Sewing machines have been an item of necessity rather than a novelty. The fact is that sewing in itself is an art that lets you create masterpieces with a needle and thread. Often the finer things in life (A Savile Row suit or a Rolls Royce interior) are judged by the quality of stitching than the fabric used. You may not be someone looking for that level of perfection, but a sewing machine is a very handy thing to have around you. So whether you are looking for a start in sewing or if you are an experienced bloke looking to up your game, we have you covered. Read on to find the Creme de la creme of sewing machines to fit any of your needs.
Best Sewing Machines 2017
Before we jump in let me tell you the need for something like this. In older times (before technology took over) the choice was relatively easy. Just choose your brand, budget, purpose, and you will end up with something that will last you for years. They all came with a thread, needle(a set if you are lucky), a pressing foot and that was it. All this changed when the silver hand of technology started to bless these things, before you knew it there were an insane number of machines to choose from that made it a chore to even look at all of your options. Nowadays the sewing machines have so much more than a needle and thread; some even let you sit back and enjoy the machine doing it for you. Here is where this list will help you, we have rounded up the best of sewing machines that will fit all of your needs.
1. Singer 9960 Quantum Stylish: Best Compact Sewing Machine
Consider this as the Rolls-Royce of sewing machines; I am not talking about the swathes of leather or polished wood. It concerns to the fact that the feature list is somewhat akin to the one Rolls customers get when they order buy the car. Just like in the automobile, mostly everything in this is customisable. This thing can pull off almost anybody’s sewing needs. Quilting, Embroidery, Monogramming, you name it, and this thing does it. Actually, This almost makes it a master of all things.
It’s small, compact and adds to the classy look. It gives you 600 built-in stitch patterns along with five alphanumeric fonts and 13 1-step buttonholes that are fully automatic. This covers the needs of an entire spectrum of users. It does all this at a sewing speed of around 850 stitches per minute letting you finish your tasks fastly.
There is also an auto stitch width, start-stop buttons and direct stitch direction selection. It has a huge selection of accessories. It gives you 19 presser feet and compatible with much more. It has a seam ripper, screwdrivers, cleaning brush and spool caps that justifies the 327$ (Around 21000 INR) price-tag. For that price singer gives a 25-year warranty on machine head, 5-year warranty on a slew of other parts including the motor, wiring and 1-year for rings, bulbs and attachments.
Nothing is perfect, and all these options come at the cost of being heavy at 10 kg.
2. Brother PC420PRW: Best Professional Sewing Machine
If you are a professional that requires consistent top-draw quality for your stitching, then go for this one. This machine can deliver stitching that is of couture quality. It has more than 150 sewing patterns and other options that will let you tinker and tweak everything to suit your needs. It’s feature rich, yet is on the affordable side of the spectrum.
It has an excellent feature set that includes 294 stitch styles and programmable custom full stitch options such as utility, cross, satin, decorative, etc. that will let you go beyond just stitching. Chances are you will find an apt pattern for most of your requirements. Brother has also managed to cram a nifty set of features like 11 presser feet, a full accessory set along with a hard case. It also has a slew of automatic options that will cater to the beginner as well as advanced. It automates threading and cutting of the thread and also automatically winds the bobbin.
With this machine, you can make a lot of different items including blankets, pillows, bed covers, clothing and much more. It accepts almost every fabric be it nylon, leather or even tricot. It is also one of the best for the artist inside you as it gives you around ten buttonhole sizes. Vast enough to fit in a large assortment of button sizes.
This machine has an awkward left positioning (instead of the right) of the needle; It requires a conscious effort on the user’s part to get used to it. It also needs a screwdriver to replace the walking feet which can be tedious sometimes. Tension adjustment is only possible through a dial rather than the machine doing it automatically, which can deter some people from it. The sheer quantity of features can be hard for novices.
3. Brother CS6000i: Best Budget Sewing Machine
For sheer value-for-money, this beauty from brothers is tough to beat. It is fast, compact and relatively lightweight to start with. Brother ahs also made it a breeze to get accustomed with the product. It offers a laundry list of accessories for a bargain price 159$ (10500 INR). How can we complain?
For starters this thing is fast with an ‘F’, it runs at 850 stitches/minute that puts it right in second place in raw speed. It serves the main course with the usual automatic threading, winding, maximum stitch width and length determination. It also lets the more experienced user customise the length and width of the stitch. The icing on the cake is the ability to do hemlines thanks to the dual needle support. Take it as a well-rounded lunch!
It doesn’t end there as it gives you seven presser feet, needle set, seam ripper, screwdrivers and cleaning brush as accessories. It has 60 stitch patterns and a bright sewing light for better visibility. This thing packs a drop-in bobbin, a removable extension table and adjustable feed dogs that further facilitates the process. It sports an LCD screen that also doubles as the error display making troubleshooting easier.
Support comes in with two years for PCB and other electronics and a full 25 years for the machine casting. They will give you support via both phone and mail. Web site also has some informative FAQ sections
It gives you less numbering stitches, no monogramming or embroidery support which is a shame for an otherwise beautiful project. Having a throat size of only 6.5 inches means it will not be suitable for large quantities of fabrics or big quilts. While being helpful for experts the manual tensioning can be cumbersome for entry-level customers.
4. Singer 7258 stylist: Best Stylish Sewing Machine
Barring the monogramming capability this machine completely fits the bill of a stylist looking for an entry level sewing machine that can do a bit more.
It offers a large variety of stitches such as fashion sewing, heirloom, quilting, crafts and much more. The auto-pilot feature and speed control let you have the reigns on speed. This ad the super-fast helps in error-free stitching. The twin needle compatibility means you can conveniently do hemlocks which are additional plus points. Basic embroidery works and quilting are a breeze in this machine which again presents incredible value for money.
No manual presser adjustment and the inability to sew thicker fabrics is not desirable. The lighting from the included LED is also not that good. You may want to get additional sources of light for night. No Monogramming
5. Janome 8077: Best Sewing Machine For Beginners
Another machine that is primarily targeted at beginners but has some cool expert level features also.
It automates several day-to-day tasks such as needle threading, thread cutting and bobbin winding for easier use. It stitches at a quick 820 stitches per minute which are also adjustable. It has an LCD for easier operation and faster troubleshooting along with a sewing light and an extension table. It has a retractable handle for simpler transportation.
It weighs in at about 20 pounds, so it is not exactly portable. It also has no cover for damage/dust protection included. Accessories list is notably small with only four presser feet but has needle set, seam ripper, screwdrivers, spool caps, bobbins and a felt ring. Also, tension can only be adjusted using a dial which novice users may find hard to do. There is also the glaring absence of a cleaning cover or brush.
6. Brother XM2701: Best Portable Sewing Machine
Another one of those machines with multiple personalities. It has an acceptable feature set that can suit both a professional looking for a cheap and portable piece of hardware and the starter who is finding his way around.
While many consider it an afterthought, a good user manual can save hours of frustration for the user. This machine comes with one such user manual which means getting used to the machine is a piece of cake. It also has the usual options like automated threading and cutting and this beast eases through crafting and quilting. Free arm makes sewing cuffs, hems and sleeves very easy. The included light ably illuminates the workspace. The rotary dial is a stroke of a genius enabling easy stitch selection.CONS
The slow speed makes it unsuitable for fast quilting. Also not suitable for thicker fabrics
7. Juki DDL 8700: Best Versatile Sewing Machine
If you are the kind of person who does most of the work at home but occasionally needs industry level strength and quality, then this machine will fit you perfectly.
It sews at a mighty 5000 stitches/minute which makes it apt for industrial use. It uses a top-of-the line servo motor giving it ample power and speed. Despite being powerful and fast, it doesn’t treat the fabrics roughly. It handles both light and medium fabrics very gently. Use of servo motor also helps in achieving vibrationless and noiseless which are a boon in industrial areas. Rugged design without any electronic parts means it will last for a long time.
What it gains in speed and power it loses out on practicality. It only has a single stitching design the limits the scope of use. Also, the lack of all those automatic features means you will have to go old school to operate it.
8. Janome 2212: Best ‘Easy-to-Use’ Sewing Machine
This one is strictly for the rookie. It’s bare-bones feature set, and lack of automatic functions will not suit expert users.
Very easy to use, all manual controls. For an entry level machine, it is full of with features like a free arm, front loading, drop-in bobbin, dial for stitching selection, built-in thread cutter, etc. It also has 12 stitches with stitch length and width adjustments and a 4 step buttonhole along with an incandescent lamp for visibility.
No automatic operation even for most basic of tasks.
9. Singer 4423: Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The sewing machine equivalent of an electric drill. This heavy duty machine can pierce through most of the fabrics. Highly suitable for extreme use-cases.
A powerful motor ensures that this thing can pierce through most fabrics you can throw at it. At 14 pOunds it is very lightweight and has a strong metal body that is also scratch resistant. Also has a top-drop bobbin, free arm, extra-high pressure foot lifter etc. Despite looking not so good, it has some automatic functions like threading, auto reverse, etc. that makes it usable also. It also has a lengthy list of accessories like bobbins, all-purpose foot pedal, needle set, lint brush, auxiliary spool pin, dust cover and instruction manual.
Basic looks, No carrying case
10. Brother SE400: Best Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine
If you are that person, who is looking for a 2-in-1 machine that can both sew and embroider then look no further than the Brother SE400.
As said this is a 2-in-1 machine, and it excels at doing both. It includes a 4″ x 4″ frame that lets you embroider while selecting from the 67 built-in stitches. The big frame and LCD screen allow for more freedom to work. As a unique feature, it lets you import settings from the internet and edit them if you are not ok with the 70 built-in ones.
The embroidery area is small restricting any broader usage for like larger designs.
What Exactly Should You Consider When Choosing Best?
These are some important points to look for when you are trying to invest your money into a top sewing machine.
The budget remains the biggest factor that will influence buying decisions, not only for sewing machines but virtually everything. So assess your financial limits and how far you can go before it empties your wallet.For, example when you have 150$ with you, and you are planning to buy something that costs 150$ but doesn’t have that killer feature. Then you should look at other options that have what you want but omits on some other feature that you can afford to miss. Know what you have before you take the plunge.
With the budget set, think long and hard about how you will be using it. Often people overspend on something that does much more than they will ever need. Like when you order a machine that at first glance did what you wanted and was affordable. Then knowing later that you paid for features that you won’t use at all. So, to avoid this make a list of your short and long term use cases and select accordingly.
Companies today offer a huge number of features with their products and will charge you as well.You may need a fast machine but can compromise on the number of stitches available or vice-versa. Or you could be looking for a heavy duty machine and doesn’t care about looks and portability. Have a clear-cut idea about the features you need and those you can omit. Doing this will save you loads of time and money and will help a great deal in getting the right product at the right price.
4. Ease of Use
Portability and ease-of-use are things you shouldn’t skip on. You may need something light and portable but without skipping on features or you may be someone who can handle a heavy-duty machine and cannot miss out on the possibilities such equipment provide. Buying one based on just price, features, etc. will hurt you big time in the future. Know the limits of yourself and your company and choose a machine that can fit your needs well.
5. Accessories & Support
Modern sewing gear comes with a variety of compatible accessories. The list can be terrifying for first-timers. Again it is a balance between splurge and restraint. Pin-point things you need and those you already have lying around and spend based on that. Things can go wrong at any time so be sure that you are buying something that will give you good aftersales support promptly. While many come with 10+ years of warranty on critical parts, be sure to check for the warranty terms on every component on the machine especially the electronics as they fail more often.
6. Personal Preferences
No one else can help you here because every person is different in their tastes. It can be a brand, colour, shape, material of construction, etc. Keep in mind that most of the time your favourite brand may not have what fits you. So try to compromise little instead of spending out of love.
To make it easier for our novice readers to understand it better, I will list some technical words and their meaning, saving you the trouble of looking them up on Wikipedia. It doesn’t cover every doubt you will have but the most common ones.
Monogramming: Think of the famous “RR” which stands for Rolls Royce, and you will get an idea of what a monogram is. Monogramming is the process of stitching these on to the fabric.
Seam-Ripper: No, this is not the ripper that hits you on the head with a hammer. Instead, it is a small hand tool used to unstitch the stitches.
Spool Cap: A spool cap is a piece that attaches to the spool pin, that holds the thread in place and helps the thread properly unwind and prevents it from jumping around while you sew.
Tricot: This is a twin-textured fabric which we use as a lining material. The dual nature is thanks to a unique type of weaving. Both natural and synthetic fibres are used to make these.
Feed Dogs: These teethed structures feeds the fabric to the needle
HemLock: These are stitches that are often used to finish the seam of clothing, consider the lock on the seam that runs through the bottom line of a shirt.
Ok, enough with all these annoying (read important also) thing and get on with the list. Here we go!
So there you have it these are the best sewing machines that are available in the market. You may find similar products, but these have a slight edge over others either on price or features. Hope this helps you select the best one that will fit your specific needs.