Top 10 Best Sewing Machines for Any Project

Top-Ten-Sewing-Machines-for-Any-Project

I’ve been sewing for over 20 years and in that time have used just about every kind of sewing machine out there, from basic beginners to digitized embroidery machines, and each has their own place and time. I’ve got a special fondness for no-frills mini machines that are ideal for traveling with or whipping out for smaller projects. I also love me a straight-stitch machine that can tear through layers of denim or fake fur like nobody’s business. And nothing makes me feel fancier than programming a design to stitch out in multicolor fashion on an embroiderer. So I’m happy to share my experience in helping you choose the right machine for your project.

Sewing machines come in such a variety of models with different options to choose from that picking the right one for your needs can seem overwhelming. Some great machines come equipped with only the basics, and for standard crafts and sewing projects, that may be all you need. If you’re just starting out, look for a solid, simple machine with few features and a reasonable price point. If you’re looking for a solid workhorse, opt for a machine with a solid metal chassis. For those of you wanting to embellish their work or branch out into fancy stitches and designing their own embroidery, you’ll want a more advanced machine.

Here I’ve reviewed what I consider the top ten sewing machines from simplest to most advanced to help you choose the best tool for both your needs and your budget. Whether you’re new to sewing or a seasoned pro, there’s something on this list for you. And if I’ve missed a machine you love, or haven’t found you the perfect match, be sure to let me know in the comments below!


1. Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine

Singer Start Sewing-Machine

(Singer)

The Singer Start is my number one pick for a beginner’s sewing machine. It’s smaller than a full-sized machine but still sports Singer’s full-metal chassis, so it’s built to last. Singer provides impeccable free online tutorials for all of its machines as well as basic sewing instructions. This model comes with 10 built-in stitches including straight, zigzag, crescent, blind hem, and buttonhole, so you’ve got everything you could need to get started in crafting and clothing construction. With a front-load bobbin and three different presser feet, you’re not skimping on a thing with this lightweight sewing machine. This is the perfect tool for beginners or experienced hobbyists looking for a second machine for smaller projects or to travel with.

Price: $78.29

Buy the Singer Start Free Arm Sewing Machine here.


Pros:

  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • Automatic bobbin winder
  • Free online class
  • Limited 25-year Warranty

Cons:

  • Front load bobbin

Find more Singer Start Free Arm Sewing Machine information and reviews here.



2. Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine

Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine

(Brother)

The Brother XM1010 is a step up from the Singer Start with additional stitch options (though no crescent stitch, which, honestly, I’ve never found a use for) and a more user-friendly drop-in bobbin. It is full-sized but still lightweight. It comes with an automatic bobbin winder, reverse, and easy threading guide to make this an ideal machine for a beginning stitcher.

Price: $101.99

Buy the Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine here.


Pros:

  • Includes four sewing feet: zigzag, zipper, buttonhole, button sewing
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Simple interface
  • 25-year limited Warranty

Cons:

  • Short cord
  • Warranty is very limited

Find more Brother XM1010 information and reviews here.



3. Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

(Amazon)

The Singer 4411 heavy duty sewing machine is a great basic machine for the slightly more experienced operator. It runs at faster speeds and can handle heavyweight materials. It offers a handful of basic stitches and the ability to control the length and needle position for each. With a full metal chassis, this is the perfect workhorse for someone who’s going to be using their sewing machine a lot.

Price: $151.99

Buy the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine here.


Pros:

  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • Extra high sewing speed
  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Free online class
  • Limited 25-year Warranty

Cons:

  • Sideways thread holder limits the size of thread spool you can use

Find more Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine information and reviews here.



4. Elna EL2000

Elna el2000

(Elna)

You may not be familiar with the Elna name, but they produce sturdy workhorse sewing machines that last for ages. The EL2000 is a basic intro-level machine with seven built-in stitches, adjustable length and double needle option, and a four-step buttonhole. This is a solid no-frills machine for both beginners and serious stitchers. Consider the price an investment in your sewing future — this is a machine you’ll hand down to your grandkids.

Price: $700

Buy the Elna EL2000 here.


Pros:

  • 58 Stitch functions
  • Stitch length up to 4mm
  • Free arm/ flatbed capability

Cons:

  • Front-load bobbin
  • Higher price tag

Find more Elna El2000 information here.



5. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Sewing Machine

Brother Project Runwa CS5055PRW Sewing Machine

(Amazon)

I just love this Project Runway sewing machine from Brother. It’s very approachable — simple enough for beginners but with enough features to keep even seasoned stitchers interested. It comes with 50 built-in utility, decorative and heirloom stitches with multiple stitch functions, a drop-in bobbin, and a variety of presser feet to play with. At this price, it’s the perfect option for anyone.

Price: $120.94

Buy the Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Sewing Machine here.


Pros:

  • 50 built-in stitches
  • Five styles of 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Drop-in bobbin

Cons:

  • Lightweight, not intended for heavy duty sewing
  • Digital display has no light

Find more Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Sewing Machine information and reviews here.



6. Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

(Amazon)

The computerized Brother HC1850 has tons and tons of stitches to choose from. So whether you’re an experienced crafter or just want to add some embellishment to your sewing projects, this machine has enough options to keep you entertained for a long time, including a comprehensive set of 130 stitches, a sewing font for basic monogramming, eight styles of one-step auto-size buttonholes, and beautiful decorative stitches. What I love in particular is the easily navigated drop-down stitch menu that saves you the trouble of tabbing through options on a digital screen. This sewing machine is sure to unlock your creative potential!

Price: $190

Buy the Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine here.


Pros:

  • Great basic features for crafting, quilting, and embroidery
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Lightweight, not intended for heavy duty sewing
  • Only one size setting for monograms
  • Limited quilting features for serious quilters

Find more Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine information and reviews here.



7. Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine

Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine

(Amazon)

Built for the serious quilter, this Juki means business. It’s wicked fast at 1500spm but maintains low vibration due to the aluminum die cast frame. LED lights and one pedal control for speed and trimming system complement this semi-industrial sewing machine. This workhorse comes with an automatic needle threader, 1/5 inch quilting foot, even walking foot and extended bed table. It only offers a straight stitch but sews like a dream for free-motion quilting and heavy-duty sewing. Both top and bobbin threads have independent tensioners. In short, this is not meant for a beginner, but once you’re ready to upgrade, this is the last machine you’ll ever need to buy.

Price: $677.67

Buy the Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine here.


Pros:

  • Heavy-duty workhorse
  • Built to last
  • High-speed sewing
  • Large sewing table
  • Comes with walking foot
  • Comes with knee pedal

Cons:

  • Top and bobbin tensions both require adjusting
  • No decorative stitches

Find more Juki TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine information and reviews here.



 8. Brother SE400 Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Brother SE400 Combination Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine

(Amazon)

If you’re looking for an entry-level sewing/embroidery machine combo, this is the one for you. It offers 70 built-in designs for its 4″x4″ embroidery area and can digitize embroidery designs directly from your computer. It’s also a great sewing workhorse, so this machine can really get it done. And let’s cut to the chase — for $300, this is a steal.

Price: $299.99 (39 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Brother SE400 Combination Sewing and Embroidery Machine here.


Pros:

  • 67 unique sewing stitches, 70 built-in embroidery designs, and five lettering fonts.
  • One-touch automatic thread cutter cuts top and bobbin thread
  • Connects directly to your computer
  • 25-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • 4″x4″ embroidery area is small for some designs (larger hoops are available for purchase)
  • Creates poor quality monograms
  • High frequency of needle breakage, causing machine to stop mid-design

Find more Brother SE400 Sewing and Embroidery Machine information and reviews here.



9. Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

(Amazon)

This Singer quickly converts from sewing to quilting with an add-on table extension. The computerized interface offers 600 built-in stitches, 13 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes, and five different fonts. Automatic thread cutter, needle threader, stitch length & width, and needle up/down button round out its features. This is a fun little machine when you’re ready to up your stitching game. As always, Singer builds a full-metal chassis, so you know this is built to last.

Price: $351.18

Buy the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine here.


Pros:

  • 600 built-in stitches; 13 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes
  • Automatic thread cutter and automatic needle threader
  • Needle up/down button
  • 19 Presser feet
  • Drop-in bobbin

Cons:

  • Lack of detailed instructions to use the special features
  • Not intended for heavy duty embroidery

Find more Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine information and reviews here.



10. Brother SE1800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

Brother SE1800 Embroidery Machine

(Brother)

This is the grandmother of combo machines. Not only does it come with 184 built-in sewing stitches with 10 buttonhole styles, it also boasts 136 embroidery designs, six lettering fonts, and free motion quilting. If that’s simply not enough for you, program your own stitch sequences with the “My Custom Stitch” feature and upload your own embroidery designs with the onboard USB port. An automatic thread cutting button takes the pain out of switching colors and placement in embroidery designs. The bundle includes a hard carrying case, two embroidery hoop sizes, a gaggle of presser feet, and a knee lifter. When you’re ready to tackle all the crafts, this is the machine you need.

Price: $1189

Buy the Brother SE1800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine here.


Pros:

  • 184 built-in sewing stitches with 10 buttonhole styles, 136 embroidery designs, and six lettering fonts
  • Automatic needle threading system and automatic thread trimming
  • Includes 5″x7″ and 5″x12″ embroidery hoops
  • Built-in USB port
  • 25-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Requires frequent tension adjustment when embroidering

Find more Brother SE1800 Sewing and Embroidery Machine information and reviews here.


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
1 Comment

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1 Comment

Holly

I’m surprised that you focused on only two sewing machine companies, Singer and Brother. There is so many more options out there. I’ve had a Husqvarna embroidery machine for 16 years. Before that I had a basic White sewing machine.

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