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
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.