If you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your stitching, then buying a great sewing machine is a must. Even if you are just learning to sew, it will soon become frustrating to learn on an average machine. However, when you do not have an in-depth insight into what makes a great sewing machine, it makes it all too likely that you will buy something only to have to return it soon afterwards.
Are you hesitant about buying a sewing machine because you know next to nothing about them? Nowadays, we have so many types of sewing machines to choose from that it is only natural to feel overwhelmed when you are looking to buy one. It is pretty obvious that if you are going to invest so much money, then you want to get the very best. In this guide, we have reviewed the top sewing machines, making the job of picking the best one much easier for you.
Mechanical Sewing Machines
These machines are the most common type. They are user-friendly and easy to operate, offering manual control using huge rotary dials to control the thread direction and stitch length.
A high percentage of sewing machines that fall into this category are quite heavy and just offer the basic functions that a user would need, but the good thing about mechanical sewing machines is that they come at a very reasonable price. They are an ideal option for beginners who are looking for basic stitching functions and to practise on until they need something more advanced. These machines are durable and easy to repair.
Since they are inexpensive, they often do not offer a range of built-in stitches or advanced features such as buttonholes, but this shouldn’t matter to those who are looking for a machine for casual sewing or occasional alterations at home. Mechanical machines are perfect for those who only need to use straight stitch.
Janome 2200XT Sewing Machine
This sewing machine is sturdy, reliable and affordable. It features valuable snap-on feet attachments along with an additional high presser-foot lifter, which makes sewing thicker and heavily layered materials a breeze. The presser feet included are an overcasting foot, hemming foot, satin stitch foot, zipper foot and standard foot.
The drop-feed facility also enables you to enjoy free-motion sewing. It is highly unlikely that you will feel restricted by the capabilities of this sewing machine as it is quite simple to operate with just two dials: one for stitch selection and the other for adjusting the stitch length. You can boldly take up any complex sewing project with this machine as, design-wise, it is sturdy and robust.
Features of the Janome 2200XT Sewing Machine
The machine comes with 22 stitches, including stretch, blind hem and zigzag stitch which makes it easy for anyone to produce impressive creations. The length and width of the stitch can be easily adjusted but it is important to note that the maximum stitch is 4mm wide and 5mm long. The machine also features a front-loading bobbin system.
The machine is reasonably light, weighing in at merely 6kg. It has a speed of 750 stitches per minute. It comes with a removable storage box that doubles up as a free arm to smooth the progress of circular stitching. The model does not feature a needle threader but has an easy-to-follow numbered thread path. It also features an automatic four-step buttonhole function.
Advantages of the Janome 2200XT Sewing Machine
• Easy to useAll the buttons, controls and dials on this machine are located within easy reach making it simple to operate.
• Extra savingThe machine comes with a number of presser feet, saving you the additional cost of having to buy them separately.
• VersatilityThe extra height of the foot lifter allows for the stitching of extra bulky fabrics, and its adjustable stitch width and length makes it versatile.
• Safe storageThe machine features two handy pull up/push down spool pins to allow ease of use and safe storage.
This model comes at an ideal price considering the number of features and stitches it offers. It is a great choice for beginners as well as experienced sewers. The machine is portable as it weighs only 6kg so you can take it with you when you travel. This machine is incredibly user-friendly, especially for beginners.
Electronic Sewing Machines
Compared to mechanical sewing machines, electronic sewing machines offer a wider range of advanced features. They are perfect for people who sew as a full-time hobby, but industrial units rarely use electronic machines which usually come with an on/off button for sewing.
They are a good combination of mechanical and computerised machines, and since computerised sewing machines are much more advanced and require a lot of effort to learn how to operate, many people prefer electronic sewing machines.
They are lighter than mechanical machines and are therefore easy to move around the house. Some of the most noteworthy features are a free arm, an LCD touchscreen with push buttons to choose stitch designs and an automatic needle threader. Electronic sewing machines cost much more than mechanical ones.
Brother FS40 40-Stitch Electronic Sewing Machine
The Brother FS40 is an impressive sewing machine packed with advanced features that you wouldn’t expect to find in this price bracket. It is lightweight and therefore easy to carry around. The machine has slide-speed control, which makes it possible to operate it without the foot control. There are 40 automatic stitches to choose from, offering you great flexibility in your sewing.
From dress design to curtain-making, anything is possible with this electronic machine. It features a drop-in bobbin with an automatic bobbin winder to free you from the hassle of manually winding your bobbins. The machine also has the convenience of an automatic stitch selection tool, and the backlit LCD display shows you the foot type required for each stitch.
Features of the Brother FS40 40-Stitch Electronic Sewing Machine
The Brother FS40 features 40 stitches which include 16 decorative stitches and a choice of stretch stitches. It has a 40W motor, a standard foot pedal and a start/stop button for controlling the speed. It features a drop-in bobbin system with a transparent bobbin cover so you can see how much thread is left. This means there is less chance of the thread jamming so your work can continue without disturbance. The 5×1 step button enables you to sew excellent buttonholes of various sizes. The machine also features an automatic stitch selection which makes it easy to use, and the reverse sewing button will allow you to lock in your stitches. You can only use plastic bobbins in this sewing machine.
Advantages of the Brother FS40 40-Stitch Electronic Sewing Machine
LED lightA traditional bulb can leave your threads discoloured with its yellow sheen. The LED light maintains the colour of your threads and will never need to be replaced.
Instructional DVDYou can learn about every aspect of the machine in detail from its instructional DVD; the perfect way to learn if you are a beginner.
Ideal for professionalsIt is definitely the best choice for professionals as it comes packed with almost all the advanced features you could need to create exceptional designs.
Drop-feed systemThis system makes it possible to do free-motion embroidery and quilting. You can buy the free-motion foot separately.
The Brother FS40 is a sewing machine that comes packed with great features all at a very reasonable price. The start/stop button gives you fine control over the machine and is great for beginners. The machine also has the option of an extension table and a vast range of sewing features making it the perfect choice at an affordable price for experienced users or beginners.
Quilting Special Sewing Machine 404
This sewing machine is easy to use and comes with 170 plain and decorative stitches. It is equally good for complex work like quilting as well as simple sewing or alterations. The machine comes with 13 complimentary feet, including a satin-stitch foot, a narrow hemmer and a walking foot. The machine also has 13 different styles of one-step automatic buttonholes as well as eyelet stitches. The interactive LCD screen is a bit small but this doesn’t really matter as it is adequate for the job and allows you to clearly see whatever selection you have made.
The machine has an automatic needle threader which is a real time saver. It also enables you to control how slow or fast you want to stitch. You can switch to fast mode after you have done enough practice and feel confident that you can handle the speed. The start/stop function allows you to stitch automatically, and the free-arm feature is great for stitching trouser legs and sleeves.
Features of the Quilting Special Sewing Machine 404
Out of 120 stitches, 20 have been specifically designed for those who want to use the machine for quilting. You can also increase the working area through the flatbed table extension. There is a stitch memory feature that can memorise the characters and stitch out words and numbers – ideal for name tapes. The stitch elongation feature works by extending satin stitches by almost five times the original length of the fabric.
You can use the auto declutch bobbin feature to click the bobbin winder into a position which will result in the sewing mechanism being automatically released, and also make use of the quick-release foot holder for changing the feet.
Advantages of the Quilting Special Sewing Machine 404
Works on every materialThe machine has the capability to sew any type of fabric from lightweight material to heavy denim, so there’s no need to keep two machines at home for separate fabric stitching.
High performanceThe rotary anti-jam mechanism is capable of delivering impressive performances along with the machine’s power and precision to enhance efficiency.
Time saverYou can make use of the machine’s electronic speed limiter to set the maximum speed, enabling you to work faster. The machine will start slowly before it hits maximum speed.
Pattern end selectorThis offers the option to finish a selected pattern automatically and thus considerably enhance your creativity.
Ideal for quiltingThis sewing machine features 20 exclusive stitches for quilting, making it an ideal option for those who are quilting on a regular basis.
This 220V machine is definitely going to increase your working speed. It comes with an incredible variety of stitches, an easy-to-load bobbin, a hard cover and a built-in accessory box. If you are looking for a machine which is excellent value for money, then this is the one to choose. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this machine an incredible all-rounder.
Overlock Sewing Machines or Sergers
Overlock sewing machines, also known as sergers, are for those who are looking for a professional finish to their sewing projects. They are used to sew over the edge of either one or two pieces of fabric for the purpose of edging, hemming or seaming. The machine uses three or four stitches to create an overlock stitch. Sergers usually use four threads and two needles, but some machines are capable of using five threads. Most machines also have the option to use two or three threads and one needle. Serged seams are great for fabrics that stretch as you stitch them, but they are not a replacement for mechanical or electronic machines.
Uten Overlock Electronic Sewing Machine
This could be described as a household sewing machine particularly designed for DIY sewing. The machine is useful if you are looking to do buttonholing, seaming or hemming. There is a built-in LED light located on the head position which conveniently illuminates the work area. The machine features anti-slip safety bottom pads to make sure it stays in place during sewing. The presser foot is replaceable, and you can change it depending on your specific needs such as zipper sewing. The reverse sewing feature allows you to reinforce the end of seams and will, therefore, ensure that no loose ends are left. You can conveniently create custom-sized buttonholes using a built-in 13/14/15/16 stitch. The free arm allows you to comfortably sew cuffs and the bottom of trousers.
Features of the Uten Overlock Electronic Sewing Machine
This machine has two different speeds, but beginners would usually work with the slower speed. With time, as your confidence increases, you can easily increase the speed. There are printed diagrams with labels on the machine to help you to learn if you are a beginner.
The machine comes with 16 built-in stitches which also include a seaming option. This machine is easy to transport and store as it fits easily into a cupboard or closet. The machine is quite easy to use with user-friendly knobs and dials.
Advantages of the Uten Overlock Electronic Sewing Machine
Professional stitchingIts double thread and double speed will help you in creating neat, firm and straight stitches.
Easy to useThis sewing machine offers two control modes. The switch button mode can be turned off, and you can choose from high or low speed.
PortableFor those who live in small homes or need to transport their machine to other places of work as well, this machine is an ideal option as it is quite lightweight.
High powerThis machine comes with 24 watts of power which enables it to sew thicker materials flawlessly.
Great for learningThe machine features printed diagrams with labels so it is ideal if you are learning to sew.
Easy to carry aroundDue to its light weight, the machine is very easy to carry around.
This machine is great for both occasional alterations or for more professional sewing purposes. Taking into account the number of features it has, it is very reasonably priced, suiting even beginners’ budgets. However, this sewing machine mainly stands out from the rest because it is so easy to use.
Mini Sewing Machines
Home sewing machines are great for altering clothes, turning your old clothes into amazing new creations or for simple stitching jobs, and the mini sewing machine can do all of this while also saving you money and space in the home. Some mini machines that are used for threading or embroidery are even used by professionals in industrial units.
The mini sewing machine is also great for those who want to take their sewing machine everywhere; it is actually a portable machine. Due to its light weight and small size, travelling with a mini machine is no hassle at all, and some of these machines are equipped with almost every feature that regular sewing machines have. They are also ideal for kids.
These machines are incredibly easy to use and consume less power than regular machines. They also come in stylish designs, so if you have a smaller apartment, then you should definitely go for a mini sewing machine.
KPCB 201 Mini Sewing Machine
The KPCB Mini Sewing Machine is an exclusive mini design which can be carried around easily. It has a huge extension table so you can comfortably work at your work station and have enough space to carry out your work smoothly. It comes with a built-in lamp to provide you with enough light for sewing, and the thread cutter enables you to cut thread easily after you are done with sewing. It features a convenient winding pole to rewind the bobbins. The thread spindle and winding pole are easy to use and save you time as you simply need to set up the bobbins and turn on the machine to rewind the bobbins automatically. This machine is a good choice for beginners.
Features of the KPCB 201 Mini Sewing Machine
The machine comes with a cuff slot feature that makes sleeve work effortless even for beginners. Not all mini sewing machines come with two speed settings and two different power sources, so these features give this sewing machine the edge over other models.
The manufacturer has upgraded this model, and now the machine comes with a stronger, longer pedal cable. It is easy to replace the bottom bobbin with its large spool and rewind device.
Advantages of the KPCB 201 Mini Sewing Machine
Large extension tableThis is one of the most practical solutions to sewing large pieces of fabric easily which would have been really tough without the extension table.
Easy to storeThe mini sewing machine is really convenient due to its small size. You can easily make space for it anywhere in your room.
Ideal for beginnersFor those who have just started to learn to sew and want a sewing machine to practise on, this is a great option for learning the basics.
Good light sourceThe built-in lamp acts as a good light source, and you won’t need any additional light with this machine.
It might not be an option for industrial sewing or for working on complicated designs and heavy material, but the mini sewing machine is great for those who are not professional designers and simply need a lightweight machine to work on. This is also an ideal option for those who are into occasional sewing and crafting.
PriceMore often than not, we exceed our budget when it comes to buying a sewing machine, but it is important to keep to your budget if you can. You can certainly make a great choice on a limited budget, and going over budget often leads to being faced with many confusing sewing options that you don’t really need.
FabricKeep in mind the primary reason for buying a sewing machine. After all, what is the point of paying extra money for features that you don’t even need? It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional or not; you still need to be focused on the type of work you are going to do on your machine. Make sure you take into account the thickness of fabric that you will be working with. For example, if you are going to work with fabric like denim, then you certainly need a sturdier machine.
UsageThis is a critical consideration when buying a sewing machine. If you are a beginner, you might not want a machine that will cost you an arm and a leg. Similarly, if you are not a professional designer and you just want a sewing machine to stitch your clothes, you do not need to buy a sturdy machine with a heavy metal frame and advanced features.
AttachmentsSewing machines are often equipped with a range of attachments that come with the purchase. You should do your homework properly and have an understanding of which attachments you actually need. Bear in mind that you can also buy attachments separately such as buttonhole attachments, blind hem feet or zipper feet.
Built-In Needle ThreaderYou will need to thread your machine every time you swap threads, so a built-in needle threader will save you a lot of time and effort. The frustration of using a machine that does not come with a built-in needle threader is all too real. Even if you have great eyesight, you will still need a lot of practice to be able to put the thread through the eye of the needle in the first few attempts.
Drop-In Bobbin SystemWhen you are looking for a new sewing machine, you will come across two types of bobbin systems: front loading and drop-in. It is always recommended to buy a sewing machine with a drop-in bobbin system as this makes it effortless and quick to change bobbins. Most sewing machines with drop-in bobbin systems make use of plastic bobbins. If you are working with front-loading bobbin systems, you generally have the option of using metal bobbins which are mandatory if you are working with fabric like denim or you are stitching curtains.
Free arm CapabilityWith the help of a free arm, you can sew around garment pieces like sleeves and trouser hems. You cannot sew narrow or round garment pieces on a sewing machine that does not have a free arm. For beginners, it is very important to buy a machine that is equipped with this essential feature.
Number of StitchesFundamentally, you need a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch to stitch almost everything. Some sewing machines offer more than 200 stitches, but they are mostly for fashion designers. There are a number of other stitches such as triple straight stitch or reverse stitch which can also be useful.