What are the Best Sewing Machines for Beginners?
So you are here because you are trying to find the best sewing machines for beginners? We understand. There are so many brands of sewing machines available on the market today. It’s always a hard choice to pick one even for the more professional sewers. As features keep getting added by different brands, it’s hard to keep up.
Luckily for you, it’s our job to keep up and recommend the best brands to you so that you don’t have to spend relentless weeks going through each brand in depth!
Our Recommendation for the Best Sewing Machine
Some people hate reading a 3000-word article to find the best sewing machine. They just want it given to them, and too right! We do the same when looking for products that we do not know much about. So, if you are not interested in reading the article below, then here is our top pick for a sewing machine from one of our top brands!
[amazon box=”B008G1DJ9Y” ]
What Features to Look for In the Best Sewing Machine?
There are many quality brands for sewing machines, we think that the most durable brands are Janome, Brother, and Juki. We write quite a lot of articles on Brother sewing machines because they are fantastic. We also wrote a fantastic review on the Juki TL-2000Qi.
However, there are also some very good competitors, for example, Jana and Singer. With all the different quality brands on the market, its important to understand the core features of sewing machines in general.
The design of the sewing machine is incredibly important. The sewing machine needs to be moderately heavy-duty. This increases the stability of the sewing machine when sewing. If you have a sewing machine that is to light, it will most likely wobble and cause you to miss stitches.
Keeping that in mind, we advise for a moderate heavy-duty sewing machine because if it is too heavy, this reduces the portability of the sewing machine. I’m pretty sure most of you will not want a sewing machine that you struggle to move around, especially if you struggle with heavy items.
For those that do not mind the sewing machine not being portable, then we highly recommend a heavy-duty sewing machine as the only real con is portability.
Thread Tension Adjustments
Thread tension is always an important feature on the sewing machine. It can be the difference between a great project and a terrible project. That’s why it’s a good idea for beginners to get a sewing machine with an automatic thread tension adjuster.
The thread tension depends on a few factors such as;
- The thickness of the thread
- Size of needle
- Damaged machine parts
- A dirty machine such as lint and thread
All the above can cause incorrect adjustments, and if you do not know what you are doing, chances are you will set the tension incorrectly. So, make life easier and get a sewing machine with an automatic thread adjuster.
Ensure when buying a sewing machine that has at least 20 built-in stitches which include the essential stitches. Most beginner sewing machines have the essential stitches. I also try and find a machine with more decorative stitches as well, this is because it allows you to increase creativity on projects with more options available.
My normal thought process when buying a sewing machine is to find some with all the essential features, and then try and get as many stitches as possible built into it. You can get one with less, but I just love having more options of stitches available to me.
Automatic needle threader
Last but not least, the automatic needle threader. Remember the days where you had to severely strain your eyes just to try and thread the needle? That tiny little hole where it never seemed to go through… well, those days are gone.
An automatic needle threader does just as it says, it allows you to thread the needle with ease. Once you use an automatic needle threader you will never want a sewing machine without one. That is why I think it’s a very important feature to get on a sewing machine. Don’t cause yourself eyestrain and frustration before starting a good project, it’s never good, get a sewing machine that includes an automatic needle threader.
Just to show you how easy it is with an automatic needle threader, see the video below.
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Which kind of sewing machine do you need?
- Serger: A Serger is a sewing machine that allows you to finish off the edges of clothing so that it prevents it from fraying. They are typically used for non-stretchy fabric (Woven) The Serger works by using 3, 4 or 5 threads to sew a seam on the fabric, then trims off the raw edges and finishes the edges simultaneously. An example of a serger is a ¾ serger, which can sew using 3 or 4 threads.
- Embroidery: An embroidery machine is a specialized sewing machine designed to create patterns on textiles. A good example would be a logo on a uniform, this has been created with an embroidery machine. Although in most cases, school uniform logos would be done with the help of a computerized embroidery machine which stores the logo and can automatically sew them on. This is most commonly used for commercial sewing. Free-motion sewing machine embroidery uses the basic zigzag stitch to allow you to create the designs manually, so this is probably what you need unless you are into commercial sewing.
- All in one: The all in one… a sewers dream. These sewing machines combine embroidery, Serging, and basic line stitches into one machine, allowing you to do everything. They are very popular machines for professionals, however, there is a reason for that. They have a very high price tag. If you can afford one and you’re looking for all three sewing machines, get yourself an all in one. It is worth it. So, before you look for a sewing machine, make sure you know which one you are wanting for your individual needs. After that, keep reading and check out our reviews of our top picks for sewing machines!
Which brand of sewing machine should I use?
As you already know, there are a lot of different brands of sewing machines available. However, there are specific brands which excel in the sewing machine market. Below I cover the best sewing machine brands.
Brother is a big sewing machine brand, some of you may know Brothers parent company “Brother International Corporation” and they are big. They have established manufactures of computers, fax machines, printers and more. This gives them a very reputable status already.
I have personally used Brother sewing machines before, and I am extremely impressed with the build quality and features of them. They seem to be my personal favorite. Brother provide a range of well-built sewing machines from simple models to high end computerized sewing machines. It’s no doubt that Brother sewing machines are talked about a lot, they are supreme leaders in the sewing machine market with outstanding quality. If you do see a lovely Brother sewing machine you like, honestly do not hesitate to get it. They are a very reputable brand for a reason, they produce quality sewing machines.
Singer Corporation is an American manufacturer of sewing machines. Singer was first established under the name I. M. Singer & Co. in 1851 by Isaac Merritt. After they became best known for their sewing machines, they renamed the company to Singer Manufacturing Company and then finally “The Singer Company” as we know today.
Singer sewing machines are all high-quality. I have never come across one that disappointed me. There’s a reason they became so famous, they are one of the best brands around. The durability of Singer sewing machines also impress me, I still have an old mechanical singer sewing machine that I bought around 30 years ago!
The Singer 4423 is hands down one of my favorites sewing machines from Singer. It’s ideal for beginners, it’s inexpensive and can reach high speeds of 1,100 stitches per minute which allows you to create your projects fast compared to other sewing machines at the same price.
When you’re looking for a specific brand, Singer is definitely a go-to.
Janome is a reputable Japanese sewing machine company, they were first in many sewing machine innovations. Probably the most famous one would be that they developed the first computerized sewing machine for home use. They were also firsts at developing a professional style embroidery sewing machine for home use. It’s no surprise they are one of the top brands in the market.
Janome excels at creating easy to use sewing machines, so I highly recommend them for beginners. They scream quality as well with durable, stable builds. This is another brand that I stand strongly with.
Bernia… the sewing machine company from Switzerland. Bernia is known all over the world, they sell sewing machines in countries such as Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, USA and more.
They are high-end sewing machine producers, but obviously, this means they come with a high price tag, and in some cases, very high. However, their sewing machines do justify the price.
With strong durable builds, these sewing machines come packed with features, high-quality features. I have owned just one Bernia, and I must say it was incredible. The quality of these machines is outstanding. A lot of Bernia sewing machines are for quilters, which make it a perfect choice for anyone who is dedicated to making quilts! Again, if you see a Bernia machine you love, do not hesitate to buy one.
What are the best prices to expect for sewing machines?
So you’ve had a look at all the features you need in sewing machines, the different types of sewing machines and different brand. Now you are thinking “what is the price range of sewing machines”
Entry Level – The entry-level sewing machines are generally around $100, some can be under, some can be slightly over. If you do find a sewing machine for around $100 then consider it an entry-level sewing machine. Unless it’s a second hand one. The entry-level sewing machines are what I would recommend for beginners who are just getting into sewing and may have never used a sewing machine before or have little experience.
Mid-range – The mid-range sewing machines are generally around $300 but can go up to around $500 depending on the additional features such as more built-in stitches. I consider the mid-range sewing machines to be the sweet spot for the average sewer as they are durable, stable and packed with features needed for an average sewer.
High-End – These can vary massively in price, they can go for $700+ and even go above $2000. It all depends on how professional you want it and your exact sewing needs. When it comes to high-end sewing machines, these are highly specialized for professional sewers. I personally would not recommend cashing out on these unless you really know what you’re doing, or you own small sewing business. You can use these sewing machines as an intermediate, but I do not personally think you will get good value for money with the high-end range.
What do our expert reviews say?
By now you should have looked at our entire guide and decided on what type of sewing machine you may be looking for. Well, now it’s time for the reviews.
1) Brother Sewing Machine XM2701
The Brother XM2701 is a popular choice amongst beginners. This sewing machine is a standard free arm sewing machine which allows it to be more versatile for fabrics.
- Versatile free arm sewing machine
- 27 Unique Built-in Stitches which includes decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches as well as other built-in stitches.
- 800 stitches per minute
- 6 Quick change sewing feet which include buttonhole, zipper, narrow hemmer, blind stitch, zigzag and button sewing
- Jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin,
- Brightly lit LED work area,
- 63 stitch functions
- 25-years Warranty
This device is a beginner’s charm. It comes with an instructional DVD and everyone swears by it. I have had friends who bought this exact machine and did not know what a bobbin or feet were after they watched the DVD, they were setting it up without any issues. This is what I would class as an entry-level.
The machine comes with 27 unique built-in stitches with the essential stitches. For the cheap price which is under the average entry-level machine, this is amazing. As I said the stitches are an important feature for me and 27 is more than enough for a machine with this price tag.
It also comes with a 25-year warranty, which only screams one thing. Durable. Brother is known massively for the quality of their builds and offering a 25-year warranty means they are confident it will not break.
There is a con to this machine, and this might be a deal-breaker for some. A minority of users have reported issues with the tension of the thread which is causing them serious problems when sewing, However, over 75% of users did not seem to have this issue which indicates to me that the tensions were set incorrectly by default on a few machines.
If you are an intermediate sewer and you know what you’re doing with thread tensions, then this should not be an issue at all. If you are a beginner and would like this sewing machine, I suggest reading a guide on setting thread tensions beforehand to see if you understand how to set them.
This machine is a great all-rounder and is the best sewing machine for someone starting out in sewing. Especially those who have never used a sewing machine before. It boasts quality and comes with all the essential features. If you are a beginner sewer then I highly recommend this, I would say this is my top pick for an entry-level machine. Just be aware of the thread tension issue a minority of users are reporting.
2) SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty
The Singer 4411 tends to be a popular choice for beginners, it is easy to use and is heavy-duty. It allows users to sew a variety of fabrics from lightweight to heavyweight at an impressive speed.
- 11 Built-in Stitches
- 6 Basic Stitches, 4 Decorative Stitches, 1 Built-in Buttonhole
- Adjustable needle position
- 1100 stitches per minute is achievable
- Adjustable presser foot control
The Singer 4411 has 11 Built-in stitches, 6 of which are essential basic stitches, and 4 are decorative stitches. This does provide a decent amount for an entry-level sewing machine, however, you can get other sewing machines with much more for the same value such as the Brother XM2701 above. I would keep this as a positive if you are a beginner.
It comes with an adjustable needle position which helps add zippers or a decorative touch with topstitching and cording. One surprising mention about the singer 4411 is the sewing speed, as some of you may know Singer is one of the best in the game for sewing speed. This entry-level machine reaches an astonishing 1100 stitches per minute which is more than enough for any beginner/intermediate sewer.
The adjustable presser foot control on the sewing machine allows you to sew a variety of fabrics from lightweight to heavyweight, users have reported that this machine is excellent for fabrics such as leather or denim due to the build quality and features.
As with every sewing machine, there are cons, the Singer 4411 has been reported to have features break on users. Roughly around 10% of users reported some sort of malfunction with the machine. However, roughly 70% of users are very impressed with this sewing machine and this should be more than enough to sway you away from the negative experiences some people had. I also have to say that it does not provide a good range of stitches in comparison to other machines at the same price, but this shouldn’t be an issue for those who do not require them.
Overall this sewing machine is a bang for your buck. Providing great value for an entry-level sewing machine. It offers a very high sewing speed for the value and can deal with a huge variety of fabrics for the price. If you’re into sewing leather or denim and you are a beginner sewer, then I highly recommend this for you. If you’re just a basic sewer who’s looking for a standard portable sewing machine, then I would recommend the Brother XM2701 which is reviewed above.
3) Brother Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine, HC1850
HC1850 is a popular choice. It is an entry-level sewing machine with a bit of a higher price tag than the others, however, the price is justified. This sewing machine is a multipurpose sewing machine designed for standard sewing and quilting. It comes with a larger table specifically to help quilting on large fabrics.
- 130 built-in stitches, including 8 one-step auto-size buttonhole styles
- 1 built-in monogramming sewing font, perfect for basic monogramming
- 170 stitch functions for garment construction, quilting, decorative and heirloom sewing
- The convenient flip chart attached to the front of the machine shows all built-in stitches
- Detachable wide table for larger projects
The biggest pro I must point out about the HC1850 is the number of built-in stitches you get for your money. With a whopping 130 built-in stitches, this allows you to be extremely creative with your designs. Quilters are normally creative sewers which would be the reason for the high number of built-in stitches. So, if you are a quilter and you like getting creative making all sorts of quilts, then this machine is probably your best bet.
The HC1850 sewing machine also has a detachable wide table, doesn’t sound like a very good pro, does it? Wrong. Being able to remove the wide table allows you to sew sleeves with ease. Do not underestimate the advantage of a detachable table, it’s quite a handy feature to have which is why a lot of brands add this to their quilting machines.
Finally, there is a flip chart on the front of the machine which shows all the built-in stitches. I absolutely adore brands that do this with their machines. It means I do not have to go searching through the manual every time I want to change to an unorthodox stitch!
A few users have reported this machine breaking, especially the needle threader and complaining about the brother’s customer service when attempting to send it off for repairs. Now take this with a pinch of salt, because as you become more accustomed to sewing machine reviews, you’ll discover that a minority of users tend to get sewing machines that break from all brands around the entry-level price. Keep in mind it is just a minority, many users have no complains whatsoever and love this machine. I guess when it comes to low priced sewing machines there can be bad batches.