List of 9 best starter sewing machines you can get in US. The list is based on quality and performance. The list is limited under $300.
Buying a starter sewing machine is a daunting task, mainly because of the variety of machines available in the market. Starter category is where all sewing machine manufacturers focus on. You won’t see any other category with more models than this one. I can count at least 50 popular machines in this category. That’s just an introduction, let’s get straight to the point.
You are here to get some idea about the best sewing machines you can get in US. To help you out, I have compiled a list of 9 best starter sewing machines you can get for under $300. You may ask me why I kept it under $300, the reason is because you will get all the features required by a starter for that price. You can go for expensive machines, but it will be better to start with something inexpensive and upgrade later. Moreover, starter sewing machines are better equipped to handle rough use than advanced ones.
The list is not based on price (even though there is a price cap to limit the list). It is strictly based on quality and performance. Let us start with the best.
1. Brother XR9500PRW
The new king of the jungle. XR9500PRW recently surpassed CS6000i and became the best sewing machine in the under $200 price category. The reason why it is the best starter sewing machine is because it has a lot of features and it performs admirably well. It is an affordable sewing machine and at the same time, it has the features that suits even an advanced sewer (forget starters). Whenever I search for a sewing machine, the dilemma I face is that a particular sewing machine with excellent stitch quality may not always have all the features I want and vice versa. It is very hard to get the balance right. This machine has that right balance. The stitch quality of XR9500PRW is top class and its performance on thick layers of fabric is excellent. The machine is user-friendly. It is very quiet and lightweight too. As an overall package, there is no better value for money sewing machine than Brother XR9500PRW.
Features : Computerized sewing machine with 100 built-in stitches, 8 one-step buttonholes, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down, built-in font for basic monogramming etc.
Cons : I had a hard time finding fault with this machine. But if you ask me with a gun pointed at my head, I would say the automatic needle threader requires a couple of tries to get used to.
2. Brother CS6000i
CS6000i was released way back in 2007, it’s been 8 years. It is still one of the best selling starter sewing machines, do you know why? It is because of 3 things, quality, features and affordability. It is a future proof machine. Its features were great then and even now. No other computerized sewing machine comes even close to the total sales volume of this machine to date (It is like Usain Bolt and others are still trying to catch up). If you are searching for a starter sewing machine, it is almost certain that you will bump into Brother CS6000i (and for all the good reasons). It is only recently that CS6000i slowly started to lose steam, because Brother XR9500PRW started creeping into its price range. Brother CS6000i has excellent stitch quality and it adjusts quite well to different types of fabric.
Features : Computerized sewing machine with 60 built-in stitches, 7 one-step buttonholes, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down etc.
Cons : Free-motion sewing is slightly difficult on CS6000i. Some may say that it is an old model but I can clearly say that it is still a machine with lot of good features. It is not outdated by any stretch of imagination.
3. Brother XM2701
If you are searching for a starter machine in and around $100, don’t look anywhere else. Brother XM2701 is the best bet. It is also the upgraded version of the ever popular Brother XL2600I, which is still the best among inexpensive sewing machines. XM2701 which was released last year, made a lot of ground this year and has received a lot of appreciation from beginner sewers. The best thing about Brother XM2701 is that it comes with a 1-step buttonhole and top drop-in bobbin which you won’t find in its competitors (others have 4-step buttonhole and side loading bobbins). The machine is lightweight and the stitch quality over medium-lightweight fabrics is very good. It is a great package for the price.
Features : Mechanical sewing machine with 27 built-in stitches, 1 one-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader etc.
Cons : The machine is designed for medium-lightweight fabrics, so you can’t expect it to work with multiple layers of thick fabrics. But it still does a decent job with 4 layers of denim. The work light is pretty dim as well.
4. Singer 4423
If you wish for a good quality heavy duty sewing machine under $200, Singer 4423 is the best you can get. The best thing about 4423 is that, it has good variety of stitches and it has some starter friendly features on it. Moreover, it has an extra powerful motor to live up to the expectations of a heavy duty fabric sewer. The motor can deliver 1,100 stitches/min, no other manufacturer provides better motor than this machine in the price range (the closest is a 850 stitches/min motor from Brother). The stitch quality is very good. There is another less expensive model called 4411, with lesser built-in stitches but it lacks some user friendly features like the 1-step buttonhole. Singer 4423 is the best entry level sewing machine from Singer. Singer fans will love this machine.
Features : Mechanical heavy duty sewing machine with 23 built-in stitches, 1 one-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader etc.
Cons : Even though Singer 4423 comes with a heavy duty tag, it struggles with 8 plus layers of denim. The machine is not 100% heavy duty, there are plastic parts for sure (that is where the cost cutting begins).
5. Brother XL2600I
XL2600I is the least expensive sewing machine in this list. It is a quality machine for the price. It can’t get any better for the price, which is the reason why it became so popular among starters. Its sales slowed down with the entry of Brother XM2701, but for those looking for an inexpensive option, it still is a very good machine to consider. For the price, it offers premium features like automatic needle threader, one-step buttonhole, drop-in bobbin etc.
Features : Mechanical sewing machine with 25 built-in stitches, 1 one-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader etc.
Cons : Like XM2701, the machine seems to struggle with multiple layers of thick fabrics. It is not designed for such fabrics either. The user manual also needs some improvement.
6. Singer 7258
This has to be the best computerized Singer machine under $200. This is also the second best selling Singer machine, the first one is always the Singer 4423. The stitch quality is great (the best of all Singer starter machines) and it has the features to compete with the best sewing machines out there. It has won Women’s Choice Award for best home sewing machine in America, which is a testimony to its quality.
Features : Computerized sewing machine with 100 built-in stitches, 6 one-step buttonholes, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down etc.
Cons : There is no option to lower feed dogs, which was a fundamental mistake especially when this machine is competing with the likes of Brother XR9500PRW and CS6000i.
7. Brother HC1850
This is an excellent sewing machine with great features, very good stitch quality but with a tricky price. You need to watch the price, if it is anywhere close to Brother XR9500PRW go with HC1850 because it is a steal. Feature wise, it is much more superior than XR9500PRW. The machine is pretty lightweight. All the decorative stitches come out perfect on this machine. Keep an eye on the price though.
Features : Computerized sewing machine with 130 built-in stitches, 8 one-step buttonholes, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down, built-in font for basic monogramming etc.
Cons : Monograms on lightweight fabrics doesn’t look as good as you would expect it to be.
8. Brother DZ2400
DZ2400 is a feature packed sewing machine. In terms of stitch quality, it is very good. Lightweight construction adds to the portability. In addition to the features, you will also get a bonus set of designer accessories which includes few feet and other accessories.
Features : Computerized sewing machine with 185 built-in stitches, 8 one-step buttonholes, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, programmable needle up/down, built-in font for basic monogramming etc.
Cons : Fragile thread holder.
9. Janome 2212
You may not love Janome 2212 for the features or for the price. But you will love this machine for one thing, it sews fantastic stitches. It is a very basic starter sewing machine, but it is durable and easy to use. This machine will suit those who love simple, durable mechanical sewing machines.
Features : Mechanical sewing machine with 12 built-in stitches, 1 four-step buttonhole etc
Cons : As I have said earlier, it lacks a lot of features that you see on modern sewing machines. It lacks automatic needle threader, 1-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin etc.