sewing machine for beginners. Getting to grips with its operation is a snap while its versatility and reliability only sweeten the deal.

2. Brother XM2701

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

What is the best sewing machineAnother beginner sewing machine, this model brings a little bit more to the table than the XL2600I at a price that is practically the same.

The number of stitches included has been ramped up to 27. Included are zipper, blind-hem, decorative and zigzag stitches along with the 1-step buttonhole stitch. You’ll also get a decent number of feet you can change in a flash, 6 to be exact.

Standard features also include an automated needle threader and a jam-resistant drop-in bobbin, which make for speedy and hassle-free work.

This easy to use machine is both stylish and lightweight, allowing you to sew with style either at home, a friend’s place or helping out your community theater group.

All of the stitches are clearly marked on its face and easily accessible via a dial. It has an LED light that helps you with finer work and in less than ideal lighting conditions, but the light itself is a little bit dim, so for best results we suggest that you don’t solely rely on it.

Another inconvenience comes from the fact that the presser foot lever is under the arm, meaning you’ll have to reach up under the arm every time you want to get at it.

Since these are either situational or easily dismissed shortcomings, we can say without a doubt that the XM2701 is the best basic sewing machine. Combining user-friendliness with a decent set of features all at a price that sounds too good to be true – where do we sign up?

3. Michley Lil’ Sew & Sew LSS-202 Combo Mini

3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Easy to use sewing machineThe last entry in the guide is a little different, but as intriguing as the others.

We’ve chosen to finish up by reviewing a mini, basic and easy to use sewing machine because you never know when you’ll need to fix a simple problem without turning on your stationary model. You can even keep it in your car and take it along with you wherever you go .

This little rascal by Michley is perfect for that, and it can also be a great gift idea for a child that has shown interest for the craft. Make no mistake though – this is a fully functional product that has a few tricks up its sleeve!

To tell you the truth, this will probably be the best sewing machine for beginners especially if you don’t have much knowledge on how to sew. It is also quite cheap and this will be appealing for someone who is just starting out.

It operates with two speeds and has the option to use double threads. It has both an automatic threader and thread rewinder for ease of use.

There are two different stitches available to you and you can operate the LSS-202 either with a foot pedal or by using turn-style hand stitching.

You’ll also receive a 42-piece starter sewing kit. The kit contains a wide assortment of threads of various widths and colors as well as a pair of scissors and an assortment of accessories essential for a budding seamstress.

Sure, you won’t be quilting with the Lil’ Sew & Sew LSS-202, but its small size, extremely small weight and generous starter kit make this a perfect backup or mobile machine.

They’re also practically giving it away for free, so don’t hesitate to bolster your sewing arsenal with this handy addition.

Things to Look Out For Before You Buy

Best basic sewing machineWith our sewing machine reviews out of the way, you can now take a look at some of the factors that come into play when buying a new model. Take these into account before you end up with a purchase that might not be what you were looking for.

Quantity of stitches vs. quality of their execution – No other variable has been so varied in our reviews as the number of stitches a given machine offers. With possibilities reaching into 3 digits, it really becomes tempting to purchase a model that can embroider whole sentences in the blink of an eye.

Then again, why go for something you won’t use much or at all anyway? On the other hand, having a similar number of stitches doesn’t mean they are all going to be executed with the same quality depending on the manufacturer and the quality of a given model.

Make it a priority to figure out what you’ll actually be using the machine for and get one that delivers.

Ease of use vs. speed and endurance – if you are just starting out, you probably don’t know what it is that you want exactly. As we’ve seen there are sewing machines for beginners out there that are ideal when first starting out – user friendly, straightforward and automated.

Then there are models best used by pros whose speed and reliability comes at the cost of reduced versatility. Getting one of the former models might be best if you’re just taking your first sewing steps.

Conversely, if you are already a seasoned pro or have the foresight to know exactly what kind of sewing you’ll concentrate on, it might be a good idea to get a heavy duty model and save yourself the transitioning costs.

Accessories and flexibility – having a say in exactly how your creations will turn out is very important. It is therefore no surprise that the pricier entries in our guide have a lot of additional extras included.

Presser feet, extra bobbins, stitch rippers, all of these are tools you either can’t be without to sew successfully or you’d wish you had / had more of if you buy a poorly supplied model. Once you do have the right accessories, you’ll also probably want a degree of control in using them and your machine in general.

Variable speed control, pressure control of the presser feet and an easy way of changing different presets all account for a streamlined and more personal experience.

Conclusion

After all is said and done choosing a model that’s right for you is no small task. There are numerous variables to consider and in the end it is up to the informed buyer to make a smart decision based on all the available information.

Did we manage to answer the most pertinent question, what is the best sewing machine for beginners or a higher skilled level, to your satisfaction? We sure hope so!

In the end the manufacturer or the specific model take a backseat to your personal perseverance and skill. It’s kind of like playing the guitar – if they know what they’re doing, the person playing can make even a home-built instrument of questionable quality produce sweet sounding music.

Your task will be a bit easier since every product in the guide upholds certain standards, but the end result will still have a lot to do with the hand that guides the fabric.

We just hope your new machine will give you the confidence and inspiration you’ll need to keep at it and make the world a little more good looking with each of your creations.

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