Sewing Machines Types, Buying Guide and Reviews of the Best Models
Believe it or not, buying a sewing machine can become as difficult and complex as buying a car. Sure, you have to spend much less, so your potential faulty purchase may not be as consequential and troublesome, but nonetheless you have to be equipped with the right knowledge. Otherwise, you will just stumble in the dark, and buy a sewing machine that you won’t end up using. In the best case scenario, you will go through the hassle of returning it or ousting it as a gift.
Although some sewing machines perform equally well at different sewing projects, those are more of an expensive rarity. Knowing what you will use your sewing machine for will be the key that unlocks the right type of sewing machine. On the other hand, even if you have no idea whatsoever for its potential usage in the near and distant future, you still need to know what is available in order to hone in on the right sewing machine. One that will serve you for decades to come.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Sewing Machines
- 2 Sewing machine brands
- 3 Best Sewing Machines Reviews
- 4 Conclusion
Types of Sewing Machines
Two Main Categories: Domestic vs Industrial
We could approach the categorization of sewing machines from a variety of angles, but it’s always best to start from the simplest baseline and then branch out from there. To that end, if we apply two simple factors, usage frequency and function, we end about with two overall types of sewing machines which cover the entire spectrum: domestic and industrial.
When you see the images from the great clothing manufacturing halls with dozens of sewing machines lined up, there is no room for creativity and veering off the set parameters. Everything is repetitive and calculated.
Likewise, those sewing machines are uniform in their function and range of sewing.
Domestic sewing machines are the opposite of that. As the name implies, they are intended for home use which a much higher degree of versatility, since manufacturers have to cater to a much wider range of use case scenarios. They may not perform on the level with which a penny-saving corporation would be satisfied, but they do offer flexibility. This allows you to engage in clothing repair, dress sewing, quilting, sewing shirts and pants, curtains…all from a single sewing machine. Essentially, just keep in mind that domestic sewing machines are all about versatility, while industrial ones are all about performance and robustness.
Of course, non-industrial sewing machines will not be as sturdy and some may be better suited for certain sewing tasks than others, which is why we need to divide them even further.
a) BY SKILL LEVEL:
- Beginner – These sewing machines can come in all forms and price ranges. Most importantly though, best sewing machines for beginners are easy to use right from the box. What this entails is that they don’t overwhelm you with features but allow you to master everything they have to offer in a gradual, timely manner. This translates to having less than 50 stitch types, and being fully computerized so you don’t have to bother with manual thread cutting, needle threading, buttonhole making, and having an intuitive interface, either with a digital screen or with an analog dial. We have a separate guide with top sewing machines for kids that list the safest and easiest models to sew with.
- Intermediate –
- Advanced –
b) BY STYLE:
c) BY TYPE:
- Sewing machine – sewing machines for clothes
- Embroidery machines
- Quilting machines
d) BY USE/FABRICS they handle:
- for leather
- for upholstery
- for denim – heavy duty machines that can handle heavy fabrics in multiple layers. Check out this post that features the best sewing machines for hemming jeans
- for canvas
- sewing machine for draperies, curtains and home décor items
e) BY SIZE:
- full size
a) BY DESIGN OF NEEDLE POST
- Flat Bed
- Post Bed
- Cylinder Bed
- Off the arm
b) BY STITCH TYPE
c) BY MOTOR TYPE
- driven by Servo motor
- driven by Clutch motor
Sewing machine brands
If you are just getting started in the world of sewing machines, you have to learn the ropes first. We have a whole section “Learn to sew” dedicated to just that, but if you want a head start check the following first: