Singer Futura XL-420 Review

While Singer XL-420 is an upgrade from the XL-400, some of the unwanted things are carried over. However it is a good quality sewing and embroidery combo machine.



Singer XL-420 Features

  • 200 built-in embroidery designs
  • 5 fonts for monogramming
  • 30 sewing stitches
  • Programmable needle up/down
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader

Singer XL-420 Review

Singer XL-420 ReviewSewing Machine Reviews Recommendation Level : HIGH

Singer XL-420 is the upgraded version of the popular Futura XL-400. The XL-400 was a runaway hit for Singer, so they decided to release an upgraded version of it in the name of XL-420. It is not just a color change, there are some significant upgrades in terms of features. Like its predecessor, XL-420 is also a sewing and embroidery combo machine, which means you can do regular sewing along with embroidery.

The first thing you will notice is that XL-420 has 200 built-in embroidery designs compared to the 125 that comes with XL-400. XL-420 comes with 3 embroidery hoops 6.75″ x 4″ endless hoop, 10″ x 6″ large hoop and 4″ x 4″ small hoop. Different hoop sizes provide all the versatility you need. The endless hoop comes really handy while creating borders and interconnected designs. The machine has multi-hooping ability which helps you create large embroidery designs that are bigger than single hoop.

Like XL-400, XL-420 also comes without an LCD display, which means all the editing is done on your laptop with the help of the included editing software. The machine is connected to your computer via USB cable. The software can read FHE, XXX, JEF, CHE, HUS, PES, DST, SHV, PEC, EXP, VIP, PCS, PSW & SEW embroidery files. 5 fonts are available on the machine for basic monogramming. With the help of the software you can resize designs, letters etc.

Singer XL-420 comes with Swiftsmart threading system, which is not entirely different from what competitions have. However threading is easy on this machine. As far as sewing features are concerned, XL-420 has 30 built-in stitches including 6 Basic, 5 Stretch 17 Decorative and 2 one-step buttonholes. There is an automatic needle threader to thread the needle. Top drop-in bobbin is also very easy to use.

The programmable needle up/down is really useful while pivoting, quilting and removing the fabric. Another key feature is the knee lifter with which you can raise or lower the presser foot using your knee. This literally works like an extra hand while quilting or embroidering. Knee lifter is a premium feature and it is hard to find one in a machine of this price. Never forget that this feature was not present in XL-400.

The extra 1/4″ clearance for the presser foot is really handy while sewing multiple layers of fabric. The machine has drop feed option for doing free-motion embroidery. Tension is automatic, which ensures consistent stitch quality. The sewing speed control lever on Singer XL-420 is slightly different from the ones that you see on other machines. In this case, besides being a tool for sewing without the foot pedal, it also acts as a top speed limiter while sewing with the foot pedal. On most machines, the speed control slider won’t work when the foot pedal is plugged in. Kudos to Singer for the attention to detail.

Usability

Singer XL-420 behaves very much like its predecessor in terms of performance. The built-in designs look good once finished. The large work space on offer is something that professionals will love. The machine is not that quiet, it is slightly on the louder side (but it is not irritating). As far as the embroidery stitch quality is concerned, I am pretty impressed. The work space is well lit with 6 LED bulbs.

Limitations

The automatic needle threader is picky at times.

There is no automatic thread cutter, which is a surprise for a machine of this price.

The biggest bummer of Singer XL-420 is that the software simply won’t work with OS other than Windows. So, good luck to Apple users. Singer has to get this right. I wonder why they are not listening.

Pros

  • Lots of built-in embroidery designs
  • Good stitch quality
  • Large work space

Cons

  • No automatic thread cutter
  • No Mac support

Is It Worth Buying?

I think Singer XL-420 is definitely a better machine than XL-400, especially when you consider the extra features on offer (extra designs, knee lifter etc). But some features that XL-400 lacked is still carried over to the new machine (no automatic thread cutter, no Mac support etc), which Singer could have avoided.

As an overall package, I am very much impressed with the performance and features of Singer XL-420. Even interesting thing is that, at the time of writing this review, XL-420 was priced much lesser than XL-400, which makes it an absolute steal. The price may change once XL-420 establishes itself in the market.