Choosing the best cheap sewing machine is like searching for a needle in a haystack. If you don’t know what is out there, you might get cheated with a junk.
You have to be really careful while choosing a cheap sewing machine. Here I am not taking about those under $20 junk machines, I am talking about sewing machines that can give some value for the money spent. If you search by the word ‘cheap’ you will get a lot of buying options, but let me tell you one thing, there are hell of a lot of crap machines out there. I guess you are looking for a good machine for your daughter. You should give her such a machine that it provides enough room for her creativity to grow. There is no point in buying a toy. For an out and out beginner, it is a hard job to find the best cheap sewing machine (experienced people will always find their way). To help you out, I have created a list of 5 Best Cheap Sewing Machines For Beginners. The list is strictly based on quality because quality is the factor that matters the most. All the machines in this list cost well under $100 (that’s what I meant by the word ‘cheap’, below $20 you are looking at toys).
1. Brother XL2600I
XL2600I is the undisputed leader in this category. There is no match for its quality and popularity. You can call it the King of cheap sewing machines. It has excellent stitch quality (pretty surprising for a sewing machine that costs well under $100). It is the most feature rich sewing machine in its price category. It has 25 built-in stitches, automatic needle threader, top drop-in bobbin and 1-step buttonhole (for the price, you can’t get better features, be it anywhere in US). XL2600I even features in the list of best sewing machines under $200, which is a clear indication of its quality and affordability.
If you are looking for a sewing machine for your daughter, I would recommend this machine more than any other model. Yes, it is the most expensive sewing machine in this list, but it will be worth spending on this machine as it never disappoints.
Cons : The user manual is not well detailed.
2. Brother LS2125i
If you go by user feedback, LS2125i comes second to XL2600I. However LS2125i is a downgrade from XL2600I in terms of features. LS2125i comes with 10 built-in stitches. It is also one of the lightest machines around.
Cons : When compared to XL2600I, LS2125i lacks user-friendly features like the one-step buttonhole, automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin. The pricing is also very similar, so most beginners choose XL2600I over this one. But when you look at LS2125i alone, it is a pretty good sewing machine. Most other machines in the price category doesn’t have the features of LS2125i ( XL2600I is the only exception).
3. Janome Sew Mini
As the name suggests, this is a mini sewing machine. It comes with 2 built-in stitches and top loading bobbin. It weighs just 6.8 pounds. This machine is ideal for basic stuffs.
Cons : The price is a huge bummer, especially when you compare the features with other two machines we already discussed. The machine isn’t that good with denim either.
4. Michley LSS-505
When you look at the price and features, Michley LSS-505 isn’t a bad deal at all. It is a small sewing machine. It features 8 built-in stitches. It is pretty lightweight, so you can carry it while traveling. It is good for basic mending and stuffs.
Cons : Never expect a workhorse at this price.
5. Michley LSS-202
This is the cheapest sewing machine in this list. LSS-202 is a 2 speed machine, it features a top drop-in bobbin which even the mighty Brother LS2125i lacked.
Cons : The machine is so lightweight, that it flips over while threading, so threading can be a headache. The user manual requires a lot of improvement. Michley LSS-202 is a ‘you will get what you pay for’ kind of machine, do not expect a lot from it.
As a person who understands the value of hard earned money, I would recommend Brother XL2600I as the best cheap sewing machine for beginners. All other machines I listed above are presented as alternatives to XL2600I just in case you couldn’t afford it.