Sewing has had a long history. One of the first things that man did was to sew himself some clothes. And this happened much much before he settled down in one place and gave up his nomadic existence.
The first clothes were nothing but animal skins that were held together with pins made of bone and later stitched using animal sinew. Nowadays we wear fabric made of a number of materials starting from the common cotton to the exotic silk, but none of them are worth a dime unless they are stitched properly.
Considering that sewing has been something that man has been associated with for millenia, it is really surprising that the sewing machine was actually only invented sometime in 1790. Even then it was not considered to be of practical use although a number of people took up the idea and patented a number of designs, almost all of them very good stitching machines.
It was not until the late 1830s that the sewing machine actually started being used and it has not looked back since then. Of course the history of the machine is full of acrimonious legal battles with regards to patent infringement, but why care about that. All those patents expired in 1877.
When compared to what modern day machines can do, the initial sewing machines were nothing. The only advantage that they gave was that they could stitch faster in a straight line. Soon however machines that could follow a curve and stitch buttons come on to the market, and the basic home sewing machine was born.
Most homes will or at least used to have a sewing machine because it was more convenient to repair a small rent or tear than to just throw the clothes away. Of course these days most of us throw our clothes away even if there is nothing the matter with them, but those days were different. If a button fell off or broke, you just stitched another one and went on using the shirt.
Even now a simple home sewing machine is very useful, especially if you have children at home. Unless you have the capacity to keep replacing clothes almost on a weekly basis, most kids have a capacity to go through them much faster than you can buy them new stuff. Having a machine at home to repair small tears will therefore be very useful.
None of us however want something that is too much of work, so reviewing the best ones in the market before you buy them is a good idea. In order to make your job easier we have divided the entire sewing machine market into three price categories so that you can choose which one you are most comfortable with.
Low End (Under $50) Sewing Machines.
The low end sewing machines are those that cost less than $50. They are very basic and do not give you any features except the ability to stitch. There is only one kind of stitch that you can make with this machine although you do get different speeds. This category is the lowest end in the market, yet sees quite a bit of sales. In fact the third top selling machine is one of these low end ones.
The reason for the popularity of these machines is very simple. They are very cheap and they get the job done. Who wants to spend $100 for something that they will not use too often when they can get something for under $20. Of course you will not get any of those fancy stitch options, but then how many of us actually are dress makers at home.
This category is strictly bare basics. Many mainstream sewing machine manufacturers do not even cater to this market, which is a pity because as we mentioned, they sell quite large numbers. Read below to find the top 3 models in this category.
This machine costs $37 which is a little high for this category considering. Yet it it the top seller because it is a very good compromise. It is not too small, like some of the other ones, while not being too big either. Plus it gives you the multi-purpose stitch option which is a definite plus. Of course you are paying more for it, but then the more here is only around $15 or so, so it is actually quite a good deal if you want something which you can use to repair small tears and stitch buttons.
This is one little machine both in terms of size and in price. It costs only $19.65 which is the lowest price that you can get this machine. At this price you really don’t get anything much but a machine that stitches well, and stitches straight. The fact that you get two speeds is actually a plus for this machine. This one is so small that you can actually carry it around easily, and it even has the option of running on batteries if you want to use that option. If it comes second it is simply because the 505 makes an overall good buy, but as a bare basics option, there is nothing like the 202.
3. Portable mini sewing machine
There is nothing much to distinguish this model from the previous one except for one thing and that is the price. This one is even cheaper than the previous one and costs only $15.20. At this price, it is pretty hard not to buy one and just keep it at home for emergencies. If you are wondering why this comes in at three, it is simply because the 202 looks much better. If you see them side by side, the $4 difference will actually not make much of a difference.
Mid Range ($50 – $200) Sewing Machines.
Mid range machines are those that cost between $50 and $200. This is where the good machines are, and many people opt to go for a low cost mid range sewing machine rather than a low end one simply because they feel that the extra features will come in useful at some time or the other.
Usually everything is automatic, which means that you do not even have to thread the needle. You also get more stitching options, and as is usual with everything, the more options it has, the more it costs.
Most of the machines that you get in this category will give you more features than you would even want to use, yet it makes good sense to get them if you can afford to simply because they are much better than the low end ones. You may not want a machine that gives you a hundred odd stitching options, but one with 25 is much better than one with none.
Find below the top sellers in this category.
This option is a really high end sewing machine and gives you 60 stitches that are computer controlled. In fact you even have a mini display on the machine that shows you the stitch that you have chosen. Plus you get the mandatory auto needle threading and bobbin winder and you have a machine that just requires you to bring whatever you want stitched. You even get an optional table that can help support large sewing work like if you are taking up quilting etc.
At just $162.70 it is a mite on the expensive side for a sewing machine, but considering that you are only going to get one in your lifetime, there is really no reason for you not to get a good one, and this is it.
2. Brother XL-2600i Sewing Machine
This option is the ugly sister to the CS6000i. It looks very plain, and you do not get as many features. Yet as a sewing machine it is more than sufficient. For example, it gives you 25 stitching options, gives you all the trick bits like the automatic needle threader and bobbin winding system. In fact except for the display and the missing 35 stitching options, this machine is just as good.
The best part though is that it costs only $86.54 which is nearly a hundred dollars less than the previous model. For those who want a good machine, and know that they are not even going to use 10 out of all the stitching options that are given, this is a very good option.
Singer is a very respected name when it comes to sewing machines, and are one of the leading makers. In fact they have been associated with sewing machines ever since the time they were invented. Their 4411 heavy duty machine is the most popular even if it does not match the previous two in terms of what is offered.
For example it only gives you 11 stitch options, but gives you a robust stainless steel bed plate as well as a heavy duty plastic construction. You may not get all the electronic gizmos that come with the other models, but you know for a fact that the singer will last you more than a lifetime. You get one now, and even if you don’t use it for the next 10 yrs, the moment you take it out and set it up, it runs.
It is also reasonably priced and at only $134 it is not that expensive either. As a machine that you can use and your daughter after that, there is nothing to beat a singer.
High End (Over $200) Sewing Machines
The high end machines are really not for the average person. All machines in this category cost above $200 and really most of us do not need anything that a sewing machine can give at this price.
The only time that getting one in this price range makes sense is if you use it a lot, otherwise, it is really not worth it, especially since you get quite good ones at half the price. Find below the top selling models in this category.
This is one of the bes machines that money can buy. You get 294 different stitch options, 10 different button stitching options, 3 different lettering styles with 55 alphanumeric characters. Obviously the computerized selection system and display is there along with the auto needle threading and bobbin winding systems.
If you like to personalize your garments there is nothing better than the PC-420, and the only drawback would be the price. At $448 after all discounts, it is just too pricey for something that basically stitches clothes.
2. Brother PC-210 PRW
This option is the same as the previous one except that you get only 50 stitch options. This may seem a little low, but you get other things like an adjustable needle that allows you to move the needle to exactly where you want the stitch. You also get the automatic reinforcement stitch option that automatically reverses and restitches places where you want the stitch to be stronger.
At $330 though it is a little too expensive for what it gives. Even here the price is a much discounted one and is available only here but as a low cost option to the 420 the 210 is a very good option.
This Singer is actually a very good option and the only reason why the 210 comes above this is because it has a very square shape and does not look as nice as the 210. This is actually a pity because it is a very good option. You get 227 stitch patterns along with block style letters and 6 different buttonhole options. The tank like build and other conveniences like a display and automatic threader and mobile needle are all standard.
Cost wise it is almost the same as the 210 at $325 and therefore makes a better buy if you want a good robust machine.
As can be seen above, except the low end category, the other ones are dominated by the Brother models. Even though Singer has a better brand recall, Brother sells more because they make good looking machines, and when you are selling sewing machines to people who want to create beautiful things the more beautiful the machine is the more appealing it is going to be.
Most of the stitch options are really worthless, and are not going to be used. You may use 10 and that is a stretch. What these machines are most useful for though is for you to personalize your clothes with your own monograms. You choose the letters you want stitched and let the machine do the rest.
Obviously the price is also a big factory, but then you do get cheaper options that give you what you want too. Just follow the links so that you get the cheapest prices anywhere on the net.