Find the best sewing machines reviewed and learn how to use them best
Master Your Sewing Machine
There are various types of sewing machines. It all started in 1830, when Barthelemy Thimonnier, a French tailor created the first sewing machine. This machine only had a hooked needle…
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The 12 Best Sewing Machine Reviews - 2020
Find the Sewing Machine of Your Dreams. We've reviewed just about every sewing machine in existence. These are the best. To learn more about each sewing machine, check out our full reviews.
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Testimonials From our Friends
They found their dream sewing machines. You can find yours too! There are a lot of options to choose from. We've narrowed your search down to the very best.
I bought the Singer Stylist 7258 for my sister-in-law to learn on but ended up liking it so much that I kept it for myself and gave her my old one. This sewing machine has all the features that I used most often on my old machine plus it has a few more.
I'm totally impressed with everything about my new sewing machine. It worked like a charm. My first project was pencil cases with zippers made from material I found at garage sales! I can't wait for the next project with my Brother CS6000i.
This Singer 4423 is a nice, simple machine that works very well on heavy fabric. My first project on it was sewing new cushion covers for my patio furniture. I felt like I was sewing through 5 layers, but it did a great job with the heavy outdoor fabric.
This is hands-down the best value around for a sewing machine. It comes with several stitch options and a lot of computerized features. Threading the needle and bobbin is a breeze. All-in-all, if you're doing basic sewing, I highly recommend the CS6000i.
I can't say enough about my new Juki HZL-F600. I knew what Juki would deliver as I ran their machines while working at Levi Strauss years ago. This machine does not disappoint. It was absolutely the right sewing machine for me.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned seamstress, this machine offers a top quality performance to help you create beautiful projects with ease. I recommend the Janome 2212 Sewing Machine one hundred percent. I love it!
Types of Sewing Machines
If you are just starting out with sewing or only plan to sew occasionally, then a basic electric model would probably be best for you. If you are ambitious with sewing, you will need more accessories and stitches as well as features that can make sewing easier for you. When you plan to sew more often, then a computerized sewing machine would be the right option for you. Let’s take a look at different types of sewing machines available in the market. This will make it easier for you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Manual Sewing Machines
You might have seen your grandma use one of these. Manual sewing machines were used by seamstresses in the past and they operate by turning a handwheel. Now, you will likely find these machines in a museum, an antique shop or a schoolroom. You may find one of these older models on internet auction websites. We don’t recommend anyone to get manual sewing machines as they are very hard to use and there is no point of buying them now when there are so many easy to use modern sewing machines available.
Electric Sewing Machines
Basic electric sewing machines have a motor in their body. This motor drives the needle and controls other important working parts like the feed dogs and bobbin. The motor must be manually driven by a small foot pedal. The machine’s speed can be controlled using the foot pedal – the harder the foot is placed down on the machine, the faster it will sew.
Electric sewing machines offer a reasonable size and range of stitches, which you can select by simply turning a dial. They are more accurate and faster than manual sewing machines but lack many of the features available in computerized sewing machines.
Computerized Sewing Machines
Computerized sewing machines can do everything that electric machines do and more. The correct length, width, and tension are pre-programmed for each built-in stitch included in the machine. They usually have a touchscreen and some models offer computer functionality allowing you to import more designs directly into the machine. Some computerized machines can memorize past work and store hundreds of edited stitches. These machines are best for advanced crafters who want to streamline their work and do more in less time.
How to Find the Best Sewing Machine Reviews (2020)
You should look out for leading brands that are known to offer the best sewing machines reviewed at the most economical prices. Brands such as Singer, Brother, Janome, and Juki offer some of the most reliable sewing machine models that have several attractive features.
Warranty and Repairs
You should inquire about the duration of the warranty. Also, understand what is included and what is not included in the warranty. You should know about the location of repair facilities and what are the terms and conditions for repairs. Ask about the turnaround time. Check if you will have to travel to a repair center in town or to the manufacturer.
You should keep in mind that repairs made by third parties will void your warranty. You should also keep the packaging and all material intact in case it is required for repairs.
Find Savings Online
If you decide to shop online, then you can go to Amazon and check out the prices of different sellers. By comparing the prices of different sellers, you will have a good understanding of the price range. If you are lucky, you can even find discounts.
You should also consider the different types of sewing machines to decide which one is best for you. Here they are:
Mechanical Sewing Machines
If you have to sew on a budget or if you will be sewing occasionally, then mechanical sewing machines will be sufficient for you. You will, however, have to perform a couple of tasks manually so you will need to have intermediate sewing skills. You should be able to perform sewing tasks like crafts projects, simple clothing, hems, etc.
Mechanical machines are easy to repair, unlike modern, electrical sewing machines. As a result, mechanical sewing machines tend to have a longer life as compared to computerized versions since they are more rugged and durable.
Since the parts of a mechanical sewing machine are generally quite cheap, you will be able to save repair costs.
Mechanical sewing machines are commonly used by those who want to go beyond vintage sewing machines. These people find computerized sewing machines to be rather complicated, so they settle for mechanical sewing machines.
Computerized Sewing Machines
These sewing machines have built-in computers and a small monitor display to make it easier for you to operate them. The computer is used to control the motor and precisely move components like the feed dog, tensioning discs, needle bar, and other parts.
Since the computer is being used to control parts, these machines offer hundreds of different stitching patterns. You will not find so many stitching patterns in mechanical sewing machines. You can also program the machine to store different stitching patterns or even download new ones.
Computerized sewing machines can offer a lot of convenience to sewists. If you have to sew often, then it will be worthwhile to invest in a computerized sewing machine. Many tedious jobs that have to be performed manually with mechanical sewing machines can be performed by the computer. A typical computerized sewing machine has the settings for hundreds of stitching patterns, LED screen and touchpad panel.
The trouble with computerized sewing machines is their heavy repair costs, due to their expensive parts. Unlike mechanical sewing machines, you will have to replace expensive parts like electronic components if they break down or get damaged.
Embroidery Sewing Machines
You will find several sophisticated features in an embroidery sewing machine. You will find that embroidery sewing machines are the best choice if you have to do embroidery work on pillowcases, bedspreads, and garments.
Embroidery sewing machines maintain a hoop below the needles and move the hoop around in different directions while the needle is operational. You will have to begin by stretching your fabric around the hoop. The hoop must then be secured below the needle.
There will be built-in designs within the memory of the machine. For extra designs, you will have to load designs using flash memory, CDs, memory cards or link the machine to your computer. By using the computer link or the onboard touch screen, you will be able to specify colors and choose your design pattern.
With an embroidery machine, you can mirror, reposition and resize designs as required. The machine will sound an alert when you need to change colors.
Sewing machines must have a number of features to facilitate sewing. Here they are:
This feature will let you create professional looking buttonholes in just one step. You will not have to stop, turn over your fabric or adjust the dial. Some sewing machines even have a slot where you can position the button so that the machine sews a buttonhole that will fit perfectly.
You can do darning or free-style embroidery by moving the toothy mechanism beneath the sewing surface in certain sewing machines.
Good Controls and Ergonomics
The sewing machine must respond in proportion to the pressure applied to the foot pedal and should be easy to control. It should not stall and make strange noises when you are sewing multiple layers and thick fabrics.
Controls must be located so that they are easy to reach and manipulate. Symbols printed on the machine should be bold, and the LED screen should be sharp enough for you to read without eye strain. Machines that have a longer arm will make it easier for you to use a larger cloth size.
If you require your machine to be portable, then you must check the weight and make sure that it has a handle on top and a dust cover. You should think about portable sewing machines if you have to go to sewing lessons or to your friend’s house to try out new sewing ideas.
With this feature, you can position the needle as well as the stitching line towards the left or right. You can also place the needle in the up or down position when you have stopped sewing. With the needle down, it is easier for you to raise the presser foot and turn the corner around with no need for a jump stitch.
Automatic Needle Threader
Threading the needle is one of the biggest nuisances that sewists have to put up with. This often involves a lot of eye strain and frustration, and it can take the fun out of sewing besides wasting time. With an automatic needle threader, you will be able to avoid these problems.
You should know about the different types of presser feet that come with the sewing machine. You’ll need a multi-purpose foot for basic sewing in order to generate zigzag and straight stitches. You will also need a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot as well.
With the help of an adjustable presser foot, you can control the pressure that the presser foot exerts on the fabric while you are sewing. This will prevent the fabric from stretching when you are sewing knitwear. The right pressure will also prevent fine fabrics from puckering.
You should think about your sewing needs in order to decide which sewing speed is sufficient for you. If you will be doing a large amount of sewing work every day, then you should consider a heavy duty sewing machine. These can have a maximum speed of around 1200 stitches per minute. Your sewing projects will be finished much more quickly with higher speeds.
The foot pedal should also be responsive enough so that you won’t have to disrupt the flow of sewing by starting and stopping. Instead, you can vary tempo by adjusting the pressure on the foot pedal to control speed.
Basics of the Best Sewing Machine Reviews
There are several quality brands out there providing the best sewing machines. Juki, Janome, Brother and Singer top the list and other brands find it very hard to compete with these beasts. When you are looking for the best sewing machine reviews, the first thing to consider is the machine’s material. You need a solid machine with good built quality. If it is too light, it may vibrate during operation and miss stitches which can ruin your work. On the other hand, if the sewing machine you buy is too heavy, you will lose the portability option and find it difficult to maintain it. So, you need to find a sewing machine that comes somewhere in the middle – neither too light nor too heavy.
You would also want a machine that adjusts the thread tension automatically, especially if you are just learning how to sew. You can adjust the tension manually, but it takes some time and you can break needle and threads if you aren’t careful. The best sewing machines we've reviewed also come with an easy bobbin installation system. Look for a machine that features a top drop-in bobbin as it is easier to work with.
How to Use a Sewing Machine
Learn to Sew Along a Straight Line
It may appear that sewing a straight line with the help of your sewing machine is one of the easiest things to do. But that’s not quite the case. Once you give it a shot for yourself, you are bound to realize that you will need to practice to become proficient in sewing in a straight line.
It is advisable to practice first before using expensive sewing fabrics.
Important Safety Warnings
Warning! Please switch off the power and make sure that your foot is far away from the foot pedal whenever you adjust the material under the presser foot and needle. You don’t want to accidentally start the sewing machine while you are making these adjustments. If that happens, you can injure yourself quite badly. So please take care whenever you are adjusting the fabric. No matter how much you need to hurry, you should never skip this step under any circumstances.
Warning! Always check for bent needles before using them. Never use bent needles. Even a slightly bent needle poses a high risk of breakage and injury.
You should first check the needle correctly. Place the needle on a flat surface on its flat side. Check the needle carefully from the top and sides for any signs of bending. Bent needles should be disposed of immediately.
The Easy Way
The method explained here is very easy and inexpensive, and you will really like it.
You will not even have to use fabric or thread in order to learn sewing along a straight line.
Use Tissue Paper
You can start practicing with the help of tissue paper that has been marked with straight lines. You don’t even need to thread your sewing machine. Just use the needle without thread.
You should first mark straight lines on the paper with the help of a pen. After that, carefully place the paper under the presser foot. You should then ‘sew’ along these lines. Of course, there will be no stitches since you have not loaded any thread. But the needle will nevertheless pierce the paper to create a trail of holes as you run the paper through your sewing machine. The trail of holes should ideally lie along the marked lines.
You will be able to gauge your sewing expertise by noticing how much the trail deviates from the lines.
While practicing, you will notice that the paper stretches and wriggles as it gets pierced repeatedly by the needle. Initially, your trail may not be perfectly aligned, but you will see noticeable improvement after just a few runs.
Why Tissue Paper Is Good
You can practice with tissue paper and ordinary paper. Tissue paper is great because it is flexible and therefore tricky to sew correctly. This will make you more skilled at sewing stretch fabrics, which are one of the most difficult materials to sew. This is important because you will almost certainly work on stretch fabrics and knits since they are so comfortable and ubiquitous.
Foot Pedal Control
During this practice exercise, you will also gain control over the foot pedal. You can increase the pressure on the pedal to increase the sewing speed. You must first practice at low speeds.
You might notice that the sewing speed increases dramatically even with small foot movement. The sewing speed may appear to increase in a nonlinear manner with respect to your foot displacement.
But don’t worry. With a little practice, you will soon become adept at varying sewing speed by skillfully making small increments in foot displacement.
It is just like controlling the accelerator pedal of your car. The first time around it may have felt clumsy and uncomfortable to work the pedal with your foot. But with just a little bit of practice, you must have made significant improvements.
Your foot control will also improve rapidly with just a little sewing practice. You will soon master the foot pedal and work at any speed you like.
You can vary thickness by folding the tissue paper. Practice with different stitch lengths. For this, you will need to use the stitch length adjustment button.
You must also learn to change the stitch direction. To do this, first, stop the machine by lifting your foot away from the foot pedal. Then raise the presser foot and turn the paper around under the needle. Once you have properly set the paper, you can lower the presser foot and start sewing again.
Remember that the needle will become blunt at the end of your paper sewing practice. Replace the needle when you start sewing fabric because blunt needles will not sew properly.