Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: July 07, 2021
Whether you just started sewing or are trying to get into more advanced sewing techniques such as quilting, you should check out Bernina sewing machine line-up. There are many different options by the manufacturer hence making it easier to find and purchase one that fits your needs like a glove.
In line with the theme of helping you check out the best Bernina sewing machine options available, our team has already checked out 12 of their offerings. As a result, we were able to create a five-item shortlist. Out of these options, the Bernina 350 PE is seemingly the best; hence its selection as our editor’s choice. This invention has a lot of useful features that you can use, including 191 stitch patterns, a free-hand system, and even a color touch screen. In comparison the other four products listed also offer great value for money and have earned the right to be competing for the top spot.
Nevertheless, we did take a significant amount of time to curate and organize the information provided by the manufacturer’s website. Of course, this was added to data from other sources, such as customer reviews as well. Specifically, we used the machine type, maximum stitch size, and sewing speed to determine what each machine is capable of handling. Also, you can’t select the best Bernina sewing machine without knowing the size, weight as well as other features of the device. Nonetheless, we have provided all information we got in the three-section write-up below. The sections are, of course, a table ranking the machines, detailed product reviews, and a buying guide.
Top 6 Bernina Sewing Machines Review 2021
Bernina 350 PE – Editor’s Choice
Max sewing speed: 900 SPM
Max stitch length: 5 mm
Max stitch width: 5.5 mm
Size: 19.4″ x 14.8″ x 17.1″
Weight: 17 lbs.
Other features: 115 stitches, automatic buttonhole function, a free-arm extension table, 6.3″ sewing space, CB hook system, color touch screen, LED lights, built-in needle threader
For general sewing, it’s hard to go wrong with the Bernina 350 PE. Even for beginners, it would be relatively easy to learn and get good at your craft while using this tool. Of course, the manufacturer included some major selling points as well in the functionality of the machine. Among the benefits is the 900 SPM sewing speed. As such, this tool can get the job done quickly with minimal fuss. Also, you get 115 different stitches. This makes it an option that can take on various tasks and provide excellent results. If you foresee a future where you will be sewing a lot of clothes, then this tool is for you as well. Specifically, the automatic buttonhole function can be quite handy and will make your work a hell of a lot easier. In a review of this gadget, one can also not fail to mention the presence of a touchscreen. Consequently, control of this piece of equipment should be a breeze. Also, a memory function has been provided, as well. As such, you can create and store up to 30 of your stitch pattern go-to options for use at a later date. You as well have direct selection keys that let you access these stored patterns with relative ease. Another highlight of buying this particular tool is the extension table. This will, of course, make free-hand sewing a lot easier for the user. You are as well provided with LED lights so you can clearly see how your project is getting along. Also, you needn’t forget the built-in needle threader as well as the multitude of accessories that come with the product. These as well add a lot of value to the overall purchase.
What do we love it for?
Intuitive color touchscreen and controls
LED lights for your workspace
An extension table is included for free-hand sewing
Memory storage for stitch patterns
Automatic buttonhole function
High sewing speed
What were we disappointed with?
The built-in threader can be tricky to use
Some accessories such as the buttonhole foot can be challenging to attach to the machine
The machine is expensive
Bernina B580E – Premium Pick
Max sewing speed: 900 SPM
Max stitch length: 5 mm
Max stitch width: 9 mm
Size: 28.1” x 24.6” x 20.4”
Weight: 63.5 lbs.
Other features: 935 stitches, 100 embroidery designs, high-resolution touchscreen, memory function, 11 needle positions, USB port
While the 350 PE all around Bernina sewing machine is pricy, there is a more heavy-duty Bernina sewing machine that might cost you twice as much. Nevertheless, if you go through all the features listed and find the price point worth it, nobody will stop you from making the purchase. The fact that it made it onto our list in itself means a lot with regards to its capabilities.
As expected of any heavy-duty machine, this tool is actually quite heavy and will be harder to move around. Nevertheless, it does provide you with 935 different stitches out of the box. This is more than eight times what the predecessor has to offer.
With regards to the stitching speed, our first two products on the list are more or less on the same wavelength. You also see a similarity where the maximum stitch length is concerned. Contrast this with the maximum stitch width, and the Bernina 350 PE gets left behind by about 3.5mm.
A high-resolution touchscreen is provided as well, and you will find it a breeze to navigate different settings if you use it. You can as well create a few stitching presets that you can then store in the machine for later use. This may come in handy, especially with projects you do regularly.
If you are interested in embroidery, you will be glad to know that you don’t need a secondary machine as well. You should be able to make do with the B580E and the 100 pre-installed embroidery designs. Also, there is a USB port that might help add to embroidery designs as well.
In addition to the above benefits, the accessory box that comes with the tool is a huge plus as well.
Why did it make our list?
Comes with a high-resolution touchscreen
Includes 100 embroidery designs
An accessory box is included in the purchase
A USB port allows you to expand the machine’s capabilities
935 stitches in the machine are also a lot
What is not ideal about it?
The tool is priced out of reach for many people
Lifting and moving the device around can be challenging owing to its tremendous weight
Bernette B38 – Best all Around Bernina Sewing Machine
Max sewing speed: 820 SPM
Max stitch length: n/a
Max stitch width: 7 mm
Size: 19.5” x 16.1” x 11.1”
Weight: 20 lbs.
Other features: 394 stitches, a speed regulator, eight presser feet, memory function, automatic limitation for double needles
This device may seem like it’s from a different manufacturer from our first two offerings on the list. Nonetheless, Bernette is a subsidiary of the more prominent Bernina company. As such, it qualifies to feature on this list both in name and in features.
This is as well a computerized machine similar to the editor’s choice and premium pick. At 820 SPM, this tool does not fall far behind some of its predecessors, where sewing speed is concerned. As such, if that is one of the key areas you look into before buying a sewing machine, you have the go-ahead to purchase the Bernette 38.
Nevertheless, if you do feel the need to sew at a slower speed, you can make adjustments quite easily on the machine. Also, you get quite a variety of stitches to choose from with this purchase, which totals 394. If compared to the Bernina 350 PE in this area alone, the Bernette 38 is miles ahead. Among these 394 stitch options, some are included for elastic fabrics to give the best possible results.
This tool as well has a memory function where you will be able to create, and store presets as you wish. Also, another benefit of this tool is that it has some measures in place to protect your double needles from breaking.
Of course, for a device of this caliber, accessories are to be expected with its purchase. In this case, you get eight presser feet. The fact that the tool is relatively lightweight may also work to your advantage.
Why is it special?
Easy to use
Offers automatic protection for double needles
Has a memory function
Offers a wide selection of stitches to choose from
Bernina Artista 630E – Best Computerized Bernina Sewing Machine
Max sewing speed: 900 SPM
Max stitch length: 5 mm
Max stitch width: 5.5 mm
Other features: 674 stitch patterns, 11 needle positions, color touchscreen, LED lights, built-in needle threader, optional free-arm embroidery
Another machine worth checking out is the Bernina Artista 630E. This tool is capable of sewing, quilting, and embroidery, which makes it a triple threat. To add to that, it has some excellent features that eventually led up to its inclusion on our list.
The color touchscreen for one might be most useful when quilting and embroidering. Also, it does make it a lot easier to control the machine even when sewing. If you have faith in your artistic abilities, you can also make use of the optional free-arm embroidery to get unique results.
Also, you will need to see the results of the changes you make to the design as you make them. As such, the LED lights included will be a big help. Additionally, the 674 stitch patterns will make it a lot easier for you to work with the device. Another benefit is that you get a sewing speed that rivals even the top picks on this line-up.
Why is it special?
Easy to use
A variety of stitch patterns is available at your fingertips
LED lights are included to illuminate your workspace
The device allows for free-arm embroidery
What are the flaws?
This machine can be expensive to purchase
Bernette 33 – Best Mechanical Bernina Sewing Machine
Max sewing speed: 860 SPM
Max stitch length: 4 mm
Max stitch width: 5 mm
Size: 17.1” x 8.7” x 13.3”
Weight: 15 lbs.
Other features: 15 stitches, front-loading hook system, four-step buttonholes, five presser feet, semi-automatic needle threader, manual thread cutter
If you would rather have a Bernina mechanical sewing machine, the Bernette 33 is an ideal choice for many. Seeing as though it made it onto our list, it is reasonably obvious that it comes with some significant upsides. One of them is the 860 SPM sewing speed.
Apart from that, this tool is lightweight, which could be as a result of it being mechanical. This, of course, means a less complicated build inside the machine. However, it as well means that you will have more work to do to bring your projects to fruition.
Another aspect of the tool is that it offers a manual thread cutter. However, with its semi-automatic needle threader, you are at least provided some aid while using this tool.
If you decide to compare the Bernette 33 to some other devices where stitch numbers are concerned, you may be sorely disappointed. However, if you feel that number is not restrictive in any way, you can purchase and use this tool to your heart’s content.
Also, the machine does come with some handy accessories such as presser feet as well.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to use
Comes with a few accessories
High sewing speed
What could be better?
Doesn’t have as much functionality as computerized counterparts
The Bernette Sew & Go 1 is a mechanical option as well. Nevertheless, you could choose this as your beginner Bernina sewing machine. The tool allows you to learn all the basics of sewing. However, if, at some point, you feel like it is limiting your creativity, you can upgrade to a different device.
Given that it has very few controls, you will as well find this invention a breeze to use. Nevertheless, the ten stitches availed may seem underwhelming to some. Also, with its 15 lbs weight, most people will easily be able to transport it to different locations.
Overall this tool has quite a lot of pros, including the fact that it is cheap. As such, you should consider the purchase if you are just getting into sewing.
Of course, choosing the best Bernina sewing machine isn’t always a straightforward exercise. As such, some of you might get lost in the details and make a regrettable choice. Nevertheless, we have provided you a buying guide to prevent you from making such mistakes.
Bernina, as a manufacturer, has been making textile-related products for well over 100 years. As such, they qualify to be an authority in the field, and their products reflect that standing. Consequently, they have lots of options that can be helpful for beginners as well as experienced people in sewing. Nevertheless, since you likely fit in between these two categories, you can probably find a sewing machine that is just right for you if you want to take your skills to the next level.
Features to consider when choosing a Bernina sewing machine
What differentiates a pro-level device from a beginner device is the features. You can as well find a tool for you no matter what stage you are in with regards to sewing prowess. Nonetheless, this will require you to know what features to look out for in the ideal product. The breakdown of features given below concerning sewing machines should help.
If you are sewing as a hobby, then an industrial machine would be overkill as it is built for enormous loads of work. As such, you should look for a home machine since it will likely be smaller and take up less space. However, even home machines are divided into various categories.
There are mechanical options like the Bernette Sew & Go 1 that are quite simple to operate. Also, they often incorporate knobs into their design. You cannot use these machines to create intricate embroidery patterns since their stitches aren’t as precise as those of computerized options.
Computerized machines similar to the Bernina Artista 630E can make precise stitches and are thus are sometimes capable of embroidering even the most intricate patterns. The computerized machines are characterized by complex control systems and may include touchscreens in their design.
Also, the purpose of the machine can be used to differentiate the different types as well. Some are sewing and embroidery machines. Others incorporate sewing, embroidery, and quilting, while others are only capable of one purpose.
Number and type of needles
If you want a versatile machine, you will need to realize that different needles are required for various purposes. As such, the more the number of needle types the tool can support, the more versatile it is.
A high sewing and embroidery speed can also help, especially if you are in a hurry. Nevertheless, if you are in no particular rush, you can take your time and get the result exactly the way you want it. However, it doesn’t hurt to have the option to crank up the speed a bit higher when you need to.
Number and type of stitches
Some examples of stitches include the blind hem stitch, overcasting stitch, locking stitch, and more. Of course, each of these is suited to a particular purpose. Consequently, the more stitch types available, the more you can do with your machine. Nonetheless, the devices with the highest number of stitches, such as the Bernina B580E, will generally cost more.
Stitch length and width
The width of the stitch is what is referred to as the stitch length. Of course, for the most durable stitches, you should choose the smallest stitch length that ranges from 0 to about 7mm. Nevertheless, the tiniest stitches can be a major pain to remove should the need arise.
The stitch width applies to a zigzag stitch where the distance from one side of the zigzag to the other is measured. While the Bernina B580E does offer up to 9mm stitch width, it is essential to note that you can choose any value below this limit as well.
Size and weight
The Bernina B580E is quite a bulky device since it weighs 63.5 lbs as compared to most of the other options that weigh less than 20 lbs. In retrospect, this is to be expected since this is a heavy-duty machine with many internal components. These components are then reflected in the features listed for the device.
While having more high-end features does make the device more useful, it can limit use in some ways, especially when you need to move it to someplace else. To put it bluntly, nobody will be too thrilled about having to lift and move it.
It is as well a bigger machine overall if the dimensions are anything to go by. This guarantees it will take up more space in your workshop and on your tables. For these few reasons, people will often choose smaller, lighter devices since they are easier to handle and take up less space. However, if the benefits that come with the extra size are worth it to you, it makes sense to make the purchase. You will, of course, have to find a way to work around the mentioned shortcomings.
Hook systems for sewing machines often come in two significant variations, which are the rotary and oscillating options suffice. Of course, each of these has its benefits. For instance, oscillating hook systems are more affordable. You can attribute this to their simple mechanics.
On the other hand, rotary hook systems do not often experience thread jams. Also, they are much more efficient at higher speeds than their counterparts. As such, you should weigh these two options and see which one works best for you.
Automatic needle threader
If you’ve ever threaded a needle manually, you know how daunting the whole process can be. This is exacerbated if your eyesight is not perfect. However, some modern machines thread the needles for you making your work so much easier. It thus is an excellent idea to have an automatic needle threader in your device if you have the option.
Accessory feet as well have the purpose of holding down the fabric as you get on with your projects. As well, the different types of accessory feet have different uses. You will also see a difference in the accessory feet offered by each model. For instance, the Bernette 33 comes with five presser feet while the Bernette 38 comes with eight. If you want more versatility, in this case, you should go with the Bernette 38. Also, the option of purchasing more accessory feet is always welcome.
You, of course, want to get as much value for your money as possible. As such, if you have the option of purchasing a Bernina sewing machine with extra features, you should go for it. Features like a memory function and even a USB port will, of course, come in handy in some unique scenarios.
A few steps are involved in the lubrication of a Bernina sewing machine, starting with opening the bobbin door. The bobbin is then removed. At this point, if you rotate the hand-wheel backward, you will expose the lubrication point. This is usually when the large screw is between 2 and 3 o clock. You then apply one drop of the lubricant that came with the machine to the ridge. After that, you will eventually get to reinsert the bobbin, but before that, you need to close and reopen the hook area door.
Having reviewed all the above products, some would take precedent over others if we were to go shopping for a Bernina sewing machine. The Bernina 350 PE, for example, seems like a great all-rounder. Anyone seeking to move up from a beginner device to an enthusiast-level product would pinch this in a heartbeat as it has all the features needed.
Another great option is, of course, the Bernina B580E. This tool will do everything you can think of. In a sense, it is way better than our editor’s choice. Nonetheless, the price point is daunting, and only people with deep pockets will go for this one.
Those looking for more affordable but still capable machines may opt to go for the Bernette 38. It does lag behind in terms of features when compared to the other two. However, it has some pro-level benefits as well and maybe the tool that takes your sewing to the next level.
Also, while these three are some great offerings, don’t forget that there are three other excellent machine choices above as well. Make sure to consider all of them equally as we did before deciding on a final purchase.