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: June 04, 2021
What’s the best mechanical sewing machine for you? With the current market and demand, there are just too many to choose from. Even though the majority of sewing machines manufactured today are fully automated or computerized, mechanical sewing machines still have a significant role to play in the sewing world. Even in this era of technology, there are millions of people who still love mechanical sewing machines with many of them finding the controls of a computerized sewing machine too complicated to learn. There are plenty of advantages associated with mechanical sewing machines some of them being their low cost and maintenance, impressive productivity and high speeds, as well as their ability to handle large projects. They’re also a good starting place for beginners.
Mechanical sewing machines have other impressive features that have made them a must-have item for sewing enthusiasts who are not so conversant with automated or computerized sewing machines. For instance, you can find plenty of mechanical models that are portable lightweight, making them easily transferable. If anything, mechanical sewing machines are easy and simple to use, not forgetting that you can find plenty that are fairly affordable.
We spent days setting up and testing 5 different mechanical models to find the best mechanical sewing machine out there. We went through 10 spools of thread, 12 yards of fabric and more needles than we cared to count. Our findings are presented in the comparison table and detailed reviews below, followed by an informative buying guide to help you settle on the right appliance for your needs.
Top 5 Mechanical Sewing Machines Review 2021
Juki TL-2010Q – Editor's Choice
Built-in stitches: 1
Sewing speed: 1500 SPM
Dimensions: 25.7 x 14 x 18 inches
Weight: 38 lbs.
Warranty: 5 years
Extra features: large throat area for quilting, one pedal foot control, carrying handle for portability, 6mm stitch length
Quilts can be easily made on any sewing machine: however, if your desire is to have an easy sewing experience that produces beautiful and excellent results, then you need the Juki TL-2010Q. Recognized by many as one of the best mechanical sewing machine for quilting, the Juki TL-2010Q offers control, space, and visibility that sewists require when working on quilts. This is a fantastic machine for quilting.
The Juki TL-2010Q sews straight lockstitch stitches since it’s a one-needle machine that’s perfect for tailoring, dressmaking and home décor items. But being a high-performance wonder, rest assured that the stitches produced will be even and consistent.
This sewing machine is one of the best quilting machines out there that comes with a heavy-duty motor that is very much like the one found in commercial-grade sewing machines. Juki has gone ahead to add a number of features in this sewing machine to make sewing fun and a lot easier, such as a regulator to adjust the pressure of the pressure foot, a predetermined needle stop position if the machine stops sewing, easy-to-use replacement of the bobbin, and an auto threading of the needle.
Besides the automatic thread cutter feature that makes piecing a quilt together faster and easier, this mechanical sewing machine comes with numerous accessories such as a presser foot, a large extension table, an auxiliary table, the foot controller, and the lever whose aim is to lift the presser foot hands-free.
Why is it special?
Ability to sew easily through heavy and thick materials
Good for quilting
Sturdy and durable
Variable sewing speed control to provide excellent stitch quality
Janome HD3000 – Most User-Friendly Mechanical Sewing Machine
Built-in stitches: 18
Sewing speed: 860 SPM
Dimensions: 16 x 7.2 x 11.3 inches
Weight: 18.7 lbs.
Warranty: 25 years
Extra features: comes with bonus accessories: plastic bobbins, needles and seam foot, 6.5mm stitch width and 4mm length
The HD-3000 by Janome is a fantastic mechanical sewing machine for those new to the world of sewing and even the more advanced sewers alike. This machine is easy to operate and the stitch quality is excellent. Not many sewing machines have the ability to handle heavy-duty fabrics like the Janome HD-3000.
If you are in the market for a mechanical sewing machine that comes with a sturdy and solid construction, the Janome HD-3000 should be one of your top choices for sure. This machine is a favorite among new and advanced sewists thanks to additional features such as 18 built-in stitches, a built-in thread cutter, and an automatic needle threader. This machine is somewhat costly, but if you love quality more than a low price, you need to consider this machine.
There are other additional features that make this machine very user-friendly and those into making clothes or carrying out various alterations will like it, especially for its straight sewing quality. There’s a handy instructional guide that’s located on the top tray door to make the overall sewing process fast and easy. Based on the quality of stitches that this machine can provide, especially when sewing denim and other heavy-duty fabrics, this machine is turning out to be a favorite among a lot of sewists
Most parts of this sewing machine are made of metal, meaning that durability won’t be much of an issue at all. In short, this sewing machine is a sturdy workhorse by all means based on its ability to handle large projects.
Extra features: free arm, comes with 7 presser feet, 4 bobbins and needles
The Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine is an excellent appliance that’s can become a beginner’s best friend. Since this machine comes fully equipped with the necessary accessories and basic stitches, it’s totally safe to say that this Bernette has made a solid start towards accomplishing this goal.
The designers of this sewing machine played it absolutely safe when it came to choosing the looks, an aspect that resulted in the manufacture of a sober, yet friendly-looking machine that’s not likely to offend anybody’s tastes – even if your workstation or crafting room are insanely particular in their aesthetics.
This mechanical sewing has got no computerized control. The length, width and pattern of the stitch can be easily set by turning its three knobs. Additionally, the tension can be adjusted during the process of sewing by using an accessible wheel. The Bernette 35 also comes with an automatic, 1-step buttonhole function, which is easy and quick to use.
With its 23 stitches, including both decorative and utility stitches, you have the ability of bringing all your sewing ideas to fruition, easily, quickly and with excellent stitch quality.
If you thought that traditional sewing is all about going slow but steady, you better think again. The Bernette 35 was designed to ensure to get things done fast. The speed range is a somewhat higher than those found on many computerized machines, as the standard seems to be around 800 stitches per minute.
What are our favorite features?
Suitable for beginners
A bit faster than the majority of computerized machines
Comes with a free arm for cuffs and sleeves
What could be better?
Not suitable for professional sewers due to its limited options
SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 – Best Heavy Duty Mechanical Sewing Machine
Built-in stitches: 32
Sewing speed: 1,100 SPM
Dimensions: 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
Weight: 14.6 lbs.
Extra features: automatic needle threader, can be used on heavyweight fabrics, comes with dust cover, 4 presser feet, needles and bobbins
The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 is a heavy-duty mechanical sewing machine that’s perfectly suitable for challenging projects, allowing you to sew any materials, from canvas to denim. Thanks the powerful motor that’s fitted into this sewing machine, you have extra high sewing speeds to save you a lot of time.
With an adjustable presser foot, you also have the option of sewing lightweight fabrics with the stainless steel bedplate allowing them to glide over this sewing machine with a lot of ease. With the SINGER Heavy Duty 4452, you can create original costumes, transform your home with new curtains and pillows or sew personalized clothing pieces.
This mechanical sewing machine enables you to easily get professional results within the shortest time possible. The extra-high sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute means that you can quickly plow through projects 30% faster than it would have taken a standard sewing machine.
The heavy-duty interior frame that comes perfectly fit in this machine ensures that skip-sewing is avoided while the stainless steel bedplate ensures that there’s smooth fabric flow. With an easy to comprehend instruction printed right on this machine, the set-up is pretty simple and fast.
Apart from its powerful motor that’s perfectly suited for heavy sewing, the SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 comes with an easy-load drop-in bobbin. Additionally, the bobbin plate is transparent, an aspect that enables the user to keep watch on the supply of thread from the bobbin. Other important accessories that come with this mechanical sewing machine include a bobbin pack, seam ripper, spool caps, needles pack, screwdriver, and a 4 foot-general purpose, buttonhole, and zipper.
Extra features: 150mm free arm, comes with a range of accessories including 4 presser feet and dust cover, automatic threader
This is another excellent mechanical sewing machine that has got no computer control whatsoever. The stitch package that comes with this machine features 32 stitches that include a buttonhole feature with a 5mm maximum stitch width.
Eversewn – Sparrow 15 is doing what a lot of people deserve. Besides being available in a number of models – currently there are three – this mechanical sewing machine is slowly but surely becoming a first choice sewing machine for a lot of sewing enthusiasts out there.
Performance-wise, the Eversewn – Sparrow highly excels beyond the majority of other mechanical sewing machines. Its stitching is beautiful, and on top of that, you get a solidly constructed sewing machine consisting of a metal frame.
The Eversewn – Sparrow 15 is excellent for beginners, established sewists and those in the market for a domestic sewing machine. It comes with enough convenience functions to make the process of sewing easier while offering tremendous value for your money.
This machine is relatively compact and lightweight, however, it remains pretty stable even when sewing at its fastest speed. For extra convenience, you also get a free arm for sewing those awkward areas you’d usually have to struggle with – including the most common cuffs and sleeves.
If you are looking for an excellent starter sewing machine that’s fairly affordable, look no further. The Eversewn – Sparrow 15-32 Stitch is an excellent choice for you.
What are its best features?
Reasonably fast sewing speed
Has more stitches than you’ll probably need, including decorative stitches for embroidery
The best mechanical sewing machine for you depends on your skill level and your budget. Before purchasing a mechanical sewing machine, it’s vital to assess your skills and needs. Consider how you might use the machine, especially when your skills improve. While a few hundred dollars could get you a good, basic mechanical sewing machine, spending even more gets you additional functions able to produce quality and professional designs. This information is meant to assist you to make shopping for a mechanical sewing machine easier based on what to look for and be wary of.
Advantages of having a mechanical sewing machine
There are a couple of advantages associated with having a mechanical sewing machine among your possessions. First, mechanical sewing machines are often priced lower than computerized machines. Secondly, they are easy to operate as they don’t come with all the intricate details that accompany computerized machine such as electronic motherboards. Third, mechanical sewing machines are work horses with the ability of handling fairly large projects to sew just about everything from soft materials to tougher fabrics such as canvas.
Features to consider when choosing a mechanical sewing machine
Before purchasing that mechanical sewing machine that you have been longing for, there are a number of features that you need to consider so that you end up with a sewing machine that meets all your needs. Some of the most important features that you carefully need to consider include the following:
Number of built-in stitches
When out there shopping for a sewing machine, the number of built-in stitches matters a lot. It is important to choose a sewing machine that has at least 15 built-in stitches. More importantly, the machine needs to have the entire essential stitches in addition to a number of decorative and buttonhole stitches. The reason for going for a machine that has more built-in stitches is based on the fact that such machines give you more room to nurture your creativity. Having a sewing machine with a limited number of stitches may see you overgrowing it. However, if you’re a after a speedy machine for making clothes and similar items, you’ll be better off choosing a fast sewing machine with 1 stitch pattern.
Stitch length and width
The key to excellent sewing is the ability to control your stitch lengths and widths. When perfect, you will have some of the most beautiful stitches on both sides of the fabric. But when something is not right, you’ll get skipped stitches, puckers, pulled clothes and other nasty effects. In the event that you are in the market for a mechanical sewing machine, make sure to shop for machines that offer variable stitch widths and lengths so that you end up with the most versatile sewing experience.
The speeds of your sewing machine matter a lot. Apart from sewing, there are other things that you need to handle. For this reason, there’s a need to invest in a sewing machine with high sewing speeds. You don’t have to spend a significant amount of time patching or sewing small projects. Therefore, investing in a sewing machine that sews at a super fast speeds is important – you do not want to waste the whole day with a sewing machine that sews at slow speeds.
Storage is another important feature that you need to consider when shopping for a sewing machine.
You need to consider whether you need a sewing machine with bigger dimensions or a smaller one that is easy for you to store.
There are those that come with extended tables, meaning that they require bigger spaces, while there are those that come with detachable tables that make them easy for storage.
What you need it for
A sewing machine needs to fit its purpose. It makes no sense to purchase a cheap, lightweight sewing machine while you have heavy duty materials to sew. That won’t happen and you’ll end up getting annoyed and frustrated. Pro or beginner, it is crucial to purchase a machine with the features that you need. If the pieces of fabric that you’ll be sewing will be thicker, then you better consider studier sewing machines. If you’re a quilter, keep a lookout for a wide throat area. You need to consider all your sewing expectations so that you shop for a sewing machine that will not only meet, but also surpass all your sewing needs.
This is equally another important feature that you shouldn’t ignore while shopping for a mechanical sewing machine. Free arm will allow you to sew cylindrical areas with a lot of ease in addition to allowing for more room to handle or manipulate curved materials such as cuffs and collars. Additionally, a free arm sewing machine is suitable for quick repairs and an ideal machine in any room that can easily travel with you on vacation. The good thing about free arm sewing machines is that they are portable and easily transferrable to any location without a lot of challenges.
If anything, you would highly prefer a sewing machine that can easily be moved around from one place to another without a lot of difficulties. For this reason, when shopping for a sewing machine, you need to consider how heavy or light it is. If you will be storing your mechanical sewing machine in a closet and regularly hauling it out the moment you want to sew, you may want to consider looking for a machine that’s very easy to lift with a handle on top.
A majority of mechanical sewing machines are priced from $100 to $1000. While high-end and more advanced models may be a bit pricey, they are totally worth your money. Those made of plastic are a bit less expensive, but may not guarantee durability and sewing precision as time goes. Those that are made with tough metal frames are generally a better choice despite being a little bit expensive than those made of plastic.
Tips on getting the most out of your mechanical sewing machine
Do you want to get the most out of your mechanical sewing machine as it ages? If so, then there are a number of aspects that you need to consider. For instance, it’s vital to ensure that you use good needle and thread in addition to oiling your machine as regularly as it needs. It is also important to change the needle regularly and checking whether the thread take-up lever is up at the end of sewing. When threading, make sure that the presser foot is up in addition to manually bringing up the bobbin thread, even if the machine does that automatically.
It depends. If you use your machine once a week, you need to oil it once a month. But if you use it once a month, oil it once in every three months. Oiling heavily depends on how regular you use your sewing machine.
Many stitch options in your sewing machine allows you to be creative as you may want to be. Experimenting with the several stitch options in place is a good way for you to expand on your decorative stitching. Additionally, many stitching options give you a chance to grow as a sewist by experimenting on every available option.
It all depends with the nature of the project. If you are sewing lighter materials, then plastic bobbins would suit you. But if you are sewing heavy duty materials such as canvas, go for metal bobbins that can resist heavier tension. Plastic bobbins may break if used on heavy-duty materials and compromise the nature of your work.
This concludes our review of the best 5 mechanical sewing machines. It is our hope that this list will significantly assist you in making a good decision when shopping for a mechanical sewing machine that’s perfectly suited to meet all your needs. While all the above sewing machines are some of the best out there, we do have some final recommendations regarding the top three choices.
Invest in the Juki TL-2010Q if you want an all-around sewing machine that is capable of sewing both light and heavyweight material under excellent sewing speeds.
If you sew regularly and you’re after a machine that is very easy to operate, the Janome HD-3000 should definitely be one of your top choices.
Finally, for the Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine if you are a beginner in the world of sewing and find it hard keeping up, or finding the controls of automated or computerized sewing machines too complicated to comprehend.