Probably one of the biggest debates between skilled seamstresses, tailors, expert quilters and those who sew for fun is which sewing machine is truly the best.
Everyone has their favorite brand, different needs from their machine and different levels of experience when it comes to using them, so if you’re not quite sure where to begin your search for the best sewing machine, you have finally (and we mean finally) come to the right place.
Not only will we highlight the top ten models (taking all levels of experience, sewing requirements and budgets into mind), but we will also guide you through the purchase process in order to help you find exactly what you need.
Ready? Here we go!
Narrow Down the Choices
Choosing a machine is so much easier if you can create a checklist of things that you need it to do and if you know how you want to use it, so here are a few tips to help you do just that!
How You’ll Use It. Do you need a machine that will allow you to take the hem up on a pair of pants or close up hole in a seam?
For simple sewing projects and a machine that you’ll use every now and then, you don’t need to run out and purchase something that costs $700. Set your range between $150-$300 and you’ll easily find what you need.
For more elaborate quilting and embroidery projects, you’ll need something that has a wide variety of stitches available and one that can handle a bulky quilt. We have some good candidates in our table and will discuss them more in detail later!
Size. Do you have a nice sewing room that you can dedicate your fabric stash and machines to or do you have a little less space available and need to store it between uses.
Big, bulky machines are great when you have big, bulky projects (or very specific needs), but they can be rather unpractical if you need to travel to classes with them or store them between uses.
Size isn’t the most important thing, but it is something to consider as you shop.
Recommended for Intermediate Users Who Prefer Computerized Machine.
Some of the most common names in the sewing machine industry are Singer, Brother and Janome, and these three happen to be some of the most affordable on the market.
Singer. They are perhaps some of the most affordable machines and great for beginners who have little sewing experience.
The investment isn’t huge and you have the opportunity to learn the basics about sewing and about sewing machines in general. Replacement parts are easy to come by and they are pretty straightforward.
Unfortunately, they don’t have many higher end models from which you can choose and experienced seamstresses or quilters may have more advanced needs than what a Singer can offer.
Brother. Brother is a tough competitor for Singer. They offer a wide range of machines – from the simple, entry-level models to the higher end models that allow you to tackle quilting and other intricate projects.
They offer quite a few resources for their products and they have something for every budget, but the biggest down side to the brand is that their machines just don’t seem to withstand the test of time when compared to some other brands.
Janome. Janome isn’t as popular as the other two but it is still a well-known brand in fabric and craft stores.
In fact, one of their entry-level machines is even in our top five, outshining even Singer and Brother.
While the machines are typically well built, they don’t always have the same amount of features as machines that fall into the same price range. We would suggest a Janome if you have simple sewing needs and you want to spend “just enough” to get yourself a good machine without breaking the bank.
Computerized or Mechanical Machines?
This is a matter of preference, but there are some things to take into consideration as you compare and contrast them, especially if you don’t have much experience with either type.
Computerized. If you love technology that can make your life simpler and enjoy exploring all of the different features and stitches that a computerized machine can offer you, then you’ll feel right at home with one of these.
You have better speed control, quite a few stitch options available and plenty of automatic features that are so They can even save you quite a bit of time once you get the hang of them!
The problem with these is that for some users, all of these fancy features are way too complicated and frustrating to figure out. As with any piece of technology, their life span just isn’t as long as a mechanical machine, which is something to think about as you compare and contrast models.
It takes time to learn the features and capabilities of a computerized machine and some of you (we know) just don’t have the patience to deal with them. If that sounds like you, then a mechanical machine is right up your alley!
Mechanical. These are definitely easier to use and easier to maintain than computerized machines.
They are so much less problematic than computerized machines are since you don’t have to worry about any of the computerized technology failing on you. These are also capable of handling a heavier workload and users love that they are easier to maintain.
While they can limit you in terms of stitch quantity and they may not always be as efficient as a computerized machine, they’re the ones the paved the way into the modern sewing machine world and therefore quite dependable for the long haul.
Juki isn’t a brand that we mentioned above, but they do have some of the best sewing machine models on the market in terms of quality. They’re less popular probably due to the price (not everyone wants to spend this much), but this machine is definitely worth the investment for the right user.
This mechanical machine is designed with convenience in mind. It features an automatic needle threader, automatic thread trimmer, a knee lever lift and all of the basic accessories you’ll need in order to use and maintain the machine. It also comes with a cover, which not all machines include!
We like that it comes with the quilting feet and that you can use it for such a wide variety of projects. Whether you need to sew a Halloween costume, quilt a blanket or make yourself some throw pillows for the couch, this machine is great for the experienced user who wants a more serious and reliable machine to get them through their projects.
As we mentioned, this machine is absolutely perfect for beginners (absolute beginners included).
It doesn’t come with complicated accessories or features that will overwhelm you; just the basics to keep the learning process simple.
You get some extra needles, extra bobbins and three extra presser feet and since it is so lightweight, it would be easy for you to pack it up and take it to a sewing class without having to carry it in with a dolly.
Affordable, simple to use and reliable, we definitely feel this is the best sewing machine for a beginner!
This machine would be a good investment for those of you who do embroidery work or would like to learn embroidery.
As a computerized machine, it comes with all of the handy buttons and features that make using it a breeze – that is, once you learn how to use it!
Here is an overview of the product:
If you do not embroider and only need a machine for sewing and quilting, then this isn’t the right match. You can use this for regular sewing projects, but it is a bit of waste if you purchase an embroidery machine and don’t even plan to embroider.
This Brother model, on the other hand, is perfect for sewing and quilting projects but not focused on embroidery like the previous machine.
As an entry-level model, it is great in terms of features and price for those of you who don’t want to spend too much on a machine.
There isn’t a lot of room in the throat (where the arm curves ), which means that it will be difficult to fit larger quilts or pieces of fabric in there, but it does come with the cover, nine feet, detachable table and automatic needle threader, it has everything the beginner needs to jump into the world of sewing.
If you’re looking for a more professional-level embroidery machine, you might consider investing in a Brother SE1800.
It comes with 11 different feet, 184 built-in stitches, 10 buttonholes styles and you can even import embroidery designs thanks to the USB outlet on the side of the machine. If you don’t find a design you like, upload your own!
This will give you an overview of the machine and its capabilities.
Again, this is probably the right investment for those of you who want to create and sell (or gift) professional embroidery projects. For average sewing projects, a machine like this would be far too complicated and expensive.