The Best Sewing Machines on the Market in 2018
Have you ever checked a piece of clothing and said to yourself “That’s nice, but I can do better”? Well, it’s a feeling that many of us get on a daily basis. The best thing? You can actually unleash your creativity and create clothes yourself, either for personal or commercial use, from the comfort of your home. How? By using one of the best sewing machines, of course.
Sewing machines date back to 1790 when the English inventor Thomas Saint thought that using a device would be easier than using your own hands when it comes to tailoring leather and canvas. The first sewing machine model was revolutionary, but it surely doesn’t compare to today’s best sewing machines, which are easier and more convenient to use.
Not only are sewing machines convenient and easy to use, but they’re also great for aspiring homemakers who are looking for a way to project themselves and make some extra money through something that they’re passionate about. What’s even better is that a sewing machine is perfect for a variety of crafts, including curtains, purses, pants, etc.
If your head is full of clothing ideas that you want to turn into reality, it’s time to get a new sewing machine. Considering the vast number of choices available on the market, we decided to help you out by compiling a list of the best sewing machines along with a buying guide that’ll help you pick the right tool for you.
What are you waiting for? Get your sewing equipment and read on!
The Best Sewing Machines on the Market
In a world where every purchase is just a few clicks away, it’s essential to check the pros and cons of every product to make the right pick. We know you’re a busy person, so we decided to do the heavy lifting for you.
One thing to keep in mind; every single one of the reviewed machines can be an excellent choice for the right artist, so make sure to determine your preferences and needs before diving into the list.
1. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
Singer’s Quantum Stylist 9960 is the favorite choice for hundreds of thousands of sewists around the world. Just check their Amazon page, and you’ll understand why. Just like the name suggests, this sewing machine is perfect for those looking to create stylish clothes to dominate today’s clothing market. It’s simply an all-in-one beast that can handle whatever quitting, garment making, or any other sewing task you throw at it.
The excellent sewing machine comes with an impressive collection of 600 different stitch patterns and 13 buttonhole styles, making it suitable for most projects. Besides, it can function at 850 stitches per minute for a fast operation every time. If you’d rather go at a slower pace, you can adjust the speed thanks to the slow sewing speed option.
Usability-wise, you won’t be disappointed when using the Quantum Stylist 9960 as it has an LCD screen on which you can check the different parameters, and it comes with an automatic needle threader, tension, thread cutter, and electronic twin needle control. The machine’s basically sewing on its own!
The only thing that may seem like a downside for some people is the enormous 28-pound weight of the machine, which makes it among the biggest sewing tools today. Do not let that derail you though, as the stylish design of Quantum Stylist 9960 makes it approachable despite its size.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the sewing area may seem a bit compact at first, but that won’t prove to be a problem because first, most projects don’t need much space and second, an extension table is included with the machine for big projects that require an extended sewing area.
What we like about the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
Everything! From the stylish, professional design to the great variety of available accessories, this machine is surely to fit every need and provide any sewer with a tool that’s capable of handling any sewing task. It’s simple, if you’re looking for the best of the best and don’t care about the weight or the size, the Quantum Stylist 9960 is among the best sewing machines for you.
2. Juki TL-2010Q
First things first, Juki is a Japanese brand, and that already says a lot about the quality you can expect. The TL-2010Q is a masterpiece that would appeal to any aspiring or professional tailor, and there are some good arguments that support that, which explains the reason behind the relatively high price point and why it’s among the most expensive sewing machines.
First, the design is pretty sleek. This sewing machine looks modern compared to the other suggestions on our list, so if you’re looking for a nice-looking device that you can brag about, you’ve just hit the jackpot. Not only is the design beautiful though, as it’s also solid, promising a long lifespan, and practical, as it allows the machine to sew smoothly and in a fast manner, making it an excellent option for those seeking a straight-stitch, industrial free-motion-oriented machine
In addition, you’ll notice that the TL-2010Q comes with a huge table extension. In other words, no matter how big your projects are, space will never be a problem for you.
For the maneuverability, note that this sewing machine comes with speed control and a large throat for any large quilt. Add that to the easy threading thanks to the foot pedal, the front button, and the thread cutter, and you’ve got yourself a killer deal, especially considering how easy replacing the bobbin is. I mean, come on, we bobbin replacement has been a problem for many tailors for years.
One thing that we think Juki could improve in the TL-2010Q is the included user manual. The instructions aren’t clear enough, and the pictures don’t help either, but that’s not a deal breaker as most people would directly resort to YouTube for help and tutorials anyway.
Finally, despite not having a lot of accessories like the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960, the included attachments are enough for any quilting or sewing project you may have, so don’t mind that aspect.
What we like about the Juki TL-2010Q
Apart from the mediocre use manual, the TL-2010Q is a great sewing machine that can take care of a variety of tasks, especially those including quilting. It is easy to use, comes with several accessories, and has a portable design (despite the massive 37-pound weight) thanks to the carrying handle. What else could a sewist ask for?
Also, keep in mind that the machine isn’t computerized, so it may not be the best choice for those used to modern devices. On the other hand, if you have no problem operating a manual sewing machine, you cannot go wrong with Juki’s TL-2010Q.
3. Brother CS6000i
Brother is a well-known brand in the electronics field, including sewing machines. The CS6000i is yet another affordable and stylish tool that any fashion designer, garment maker, or sewing enthusiast would admire for a number of solid reasons.
First, being made of mostly plastic, the machine Is exceptionally lightweight, as it has a 13-pound weight point. So, if you’re looking for portability, the CS6000i won’t disappoint. Keep in mind the small weight, and compact design contribute to the fact that this machine is mainly aimed at personal clothing or mending, not commercial, hardcore usage.
Brother’s CS6000i comes with 60 built-in stitch patterns, including seven 1-step buttonholes, which makes it suitable for a plethora of designs and creations.
When it comes to usability and ease of use, Brother really nailed it with the CS6000i. The model comes with clear manual and instructions on how to perform different operations, be it winding the bobbin, so that any sewer, be it a newbie or advanced one, could use the machine for various projects, be it clothes for yourself, pencil cases for the kids, or curtains for your house.
What’s even more convenient is that you can easily select your stitch and size as you wish thanks to the LCD display, and you have variable speed controls, so that you can adjust it to your needs.
If that’s not enough for you, the CS6000i still has more to offer as it features a free arm, an automatic needle threader, and a top drop-in bobbin, making it one of the easiest sewing machines to operate. In other words, it’s any sewist’s dream machine comes true.
As for the accessories, you get a decent collection with the CS6000i, including, but not limited to, a hardcover, a quilting table, 9-pressure feet.
What we like about the Brother CS6000i
This is a simple, easy-to-use machine that comes at a great price. Despite its simplicity, the CS6000i comes with a plethora of features and a host of accessories, making it great for any beginner tailor.
4. Singer Stylist 7258
You know a brand is killing it when it gets featured twice in a “best of” guide. Unlike its Quantum Stylist 9960 sibling, the Stylist 7258 is extremely lightweight, weighing only 14.6 pounds, and has a lower price point, making it more suitable for beginners in the sewing field.
Singer’s Stylist 7258 is a computerized sewing machine that’s intended for extended use thanks to the durable, heavy-duty metal frame.
Many projects and designs can be performed on this sewing machine thanks to the 100 beautiful pre-built stitch patterns, including seven 1-step buttonholes. If you’re looking to embellish your items with pretty designs, you won’t be disappointed with the available options.
What’s remarkable about the Singer Stylist 7258 is how easy it is to operate it. You get a clear LCD display on which you can monitor your selected parameters, such as the stitch length and width, and control them as well to fit your project’s requirements.
Not only that, but you also get an electronic autopilot option, so that you can sew without having to use the foot pedal, along with a programmable up/down needle, a 6-segment feeding system, and an automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin system to make things even easier for you when it comes to repetitive tasks. Other parameters can be adjusted as well, including the speed, which can be configured using the slider without having to use the foot pedal, which is a huge plus if you’re a beginner.
Singer got you covered if you’re more of a night owl as well, as the Stylist 7258 features 2 StayBright LED lights that illuminate the sewing area for clear viewing and sewing even in darker environments.
Just like the other products on our list, the Stylist 7258 comes with a handful of free accessories, such as thread spool caps, a needle plate screwdriver, a foot pedal, and a soft-sided dust cover.
As nothing is perfect in this world, you should note that this sewing machine comes with a couple of drawbacks. First, it isn’t as reliable on thicker materials, despite many people reporting that it works just fine for up to 4 layers of denim with interfacings. Second, you may notice some vibrations when working in higher speed settings, so don’t let that horrify you.
What we like about the Singer Stylist 7258
The Singer Stylist 7258 is a durable, well-built sewing machine that can be used for clothes, purses, etc. It sews smoothly without making much noise while doing so. Besides, you get 100 beautiful stitch patterns, many free accessories, and an incredibly detailed user manual that goes over everything, including many of the included 100 stitches. If you’re a beginner tailor, this is one of the best sewing machines for you.
5. Brother SE400
If you’re looking to unveil the wonders of quilting and embroidery, this is one of the best sewing machines for those purposes, which explains why it got the Women’s Choice Award of 2018.
As the manufacturer states “If you can imagine it, you can create it”. The SE400 is among the best sewing machines no matter your specialty, and that’s mainly due to the extreme ease of use and different features that it offers.
Switching between sewing and embroidery is a piece of cake, as you only have to change the foot and base and you’re good to go. As a matter of fact, the same goes for all other operations. This machine is made for beginners, so you can rest assured when it comes to ease of use thanks to the 1-touch automatic thread cutter and needle threader, free arm, and the drop-in bobbin.
The most notable thing about this model is the great collection of 67 built-in stitch patterns, 70 integrated embroidery designs, and five lettering fonts, along with the ability to import your own embroidery designs from your computer. Those options make the SE400 one of the best sewing machines for people looking to challenge the limits of their creativity.
You can adjust the different parameters, such as the speed and needle position, directly from the LCD touch screen that shows clear icons and configurations. The display even indicates which foot you need to use when you select your preferred stitch, and it gives you a warning when the bobbin is finishing.
This may be getting repetitive, but the Brother SE400 comes with several accessories, including an embroidery hoop and arm and a presser foot. Actually, it’s notable that the machine comes with a great variety of feet so you can try different sewing techniques.
Now, for the cons, Brother’s SE400 does have some. First, tackling thicker fabrics and multiple layers isn’t that easy on this machine. Second, you may find the pre-built embroidery designs to be a bit mediocre, but that’s not a big issue since you can import your own models. There are even sites from which you can get ready, inspiring designs, including iEmbroidery.
What we like about the Brother SE400
What is there not to like? This is a modern machine that any novice or veteran tailor can use, and you get the option to connect it to your computer to import your own designs. How cool is that?
Buying Guide for the Best Sewing Machines
No matter how experienced you are, making the right pick may prove to be a bit overwhelming considering the great variety of choices on the market.
Do not get frustrated though, as we’ve got you covered with this buying guide for the best sewing machines in today’s market.
Best Sewing Machines: Types and Variations
While they may look similar, sewing machines actually come in different variations. Choosing the best type for you depends on your projects and needs, so keep that in mind while looking through the best sewing machines.
Mechanical Sewing Machines
These are the typical image that comes in mind when thinking of a sewing machine. Mechanical or Manual devices can operate automatically or through a foot pedal, but you have to configure the basic settings yourself when using one. Despite their basic structure, some of the modern models come with built-in stitches so you can create your next items with ease.
Mechanical sewing machines are extremely easy to use and come at low prices, making them suitable for beginners looking to learn sewing and quilting from the basics.
Electronic Sewing Machines
Electronic or automatic sewing machines are a hybrid of mechanical and computerized sewing machines. They offer a great set of features, including a free arm and a motor for effortless sewing, and built-in stitches and automatic threading for advanced stitching. There are many other features, of course, along with a compact size and a lightweight, which makes them the perfect machines for intermediate sewers and tailors.
Computerized Sewing Machines
Just as the name suggests, computerized sewing machines are similar to computers, as they feature a great variety of built-in stitch patterns and you get the ability to import your own designs from the internet, your computer, or design loaded cards.
These machines come in a massive size most of the time, and they’re more aimed at industrial use considering their high capacity and plethora of features.
Embroidery Sewing Machines
Embroidery sewing machines are mainly used to design different intricate embroidery patterns on the fabric. They’re mostly electronic, but there are also zigzag models which are suitable for beginners.
There are other sewing machine models and type, including the overlocker sewing machine, but they’re mostly specialized and can only perform specific tasks.
Sewing Machine Brands and Prices
Best Sewing Machine Brands
Just like any other appliance and home tool, there are many sewing machines manufacturers, with the top sewing machines brands being:
- Janome (Click and read our Janome reviews!)
If you’ve ever practiced sewing before, you’re sure to recognize some of those brands.
Keep in mind that there are many other brands, but when it comes to the best sewing machines, it’s essential to stick to the aforementioned ones as they offer great quality despite the somehow high prices.
Sewing Machine Prices
Prices of the best sewing machines may range from $100-$200 for entry-level models up to $8000 for specialist models. Don’t let the price discourage you, as an average shopper can find great models for under $500, so there’s a choice for every sewer.
What to Look for When Browsing the Best Sewing Machines
When shopping for the best sewing machine, the first thing that you need to check is the bobbin. Top-loading or drop-in bobbins typically come with a transparent cover through which you can clearly see how much thread you have left and whether you need to replace the bobbin or not. Also, the replacement process shouldn’t be too hard so you can change the bobbin and resume your work quickly.
The needle threader is also a crucial component to check, especially if you have less-than-perfect eyesight. Even though they’re mainly referred to as automatic, needle threaders can come in a variety of types, so make sure to check it before making your choice.
If you’re someone who likes to play around with different fabrics and thread types, it’s essential to have adjustable tension, stitch length, and stitch width. Most modern sewing machines allow you to adjust these parameters, but some low-cost models may not, so go over this when browsing the best sewing machines.
There are some other features on which you need to focus if you want to choose the best sewing machines, which are mainly the following:
- Is it a manual, automatic, or computerized machine?
- How heavy/big is the machine?
- Does it have an LCD display for smooth operation?
- How many stitch patterns (if you’re an embroiderer) and buttonhole styles (if you’re a garment maker) does the machine offer?
- What speeds are available?
- Is the stitch of high quality?
- Does it have automatic thread cutters, needle threaders, and bobbin winders
- What is the maximum stitch length and width? Is it convenient for thick materials and fabrics?
- Can you adjust the stitch sizing?
- Is the throat big enough for your projects?
- Does it come with an extension table and a variety of feet?
- Is the light good and eye-friendly? Does the machine make much noise when operating?
- Does the machine come with accessories? If so, what extras are you getting?
- Will the manufacturer offer a warranty along with the machine? If so, which category does it fall into?
The list may seem long, but it’s crucial to go over every single aspect to make the best decision when it comes to the best sewing machines. Remember, research is an integral part of buying any product, especially if the budget isn’t a problem and you’re looking for the best quality.
Verdict: What are the Best Sewing Machines?
There’s no quick answer to that, as the decision depends on your own preferences, needs, and expectations.
That being said, we highly recommend the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 if you’re a hardcore sewer who’s looking to dominate the clothing industry someday, and the Brother CS6000i if you prefer a simple machine to sew or mend your clothes occasionally or as part of your DIY projects.
Keep in mind that the other sewing machines are excellent as well, so make sure to go through our buying good to make an informed decision.
Do you have any question regarding one of the products or sewing, quilting, or embellishing in general? Do not hesitate to ask in the comments!