A Look at the Best Sewing Machine Models for Beginners

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What's the best sewing machine for beginners? If you've started looking for your first sewing machine, your head is probably already spinning. There are so many models, so many different features, and so many price points. How can you tell which is the right one for you?

You are asking the right questions, and you've come to the right place for some real answers. Beginners have a lot to learn, and we understand that.

How We Reviewed

first

We consulted numerous sources so that we could bring you the most complete and unbiased report possible.


First, we looked at suggested models from trusted sources like Good Housekeeping and The Tool Report. Then, we looked at what customers had to say about them.

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For each of our top picks, we'll tell you what makes it unique. Likewise, we'll let you know how much you can expect to pay.

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Finally, we'll let you know where you can find it. We'll also give you the heads-up about any flaws or problems that consumers consistently report.

How Do You Choose the Best Sewing Machine for Beginners?

What kind of sewing machine should a beginner consider? How much do you have to pay?

Moreover, which features do you actually need, and which are useless add-ons to boost up the price? 

And, most importantly, how can you choose a machine that will grow with you? We'll help you untangle these threads here.

What kind of sewing machine?

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

In the course of your search, you'll encounter four different sewing machine types: lockstitch, overlock (serger), quilting, and embroidery.

Unless you plan to do mostly quilting, embroidery, or edging, the lockstitch machine is what you want. A lockstitch is your basic or "regular" sewing machine. Therefore, it's the best sewing machine for beginners.

Manual, computerized, or electronic?

With a manual sewing machine, you use knobs and levers to make adjustments to settings like thread tension and stitch length. One advantage is that manual machines are intuitive and easy to use. Also, they tend to be less expensive than computerized machines.

However, one disadvantage is that your adjustments may be less precise because you're making them by hand. What's more, manual machines are generally not expandable. A computerized machine, by contrast, allows more opportunities to upload stitches and patterns, and to customize your experience.

Computerized machines tend to be the most expensive type of sewing machine. For the extra money, however, you get a good selection of pre-programmed decorative stitches.

Some computerized machines can do embroidery as well. In addition, some computerized machines allow you to upload stitches and designs of your choosing. 

The expense,  specifically, can be a downside. Moreover, some people also find the complexity of this type of machine intimidating.

The primary decision you'll have to make is whether the extra features are worth the extra money and the potential complexity.

SINGER Legacy C440 Portable Computerized Sewing Machine Including 200 Built-in Stitches, 3 LED Lights, Automatic Needle Threader, Large LCD Touch Screen

Electronic machines are a middle ground between manual and computerized. Although they cannot generally do embroidery, many electronic machines have pre-programmed decorative and buttonhole stitches.

An electronic machine can be the best sewing machine for beginners, as it offers the simplicity and lower price of a manual machine, with the precision and scalability of a computerized machine.

Features

Which features does a beginner need? More importantly, which are the sewing machine equivalent of bloatware? Things like WiFi connectivity, different monogram fonts, and extensive accessory packs may sound good in the product description. However, it's important to consider which features you will use. Here are some that we think are essential.

1

Stitches

stitches

The best sewing machine for beginners will have, at the minimum, a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, and, possibly, a serging stitch. These are the stitches you will use the most.


Decorative stitches are fun, but you should carefully consider whether you will use them enough to pay more to have them. A basic sewing machine will give you around a dozen stitches.


A more expensive machine may have more than a hundred. But do you need that many? You'll have to decide.

2

Buttonhole

Many machines have built-in  stitches. Also, some come with special hardware for measuring the buttons you will be using, and adjusting the size of buttonhole stitches accordingly.


Some machines even have sensors, so you don't even need to think about the size of your buttonholes. If you think you may make even one buttonhole, these capabilities are vital.

3

Speed limiter

Many machines have a "cruise control" function, where you can set the upper limit for stitching speed. This means that no matter how hard you press the pedal, it won't go faster (or slower) than your limit.


Cruise control makes sewing a lot easier than if you have to control the speed using only the foot pedal

4

Top loading bobbin

The bobbin is the spool that holds the bottom thread. Some machines load the bobbin from the front of the bobbin compartment.


Others load from the top. The front-loading bobbin is a more straightforward mechanism. On the other hand, top-loading bobbin cases often have a clear top so that you can see when the bobbin thread is running out.

5

Needle Threader

Some sewing machines have a needle threader, which is handy, but not necessary. However, some machines also have a function that pulls up the bobbin thread for you -- and that can definitely save you frustration.

How Much to Spend?

You can find very basic portable mini sewing machines for . A lot of times, though, these aren't up to regular and repeated use. You can also spend thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line computerized machines that will do everything except make your projects for you. How much is too much?

You can find reliable, entry-level machines for $169.00. A versatile electronic model might run around .

Our Top Picks

So now, without delay, here are our picks.


Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine with 11 Built-in Stitches, Metal Frame and Stainless Steel BedPlate, Great for Sewing all Fabrics

  • Type of machine: Manual
  • Number of stitches: 11
  • Embroidery stitches: No
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    Buttonholes: Four-step buttonholes
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    Bobbin: Front-loading
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    Special Features: 4 presser feet, guide, needles, bobbins, seam ripper and dust cover included

Pros

  • This machine is simple and durable. It has everything a beginner needs, including buttonhole stitches. And, for the price, it's a great value.

Cons

  • Its steel body makes it cumbersome. It's also very basic, so it's likely an avid hobbyist will outgrow it after a while. A few customers reported problems with skipped stitches and timing.

In short

Sewing Machine Expert describes this as a heavy-duty machine that can take anything you throw at it. It doesn't have a lot of extras, but it does have everything the beginning sewer will need, including several buttonhole stitches.

It's simple and durable, and the price is right. Good Housekeeping and She Likes to Sew also think this is a good contender for the best sewing machine for beginners. 72 percent of nearly 900 Amazon reviewers gave this model 5 stars.

Quality

Usability

Support

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  • Type of machine: Manual
  • Number of stitches: 12
  • Embroidery stitches: No
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    Buttonholes: Four-step buttonholes
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    Bobbin: Top-loading bobbin case
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    Special Features: Free arm, drop feed

Pros

  • It's a good, basic sewing machine with a little more versatility than the Singer 4412.

Cons

  • It's perhaps not built for the same kind of heavy duty work as the Singer 4412. Some customers reported problems with needles breaking.

In short

Both The Tool Report and She Likes to Sew like this one. Best Sewing Machines considers it a user-friendly classic with plenty of conveniences.

We think it's an excellent all-around entry-level machine. 78 percent of Amazon buyers gave it 5 stars out of 5.

Quality

Usability

Support

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Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Wide Table, Hard Cover, LCD Display and Auto Needle Threader

  • Type of machine: Computerized
  • Number of stitches: 60, with room to upload seven more
  • Embroidery stitches: There are monogram options
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    Buttonholes: Simple, one-step
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    Bobbin: Top-drop
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    Special Features: Expandable stitch repertoire, stop/start button, LCD

Pros

  • First, this model combines the best of computerized features and manual simplicity. What's more, it has a ton of stitching options with room for more. In addition, there are some limited embroidery options. There's also a one-step buttonhole maker -- and all for nearly the same price as a high-quality manual machine.

Cons

  • Some customers reported problems with thread tangling, tension, and jamming. Also, several users reported that the machine experiences problems with bobbins and other components not made by Brother.

In Short

Everyone loves this machine. Considered as one of Brother's best sewing machines for beginners. It has the versatility and precision of a computerized model, and it's user-friendly, too.

Best Sewing Machine Reviews, She Likes to Sew, Tool Report, and Good Housekeeping all say this could be the best sewing machine for beginners, and we're inclined to agree. ​

74 percent of over 7,200 Amazon customers rated this machine 5 stars out of 5.

Quality

Usability

Support

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  • Type of machine: Computerized
  • Number of stitches: 350
  • Embroidery stitches: No
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    Buttonholes: One-step
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    Bobbin: top-drop
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    Special Features: "social sewing" features, auto-threading

Pros

  • This model has loads of stitches. Also, its unique "social" features may appeal to some users. In addition, it's worth mentioning that Spiegel sells extra expansion accessories to customize your machine to your needs.

Cons

  • Some reviewers thought this machine was noisier than average. In addition, some users thought the sewing quality was substandard.

In Short

Good Housekeeping and Reviewshub liked this model, and it does have a lot of bells and whistles. Specifically, three "social sewing" features -- a stitch cam, WiFi connectivity, and a special app -- try to make it easy to share your projects online.

Unfortunately, some purchasers thought the extras came at the expense of sewing functionality. You'll have to make up your mind on that one.

Quality

Usability

Support

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SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects

  • Type of machine: Computerized
  • Number of stitches: 600
  • Embroidery stitches: five alphanumeric fonts for monograms
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    Buttonholes: One-step
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    Bobbin: Top-drop
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    Special Features: A number of feet, automatic needle threader, extended table for arm

Pros

  • First, users and reviewers alike consider this mid-priced machine to be feature-rich and good value for money. It also comes with an assortment of presser feet for quilting, cording, and other kinds of specialized sewing.

Cons

  • Several Amazon customers have reported difficulty in obtaining repairs under the warranty. In addition, there were also reports of thread and bobbin-jamming.

In short

You might have noticed the sharp price increase between this and the previous models. However, you get a lot for the money.

Tool Report, She Likes to Sew, and Sewing Machine Expert all love this model, and so do we. 72 percent of over 2,200 Amazon purchasers gave this machine 5 stars out of 5.

Quality

Usability

Support

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Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

  • Type of machine: Computerized
  • Number of stitches: 225 sewing patterns
  • Embroidery stitches: Several alphanumeric fonts for monograms
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    Buttonholes: 16 buttonhole stitches
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    Bobbin: Top-drop
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    Special Features: 10 presser feet, automatic needle threader, extended sewing table, large accessories pack

Pros

  • There are a lot of stitches and functionalities to have fun with. Sewing From Home praised this model's customizability, as well. In addition, you can program up to 70 custom stitch patterns. On top of that, many report that their customer service is top-notch.

Cons

  • Definitely, the price tag will give a lot of buyers pause. Also, this is a machine that will stretch a beginner's abilities. It's complicated, and some reviewers find the interface confusing.

In short

Juki is not known for bargain machines. On the other hand, the vast majority of Amazon purchasers were very pleased with this model. She Likes to Sew, Sewing from Home, and the Tool Report also liked it. In addition, if you're thinking about quilting, this machine has some extra functionalities that you will like.

The interface looks as complicated as the dashboard of a space shuttle, so, for that reason, it may be too much machine for someone just starting out. However, this model may be the best sewing machine for beginners who have the patience to make it their own.

Quality

Usability

Support

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Our Verdict: The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Wide Table, Hard Cover, LCD Display and Auto Needle Threader

In our opinion, the Brother CS6000i is the best sewing machine for beginners. Specifically, it strikes a nice balance of features, customizability, and simplicity. On top of that, the price is very reasonable for what you get. This model earned high praise from both consumers and reviewers alike. And we believe that praise was well deserved.

Product

Image

Details

Rating

Price

Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine with 11 Built-in Stitches, Metal Frame and Stainless Steel BedPlate, Great for Sewing all Fabrics

Dimensions

15.5 x 6.2 x 12 inches


Weight

14.5 lbs

$104.57

Dimensions

17 x 13.5 x 9 inches


Weight

15.15 lbs

$169.00

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Wide Table, Hard Cover, LCD Display and Auto Needle Threader

Dimensions

16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches


Weight

13 lbs

$140.09

Dimensions

20.6 x 7.5 x 12 inches


Weight

20.9 lbs

$398.94

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects

Dimensions

17.2 x 8.2 x 12 inches


Weight

20 lbs

$289.67

Juki HZL-F600 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine

Dimensions

23 x 14 x 16 inches


Weight

33.4 lbs

$1,049.00

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