woman sewing on her starter sewing machine

If you are interested in sewing, the first daunting mission is to buy a sewing machine. With so many brands, models and features on the market, one would think there must be a suitable model for everyone. While this is true, figuring out which model is best for you isn’t easy. I will review some of the best beginner sewing machine picks to help you make your choice, or at least to narrow it down.

With so many offers out there it is easy to lose perspective. But, don’t worry too much. The whole idea is to start a hobby, or maybe business somewhere down the road because it is rewarding and satisfying. So, don’t overthink it. There are many experienced sewists out there that can provide some help and guidance. I will certainly try to do so in your search for your first sewing machine.

Some of my earliest memories include my mom sitting at her sewing machine table. I had no idea what was she doing, but I hated it as I was not allowed to disturb her or even ask her anything. Years later, here I am, sewing every day with the same zeal and focus as my mom used to do. Back in the day, sewing was not as popular as it is today. It was a hobby for moms, aunts, and grannies. It makes me feel very proud to see that my craft and passion goes beyond boundaries, prejudice, and discrimination. So many young people, men, girls, and boys are embracing sewing every day. So, welcome to the sewing world!

Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Sewing Machine

If you are a beginner, it is natural to desire to buy the best entry-level beginner sewing machine. However, there’s no such thing. As a matter of fact, there’s no machine you can pick as the best for any skill level. We rate sewing machines considering their performance, features, durability, affordability, versatility, weight, speed, ease of use, and more. But, different people have different needs and ambitions.

So, your first step is to set up your criteria. Before going into detail, there are three big questions that you need to consider.

How Often Will You Sew?

It is important to be realistic because we often lack time to do what we desire. If you plan to sew only on weekends or less, you don’t need an expensive fancy machine with bells and whistles and zillion of functions. You may end up struggling to get a grasp of your machine’s capabilities. It can be frustrating instead of a joyous experience. A simple, easy to use, and affordable machine may be a better choice.

On the other hand, if you are ambitious and plan to sew regularly, then you don’t want your machine to be too simple. You may outgrow it and in no time you will be out there searching for a new, better machine. I would recommend focussing on machines that are easy to use while offering a lot of features. The idea is to find a machine that will help you to master the basics quickly while allowing you to grow as well.

What Do You Need a Sewing Machine For?

Sewing machines can perform an array of sewing tasks. You should know what are your goals and ambitions. Do you need it for simple mending and tailoring? Or you are interested in quilting or embroidery work.

Different machines offer different advantages. Some of them are even jacks of all trades. But, for specific sewing techniques, specialized machines will perform better than these solid versatile machines. So, you need to consider all these things to make a good choice.

What Is Your Budget?

Budget can be a limiting factor. When you start your search, you can easily get carried away and wish for more advanced models. However, the price range for sewing machines is extensive.  And advanced models can have a triple-digit price tag for just a few extra options. So, as a beginner, you should look for the machine that won’t break the bank. You can’t know how things will turn out beforehand.

You may find yourself in a situation that you don’t have time to sew, while your state of the art super-machine sits in the corner collecting dust. Therefore, even if you can afford high-end models, it is probably smarter to go for a budget-friendly option.

More Things to Consider

After you figure out the basics, you can fine-tune your preferences. The level of noise, strength and speed, features, and the number of stitches are some of the things to check out. The weight is also important. As a beginner, you might want to take sewing classes. Carrying a heavy-weight machine can be a  pain in the neck. Also, consider where to buy it, and is there a repair service in your vicinity. Shipping costs can raise the price significantly.

I can go on like this almost indefinitely. But, this should be enough to give you an idea of how to start your search. It is time to move on to the list.

Top 10 Best Sewing Machines for People That Are Starting to Sew

Preview Product Price
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 Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size... $149.00
SINGER | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with 76 Decorative Stitches, Automatic Needle Threader and Bonus Accessories, Packed with Features and Easy to Use SINGER | 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine with 76 Decorative Stitches, Automatic Needle... from $167.36
Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches from $114.37
Janome 2212 Sewing Machine Janome 2212 Sewing Machine $169.00
Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic Threading Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine - 50 Built-In Stitches - Automatic... $125.00
SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches -12 Decorative Stitches, 60% Stronger Motor & Automatic Needle Threader, Perfect for Sewing all Types of Fabrics with Ease SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches -12 Decorative Stitches, 60%... from $155.37
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, 850 Stitches Per Minute, Instructional DVD, 25-Year Limited Warranty Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine,130 Built-in Stitches, 8 Presser Feet,... from $159.99
Brother Sewing Machine, SE600, Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine with 4' x 4' Embroidery Area, 80 Embroidery Designs, 103 Built-In Sewing Stitches, White Brother Sewing Machine, SE600, Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine with 4" x 4" Embroidery... from $299.99
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto... from $389.92
Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/Hard Case + Ultra Glide Foot + Blind Hem Foot + Overedge Foot + Rolled Hem Foot + Zipper Foot + Buttonhole Foot + Leather and Universal Needles + More! Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/Hard Case + Ultra Glide Foot + Blind Hem Foot + Overedge... $389.00
READ  Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine Review

Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine

The first on our list is Brother CS6000i sewing machine. It is a versatile beauty, that comes with a lot of features and extras. But, let’s start with the obvious. This is a lightweight, portable machine. Weighing only 13 pounds you can move it back and forth easily. Or, carry it to your sewing class.

It comes with 60 built-in stitches. Which is a lot for a low-end machine. Several automatic functions provide great help and allow you to focus more on creativity. It is an excellent machine for quilting as well. Considering versatility and features, this machine is surprisingly affordable.

Pros
  • It is affordable.
  • Great portability, as it is a light-weight machine.
  • It is very easy to use.
  • Packed with features.
  • Great range of accessories.
  • It is pretty quiet.
Cons
  • Small throat makes free-motion quilting a bit difficult.

You can read a comprehensive review here.

Singer 7258 Stylist

Singer 7258 is another versatile yet affordable sewing machine. It has 100 built-in stitches to allow maximum creativity. Automatic buttonhole in six different styles and darning plate make this machine stand out from the crowd.

It is a great machine for different sewing projects as well as for quilting. The metal frame makes it strong and durable.

Pros
  • Heavy duty metal frame.
  • It is a user-friendly machine.
  • Fantastic versatility considering its price range.
  • It is relatively affordable.
Cons
  • It is a bit heavy in weight.
  • It gets wobbly at high speeds.

Read Singer 7258 Stylist full review.

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Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

This machine is made for beginners. While it doesn’t fit everybody’s needs, it is a champion in a couple of categories. It tops the list when it comes to (light)weight, affordability, and portability. Besides that if offers a solid range of features.

These include automatic needle threader, automatic buttonhole, 27 built-in stitches, and 6 sewing feet. Moreover, it is very easy to use.

Pros
  • As affordable as it gets.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Nice range of features for entry level.
Cons
  • It is all plastic.
  • It struggles with heavy fabric.

Check out Brother XM2701 full review.

Janome 2212 Sewing Machine

Many experts recommend starting with a mechanical machine. Janome 2212 is a basic entry model. It has 12 built-in stitches. This machine is light, but there are lighter models. It is affordable, but there are cheaper models.

So, why would you choose it? Because it is the best performer among affordable machines. It is simple, easy to use, not so rich in features, impeccable performer.

Pros
  • Performs well above its grade.
  • It is sturdy and reliable.
  • Metal frame for stability and durability.
  • User-friendly machine.
Cons
  • Small sewing table.
  • Not too many features.

If you want to know more read Janome 2212 comprehensive review.

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

This is another compact, light-weight model from Brother. It has 50 built-in stitches. It can sew up to 850 stitches per minute. While it offers a nice range of features, the ease of use is where it stands out. It is a light-weight model as well.

Pros
  • Very beginner-friendly.
  • It runs pretty quietly.
  • The machine is compact and portable.
  • It can sew heavy fabric.
  • Vertical spool pin.
Cons
  • No automatic thread tension function.
  • Small storage compartment.

You can read the full review here.

Singer 4423 HD Sewing Machine

This is another excellent choice. It is easy to use and affordable. But, you can find both cheaper and easier to use machines. It is not the lightest machine either. Singer 4423 has 23 built-in stitches, which is not a lot.

However, this machine shines when it comes to strength, speed and work on heavy fabric. Denim, canvas, multiple layers of fabric, it will sew through anything you throw at it. So if you are looking for a heavy duty workhorse for beginners, this is the one.

Pros
  • Heavy duty metal frame.
  • Top speed of 1100 stitches per minute.
  • Powerful motor.
  • It can sew heavy fabric.
Cons
  • It is a little bit heavy.
  • Boring design.

For more information read our Singer 4423 review.

Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine

This computerized sewing machine is a great choice for those who want to start sewing and quilting. It is rich in features, yet easy to use. This machine comes with 130 built-in stitches and 8 presser feet. It is capable of sewing, quilting and monogramming. This machine is lightweight as well.

Pros
  • It is affordable.
  • Rich in features.
  • Detachable table for quilting.
  • It is light-weight.
  • Solid performance.
  • Versatility.
Cons
  • Limited quilting and monogramming options.
  • It is mostly made of plastic.

If you want to know more read our Brother HC1850 Review.

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Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine

If you are interested in embroidery work this is the best machine to begin with. It is a computerized sewing machine with 103 built-in stitches and 80 built-in embroidery designs. It also has 6 lettering fonts. Obviously, versatility is guaranteed.

But, this machine is a great performer as well. It will sew through multiple layers and heavy fabric and it is packed with features.

Pros
  • Amazing versatility.
  • A USB port to import designs.
  • It can sew through thick and heavy fabric.
Cons
  • No walking foot.
  • 4” x 4” embroidery hoop is not enough for larger projects.
  • Small throat space.

To find out more read our Brother SE600 review.

SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist

If you are creative and eager to explore and improve, this is a great choice for you. This machine is actually an advanced model for beginners. It is still easy to use but it will stimulate you to improve and grow.

This machine comes with 600 built-in stitches and a bunch of advanced features such as Electronic Autopilot and Information Advisor. Altogether it offers decent performance and unlimited creativity.

Pros
  • Abundance of creative options.
  • Versatility.
  • Plenty of automatic functions.
  • An LCD display with Advisor.
Cons
  • Small working area for large quilting and embroidery projects.
  • So many options and features can be overwhelming for beginners.

You may want to check out an advanced model – Singer 9985 Quantum Stylist.

Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine

This is another mechanical sewing machine. It is the most expensive on the list. This machine is not lightweight, it is not packed with features and it is not cheap. So, why did I put it on the list? Some experts think that it is best to start sewing with a mechanical machine. And this one is as good as it gets.

It is simple and very easy to use. But, it really shines when it comes to performance. Impeccable quality of stitches, outstanding performance on all kinds of materials, power, durability, and reliability make this machine an excellent choice.

Pros
  • Outstanding performance.
  • It is very reliable.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Stable and durable.
Cons
  • Not too many features.
  • Only 18 built-in stitches.

Read our comprehensive review of Janome HD3000.

Conclusion

So, this is it. This is a pretty comprehensive list that should allow anyone to find a perfect match. Each machine on the list has some limitations and some great features. I can’t know your limitations, is it a budget or time or something else.

However, if you follow the basic rules and suggestions you should be able to make an educated choice. Just make sure that you don’t get seduced by one great feature to forget about other important details. And if you are not on a very tight budget, I always recommend a machine that is slightly above your level.