A sewing machine is a wonderfully versatile machine that can be used for sewing, embroidery, and even quilting. There’s no end to the creative projects that you can take on with one of these in your sewing arsenal.
However, some of the more computerized sewing machines can often be confusing for those who learned to sew on a traditional sewing machine, or even for beginners who don’t want to deal with operating complex settings. Nothing wrong with keeping things simple!
A mechanical sewing machine can be a real game-changer if you want a sturdy machine that’s going to be easy to use for a variety of creative projects! You don’t need a more expensive machine with countless bells and whistles in order to sew effectively.
In our guide to the best mechanical sewing machines, we’ll review the top 5 products across Singer, Janome, and Brother brands to help you find the best machine for your sewing needs.
We’ll take a look at which is the best overall machine, which machine is best for beginners, which is best for quilting, and importantly, which is the best value for your money.
In a hurry and want to check out the best mechanical sewing machines? Feel free to click through on the links below.
What is a Mechanical Sewing Machine?
You may be thinking that every sewing machine is pretty much the same. This isn’t the case! Sewing machines fall into one of two major categories; mechanical or computerized.
Both are capable of a variety of sewing and quilting tasks, however, there are a few factors that make them different from each other.
A mechanical sewing machine electric requires power to function, but it doesn’t have computerized features. These types of machines are more like the traditional sewing machines that you may have learned how to sew on, or that your parents or Grandparents are probably more familiar with.
Mechanical sewing machines are often easier to work with for beginners as they don’t come with as many fancy features. As a result of not having computerized features, there are less parts that can potentially break or need repair AND they are often more budget-friendly, too.
In short, mechanical sewing machines these are the ideal choice if you want to stick to a budget or are just getting started with sewing as a hobby and want to test the waters before investing in a considerably more pricey machine.
Computerized machines come with internalized chips and automatically programmed features. They tend to have an LCD display screen for you to select the settings you would like to use such as various stitches. With mechanical sewing machines, you’ll have to manually select the stitches you want to use via a dial.
The computerized sewing machines also tend to be better for embroidery and monogramming, as most of them will come with designs already installed.
Computerized machines are also able to embroider much quicker than if you attempt to do so by hand on a mechanical machine.
Best Mechanical Sewing Machines Reviews
At first glance, it can be difficult to discern between the 2 Singer machines on our list. Both come with a range of great features, though there are some differences – most notably the slight difference in price and the differing number of built-in stitches.
The Singer 4423 is a heavy duty machine (meaning it can handle thicker fabrics) that comes with 23 built-in stitches, including basic, decorative, stretch, and buttonhole stitches. This gives you up to 97 stitch applications to play with and makes the Singer 4423 a more versatile machine as a result.
A noteworthy feature of the Singer heavy duty machines is that they come with a strong motor to support faster sewing.
Thanks to the heavy-duty metal frame and the powerful motor, the Singer 4423 can achieve a whopping 1,100 stitches-per-minute.
This makes it a great choice if you like a sewing machine capable of keeping up with your fast-paced sewing. This also helps makes it capable of sewing with heavier fabrics that other sewing machines might struggle with.
The Singer 4423 comes with a range of great sewing accessories for you to use with various creative projects. These include a variety of sewing feet, needles, a screwdriver, bobbins, a seam ripper, auxiliary spool pin, and spool pin.
So you’ll have everything you need to get started with your sewing projects.
Another great feature of this sewing machine is that all of the accessories can be stored in the handy accessory tray. This helps to keep everything in one place, ready for when you need to use them. A soft-sided dust cover is also included to help protect the sewing machine when it’s not in use.
The Singer 4423 is a great choice if you’re looking for a sewing machine that’s sturdy enough to deliver a solid performance consistently, even when being used regularly. We’ve compared the Singer 4423 to other machines in this article and this article and stacks up every time!
The Singer 4432 is very similar to the Singer 4423 in terms of sewing capabilities. The main thing that sets it apart from its cousin is that it comes with 32 built-in stitches for you to use, giving it an impressive 110 stitch applications.
This gives you slightly more versatility than the Singer 4423 does, and you can tackle more creative projects. The large throat also makes the Singer 4432 a good pick for a mechanical sewing machine that’s capable of doing quilting, too.
Similar to the Singer 4423, the Singer 4432 also comes with a strong, durable metal frame and a powerful motor to be capable of up to 1,100 stitches per minute. This strong metal frame gives the Singer machines long-lasting durability that will ensure they last you for many years to come.
The Singer 4432 comes with a reverse stitch feature to help you reinforce stitches. This will be great for getting both a smoother finish on your projects, as well as ensuring that your pieces will last you.
A stronger, reinforced stitch will make for a sturdier garment that will be more durable.
Another great feature of the Singer 4432 is that it comes with an automatic needle threader. This will save you hours of frustration trying to thread the needle manually, as the machine will do all the hard work for you.
The Singer 4432 comes with all the essential sewing accessories you need to get started, just like the Singer 4423. It also includes a soft-sided dust cover to protect the sewing machine when it’s not in use.
The Singer 4432 might be slightly pricier than the Singer 4423, however, it comes with more built-in stitches and stitch applications. If you want a more versatile sewing machine that can help you tackle a variety of creative projects as your sewing confidence grows, the Singer 4432 might be the better option for you out of the 2 Singer models.
Out of the 2 Janome machines, the Janome HD3000 comes out as our top pick. This particular mechanical sewing machine has a range of great features which place it just in front of the Magnolia 7138.
However, it comes with a much larger price tag than any other mechanical sewing machine on our list, so may not be the best option for everyone.
The Janome HD3000 comes with 18 built-in stitches for you to use. While this may not seem as many as you’d get with a computerized sewing machine, it’s the stitch applications that you should be considering.
The 18 built-in stitches give you more than 50 stitch applications to work with, which will be more than enough to tackle a variety of creative projects.
This particular mechanical sewing machine comes with a built-in needle threader. This will be a lifesaver if you use your sewing machine regularly and want to save yourself the frustration of trying to thread the needle manually. This is a feature the Magnolia 7138 doesn’t come with, which makes the HD3000 an excellent choice.
The HD3000 also comes with a hardcover case, which the Magnolia 7138 doesn’t. This not only helps you to transport the HD3000 if you want to take it to sewing classes, but it also protects the machine when it’s not in use.
This will be a handy feature to look for if you want to take care of your new sewing machine.
Another handy feature of the HD3000 is that you can adjust the foot pressure. This will be a helpful feature to have if you like to work with different types of fabric as well as fabrics of various weights.
The HD3000 also comes with an automatic bobbin winding feature which makes your life easier when it comes to winding thread onto your bobbins.
Overall the Janome HD3000 comes with a range of great features to help you with all your sewing projects but comes at a much higher price point. To learn more, check out our Janome HD3000 review.
While the Janome Magnolia 7138 doesn’t come with as many fancy features as its cousin the HD3000, it does still give you everything you need for efficient sewing and at a much more appealing price point.
Similar to the HD3000, the Magnolia 7138 comes with 18 built-in stitches for you to use. This gives you more than enough stitches to kick start your sewing projects, with a wide variety of stitch applications.
This even includes a buttonhole stitch to help you get the finishing touches on your garments.
The Janome Magnolia 7138 may not come with a hardcover case included, however, it does feature a handy carrying handle. This makes the sewing machine easy to transport to your sewing classes.
There is a hardcover available for purchase for the Magnolia 7138, but this will need to be purchased separately.
Another handy feature that differentiates the Magnolia 7138 from the HD3000 is that it comes with a larger throat.
This will be a handy feature to look for if you want to try your hand at quilting, as you fit more material into a wider throat. A sewing machine that comes with a narrower throat will be a bit more tricky to craft new quilts with, depending on the amount of fabric you have to work with.
It comes with several other great features which will be essential for quilting, too, such as drop dog feeds and free arm movement.
As the Janome Magnolia 7138 is a mechanical sewing machine, you can fully adjust your stitches manually. With this particular sewing machine, you can adjust the stitch width up to 5mm and the stitch length up to 4mm.
This will be a great feature to look for in a sewing machine if you want to adjust your stitches for different projects.
The Janome Magnolia 7138 comes with a reverse lever for helping you to lock in your stitches. This will help finish projects in a neat way rather than having scraggly stitches that show up the rest of your sewing work.
You’ll be able to get the smoother finish that you’re looking for thanks to the reverse lever.
So while the Janome Magnolia 7138 doesn’t come with as many fancy features as its more expensive cousin the HD3000, you’ll still have more than enough sewing features to get started with all your creative projects. And at a more affordable price point to boot!
Last but not least is the Brother XM2701 mechanical sewing machine. This is another one of our favorite mechanical sewing machines, but where exactly does it rank compared to the Janome and Singer models?
We think that this particular mechanical sewing machine comes with a range of great features that makes it a great choice in its own right but at a much more affordable price.
While the more fancy Janome sewing machines come with only 18 built-in stitches, the Brother XM2701 comes with a whopping 27. This will give you more than enough stitch applications to get stuck in with a variety of sewing projects. It also gives you more scope in terms of the projects you can tackle.
The Brother XM2701 comes with a range of decorative and stretch stitches, as well as zigzag and blind hem stitches. Perfect if you’re looking for a mechanical sewing machine that’s going to be more versatile.
What makes this mechanical sewing machine a great choice for both beginners and advanced sewers alike is that it comes with a full instructional DVD to show you how to use all parts of the sewing machine.
This will be especially useful for beginners who may have never used a sewing machine before, as it can show you how to become acquainted with your new machine. It can also help advanced sewers to make the most out of the Brother XM2701.
The Brother XM2701 comes with a range of accessories for you to use. There are 6 different sewing feet included, as well as a twin needle, 3-piece needle set, 4 bobbins, an accessory bag to keep all the bits and pieces in, a screwdriver, and a power cord.
You’ll have everything you need to get started with your sewing projects, and you won’t have to buy extra things that competitive sewing machines may not include as standard.
Overall the Brother XM2701 is a great choice for beginners or even those looking for good value for money.
Best Mechanical Sewing Machine Overall
Our top pick for the best overall mechanical sewing machine is the Singer 4432. This mechanical sewing machine comes with a range of great features and at a competitive price.
With this particular model, you’ll be able to create a variety of sewing projects to wow family and friends, or even just to wow yourself with your creativity.
Thanks to its sturdy metal frame and strong motor, the Singer 4432 is capable of much faster sewing than some competitive mechanical sewing machines.
Capable of achieving an impressive 1,100 stitches per minute, the Singer 4432 is the perfect sewing machine to help you expand your sewing talents as you grow into your new machine.
This particular sewing machine also comes in at a great competitive price which isn’t that much more expensive than its cousin the Singer 4423.
It’s fast, it’s heavy heavy duty and it’s affordably priced. All around awesome machine.
Best Mechanical Sewing Machine for Beginners
The best mechanical sewing machine for beginners is the Brother XM2701. This particular machine comes with a range of great features for you to get acquainted with, and is super easy to use. It also comes at a very reasonable price, meaning you’ve got even more bang for your buck.
This particular sewing machine comes with everything you need to get started with sewing projects. It has the second-highest built-in stitch count out of all 5 of our favorite mechanical sewing machines; it has a variety of attachments and accessories included as standard; it also comes with a full instructional DVD to help you make the most of your new mechanical sewing machine.
This range of great features makes the Brother XM2701 the mechanical sewing machine that we’d recommend for all beginners to get started with before moving on to one of the more complex machines such as the Janome HD3000 or Singer 4432.
Best Value-for-Money Mechanical Sewing Machine
The best value-for-money mechanical sewing machine is the Singer 4423. This particular sewing machine gives you a range of great features but at a more affordable price.
Even though it’s a little bit pricier than the Brother XM2701, it also comes with a range of great features and accessories that mean you get more value for your money.
The Singer 4423 is a great machine to get you started with all of your creative sewing projects but at a more budget-friendly price. This particular mechanical sewing machine comes with many of the great features the Singer 4432 has, such as high-speed sewing and a variety of stitch applications.
Best Mechanical Sewing Machine for Quilting
When it comes to quilting, the best sewing machine out of our 5 top picks is the Janome Magnolia 7138. This particular sewing machine comes with a range of great features that are essential for quilting, such as a decent throat size, drop dogs feature, and free arm movement.
If you’re new to quilting, the Janome Magnolia 7138 is a good choice to opt for. This particular machine comes in at a reasonable price, and can also be used for other sewing projects.
For quilting, you should opt for as large a throat as possible, as this will allow you to fit more fabric onto the bed of the machine. It may also be helpful to look for a sewing machine that comes with an additional attachable table to give you more floor bed to work with.
The Finishing Touch (a.k.a. Our Final Thoughts)
Mechanical sewing machines are reliable and handy tools to have in the home. Any of the machines on our list would make a great addition to your creative toolbox whether you need it for practical mending or fashionable creating.