Singer 9960 and 9985 are quality advanced sewing machines. There is a huge feature and price difference between them, but a closer look reveals which is better.
As of now, the price gap between Singer 9960 and 9985 is huge. The price gap almost touches $140 at the time of writing this post (it will fluctuate according to the shopping seasons). The thing that makes this comparison even more interesting is the fact that both 9960 and 9985 are quality sewing machines. In fact, these two are the best you can get in their respective price spectrum. I have always talked about the quality of Singer 9960, which was the main reason why I included it in the list of “Machines You Can Buy With Your Eyes Shut”. Now let us see whether Singer 9985 can match up to the quality expectations. All I want to know is, will the extra $140 I spend on 9985 be worth it or not?
Singer 9960 Vs 9985 – Features Comparison
The first difference you will notice, is the color difference. Color doesn’t matter for a sewing machine, so I am not going to talk about it. On the first look Singer 9960 might seem intimidating with a plethora of buttons all around. You might get a feeling that ‘Jeez this has a lot of buttons and seems complicated’. Yes, 9960 has an overdose of buttons and controls, but every single button serves a specific purpose. Singer 9985 on the other hand, doesn’t have a lot of buttons except the basic ones. All other controls are integrated within the touchscreen. The touchscreen is very responsive, it has to be said. 9985 has one of the best touchscreens I have ever come across (The LCD screen is as good as those of $1000 machines).
Now let us go through the major feature differences.
Built-in Stitches : Singer 9960 is no match for 9985 in this department. With 960 built-in stitches, 9985 wins the battle quite easily. 9960 on the other hand has only 600 built-in stitches. Actually, the difference comes down to decorative stitches and a font for monogramming. So if you don’t need a lot of decorative stitches, 9960 is still a great option.
Monogramming Fonts : Singer 9985 is a clear winner here, with 6 fonts for monogramming (5 standard styles + 1 cyrillic style). Singer 9960 on the other hand, has only 5 monogramming fonts.
Screen : Singer 9985 comes with a touch screen, which eliminates most of the physical buttons. 9960 on the other hand comes with a regular LCD screen, it is not a touchscreen. In this case, you can’t really say one method of input is better than the other. It comes down to personal preferences.
Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure : Advantage 9985 here as well. Singer 9985 comes with adjustable presser foot pressure which is a must have for advanced sewing. It helps you to fine tune the pressure exerted by the presser feet. This is really handy while sewing very delicate or very thick fabrics. It gives you the best possible stitch quality. The pressure will be preset for a particular type of stitch at first, then you can override it for customization. On Singer 9960, presser foot pressure is set automatically, there is no option for manual adjustments. The stitch quality of 9960 is quite good even without adjustable presser foot pressure though.
Memory : Singer 9985 wins here too. 9985 has an option to keep the saved stitches or combinations in its memory even when the machine is turned off. You can easily access the stitches once the machine is turned back on. The reason I am emphasizing this point is because, Singer 9960 has a memory which deletes the saved stitches once the machine is turned off. I am not sure it can be even called ‘memory’ in such a situation, lol. Both machines can store up to 60 stitches or combinations.
Accessories : This is the only department where Singer 9960 scores above 9985. 9960 comes with 18 presser feet whereas 9985 has only 13 of them.
These are the differences in features. All other feature comparisons are given in the table below
|Sewing Machine Features||Singer 9985||Singer 9960|
|LCD Brightness Control||Yes||Yes|
|Touch Screen Display||Yes||No|
|Buttonhole Styles||13 1-step||13 1-step|
|Automatic Needle Threader||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Thread Cutter||Yes||Yes|
|Programmable Needle Up/Down||Yes||Yes|
|Bobbin System||Top drop-in||Top Drop-in|
|Motor Speed||850 stitches/min||850 stitches/min|
|Start/Stop Button & Speed Control Slider||Yes||Yes|
|Lighting||3 LEDs||2 LEDs|
|Alphabets For Monogramming||6||5|
|Mirror Imaging & Stitch Elongation Function||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in Memory||Yes||Yes (Limited)|
|Max Stitch Width||7mm||7mm|
|Automatic locking stitch function||Yes||Yes|
|Electronic Twin Needle Settings||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Bobbin Winding||Yes||Yes|
|Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure||Yes||No|
|Adjustable Stitch Length and Width||Yes||Yes|
|Extra-high Presser Foot Lifter||Yes||Yes|
|Extra high presser foot lifter||Yes||Yes|
|Machine Weight||20 lbs||20 lbs|
|Warranty||25 year limited warranty||25 year limited warranty|
Singer 9960 Vs 9985 – Performance Comparison
When you compare the performances, both machines are neck on neck. There isn’t a lot of difference in stitch quality. Both machines handle thick and delicate fabrics exceptionally well. In fact, stitch quality is one factor that makes these two machines different from other machines in their price segment. As far as stitch quality is concerned, I would rate Singer 9985 a decimal point higher than 9960 just because of the ability to fine tune the presser foot pressure to match the type of fabric to be sewed.
When you consider the current price difference, Singer 9960 seems to be a better option. But if the price difference comes down to $100 or less, it will be Singer 9985 all the way, simply because of the amount of extra features you can get.