Best sewing machines reviews 2018

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Patchwork is a favorite work of women. Especially with your hand sewing a shirt or pants is a joy to women. Whether you are returning to the long-lost skills of life or the first choice of lingerie, how did you even begin to choose sewing machines?

The variety of sewing machines available on the market can be embarrassing and your ideal fit will depend on what you want to do. Do you find yourself covering blankets and blankets? Or sew a new wardrobe? Just like the machines I used when I created my own pieces – milk or mended torn or defective items – I came up with advice on some of the most beautiful sewers in the business. To test the machines have the features to fit all the stitcher flourishes.

A well selected machine can last you throughout your life and I recommend investing in something that is sure to be able to handle some of the testing while you create your creative muscle. Too many puzzling features may overwhelm beginners but that is necessary? A straight quality stitch, zigzag and function for sewing a button hole in one or four steps will see you through a surprising number of projects.

Features such as memory options and a lever to lift your presser knee are probably only needed if you sew more than part-time. Similarly, you can do without double food, evenly pull the fabric from both top and bottom. It’s a handy feature when using tough fabrics but you can buy a separate foot to do this if needed in the future. However, a down / down needle function and a lizard from the top with a clear cap so you can see when it’s exhausted can be invaluable.

Not only to properly stitch but also to ensure the materials will hold together once you are completed with the job. Heavy duty sewing machines have a heavier price tag than your traditional sewing machines, this is because they are specialised sewing machines with features that will enable you to do your leatherwork, or sew the thicker materials such as upholstery with ease and precision as well as handling the lighter and finer materials at the same time

You have to be sure to pick the right machine, right needle and right material in order to get your project to turn out just right, and that can be a very daunting task.

Some people may feel that traditional handmade machinery is easier to understand, but in my research, Tony at Lewisham and Deptford Sewing Machines opened my eyes to the wonderful computer world and how they could saving time and trouble when it’s started. Many of these modern machines can choose the optimal length and width of your special stages, eliminate guesswork and limit your mistakes.

Best sewing machines for sale 2018

  • Best Overall: Singer 7258 Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

    Buyers looking for a sewing machine that can do it all at a reasonable price should consider the Singer 7258. Available in either 70- or 100-stitch versions, this computerized machine offers the basics (straight stitches and zigzags) as well as decorative stitches, quilting and heirloom stitches, and seven kinds of one-step buttonholes. Ten metal presser feet are included with the machine.

    Reviewers rave about the Singer 7258 when it comes to ease of use. Features include an automatic needle threader, top-loading bobbin, an LED-illuminated sewing surface, speed control, and a needle that can be programmed to stop in the up or down positions. Users say it’s easy to switch between stitches with built-in arrow buttons, and they also love how quiet the machine is while it’s sewing. A few warn that a heavy-duty machine might be a better choice for projects involving thicker fabric, though.  

    The Singer 7258 is backed by a 25-year limited warranty. Singer touts the machine’s “heavy-duty metal frame,” but some reviewers say they are disappointed that crucial parts such as the pedal and bobbin cover are made of plastic.

  • Best Budget: Brother XM2701 Full-Featured Sewing Machine

    While it isn’t as feature-packed as its pricier competitors, users say the non-computerized Brother XM2701 still offers a lot of sewing machine for the price. There are 27 stitches, including all the basics for garment construction, as well as decorative, blind hem, zigzag and stretch stitches. It also includes a one-step buttonhole setting and six presser feet.

    Users like the machine’s simple dial stitch selector, and they appreciate the top-loading bobbin and automatic needle threader. There is also automatic bobbin winding. Several say they’ve used this model extensively, and even with thicker fabric, without problems. However, some reviewers say it’s hard to maintain consistent sewing speed with the pedal, and others say the included LED light is too dim.

    The Brother XM2701 comes with a 25-year limited warranty. While most reviewers are pleased with durability, especially for the price, some are skeptical that the plastic frame and parts will hold up year after year.

  • Best High-End: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist Computerized Sewing Machine

    Intermediate and advanced sewers with a bit more money to spend give the feature-packed Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist high marks. This computerized sewing machine boasts a staggering 600 types of stitches, including 13 one-step buttonholes and five fonts for embroidering letters and numbers. It also includes 18 presser feet.

    The Singer 9960 has the ease-of-use features most sewers would expect from a pricier, more powerful machine: There’s an automatic needle threader, automatic thread trimmer, speed control, top-loading bobbin, and a large sewing surface with an extension table. An “auto-pilot” function lets sewers take their foot off the pedal without missing a beat, and the needle can stop in up or down positions. An LCD screen shows users which stitch they’ve selected, stitch length and width, and the recommended presser foot. Reviewers enthusiastically embrace all these features, and they say the machine is smooth and quiet.

    The interior frame of the Singer 9960 is metal, and the machine comes with a limited 25-year warranty. While most users say it’s high-quality, there’s also more that can go wrong with more complicated sewing machines—there are scattered reports of thread jamming and other issues.

  • Best for Beginners: Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

    Beginners who can overlook the flowery case will find plenty to like about the Janome Magnolia 7318. Experts say it does a great job balancing value, features, and ease of use. This non-computerized sewing machine offers 18 decorative and utility stitches and a four-step buttonhole. It comes with three presser feet.

    The Janome Magnolia 7318’s features include a top-loading bobbin, large sewing surface and adjustable needle position. The machine has easy-to-use dials that control the stitch selection and width. While the sewing speed is controlled with the foot pedal. This model also gets praise for its smooth and consistent stitching. Reviewers like that the presser foot can be lifted quite high to accommodate thicker fabric.

    Some users say they wish the machine were quieter, and while some note it doesn’t include many presser feet, they say they are cheap and readily available. Janome backs the Magnolia 7318 with a 15-year limited warranty.

    Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best beginner sewing machines available online. 

     

    Best for Quilting: Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine

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    The Singer CG590 is another Heavy Duty sewing machine from the Singer stable and is, like its brother the Singer 4411, a genuine workhorse. The CG590 is made for the commercial environment, however it can be used by first timers too. It is simple and easy and therefore perfect for professional or amateur sewers.

    One of the best industrial grade machines, it is created for sewing leather fabrics, with 18 built-in patterns, free arm for sewing hard to reach small areas, the Singer CG590 also features an automatic thread function,  and can sew at an amazing 1100 stitch per minute, more than enough for any home or professional seamstress. It also has a drop feed system that is easy to use.

    The CG590 has a drop in bobbin with a clear case, as well as an automatic 4-step buttonhole design so you will always get that button hole perfect every time. An added benefit of the CG590 is the horizontal thread delivery system so there are no tangles or snags to worry about giving you an easy, comfortable sew.

    Whether you are looking for a commercial grade machine for your factory, or simply a home user who is looking for something that can handle heavy duty sewing, you found it in the Singer CG590. It is one of the better priced on the market as well, so your budget will not be blown with this beauty. It is durable, affordable and easy to use.

  • Best for Quilting: Brother PQ1500SL High Speed Quilting and Sewing Machine

    Quilters who want a reasonably priced, mid-range machine that can help speed along their work should opt for the Brother PQ1500SL, which can blaze through up to 1,500 stitches a minute. This is a straight-stitch-only machine—preferred by most quilters because they are simple and more powerful—and it comes with seven presser feet.

    One of quilters’ biggest demands is a roomy sewing area, which the Brother PQ1500SL has, especially with the included 12-by-18-inch extension table. It also has an automatic thread trimmer, needle positioner, and needle threader. Reviewers particularly love the four feed dog settings that allow them to evenly sew just about any kind of fabric, thick or thin, but say they’re easy to raise for free-motion quilting, too. They also love the knee lifter, which lets them raise or lower the presser foot while keeping their hands on their fabric instead. However, setting the thread tension can be tricky, some say.

    The Brother PQ1500SL comes with a limited 25-year warranty. Reviewers are pleased that there are very few plastic parts, and there are few durability complaints.

  • Best Serger: Juki MO644D Portable Serger

    Advanced sewers who want fast, clean seams often add a serger to their repertoire, and reviewers say the Juki MO644D is one of the best. Users can sew seven types of stitches with two, three or four threads. The machine comes with a multi-purpose presser foot that can handle tape and elastic, and it is compatible with other Juki presser feet.

    The Juki MO644D has features including a differential feed, a color-coded threading guide, dial-adjusted thread tension, a built-in heavy-duty fabric knife, automatic rolled hemming and adjustable stitch length and width. Though Juki recommends this machine for light- to medium-weight fabrics, reviewers say it’s still powerful enough for many thicker fabrics including denim, fleece, and multi-layered wool. They also say it’s quite stable while working, and they like the machine’s relatively small footprint. The five-year warranty is shorter than many, but there are very few durability complaints.

     

    Best for Embroidery: SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

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    The Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine is everything sewing machine should have all wrapped into one great package. With an interior metal frame, stainless steel bedplate, extra-high sewing speed and powerful motor, the Singer 4411 is able to deal with any kind of fabric or material you wish to sew with ease.

    Not only will the Singer 4411 give you versatility but also its capability of sewing a fast rate. The powerful 110 v motor, allows you to work on leather and thicker fabrics with the slightest of ease. The Singer will allow you to stitch at a professional 1100 stitch per minute for faster results, perfect for the industrial or commercial environment.

    The simple to load drop in bobbin system with clear view cover, allows for quicker threading and easy thread supply monitoring. The Singer 4411 also features 11 built-in stitch patterns, including 4 decorative, 6 essential as well as an automatic 4-step buttonhole.

    Along with the Singer 4411 comes a slew of accessories to make your life easier including and all-purpose foot, a zipper foot, soft-sided dust cover, quick start guide and much more.

    A premium sewing machine the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine is the ultimate workhorse that will cater for any amateur or professional sewers needs. Its heavy duty frame allows for skip-free sewing and great durability.

  • Best for Embroidery: Brother Embroidery Machine 70 Designs

    For those who love nothing more than a good monogram, this embroidery machine is the perfect way to personalize away. From adding names, initials and other embellishments to clothing, blankets and more, this sewing machine lets you do it all.

    It has a 4 x 4-inch embroidery area, seven built-in designs, 120 frame patterns and five font styles. It can also connects to your computer so you can import even more embroidery designs. Gifts, home decor and more — the creative possibilities are endless with this sewing machine.

    Customers say it’s simple to use and does a great job. Some, however, wish the embroidery area was a bit bigger. It comes with a 25-year limited warranty, so you know it’s built to last, and there’s online and phone support for customers for as long as you own the machine.

  • Best for Kids: Cool Maker Sew N’ Style Sewing Machine

    Kids can get creative and make some cool things with this sewing machine designed just for them. Recommended for ages 6 and up, it includes everything they need to get started including fabrics (fancy sparkly fabrics at that), patterns, embellishments and more. It also comes with a pom-pom maker for pops of fun anywhere. There are patterns and materials included to make five adorable projects, including a stuffed unicorn. Once those are complete, they can use the machine to come up with their own designs.

    It runs on four AA batteries (not included), which makes it ultra-portable. A storage drawer is built-in too to hold all the fabric and accessories and keep everything neat and tidy. Customers say it’s safe (the needle is protected with a plastic covering) and fun, though they caution that it’s not a “real” sewing machine.

Buyers Guide Questions

The Ultimate How to Guide on Correctly Sewing Leather

Having a tool that can sew through tough materials such as leather provides more scope for interesting projects. The best models that can sew leather are also, by nature, more durable. This means you can consider a heavy duty machine a long-term investment rather than having to replace it in a couple of years.

The industrial sewing machines are used for stitching various kinds of material and types of clothing or fabric, from dresses to bags to leather garments and shoes.

The industrial sewing machines are not only for the businesses or manufacturing environments, but can also be used by home based business or just the avid crafter who loves quilting or sewing heavy duty materials that your normal sewing machine cannot handle.

So how do you chose the right one for you? The decision will be based on many different factors. You should look at what purpose you use your machine for. These machines are also quite pricey so you want to look at dependability and durability as you do not want to have to replace your machine often. If you are working in a commercial environment then the ability to sew fast will be of the essence, not only that but accuracy and quality.

Although the task of picking the right one for you may seem daunting as there are a lot of different types out there, there are as we said some pertinent factors you will have to take into consideration when deciding which one is best for you, below we outline some of the features that will affect your choice of machine.

Buying Purpose

Why do you want an industrial leather sewing machine? Are you somebody that likes to do some home crafting, is leather or upholstery fabrics that you often work with? Are you thinking of starting a home based business and use a heavy duty sewing machine to cope with that?  Or are you a manufacturer or tailor that is working in a commercial environment? Once you have determined why you want the machine, picking the right one becomes that much easier.

Speed of the Machine

The rate at which the machine can sew is a very important aspect if you are a manufacturer or even a home based entrepreneur doing repairs or making your own designer items. You want something that can not only sew fast but also accurately and with precision. Heavy duty machines often give you higher than average sewing speeds which range from about 1000 stitch per minute machines to as many as 5000.  However you have to consider that the thicker the material, the slower your stitch must be to ensure that you do not damage or break your needle. So if you are stitching thick leather or upholstery, you have to be to slow the stitching down to a manageable level. This is done with variable RPM which some of your industrial machines such as the Jukki offer. However if you are not using leather or heavy materials, and are a dress maker, or curtain maker, then having a fast machine can aid you in getting the job done quickly and effortlessly. Great for the home tailor or in a commercial manufacturing environment.

Power Source

If you are a manufacturer working out of a factory then electricity is not as big an issue as it is for the home based user. Electricity is an expense that can quickly blow your monthly budget if you are not careful and choosing a machine that is going to require a lot of juice is maybe not the wisest decision. There are those machines though that do not require so much, and some are even manual such as the Tippmann, which is self-sufficient.

It is not only the cost of the electricity that you will require to use the machine into consideration here, but also the amount the machine is going to draw. The heavy duty machines will require a lot of voltage so they are not all suitable for home usage, as the output in a standard residential property is not as high as say in a factory.  If you are going to get a machine that draws a lot of power, you will also have to get an electrician in to ensure that you can handle that amount of power through your wall sockets. Some machines come with the option of converting their power sources making them suitable for home usage, but this is definitely an aspect that would require some serious consideration when buying your machine.

Sound

Generally, these machines are heavy duty so they produce a lot of noise. However, if you intend to use it in a factory or a manufacturing unit, then it won’t be an issue, however if you are going to be using this in a residential setting, you will have to be cognisant of the noise levels you are going to generate lest you upset your neighbours. There are some machines on the market that have quiet working motors and of course the manual ones will not create a problem either.

Motor type

There are two types of motors used by these machines, named clutch motor and servo motor. The clutch motor makes a lot of noise and is used in heavy machines which are ideal for sewing thicker fabrics like leather. These are the machines you will find in factories and other commercial sewing environments, and are not suited to residential areas. There are however a few on the market that have a less noisy operation that can be used in a domestic setting.

The servo motor, on the other hand, is quieter and works well on the fabrics which are light to medium. The machines using servo motors are great for ornamental stitching and they also offer great leniency and range in terms of how fast or slow you need to stitch.

Working Area & Lighting

You must be aware of the working area you are going to require as it will help you choose the correct arm type. For larger materials such as canvases and upholstery you are going to have to get a machine with a long-arm that can easily pass the fabric beneath the needle. Lighting is essential as without good lighting you are not going to be able to sew precision stitching which is necessary if you are going to be doing quilting. For larger volumes that require only straight stitching, lighting is not as essential.

Control Features

Industrial sewing machines offer a number of unique control features to perform all the basic and advanced functions. So, choose the one with features that are relative to your requirements. Fully automated or computerised machines are great for beginners, the ones that offer RPM control on the faster stitching machines are great for slowing your stitch down for the more precision work you have to do. Make sure you read the manual thoroughly before attempting to sew and get to know what features your machine offers.

Feed Style

These machines have two main feed styles, one with walking foot feed and the other with puller feed. The walking foot feeds are usually found on heavy duty machines and they move up and down to support the feed dog to easily pass the thicker fabrics through the machine. The walking foot style is great as they enable you to sew fabrics that your average sewing machine will not be able to handle. In saying this a lot of the industrial machines do use the puller feed with a normal foot presser.

Because the difference between the walking foot and the puller feed with a normal foot presser is not that great, and both the walking foot and puller feed are used in heavy duty machines, the choice is entirely up you your preferences. Although, the walking foot is easier to use when dealing with heavy duty materials.

Stitch Type

An industrial machine will have quite a few types, and most of these use between one and seven threads. The most commonly used stitch in industrial machines is the plain stitch, although many will offer a number of different option, some up to 600. The ones that are most commonly used are the loc, chain, overlock, and coverstitch.

Budget

The cost of an industrial sewing machine is usually high and most domestic or home based sewers cannot afford to invest in one. However if you are going to start your own business from home, or are somebody that loves crafting and quilting a good heavy duty sewing machine is a necessity. They may be a little more expensive, however due to their construction they are very durable and you will not have to replace them at regular intervals, in fact your machine should last you a lifetime.

The reason for the higher cost of the heavy duty machines are that they are specifically designed to accommodate commercial and industrial usage, they have complex parts and designs which add to manufacturing costs of these machines. If you have a lower budget there are some heavy duty machines on the market that will suite your needs. The different designs will determine the cost and the flatbed machines are on the lower price end. If you are a home user, buying the big industrial ones could also not be a benefit to you as they tend to be very noisy and could cause problems in a residential setting.

Types of Industrial Leather Sewing Machines

There are many different types of industrial sewing machines. The various designs have a lot of differing features, each suited to a specific material or manner of sewing. Industrial machines are also designed for constant use and for extended time periods and are therefore more durable than your normal sewing machine. Unlike your average domestic use machines, industrial sewing machine’s gears, connecting rods, housings and body are usually constructed from high-quality metals, such as cast iron or aluminium for durability and heavy usage.

The machine that works well on leather will not necessarily be appropriate for the thinner and more delicate fabrics such as cotton and linen. However there are some that can accommodate both.  There are specific machines that are designed for specific purposes, some machines are used for apparel, some for bags and shoes and some for upholstery. The different styles of Industrial Leather Sewing Machines and their differing features will also affect the price you are going to pay. Not only that but some are just not meant to be used in a domestic environment due to electricity demands and noise factors.

Flatbed Machine

This one is the most commonly used type of industrial sewing machines. The machines which are used at home also feature flatbed foot. This machine has its arm and the needle extended to its flat base. This type of machine is on the lower cost end of the scale and is generally used where workers are sewing flat pieces of material, such as dresses and other garments together. It is not suited to the thicker materials or if you are trying to sew a number of different materials together.

Cylinder-Bed Machine

The Cylinder-Bed Machine is designed with a narrow, horizontal column and not a flat base. The diameter of these machines can vary from 5 – 16cm depending on the size of the materials that you are going to be working with. The fabric instead of passing under the foot, passes around and under the column. This type of industrial sewing machine is great for working with leather and is most often used when making saddles and shoes. It also helps for sewing cylindrical pieces of material such as when doing cuffs, sleeves and pant legs.

Post-Bed Machine

The Post-Bed type machines feature a vertical columns that hold bobbins, feed dog and loopers. These columns rise up above the flat base of the machine and the height ranges from 10 – 45cm depending on the machine you choose. These types of industrial sewing machines are generally used for complex stitching and where access to the area is difficult, such as manufacture of boots, gloves and the like as well as affixing emblems to clothes or other items.

Off-the-Arm Machine

This industrial type sewing machine is designed specifically for the commercial environment. For this machine you are required to feed the material through the machine along the axis of its horizontal column. It is a machine that is very limited in its usage and not at all versatile. This type is used for extra heavy and thick materials like shoulder seams.

How Often is the Machine Required to be Tuned Up?

Tuning up of your industrial machine is critical to the proper functioning of the machine. Just like a car needs a service to continue working at its optimal peak, so does your industrial sewing machine. So how do you know when your machine needs a tune up? Well there are different factors which will determine that.

One of the major factors that will determine how frequently you will require a tune up will be how you are using your machine. If the machine is being heavily used as in a manufacturing environment, then it will require tune ups more frequently than if used for domestic or small business purposes. The environment in which your machine is used will also be a contributing factor.

Generally, you are required to tune up your machine once to twice a year, if you are using it regularly and consistently. If you are a moderate user, such as using it only for crafting or quilting, and only in a domestic environment where you work intermittently on projects, then you will only have to go through this expense every year or two.  If your usage is not that consistent, then it is difficult to determine what interval will best suite. If that is the case, it would be advisable to ask your tuning technician for what period of time you should wait between tune ups.

Remember that if you have not used your machine in a while and you let it stand idle, you will have to take it for a good tune up before you start sewing with it again. You may have kept it clean and dust free but there are many internal parts that are not easily reachable, and which you will not be able to clean yourself, that may require a technician to cleaning and lubricate for you. If you do not tune your machine before using it after a reasonable lay-off, it may well result in stiffness of machine or thread breakage, and that will cost you a lot more than a simple tune up.

What Causes the Stitches to get Uneven?

Ever noticed while sewing that some of your stitching is longer than the others? Yes, that happens quite often and there are a number of reasons for this. One of the primary reasons could be related to the needle. If you are using one that is not suited to the fabric you are working with, you will find that they are getting more and more uneven, and this could ruin your project and waste your fabric in the process. Then there is the possibility that it could also be the cause of uneven stitching, you will have to ensure that it is in good condition before starting with your project, and also that it is the correct one for the fabric you are working with.

If you find that you are still getting uneven stitching even though you have the right needle and that it is working order, you might find it has been inaccurately inserted into the machine. You must then remove it and reinsert it properly before continuing with your sewing. The amount of pressure you put on the foot presser can also be a cause of uneven stitching if it is not sufficient. In such cases, if you suspect this is the cause of your uneven stitching, you can simply adjust the pressure of the foot presser. Once you have adjusted the pressure, be sure to do a few test runs on a few swatches of the material you are working with to make sure that the problem is fixed.

One of the other common problems that cause uneven stitching is low height of the feed dog. This must be in the upward position at all times. Using the wrong foot for the wrong fabrics can also be a contributing factor to uneven stitching, so make sure that you have the right tools for the right material you are using.

If you find that you are still experiencing uneven stitching after making sure all of the usual suspects are not the cause, then you will have to take your machine to a technician as there is then more than likely a problem with the internal workings.

What do a Leather Sewing Needles Look Like?

There are many different types of sewing machine needles and each is specifically designed to cope with certain materials. You have to be able to determine which needle will be the best to tackle the project you wish to work on. Using a ball-point one for instance to work on leather is just not going to cut it. You have to be able to distinguish between the different ones in order to select best one to use for your specific job.

A leather sewing needle is a specific design to make sewing this very thick hard fabric easier. They can also however be used to sew suede and thick non-woven fabrics. Generally speaking leather needles will be about 80/12 – 110/18 in size.

So what does a speciality needle look like? Well they have a wedge-shape point, this is to make penetration of the heavy leather, suede, vinyl or faux suede easier. It will also penetrate the thick nonwoven fabrics without tearing them.

Because of its size it is very important to ensure that you stitch accurately. The size of causes it to leave a large permanent hole in the leather or other fabric, so having a stitch where you don’t want it will definitely destroy your piece of fabric or leather and you will have to start again from scratch.

Using a leather sewing needles on knit or woven fabrics will destroy them as it has a slight cutting point which is specifically designed for the heavier and more difficult fabrics. With this type you will also have to tie the thread ends, instead of backstitching. This is to prevent perforating the surface of the material you are working with.

Conclusion

It is clear that there are plenty of options when considering which industrial leather sewing machine is the best option for you and that will suite your requirements. Whether you are looking for one that is best for home use to do your crafts and quilting with, or you are starting up your own tailoring business from home, or you are a manager of a large commercial enterprise, there is definitely a machine out there that will meet your needs. If you’ve enjoyed this review by our team, please leave a review below.

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