Sewing Machines

Are you looking for a new sewing machine? Maybe it’s your first or you need a basic model for the odd job. Find the best sewing machine to suit your abilities and needs in our guide!

Basic Mechanical Sewing Machine Features

  • Good for beginners or the occasional user.
  • Often lightweight and easily portable.
  • Basic buttonholing. Either manual or 4-step self measure.
  • Often have front load bobbin case (manually inserted).
  • Limited stitch range, up to 20 functions but often less than 15.
  • Limited versatility, often has pre-set stitch widths for most utility stitches. Limited extra feetavailable.

Advanced Mechanical Sewing Machine Features

  • Recommended for those who like to make some of their own clothes or have a limited budget but require a solid, reliable machine.
  • Often lightweight and portable.
  • Good range of practical stitches with good stretch sewing options. Usually 15 plus stitches.
  • Frequently have an advanced bobbin set-up, forgiving of small mistakes in set up.
  • Full mechanical control over stitch variations.
  • Can have different speed settings with either hi/lo switches or a knob on the machine.
  • Usually has 1 step auto measuring buttonholes.
  • Usually have pressure adjustments for presser foot.
  • Often has a wider range of accessories or feet available.
  • Easily serviced with more likelihood of long-term parts availability.

Electronic & Computerised Sewing Machine Features

  • Recommended for serious sewers, patch workers and craft addicts.
  • A little heavier than mechanical machines. Holds the table well.
  • Have electronic motors and/or foot controls. More control and greater speed control sensitivity.
  • Usually have excellent ranges of both practical and decorative stitches—at least 30 but up to 250.
  • Reliable thread tension and bobbin set-up.
  • Electronic controls offer accurate set-up and greater versatility.
  • Often have a number of different buttonhole programs.
  • High-end machines offer alphabets, with many including different fonts.
  • Most have full pressure adjustments on presser foot.
  • Usually supplied with a comprehensive range of feet.
  • Will often have in-built suggested settings for each stitch.
  • Some come with knee lift for pressure foot for quicker turns.
  • Most feature one-touch needle up/down buttons and some form of automatic lock-off stitch.
  • Some models have flat beds with good space to the right, ideal for patch workers and
    quilters.

Embroidery Machine Features

  • Recommended for those who want the whole package.
  • Larger and heavier. Easily transported with a roller case.
  • Fully electronic, usually top specification equipment and electronics.
  • Excellent range of built-in stitches in most cases, with many having good in-built embroidery patterns as well.
  • Multi buttonhole, darning and other automatic functions.
  • Frequently have large touch screens for easy stitch selection and information.
  • Usually have in-built instructions and troubleshooting guides.
  • Updates frequently available with manufacturers often providing yearly improvements.
  • Depending on model, embroidery might range from 100x100mm up to 360x240mm.
    However, this seems to increase every year.
  • Usually have full range of feet for most functions.
  • Most have auto-thread cutters. Needle up, down and pivot features. Many have knee lifters. Most have low bobbin sensors. All have thread break sensors.
  • Some have side motion in normal stitching for oversized stitching.
  • All have fully automatic thread tensions with the option of override if necessary for difficult fabrics.
  • Many are now connectable to PCs for updates and download of different embroidery patterns.

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