Best Sewing Machine – A Comprehensive Guide
We live in hard economic times and a lot of people have taken to sewing their own clothes instead of buying from stores. Sewing has never been more popular in recent times, but economics is not the only reason for this. Maybe you do it as a hobby or you want to make your own unique fashion statements. Maybe you are a fashion student or an apprentice seamstress. Or perhaps you want to make your own bedsheets, curtains, hats, bags, belts and other accessories. Whatever your motivation, you need the right tools for the job! Using the best sewing machines can be the difference between making a fashion masterpiece and a high school freshman project. A good machine can greatly increase your enjoyment of the project, and ensure that you keep sewing for many more years in the future!
The Best selling Sewing Machine Reviews 2016
Buying the best sewing machine is a major undertaking for most people. It is, therefore, important that you carry out a thorough research before deciding on which machine to buy. Luckily for you, I have carried out all the heavy lifting and present my findings below. The chart below is a summary of my review of the best machines on the market today. There is a machine to satisfy every kind of sewing project. If you want to know more about any of the machines, click on the “read our review” link in the chart for our comprehensive reviews.
Comparison Chart of the Best Sewing Machines
|Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist||25 years||9.7 out of 10|
|Brother SE400 Computerized||25 years||9.0 out of 10|
|Brother PQ1500SL||2, 6 or 25 years||8.5 out of 10|
|Janome DC5100||20 years||8.8 out of 10|
|Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Machine||25 years limited warranty||8.4 out of 10|
|Brother Project Runway PC420PRW||25 years limited Warranty||8.9 out of 10|
|Singer 7258 Stylist||Up to 25 years limited Warranty||8.0 out of 10|
|Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine||Up to 15 years limited waranty||8.0 out of 10|
|Brother SE1800 Sewing Machine||Up to 25 years limited warranty||9.3 out of 10|
Best Sewing Machine Reviews
The type of sewing machine you buy depends on many factors including budget, type of project and the skill level of the person going to use the machine. There are cheap models for the budget conscious buyer, kids sewing machines, industrial sewing machines, heavy duty, leather and machines for beginners. Click here to read the factors to consider when choosing a sewing machine.
It is also important to consider the brand when buying a sewing machine. Some brands care more about the customer than other brands. Click here to see our review of the top sewing machine brands.
Here is our review of the best sewing machines on the market today.
#1: Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist (Best Overall Pick)
It comes as no surprise that our top pick is also one of the best-selling sewing machines out there. What prompted us to select this as our top pick are the “great value,” “great features,” and “how easy it is to use even for beginners.” It is so feature packed that you’ll still be discovering new things about it for a long while. The Singer 9690 Quantum Style comes with 60 built-in stitches to pick from. This machine is packed full of features that you can only expect to see on higher priced models. It is computerized and perfect for completing a wide selection of sewing projects from quilting, a wide variety of stitching choices from decorative to stretch, clothes decoration, and crafts.
It is very easy to setup with automatic needle threading which saves a lot of time and effort. Threading is so effective that it only takes six seconds to thread the entire machine. You can select from 13 one-step buttonholes with the press of a button. The exclusive buttonhole underplate of the machines makes it possible to create buttonholes in places you cannot reach with traditional buttonhole devices.
Those who do not have a sewing machine table will be pleased to know that the Singer 9690 comes equipped with an extension table which provides an extra working surface for quilting and working on larger projects.
It comes with an automatic Stitch length & width setting but you can override these settings with your personal preferences. The free arm provides easy access to collars, cuffs, pant hems and other difficult to reach areas.
It has the start/stop button with speed control for if you do not want to use the presser foot. It has an LCD screen that displays information such as needle up/down position and stitch width. There are also two LED lights that illuminate the sewing table when working at night. The Singer 9690 is so feature packed that we cannot talk about all the features here. Click here to take a look at all of the features.
Whether you are a beginner, a student, a professional or just a hobbyist, the Singer 9690 is the best sewing machine when all things are considered. Its ease of use, wide selection of features, and the automation of several processes makes it a great machine for a lot of people. It is durable and you will have no regrets even after using it for many years.
#2: Brother SE400 Combo Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine
The brother SE400 is a combination sewing & embroidery machine that packs high-end performance into an affordable, quality machine. It is a perfect machine for your quilting, sewing and embroidery projects. We especially liked that you can connect this machine to your computer and import as many embroidery patterns as you want. You can design your own embroidery patterns or buy one from sites such as ibroidery.com.
The Brother SE400 lets your creativity run wild with easy design editing feature that lets you easily mirror designs, rotate and adjust the size of your designs on the Large touchscreen LCD screen. The screen is back-lit and can, therefore, be used in the night. Don’t know how to use a function on the machine? Don’t worry because there are built-in tutorials that you can watch and follow on the LCD screen.
This machine is so easy to use that even beginners will be up and running in no time at all. You’ll fall in love with the one touch automatic threading and easy bobbing options. Even more impressive is the one-touch automatic thread cutting that finishes off your work. All my sewing buddies have only had positive things to say about this sewing machine. The computerized embroidery option is a hit with all of us. The fact that we can just buy intricate and professionally done embroidery patterns online and have it on our fabric within minutes is a definite plus.
This machine will have you making stunning professional quality embroidery in minutes even if you have no experience with machine embroidery.
Just like the Singer 9960 above, the Brother SE400 is packed full of features and automated processes and is perfect for beginners and advanced sewers alike. It is a great sewing machine for a wide variety of projects from stitching, embroidery, quilting and crafting. It comes with 67 built-in stitches, 70 built-in embroidery designs, 5 different fonts to choose from and much more.
This is one of the best machines around and you are going to have a lot of fun creating for the people you love. You will not be disappointed in when you buy this machine. The build quality and packed features will ensure that you’ll be having fun creating a wide variety of projects for the foreseeable future.
#3 Brother PQ1500SL High-Speed Sewing and Quilting Machine
Although in the higher priced range, The Brother PQ1500SL made it to our list because it is actually a flawless machine. The only reason it didn’t top our list is because of the high price tag. But even so, it is still cheaper than a new iPhone!
At speeds of up to 1500 stitches per minute, it is very fast but accurate as well. This sewing machine is more for the professional quilter or seamstress but wouldn’t look out of place in your hobby room. If money isn’t a big issue then this is one of the best sewing machines to get.
The machine is pretty easy to use but is not the best for beginners. If you do a lot of free motion stitching, you’ll know the bobbin casing on most machines is located on the top or the front. The casing faces you on this machine which makes it easy to change bobbins when you need to.
Another thing we really like about this machine is the fact that it is very easy to oil it. You feed the oil through special holes without the need to take the machine apart.
The PQ1500 SL comes with 4 feed dog settings which make it easier to sew all kinds of materials. You can easily change the feed dogs with no difficulties.
The built-in knee lifter makes it easy to raise and lower the presser foot. The machine features an automatic thread cutter and fast needle threader to save you a lot of time.
The quilting ability of this machine is second to none. It is smooth and beautiful no matter how fast you quilt. The generous throat space makes it easy to quilt large items.
This machine packs a lot of features that make the job of sewing and quilting a breeze, even for those with no experience. It handles all sorts of projects and easily takes care of heavy duty sewing.
One expert, we spoke to, summed up this machine perfectly:
This is the best purchase I’ve ever made in a sewing machine. The Brother PQ1500SL is a great machine that works beautifully on any project I undertake.
If you are a professional or amateur serious about piecing and quilting, then this is one of the best.
#4 Janome DC5100 Computerized Sewing Machine
An expert friend of mine used this machine for 3 months and the overwhelming conclusion from her is that “I’m in LOVE with this machine.” The Janome DC5100 is a computerized sewing machine with 167 built-in stitches. It comes with a built-in thread cutter and the built-in automatic needle threader makes threading the needles effortless.
The DC5100 is one the quietest and smoothest sewing machines we’ve come across. We were very impressed with the power this machine delivers, making easy work of heavy duty sewing. It comes with an automatic thread tension control which automatically adjusts the thread tensions when you sew over thick layers of fabric.
If you work on projects with varying thickness, this machine will automatically adjust to the thickness of the thickness of the fabrics you are working with.
It comes with snap-on sewing feet which make them very easy to change. We love this feature because it saves you a lot of time and effort.
Dropping the feed dogs is a breeze and gives you the freedom of free motion quilting. The machine has ample throat space which makes it easy for you to maneuver large quilts as you sew.
The LCD screen comes with a touchpad which makes it easy to navigate through all 167 built-in stitches and 5 one-step buttonholes.
The DC5100 is equipped to handle a wide range of sewing projects. It is easy to operate, even for those who have never used a computerized sewing machine. The wide range of attachments and accessories makes it one of the best machines out there for piecing and quilting.
Our impression of this machine is that it is worth all the money you pay for it. It has good weight, solid build, and packs a lot of conveniences. It is very quiet even when operating at its top speed. Considering that your iPhone is almost double the price of this machine, it is a bargain for what it can do. Our only negative with this machine is the lighting. It comes with an incandescent bulb but we prefer an LED bulb. You can replace the original bulb with an LED one but that is at an additional expense.
The manual has thorough instructions and illustrations to help you get started. Even if you are not an experienced seamstress, you will be up and running in less than an hour. It handles several layers of quilting and other fabrics without jamming.
One thing we can say about this machine is that you will fall in love with it and never regret spending what you spend to buy it.
#5 Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
The Brother CS6000i is perhaps the best machine under $200. It is affordable but packs an array of features one can expect from higher end models. This machine is a favorite for beginners and budget-conscious buyers alike. It is very easy to use even if you are a novice at sewing. It comes with a manual that is exceptionally helpful.
The array of foot accessories covers every basis and you won’t have to buy add-ons. The CS600i is a computerized machine with automatic threading, stop/start button sewing, 60 in-built stitches and 7 one-step buttonholes which allow you to make buttonholes even with your eyes shut. The machine also comes with 9 presser feet and a detachable table that offers more space for larger projects. It is the perfect economy sewing machine for quilting, sewing, and crafting at a high-end performance.
You can change the style and type and size of stitch at the touch of a button and the machine will even tell you what presser foot to use. It can handle thick fabrics such as denim with ease.
When it comes to sewing and quilting, this machine handles almost any project with ease. The free arm lets you sew sleeves, cuffs, and other cylindrical projects easily. Adjustable sewing speed means that you can get a smooth stitch even when sewing curves.
The CS6000i is an incredible sewing machine for the price but we do have a couple of complaints about it.
The built-in light is not bright enough. An LED light would’ve offered much better lighting than the incandescent bulb.
Our second issue is with the weight. It is very light which means it can be knocked over when you get entangled with your workpiece.
The machine is not a workhorse and will not replace a heavy duty machine but it comes with a wide range of accessories that some higher end machines do not have. It sews beautifully and smoothly.
Apart from the faults mentioned above, this machine our best budget sewing machine. If you are looking for a machine that costs less than $200 but can deliver the performance of a higher end machine, then look no further than the Brother CS6000i.
#6 Brother Project Runway PC420PRW Professional Grade Sewing Machine
The Brother Project Runway sewing machine makes it into our review of the top sewing machines because it offers professional grade work at an affordable price. When you sew with this machine, you’ll have a choice of 294 built-in stitches (utility, decorative, cross, satin and decorative satin stitches) for your stitching. You can also design your own custom stitches this machine. The machine tops out at 850 stitches per minute, which is not the fastest in its price range, but good enough to comfortably complete almost any kind of sewing project.
It comes with 11 presser feet to help with different kinds of projects. The machine even tells you which feet to use for the type of stitching you’ve selected from the 294 available. The start/stop button allows you to sew without using the foot controller.
We love the automatic needle threader and adjustable speed control which lets you sew at the speed you are comfortable with.
Another feature we really like is the 6-point feed dogs which make it easy to achieve more precision with your stitches. The built-in thread cutter is a peach. It saves time by automatically trimming the threads at the end of a task.
The machine comes with lighting that illuminates the sewing area at night so you can see what you are doing. There is an LCD screen which lets you see the current settings, helps you select your desired stitch length and wide and the type of stitch you want to use. The screen then tells you what presser foot to use for your selection. This feature is pretty nice and helpful.
The PC-40 is a great machine for a whole range of projects from quilting to crafting and straight sewing. The stitches are nice and uniform. It is great for beginners or advanced home users but those who sew as a source of income should invest in a more expensive machine. It can do the job but will not be fast enough if you need to complete a large number of projects.
#7 SINGER 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine
For those looking for a better-than-basic machine, the Singer 7258 is just the right one for you. If offers basic computerized sewing which come with 100 built-in stitches to choose from and 10 presser feet. The automatic threading feature saves time and makes it easy to thread the needles.
The easy-to-load bobbin loading system makes it very easy to load and rewind your bobbins. Whether you are a novice or an expect at sewing, the choice of 100 built-in stitches and computerized stitch length and width selector makes it easy to achieve very intricate stitches on your projects.
We love that this machine comes with a built-in LED workspace light which is much brighter than the incandescent lights we found on some of the other machines in our review.
The start/stop button means you can sew on autopilot without using the foot pedals. The automatic buttonhole settings mean you can make buttonholes even with your eyes shut.
The Singer 7258 produces smooth stitches and operates at low noise levels. One of our favorite features is the ability to set the needle to stop up or down at the end of a task. It might not seem like a lot but we love it.
There is an automatic thread tensioner which ensures that you get a clean and consistent stitching across different thicknesses of fabrics.
The machine intro DVD guides you through all you need to know about the different functions of the 7258.
For those who can afford a more expensive sewing machine (the $500+ models), by all means, go for it but if you have a budget for a cheaper model in the $100 – $200 range, then this is one of the best you can get. Generally, we don’t recommend going for machines under $100 so the Singer 7258 is an excellent machine for beginners or for machine quilting, crafting and all kinds of sewing projects.
#8 Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
The Janome Magnolia 7318 is an excellent starting machine for beginners or experienced sewing enthusiast. It is also a great machine for tailors and seamstresses who work from home. You will love the jam free top loading bobbin loader system. The cover is transparent so you can see how much thread you have left whiles you sew. It comes with 18 different built-in stitches which offer you a wide range of stitches to choose from. The built in buttonhole makes it easy and effortless to make buttonholes for your clothes and other projects.
You get precision control of your fabric during sewing with the 7-piece feed dog system. This ensures that you get clean and even stitching.
The free arm is great for free motion quilting. The thread cutter is useful at the end of a sewing task. You can adjust the length and size of the stitch using the stitch length dial. The maximum stitch length is 4mm and the maximum width is 5mm.
The machine comes with snap-on presser feet which make them easy to change.
This sewing machine is one of the best and powerful machines for all kinds of projects ranging from crafting, quilting, home decoration, garments and much more.
It comes with a user manual that shows you everything you need to know about the machine and also how to make the various stitches with the machine. If your stitches don’t turn out right, the manual tells you how to adjust the machine to achieve the perfect stitching.
This machine makes it onto our list of the best sewing machines because it is a powerful precision sewing machine which is easy to use.
#9 Brother SE1800 Computerized Sewing And Embroidery Machine
Beyond casual hobby sewing, you need an advanced sewing machine capable of delivering professional level work but easy to use. The Brother SE1800 is the perfect fit to fulfill this need. It is our top pick and one of the best-selling sewing machines out there despite the price.
But considering that you pay so much for tablets and smartphones, then this sewing machine can be seen as a bargain. It packs a lot of features offers so many automated options that will make sewing a fun and hassle free task.
The SE1800 is a fully computerized machine that offers 184 in-built sewing stitches to choose from. The machine also offers 6 lettering fonts for monogramming your work. The machine allows you to make your own decorative stitches with the “my custom stitch” option. You can also load designs onto a USB dongle and import them into the machine to be used in your work.
The 5X7 inch embroidery field and the 5X12 inch multi-position frame combine to let you make elaborate designs without re-hooping. The machines come with 136 embroidery designs pre-loaded. You can edit the design directly on the machine by mirroring, rotating, and changing the size of the design.
You can choose from 10 buttonhole designs and make your buttonholes with a one-step process.
The machine comes with 11 sewing feet that offer you a wide array of stitching and quilting styles. You also have access to a start/stop button which can be used to sew if you don’t want to use the foot pedal. There is a speed adjusting button that lets you select the maximum speed you are comfortable sewing with.
Automatic threading feature ensures that you don’t spend time and effort trying to thread your machine. The machine automatically threads the needles for you at the push of a button.
The bobbin loading system features a quick setting, top-load drop-in bobbin which makes it very easy to load the bobbin. The cover is transparent and which means you can see how much thread you have left.
The Brother SE1800 offers the best value for money and produces beautiful products that wouldn’t look out of place in a high street shop. Although it is a sewing machine packed with loads of features and accessories, it can also be a starting machine for beginner sewing enthusiasts with money to spare.
Note: If you want to buy this machine just for the embroidery capability, then we recommend that you buy the Brother PE770 instead. It is the embroidery only version of this machine and costs half the price.