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Types of Sewing Machines & Buying Tips

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

There are many types of sewing machines, but in this article, I just want to explain what are the most used at home; Focusing mainly on you to understand which is the most suitable for you at this time.

Will you come with me?

Types of Sewing Machines

Prices may vary depending on the number of functions that the machine has, the quality of the material with which they are made and, often, also depends on the brand.

Brands such as Singer, Brother, and Alfa, (brands generally considered for domestic use) are more accessible than Bernina and PFAFF, even though all these brands are of high quality, many consider the latter more professional and for more industrial jobs.

In general, electronics are more expensive than mechanical ones, since they include many more options. Some even allow us to save predetermined actions, which will help us to streamline our work.

Because the prices of sewing machines can vary a lot because there are machines that reach $ 12,000 or more, I will focus on recommending those that are of excellent quality, but still remain within your pocket.

How to choose a sewing machine depending on its type of use?

If you have decided to buy a sewing machine, but you do not know where to start, my first advice is to ask yourself:

  • What do you know about the brands of sewing machines?
  • Study the brands a little before you jump into buying a machine, it is better to make sure you really want and can acquire.
  • Markings of sewing machines for domestic use
  • Singer, Alfa, and Brother are the first to take into account if your goal is to buy a domestic sewing machine.
  • Sewing machine brands for more professional or industrial use
  • Juki, Bernina, PFAFF, Janome, and TOYOTA for more robust or industrial jobs.
  • If you have fallen in love with an unrecognized brand machine, look it up on Amazon and read the comments, or look it up on Google to see the opinions and verify their quality.
  • Do you want to mass-produce, do you have a textile company or factory?
  • Go directly to industrial machines, they work in a specialized manner, with all kinds of materials, and with incredible speed; saving you time, money, and increasing the productivity of your business.

What level are you in?

It happens to me many times that I want to buy beginner sewing machines just because they look very nice and are of good quality; and no, that is not the most sensible option.

If you are already at an advanced level, what you need to continue learning is a sewing machine that challenges you to keep going, not one that keeps you stuck, and that in the end makes you bored with sewing.

Invest a little more money in a good sewing machine that will help you achieve your goals.

What material is its internal structure?

The sewing machines that I recommend are those that have an internal metal structure because that guarantees the quality of its elements and consequently your lifetime, then, those with plastic parts are of very little durability. DO NOT DESERVE THE PENALTY.

What accessories do I need?

Make sure you bring as many accessories as possible. Check that your press includes, at least, the presser foot: universal, for zippers, buttonholes, and buttons, which will serve to make something as simple as a pair of pants, or something a little more advanced like a men’s shirt.

You will need the Allen key countless times; either, to change the needle, open the horizontal coil box or change a presser foot, it is indispensable.

A brush to clean the gears or the internal system and a liner to protect it from dust are accessories that usually come included and that is also very useful.

And that’s it?

No, a step that you must cover almost compulsorily when buying it is to try it. Verify that the lights work, that the cables are in good condition, that when you step on the pedal, the engine does not sound forced, and that when sewing it does it with precision, without skipping stitches, without tangling or breaking the thread.

If possible, read the manual and make sure you bring all the accessories that are included, packaged and sealed.

If you have purchased it from Amazon, read the manual, use it and if you notice any inconvenience, go quickly to a center where they cover the guarantee of this. The technician will tell you if everything is in perfect order, or if there is a problem.

Sewing machines for moderate or sporadic domestic use

If you are starting in the world of sewing, these are the right sewing machines for you. Whether you want to improve your skills or use it eventually to patch up a piece.

With them you can do any piece that you think does not require intensive work or many functions, because they do not bring any types of stitches, do not sew at high speed, and some do not resist heavy fabric work.

The price of these machines is between $ 100 (or less) up to $ 150 or $ 200. A price completely accessible to most pockets and if not, you can always save a little.

Advice to buy a sewing machine for domestic use

I suggest you go directly to the machines that have a minimum of 9 or 10 stitches, which include several zigzag widths and the buttonhole stitch.

Those that I will recommend later you can use them every day, the important thing is not to abuse them. My advice is that you do not demand more than 4 hours of daily work.

Although some allow us to work easily with heavy materials, or with several layers of cloth at once, your engine is not made for hard work, or to use it for long hours. When we overdo it, they begin to lose control and stop sewing correctly.

So, if you have in mind to make a jacket, coat, or even work with light upholstery, acquire one that allows you to control the pressure of the presser foot, and that in its characteristics clarify that you can work with heavy materials.

There are many types of fabrics, and thicknesses, even of the same kind. For example, denim or jean, can be thick, but it is also thin; The common thing is that it is rigid, but it can also be elastic.

If you compare your jeans, you will feel that in some the fabric is heavier and thicker than in others. This happens with many types of fabrics, and my ultimate goal with this is to advise you that:

Prove what is the range that your machine can have with respect to the thickness of the fabric it supports. If you feel that even though you have lifted the presser foot, the fabric has difficulty moving, the machine makes a lot of noise or the lower thread is entangled, then, it does not support that material.

Tip 1: When you want to use heavy fabrics, it is important that you decrease the pressure of the presser foot, and that you change to a thicker needle, such as 90/14 and 100/16.

Most of these new machines bring free arm, which is the piece that can be removed to make it easier to make curved seams. This is perfect for sticking necks (when we do not have a coater), making rolls, and for making underwear or swimsuits.

Sewing elastic fabrics or gluing elastics with these machines will not be a problem, as long as you use zigzag, because if you use straight sewing when you stretch the garment, the thread will break.

In the machines below, the zigzag width and stitch length are controllable, you can even choose how tight your buttonhole will be (the closer you get to zero, the denser it will be).

Tip 2: If you want to work with the elastic material, remember to stretch it while you are sewing, otherwise, the fabric will not advance, or it will be very slow, and the sewing will be bad.

Best sewing machine for domestic use

My recommendations today are based on machines with which I have been able to work and I can assure you that they will meet all your expectations, besides, they are the best in the market, so you should not only trust my opinion.

1. Singer Promise 1409

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

Singer sewing machines are among the best on the market, and this model is one of the most economical of this brand.

Despite being a very simple machine, it has the necessary functions and accessories to carry out your projects with a good finish.

A very intuitive and ideal machine to take our first steps in the world of sewing. It includes numerous accessories, and what I like most about it is that it even allows you to work with heavy fabrics.

Most important features

  • 9 types of stitches
  • Zigzag stitch
  • Automatic buttonhole in 4 steps
  • Stitch length control and zigzag width control
  • It weighs 6Kg (it is light)
  • Universal presser foot, for zipper, eyelet, and buttons
  • Automatic presser foot pressure

2. Singer 2250 Tradition

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

This is the best-selling machine of this brand, and not in vain. It is the perfect machine for sporadic domestic use and is capable of sewing almost any type of fabric, thanks to which we can control the tension of the presser foot.

It is incredibly easy to operate and comfortable to use, this is why it is so famous. Includes three decorative stitches to add a flirty touch to our garments.

It has a hook to remove the presser foot easily, and we do not have to do it removing screws.

Most important features

  • 10 types of stitches among which are the most used
  • Adjustable zigzag stitch
  • Automatic buttonhole in 4 steps
  • Stitch length control
  • It weighs 7Kg
  • Universal presser foot, for zipper, eyelet, and buttons
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure. Super important for thicker fabrics

3. Singer Simple 3221

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

I have had the opportunity to use this machine repeatedly, and I already feel that I love her. Almost no noise when sewing, it is very comfortable, and despite being a machine for beginners, it has several advanced functions such as the one-time buttonhole, stitches for elastic fabrics, and the automatic threader.

Domestic sewing machines, generally, range from 600 to 700 stitches per minute, but this incredible machine sews up to 750 stitches per minute, so your clothes can be finished quickly. Besides its precision when sewing makes the seams are very nice.

If you are starting and want to move quickly, this is the ideal sewing machine for you. Its power is quite good compared to other models, so it also allows us to work with almost all types of textiles.

Most important features

  • 21 types of stitches (a large number for a beginner machine, usually others have 9 or 10)
  • Adjustable zigzag stitch. Very, very important.
  • 1-step automatic buttonhole
  • Stitch length control
  • It weighs 6Kg
  • Universal presser foot, for zipper, eyelet, and buttons
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure. Very important for sewing thicker fabrics.

Best Sewing machines for frequent or habitual household use

They have a greater number of stitches, and their engine is more powerful than the previous ones, so we can afford to work more time with them and use heavy materials without worrying because our machine will suffer. We can find them from $ 200 to $ 400.

Its time of use may vary depending on the brand and model, but I recommend not to exceed 8 hours a day. If you do scales, it will be easier for the machine; that is, you can use it for two hours in a row, let it rest for half an hour or an hour, use it again for two hours, and so on.

Believe it or not, taking this simple step can prolong the life of the machine, and can make your projects more beautiful because she rests, but you also clear your mind.

As for the materials you can use, I recommend the same as I said before: put your machine to the test. Not all these types of machines are the same, and you will not know how far you can go if you do not test because this is what sewing is all about, curiosity to know how far you can go, and your machine.

It is sure that the ones I will recommend can sew drill, canvas, denim, upholstery, and leather easily, but it is for you to try with fabrics such as wool tweed, high thickness towel, silk tweed, thick camel hair, heavy upholstery, and materials that you think could put your machine to the test.

The stitch speed per minute of this type of machine is much higher than that of the domestic ones for eventual use. While the former is between 600 and 700 ppm (stitches per minute), the ones used frequently vary between 750 ppm and 1,100 ppm.

Elastic and decorative stitches are common in this type of machine, and even with some we will be able to control the stitch width, either decorative, or some zigzag variation through a built-in dial, or with an electronic option.

I want to start with machines for a little stronger or heavier work, for when you need to use thick materials.

1. Singer 4423 Heavy Duty

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

I recommend any of this Singer line. This, in particular, has managed to stand out among all the Heavy Duty of this brand. If you are looking for a simple, but sturdy sewing machine, this and the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty are the right ones.

They do not consist of many stitches, but their motor is more powerful than that of many machines, so their use can be a little longer.

If you want more stitches and a little more functions, I advise you to buy the Singer 4432 Heavy Duty. It is one of the sewing machines that I use constantly, and I highly recommend it.

It has stitched for elastic fabrics, you can control the width and length of the stitches, and although it has a powerful motor, it does not make as much noise.

The speed (1100 ppm), precision, and quality of the stitches is very good and, in my opinion, it is very simple and convenient to use.

Most important features of the 4423 and 4432 sewing machines

  • 23 and 32 types of stitches respectively
  • Motor up to 105 W and weighs 8 Kg
  • Buttonhole in one step
  • Stitch width up to 6mm
  • Pressure control of the presser foot
  • Horizontal coil system

The only thing that differentiates it from the previous ones is that it only has 11 types of stitches and hopefully it must be done in four steps

2. TOYOTA Super Jeans J34

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

The machines Super Jeans of this brand are designed to sew thick fabrics, such as leather, heavy drill or jeans, so if your goal is to work with this type of fabric, this is a very powerful machine that will make things much easier.

Thanks to that you can control the pressure of the presser foot, you can work comfortably with fine fabrics, in fact, it brings some specific stitches for light fabrics.

Most important features

  • It weighs 5.2kg, that is, it is very light
  • 34 stitches
  • Stitch length and pressure control of the presser foot

3. Singer Curvy 8770

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

The latter is perfect for any job, it could be said that it is a semi-professional sewing machine, but I include it in this list because they are intended for domestic use.

It is electronic and it is not only for people at an intermediate or advanced level, because it is so easy to handle, that it adapts quickly to those who are starting.

Its price is higher than those I mentioned before, due to its wide range of functions, but it is worth every penny. Its main difference is that it has 225 types of stitches and that you can select 13 different positions of the needle.

The stitch speed is 750 ppm maximum, and that can be controlled in stitch width up to 7mm is also a great point in favor of this wonderful machine.

Its characteristics are many and I invite you to investigate them all, because it is very difficult to select which are the most important, since, for me, all are. Here I leave the official website of Singer Spain so you can enjoy everything that this piece of sewing machine can offer you.

Beat Semi-professional sewing machines

Semi-professional sewing machines have so many stitches that at this point it is no longer necessary to ask how many you have, if not what.

This type of machine already gives you many intelligent, predetermined options, since its function is to make your work more efficient and efficient.

These sewing machines are made with higher quality materials, so they are much more durable, and allow us to work with virtually any type of material. Its price is between $ 500 and $ 1000, depending on the brand and the number of functions.

When choosing a type of sewing machine within this range, you must find out very well in what each machine specializes, as there are some that focus on embroidery, quilting or patchwork, and bring options such as drawings, frames, or multiple alphabets, so that your creativity is not affected.

Other of the more advanced ones bring alphabets and they can embroider, but as their main objective is to sew, they extend more in the number of decorative and elastic stitches, along with functions that facilitate us the daily work.

For example, some recommend us what type of presser to use according to type of seam or allow us intelligent threading, where you only have to pass the thread through a slot to the needle, and with a press of a button, the machine will be threaded, as by art of magic.

This is the midpoint you can reach if you feel you have an advanced level, but do not want to spend more than a thousand euros to continue learning.

They are excellent machines, and if you are a design student or a seamstress, but you do not plan on working in a company, or mass production, I recommend you get here. In fact, I recommend you look for other models besides those that I recommend.

Do not stay alone with what I explain in this article, research a lot, and study what is ideal for you.

1. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

Super complete and simple to use, despite its many functions. If you want to unleash your creativity, this is the perfect sewing machine for you.

It has 600 different types of stitches and has the option I mentioned earlier: it recommends which presser foot to use depending on the options you have chosen before.

One of Singer’s favorites because it makes our work incredibly easy, and although it is advanced, it is very intuitive, so we will not get used to it.

2. Brother Innovis 955

Types of Most Used Sewing Machines

This is a machine specialized in embroidery, quilting, and patchwork. It brings up to 44 built-in drawings and a memory that allows us to save them. In total, it has 129 types of sewing.

It allows us to even increase the amount of embroidery, through a USB. It is also very easy to use, despite its multiple options.

My goal with these recommendations is to compare and notice the differences between a sewing machine that specializes in sewing, and those that sew but specialize in embroidery.

Best Professional or industrial sewing machines

If your passion is to sew, embroider, decorate, feel the need to learn more, or is this your means of economic support, these are a type of specialized machine that works faster, cleaner and with better precision.

Here I leave my recommendations

  1. Bernina 580
  2. Bernina 780
  3. Alfa MC 9900
  4. Juki DDL 8100e

Differences between the types of mechanical machines and electronic machines

I like to compare them with the first typewriters and personal computers; mechanical being the first and electronic, the second.

Although mechanical sewing machines work with electricity, we must control them manually. Whether to select the stitches, needle position, etc., they have discs or selection dials that, when rotated, make a change inside the machine, and indicate how they work.

The main difference is that electronic sewing machines, like pc, work with the motherboard, that is, although it sounds redundant, they work with electronic circuits and, instead of selecting some option with the discs, we do it with analog buttons, that tells the system how the stitch will be created.

One of the advantages of mechanical machines is that they are easier to repair for us, once we have learned enough of them to apply our tricks. Electronics when they are damaged, usually require us to change some part of their circuit.

What I like most about electronics is that they have a wider range of stitches and options. Some, such as Alfa Smart Plus, even allow you to make specific programs to your liking or insert a pen drive to update your software and increase the variety of stitches, all this by controlling it from a touchscreen, very similar to the phones.

My advice is this

If you are starting, I recommend you buy a mechanic. With a machine that I recommended at the beginning of this article is enough for you to practice all the techniques, and create all the clothes you need to be able to advance to another level.

If your level is more advanced and you need to specialize in making embroideries, decorations, monograms, or any of the options that an electronic machine can offer, it is time for you to acquire one.

Overlock Machines or Crushers?

The objective of this type of sewing machine is to give a professional finish to your garment, overcasting, and eliminating excess fabric at the same time, creating a chain stitching and working quickly.

Its finish is much neater than with zigzag, but it is a machine with which you must learn to work very carefully. As it cuts while sewing, we must control the fabric effectively so as not to cut the seams we have made previously.

They are perfect to work with elastic fabrics because it has a differential feed or transport, that is, we can control how much the fabric can be stretched. They also get along very well with thick fabrics.

One of its main objectives is also to reinforce the seams so that our garments are not easily dislodged.

They can work with different threads at the same time that, depending on the model, they can vary from 1 to 6, so they do not need a coil. The more threads you use, the more powerful and consistent the stitching will be. Those of 4, 5, and 6 threads, perform a safety-seam, apart from that of overcasting.

They also bring different stitches and functions, allowing us to make purses, ruffles, cordons, and many other things, so they are also very versatile.

Many people also use them for the construction of pieces directly, without going through the sewing of a normal machine, but remember that an overlock does not replace a conventional sewing machine or a straight.

The best models of overlock sewing machines on the market are:

  1. Toyota SLR4D
  2. Toyota SL3314
  3. Brother 1034D

Coating Machines

Coating machines are also made to give a clean finish to our work. Its applications range from making the shirts, placing elastic, bias, cuffs, collars, to decorating our garments.

These also fulfill the function of overcasting in the form of a chain, but the main difference with the overlock is that it does not cut the fabric.

That is, it is like sewing with a conventional machine, but with two, three or more needles, depending on the brand, and your preference.

If we only want to work comfortably from home, that is, we do not yet have the idea of mass production, with our conventional machine is enough. Many of our home machines allow us to place 2 needles and make a finish similar to the coaters.

But, if your idea goes for the industrial part, you should know that there are two types of industrial coating machines: the flat and the collarette. The flat ones are made to make flat seams or centered, and the collarettes to work with curves, such as sleeves or necks.

Its main difference is in the form of its bases. The collarettes have a space that allows us to place the fabric comfortably in order to make these curved seams.

Thanks to the flat coater have a wider foot and better drag; it is easier to work with it difficult to handle fabrics, such as elastic and those that are very light.

If you want to know the difference between the sewing of a machine and a coater, turn over one or two shirts that you have bought in a store, observe the seams of the armhole and the hem or hem.

Do you see the difference? One of the rings is the covering seam, and the one of the armhole, and often, the lateral ones, is one of the overlocks.

Singer Professional 5 sheeter and coater

Singer Professional 5 allows to choose the covering stitch, deactivating the blade; so my recommendation is that, if you are willing to invest a little more money, you can buy this machine directly, which is a coater and serger at the same time.

It has 14 different types of stitches, its maximum number of threads to work with is 5, and it is capable of making 1,300 stitches per minute; this makes it a professional sewing machine and for that reason, it is considered one of the best in the market.

Only for your information: Other types of more specialized sewing machines

1. Closing machine or elbow

these machines, through the use of the well-known French stitch, are capable of closing the shirts, sleeves, or the type of sports pants, among others.

Seeing her work is a pleasure, you’ll see three needles stitching at the same time making perfect stitches, plus, do you know how many stitches per minute these bugs are capable of? More than 7,000 stitches per minute !!!

2. Bastera machines

This is a very specialized type of machine and is generally used to make invisible hems, cuffs, and edges of materials such as wool, fiber, cotton, etc.

3. Stitching machine

This type of machine belongs to special sewing machines with the possibility of blocking and is generally used for heavy-duty garments such as thick jeans, work clothes, or more casual clothes produced in bulk. You can find this machine in factories and specialized clothing stores.

4. Eyelet machines

Even rarer, although you can find it on the Singer website. This type is used for the sewing of straight buttonholes in knitted fabric and also for the flat weave.

5. Buttoning machine

They are highly specialized machines that serve to place all kinds of buttons on all types of garments

6. Docking machines

This type of machine is quite uncommon and is used mostly to make stitches in pockets or openings, among other things.

7. Elastics machine

They are called elastic or elastic, and they are also some very rare and large machines, used to sew elastics to other garments. You’ll see them often in underwear factories working with delicate, fine materials, and … elastics!

8. Collapsing machines

this type is very similar to the coaters, and they are usually used to make work on sleeves or collars, that is when we need to make stitches in curves.


If you want to buy an electronic sewing machine, make sure that in your area there are at least places where they can do technical service. As these are more complex to repair and maintain, it is better to leave them in the hands of experts.

And finally, what I always advise is that you compare: prices, characteristics, and quality. The more specialized the machine is, the more you should compare it with others because there are many of them in the market.

Remember the most important thing: There is no best sewing machine, which is the machine that best suits your needs. Ask yourself what you need, and your answer will be the perfect machine for you.

I think that if you have decided to buy a sewing machine, allocate a part of your time to make sure you make a good investment, it’s a good idea.

I would love for you to tell me if my article about the most used types of sewing machines has been of any use to you. If you have any advice, you want to let me know something or have any questions, I invite you to comment; As always, it will make me very happy to be able to answer you.

Oh! Follow us on social networks to not miss even one of our tips.

If you have made the decision to buy a sewing machine, you may go a little crazy when entering a store, since there are several types of sewing machine on the market. First of all, you have to define what you are looking for in a sewing machine.

Are you a beginner or do you have experience sewing? What kind of clothes do you plan to sew? How often do you plan to use your machine?

Once you have answered these questions then you should have a better idea of the type of sewing machine you need.

Your options will then be reduced to two types of machines: mechanical machines and computerized machines, but within these two categories, there are a variety of options, for example, machines that have plastic parts against those with metal parts or a new machine against a used machine.

The mechanical machines are the easiest to find in the market because they are economic machines and do not require much knowledge of sewing.

Within these types of sewing machines, there are the basic economic machines, that even some call them “disposable machines” since their pieces are made of plastic, with which, they can break and crack very easily, and repair them costs more expensive than buying a new one, Of course, these sewing machines are perfect for basic projects that do not require a large investment of time or money.

The types of mechanical sewing machine, almost always incorporate the possibility of placing dials and manual buttons, as well as selecting the length of the needle, the width, etc. to make different types of stitches.

On the other hand, if we refer to the other type of sewing machine, which is computerized machines, these are more modern, since they have a screen in which the basic information about the type of needle that is being selected is displayed.

Type of stitch that can be given with it. In addition, they are sewing machines that adjust automatically but also allow you to configure it according to our tastes and place each of your tools in a personalized way. As you can imagine, this type of sewing machine is more expensive than a mechanical machine.

Now that you know the difference between them, choose the one that best suits your needs.

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