10 Best Sewing Machines For Beginners 2016

This is my honest and impartial list of 10 best beginner sewing machines you can get in US. Ranks have changed in 2016, there are some new entries.

Hello beginner sewers, how is life going? This is 2016 and now that you have decided to buy a sewing machine, you need to be careful. There are a lot of crap machines in the market. Even the top sewing machine manufactures have their fair share of crap machines. I am not joking here, 90% of the sewing machines released by the top sewing machine manufacturers in US doesn’t make it to the top list. There are only a handful of machines that can be called a ‘Class Apart’ from all its siblings.

In simple words, a beginner needs an easy to operate, durable sewing machine with top class stitch quality. Honestly, this is a hard combination to get. During my early sewing days, I had a lot of trouble with choosing a good sewing machine. I have gone through a lot of crap machines and lost a lot of money as well. But now, after all these years of experience with sewing machines, I have acquired enough knowledge to pick the best of the lot. In this post, I will help you to find the best sewing machine that suits your needs as a beginner.

We are well into 2016 and couple of machines that featured in the top 10 list last year has gone out and couple of new entries have come in. I think 2016 has more rank swapping than last year. Here is the list of 10 best beginner sewing machines you can get in US. I have deliberately kept the list under $200 because I honestly feel that it is the maximum amount a beginner normally spend on a sewing machine. Of course you can buy expensive machines if you have money, but I think you would be better of growing your skills with a beginner machine and then switch over to an advanced machine at a later stage.

1. Brother CS6000i

2016 has been a comeback year for Brother CS6000i. Last year CS6000i lost its top rank to XR9500PRW because the later was very aggressively priced. Brother CS6000i is now the best beginner sewing machine you can get in US. It has been on top for straight 9 years (yes, it was released in 2007 and is still the best). I think you can now call this machine a ‘Legend’, because of its successful run for such a long duration. Its features, durability and stitch quality has been tried and tested over all these years by thousands of users. It is also the most sold sewing machine in US. CS6000i ticks all the check boxes as far as beginners are concerned. The ease of use and user friendly features made it popular among beginners. You can call it an all rounder in terms of stitch quality. The stitch quality is consistent across a variety of fabrics including multiple layers of denim.

Main Features

  • Computerized sewing machine
  • 60 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Programmable needle up/down
  • Sewing start/stop and variable speed control

What beginners will like?

Feature packed, stitch quality, durability, aggressive pricing and ease of use.

Cons : Not a lot to talk about. Some may say that the machine is over 9 years old and it is aging. But for me, the quality is all that matters.

Read Full Review

2. Brother XR9500PRW

This machine lost its top position in 2016 mainly because of the fluctuating price. However, XR9500PRW is an absolute champion in terms of performance and features. It is no lesser than the previous machine in this list. XR9500PRW has more features than CS6000i, so you can expect the price to be a tad bit higher than CS6000i. But at times the price gap becomes very big, which works against XR9500PRW. The machine is so feature packed that even an advanced sewer will find it useful, forget beginners. The stitch quality is excellent across a variety of fabrics. The machine is pretty lightweight as well. Weighing at just 9.92 pounds, XR9500PRW is the best sewing machine for beginners who attend sewing classes. You can easily carry them. Up to a $30 price difference between XR9500PRW and CS6000i is justifiable, anything more than that, I would recommend CS6000i than this one.

Main Features

  • Computerized Machine
  • 100 built-in stitches
  • Sewing start/stop and variable speed control
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Programmable needle up/down
  • 1 Font for monogramming

What beginners will like?

Feature packed, stitch quality, durability, lightweight, quiet operation and ease of use.

Cons : Beginners will need couple of tries to get used to the automatic needle threader. You may not get it to work straightaway. There is no problem once you get the hang of it.

Read Full Review

3. Singer 7258

If you ask me which is the best Singer beginner machine, I would answer Singer 7258 all day. If it is a Singer, it has to be Singer 7258 at least in the beginner category. Quality and features are the two things that made 7258 so popular. The machine is easy to use and it has a lot of beginner friendly features as well. The stitch quality is excellent.

Main Features

  • Computerized Machine
  • 100 built-in stitches
  • Sewing start/stop and variable speed control
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Programmable needle up/down

What beginners will like?

Feature packed, stitch quality, durability and ease of use.

Cons : No drop feed option for free-motion quilting. The foot pedal could have been more responsive.

Read Full Review

4. Singer 4423

Singer 4423 is very different from other sewing machines in this list. It is the only heavy duty sewing machine in this list. You can easily say that Singer 4423 is the best heavy duty sewing machine you can get for under $200. The best thing about 4423 is its powerful motor. The motor can churn out 1,100 stitches/min, which makes it the fastest beginner sewing machine. In addition to that, the machine has beginner friendly features like 1-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader etc. The stitch quality is very good as well. Even though the machine doesn’t have a lot of built-in stitches, the combination of aggressive pricing, user-friendly features and quality made it popular.

Main Features

  • Mechanical Machine
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 1-step buttonhole

What beginners will like?

Powerful motor, fast sewing, beginner-friendly features, affordability, stitch quality and ease of use.

Cons : At this price point, you can’t expect a 100% heavy duty machine. Yes, there are plastic parts for sure. 8 plus layers of denim is not really recommended on this machine.

Read Full Review

5. Singer 7256

Singer 7256 is a new entrant in 2016 list. The machine has been in the US market for quite some time now. Sudden jump in the ranking is mainly due to better pricing. Unlike the Singer 7258 which we already discussed, this one is an electronic sewing machine. So this one misses out on features like programmable needle up/down, speed control slider etc. These features are important especially the needle up/down button, which literally works like an extra hand. So I would recommend 7256 only if it is priced significantly lower than 7258. The stitch quality of 7256 is very good. The machine operates quietly and smoothly.

Main Features

  • Electronic machine
  • 70 built-in stitches
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader

What beginners will like?

Affordability, stitch quality, durability and lot of stitch options.

Cons : The worklight LED is dim. Similar to 7258, this one also lacks drop feed option.

Read Full Review

6. Brother XM2701

This guy just came to the stage and stole the show. XM2701 instantly eclipsed XL2600I which is its predecessor. Brother XM2701 has become the best sewing machine in the around $100 price segment. If you are looking for an inexpensive beginner machine, look no further. It is a quality machine. The stitch quality is great but you can’t really sew too many layers of denim on this machine as it is not designed for such heavy duty sewing. The best thing about XM2701 is that it offers so many beginner friendly features that none of its competitors have. It is clearly a class above all other machines in the price bracket.

Main Features

  • Mechanical Machine
  • 27 built-in stitches
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 1-step buttonhole

What beginners will like?

Feature packed for the price, affordability and stitch quality.

Cons : Not ideal for sewing multiple layers of denim (4 plus). Dim work light.

Read Full Review

7. Singer 2277

This machine is a new entrant for this year. 2277 is Singer’s answer for Brother XM2701. Both machines come in the same price range. Singer 2277 is the best entry level Singer machine. The machine has a lot of features for the price (but not as much as the Brother XM2701). Singer 2277’s USP is its stitch quality and affordability. The stitch quality is excellent. 2277 has many beginner friendly features, but the lack of top drop-in bobbin is a big miss.

Main Features

  • Mechanical Machine
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 1-step buttonhole

What beginners will like?

Good features, affordability and stitch quality.

Cons : No top drop-in bobbin. Not ideal for multiple layers of denim. Tricky automatic needle threader might require couple of attempts.

Read Full Review

8. Janome 2212

This simply has to be the best Janome machine in the under $200 price category. It is not a feature packed sewing machine by any stretch of imagination. In fact, it lacks even the basic beginner friendly features like automatic needle threader, 1-step buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin etc. But where it makes up for the features is in the stitch quality. This mechanical sewing machine is a stunner in terms of stitch quality. It can sew through anything you throw at it. The build quality is top notch and don’t even doubt about durability. Old mechanical sewing machine lowers will love Janome 2212 because it seems like one from the classical Singer era.

Main Features

  • Mechanical Machine
  • 12 built-in stitches

What beginners will like?

The stitch quality, ease of use, smooth operation and durability.

Cons : Misses out on so many beginner friendly features.

Read Full Review

9. Brother CS5055PRW

This guy has been around for a while now. CS5055PRW is an electronic sewing machine, not a computerized one like CS6000i (the first machine in this list). The stitch quality is one thing that keeps this machine in the competition. It has some nice features as well.

Main Features

  • Electronic sewing machine
  • 50 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Top drop-in bobbin

What beginners will like?

Stitch quality and good features.

Cons : Getting the right amount of tension needs practice. The machine is not ideal for 4 plus layers of denim. The biggest bummer of CS5055PRW is that it comes in the price range of the ever popular Brother CS6000i. The later has better features and performs better as well.

Read Full Review

10. Brother XR3774

Almost 2 years after its launch, Brother XR3774 has started to build some reputation. Even then I think, aggressive pricing would do a world of good for this sewing machine. This is a mechanical sewing machine with some nice features and good stitch quality.

Main Features

  • Mechanical sewing machine
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • 1-step buttonhole

What beginners will like?

Stitch quality.

Cons : Watch the price.

Read Full Review


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