In case you’re looking for best electronic sewing machines to buy from or you just wanna know what an electronic sewing machine is, this article will be more than helpful.
So, what is an electronic sewing machine?
You might be thinking …
Because all sewing machines that you see around yourself – whether they are portable or industrial ones – run on electricity.
And you’re right if the notion of a sewing machine without electricity amazes you. Because all sewing machines that you’ve been using, were electric.
However, this does not mean that knee treadle or foot-controlled or hand-controlled sewing machines did not exist.
This is a review of the best 4 electronic sewing machines that you can choose from. And other than the 4 detailed reviews, you’d find a very helpful buyer’s guide on how to buy electronic sewing machine and what are the most frequently asked questions (and their answers) about electronic sewing machines.
A Review of Top 4 Electronic Sewing Machines
Eager to read the reviews?
Well wait for a second and let me say a word or two about my process.
These reviews are based on the pros and cons, features and the answers to the frequently asked questions about these sewing machines.
The process is also simple; I use or test a unit before reviewing it, or I talk to the experts on such models and I use the reviews given by the verified customers of such machines, on Amazon.
Now here is the review …
So, the first machine that we are going to review in this listicle is from Singer. Singer is one of the oldest sewing machine manufacturers in the world. This machine has literally some 5000+ positive reviews on Amazon and a wonderful overall rating.
- 23 Built-in Stitches – So, the total number of built in stitches is a little disappointment because you do not expect only 23 built-in stitches from a high-end electronic sewing machine. However, these stitches include a diverse range of decorative stitches, buttonhole styles and stretch stitches etc.
- Automatic Needle Threader – This is more like an essential than a luxury when it comes to modern day sewing. Every sewing machine these days comes with an automatic needle threader; as intriguing it may sound, it is more like a manual, but easy needle threading when compared with 100% manual threading.
- 1,100 Stitches/Minute – This is where this machine gains a very clear edge over other machines. It has a 1,100 stitches/minute maximum sewing speed. You cannot compare that to other machines on this list because they do not have the kind of sewing speed that you expect from professional sewing machines.
- Easy Stitch Selection – in terms of functional category, this is a mechanical sewing machine – and not a computerized one. All sewing machines that are mechanical do not have the buttons and LCD displays; you use different dials and knobs to select stitches and make other choices. Due to big and easy to use dials and knobs, selection is easier on this unit.
- Automatic One-Step Buttonholes – Another modern-day sewing necessity – just like the automatic needle threader. You can now make the buttonhole (with the appropriate foot) in one simple and easy step. In case of some older versions, there are buttonhole feet that take 4 steps to make a buttonhole.
- Top Drop-in Bobbin – This machine is compatible with and comes with top drop-in bobbins. These bobbins are considered better than the other type of bobbins for more than one reason. For starters, these are jam proof, there is very little vibration and they make sewing easy because you can see through the transparent lid as to when the bobbin is running out of the thread.
- Extra High Presser Foot – This is a different type of press foot. The foot itself is not high or extra high, it’s just other than the two standard presser foot positions (up and down), this one also has an extra high position. With a swift move you can lift the foot higher than its standard high position and sew thick fabric or many layers of fabric.
- Heavy-Duty Metal Frame – This is a professional sewing machine and this is why it has a heavy-duty metal frame. This means that even after a few years, its parts and body won’t be clanking like you notice in case of a few other brands. The size of this machine and its weight (18.25” x 8.5” x 15.25” and 15lbs) make it a semi-portable machine.
- 1,100 stitches/minute
- High Presser Foot
- Heavy-Duty Metal Frame
- Top Drop-in Bobbin.
- Insufficient Built-in Stitches
- Hard to Regulate the Speed.
Can this machine sew through heavy duty fabrics?
Yes. This is a heavy-duty sewing machine with the kind of sewing power (1,100 stitches/minute) that is considered ideal for heavy and thick fabrics or layers thereof. You can sew leather, denim and canvas etc. on this machine.
Can I use metal bobbins or do I have to use the plastic ones?
This is not an old Singer machine so your metal bobbin would be useless. All modern machines use plastic ones. In case you use a metal bobbin, the magnetic ring will hold the bobbin and won’t let it move.
Does it quilt?
If you buy the compatible presser foot (for quilting) from Singer, you can easily quilt on this machine.
Brother: one of the few sewing machine manufacturing brands that are more or less the same age Singer is. This sewing machine from Brother is a classic example of how one electronic sewing machine can be different from another. The previous one was an electronic, but mechanical sewing machine, and this one is an electronic, but computerized one.
- 165 Built-in Stitches – This is not always the case, but if you really wanna know what makes computerized machines better than the mechanical ones, this machine is the classic example. When you shift from mechanical to computerized sewing machines, you go from insufficient to big number of built-in stitches. Total number of built-in stitches and styles that this machine can offer to its users is 165, including 110 built-in decorative and utility stitches, 8 different styles of buttonholes and 55 alphabetic stitches.
- Automatic Needle Threader – This machine also comes with an automatic needle threader. The fast needle threading system of Brother, as per some customers and experts, is better than the automatic needle threaders of other machines.
- Top Drop-in Bobbin – This one also is compatible with top drop-in bobbins. As I have covered already, top drop in bobbins are better than other types of bobbins because they’re jam-resistant, they’re easy to install and they assure a smooth and “transparent” functioning.
- Backlit LCD Display – What makes this one better than the Singer one that I’ve reviewed above, is not just the number of stitches and designs, but also its backlit display. Just like any computerized machine, this one also has lots of buttons that you can use to navigate between different choices and the backlit LCD display: things that you cannot enjoy while using a mechanical sewing machine.
- Reverse Sewing – Just like any standard sewing machine, this one also allows you to switch between straight and reverse stitching modes. Unless you use the button for reverse stitching, the sewing machine will by default be in straight stitching mode. Reverse stitching is used to reinforce the seams.
- Start/Stop Button – Like many professional electronic machines, this one too has a start/stop button. This is the kind of option that you can always use when you’re on big projects. You can press this button while on long seams, sew without the presser foot and stay relaxed as well as focused.
- Adjustable Speed – There is a speed slider to the left side of the machine. Keep it to extreme left and the machine will sew at a normal speed, slide it to center and enjoy 2x speed and if you slide it to extreme right, enjoy the maximum speed. The maximum stitching speed is 850 stitches/minute.
- Extended Table – This sewing machine has some other advanced features too that you expect from high-quality sewing machine and that you still don’t get from a lot of professional sewing machines. Extended table is a useful feature. You sort of draw a table out of the machine (a few inches) and this helps you manipulate the fabric and sew with full freedom.
- Free Arm – Another such feature that allows you to freely control the fabric and sew the hard to sew items such as cuffs, collars and hems etc., is the free arm. Free arm is a narrow sewing area that sticks out of the main body. You can remove the table to turn the sewing end of this machine into a free arm.
- Accessories – There are a handful of accessories that you get when you buy this sewing machine. Those accessories include, 8 quick-change presser feet (like zigzag, buttonhole foot, zipper, overcasting, button sewing, blind stitch, quilting and monogramming), 4 bobbins, assorted needles, 3 spool caps, extra spool pin, screw driver, seam ripper, eyelet punch and cleaning brush etc.
- 165 Built-in Stitches and Designs
- Extension Table
- Free Arm
- Backlit Display
- Maximum Stitching Speed Could be Better
Can this sew thicker fabrics?
This is a professional sewing machine from Brother. You can easily sew leather, denim, suede or canvas etc. on this machine. In case you want to sew layers, do know that whether it’s a particular material or many layers, anything up to 6mm thick can be sewn on this machine.
Does it come with extra bobbins?
Yes. This machine, like all other Brother sewing machines of this quality, comes with extra bobbins. Including or excluding the one that is already inside, these bobbins are 3 or 4.
Does it have needle up and needle down feature?
Yes. There is a needle position button on the machine. This option is available on all advanced Brother machines. Just press the button to raise or lower the needle.
I won’t be amazed if you told me that you never heard of a sewing machine named zhuo. The sewing machine manufacturing horizon is so occupied by big brands like Brother, Singer, Bernia, Janome and Viking that smaller companies find it hard to make a name for themselves. This is a portable electronic sewing machine; by nature, it is a mechanical sewing machine.
- Auxiliary Winding Device – So, this machine comes equipped with a modern feature (even though this is a mechanical sewing machine) that even a few modern and computerized machines do not offer. Auxiliary winding device is simply a motor that automatically winds your bobbins and you don’t have to wind them manually which is time taking as well as exhausting.
- Highly Compact and Portable – This is one of the most compact and portable machines on this list. While it is fit for semi-professional sewing, it can be easily lifted and taken to anywhere/packed easily. The dimensions of this sewing machine are 8.8” x 8.2” x 5.2” and the weight is only 1.95lbs. You cannot beat this size and this weight with any other sewing machine.
- Pedal and Push Button Operation – Even though it is a lightweight and compact machine, it is full of useful features. For example, you can use this sewing machine in two different ways – either use it via foot pedal or just use the push button to control this electronic sewing machine.
- Ease of Use – This machine is made for beginners. It is semi-professional in a sense of the features that it brings to your table, but in terms of categorization, it is a beginner-level sewing machine. And this is why it is so easy to use as well.
- 2-Speed Control – There is a big purple knob at the bottom-right corner of this sewing machine that allows you to control the stitching speed of this sewing machine. You can either go with normal speed or pick between low and high sewing speeds.
- LED Light – There is a yellowish and very convenient LED light in the sewing area – right on top of the needle plate. That light sheds enough light on your workspace and thus keeps you from straining your eyes.
- Lock Cylinder – Cylinder that hosts the bobbin, is made of a very high quality and it is a lock cylinder that make sewing easier, smoother and safer for the user of this machine.
- For all Types of Materials – Although it is a beginner-level sewing machine that you might wanna gift to your daughter in case she is interested in learning how to sew, this machine is pretty capable. As per zhuo’s claims, within fine limits, you can sew materials such as leather and denim, and work on projects like DIY crafting and pillow.
- Auxiliary Winding Device
- 2-Speed Control
- LED Light
- Compact and Portable
- Not Very Powerful for Leather and Denim
- Could be a Little Bigger
Is this a handheld sewing machine too?
No. Although, this is one of the most lightweight and portable sewing machines (the most portable on this list anyways), it is still supposed to be used the way you’d use a heavy-duty singer machine: on a counter or table.
Can I sew thick fabrics on it?
Although the manufacturers claim that this sewing machine can sew denim and leather too, I find this hard to believe. Unless there is a variety of think leather and/or denim, this machine should only be used on thin fabrics.
How easy to use is this machine?
On ease of use you can give this machine a 9/10 because it is mechanical and simple.
This is the last sewing machine on our list. This one is also a very compact and portable, but stylish and useful sewing machine. This one is also not even close as famous as a Singer or a Brother, but there is a reason why this machine made it to this list.
- 12 Built-in Stitches – Let us start with the number of stitches. zhuo guys haven’t mentioned the number of stitches that their machine has so it is safe to assume that their machine does not have any built-in stitches except the standard straight line one. This one, however, has 12 built-in stitches.
- LED Light – This sewing machine, as basic it is, still comes with an LED light. Just like the zhuo machine, the LED light is right on top of the needle plate – so your workspace remains illuminated and you won’t strain your eyes.
- Storage Drawer – There is a storage drawer in the base of this sewing machine, that you can use to store all the items needed for sewing such as assorted needles, threads, bobbins and seam ripper etc.
- Self-Winding Bobbin – This is more or less the same feature that zhuo or other machines offer and they call it auxiliary winding device. The self-winding works the same way; the bobbin winds itself with a little manual help. It is more or less just as manual/automatic as the automatic needle threader is.
- Automatic Thread Cutter – Speaking of small automatic details, one must mention that one of such important features is an automatic thread cutter. This is again with a little manual help – inasmuch you have to just press a button and the machine will cut the thread without you having to cut it with scissors or something else.
- Double Thread and Double Speed – Well, they mention how double thread and double speed sewing makes things easier for the user. Double speed, as the term suggests, is just more than normal speed. Double thread sewing means when a machine allows you to make the thread go through the needle’s eye and double it up until the thread can be knotted to the thread from the spool. This type of sewing is recommended for stronger seams.
- Compact and Portable – And this is the point that you were waiting for. This machine is also a very compact, lightweight and highly-portable one. Although, it is still not as portable and compact as the zhuo one that I’ve reviewed before. Its dimensions are 11.02” x 4.72” x 9.45” and it weights at 3.86lbs. So, we can see that while it is very compact and lightweight, it is still not comparable to zhuo.
- Foot Pedal – There are two ways you can control this machine. One of them is via foot pedal – just like you expect from any modern sewing machine even if it is a small and compact one.
- Anti-Slip Bottom Pads – Even though this is a lightweight and small machine, unless you need it for the project, you are not supposed to sew on a fabric while holding this thing in your hands. This has to be used just like a normal professional machine and its anti-slip bottom pads keep it from moving while you sew.
- Ease of Use – This is made for beginners and the machine is very easy to use. However, it is still more professional and more features-rich when compared with zhuo. It’s just, this machine seems to be a suitable stopover for your kid moving from handheld sewing machines to heavy-duty ones.
- Best for Small Projects as well as Straight Line – Since this machine is apparently for beginners, you can use it within a limited ambit. You can sew classic straight line with it or use it for small projects like children’s clothing, curtains, aprons, linen and other DIY stuff.
- 12 Built-in Stitches and Designs
- Self-Winding Bobbin
- Double Thread
- For Beginner-Level Projects
- Not Very Durable
How many built-in stitches are there?
In total, there are 12 built-in designs and stitches. There are some professional machines with as low as 16, so I won’t call it bad.
Can I sew denim and leather on it?
Although there is no specific advice about this, considering this machine’s power and capacity, I can say that other than small home-based, DIY projects, you can only sew thin leather or denim – not the thick and heavy ones.
Can I reverse sew on it?
Yes. In terms of features, this machine is mostly better than the zhuo. You can definitely reverse sew on it by using the lever for that.
What is an Electronic Sewing Machine?
Now that you’ve read the reviews of 4 best electronic sewing machines, let us take a look at a few basic questions (other than FAQs).
The first and foremost of them is what makes an electronic sewing machine? What is an electronic sewing machine?
First of all, let us get a misunderstanding out of our way, that electronic sewing machine is the exact opposite of computerized ones.
As a matter of fact, as you can see, the second sewing machine on this list (Brother one) is a computerized one.
An electronic sewing machine is one that depends on electricity for its functioning. Very basic and/or old models of this machine can be mechanical, while new and/or advanced electronic machines are often computerized ones.
“Electronic” simply means that these machines cannot work without electricity. From the motor that keeps the wheels churning to the LCD display to the buttons and beyond, this type of machines are dead without power – whether they get that power from socket or removable batteries.
So, if an electronic machine does not have a conflict with either: a mechanical machine or a computerized one, what is the exact opposite of this machine?
Well, the old-school/vintage industrial or domestic sewing machines that you mom or grandmother used in their youth are the exact opposite of electronic ones.
And it bears no discussion as to which of them is better, but let me show you why electronic machine is better.
What makes Electronic Sewing Machine Better?
In case you want to ask questions like “Why electronic?” … just read this detail.
It does not take more than two brain cells to understand why electronic ones are way better (like unmatchable) than the old ones.
In one simple sentences … you cannot compare electronic movement with one controlled with either hands or feet.
But let us try to understand how the old-fashioned/vintage sewing machine worked. They were big and massive. They used to come with tables and the seamstress used to either grab the wheel and move it round and round with her hand or there were bicycle like paddles.
Both types of machines demanded:
- Extreme physical exhaustion
- Sewing wasn’t as precise as it is now
- No advanced features and options like stitch design or even automatic needle threader
And the list is long.
So, not only an electronic sewing machine is better than an old-fashioned one, but there is actually nothing to choose between.
You cannot not buy an electronic sewing machine unless you don’t have an interest in the sewing at all.
So, what are the most important points that one must look for while buying electronic sewing machines?
Well, the points are more or less the same as you’d consider in case of any sewing machine. Let us wrap up those important points – with one or two additions specific to electronic machines.
Most of these sewing machines on Amazon USA, are made for American households. This is why you cannot overlook the importance of voltage,
Remember, when it comes to electronic sewing machines, the most important factor is the voltage.
Because if you get this wrong, you get everything wrong.
So, make sure that you buy a 110v sewing machine for the USA households, while for other countries – it varies, but mostly it is 120v.
When we say electronic sewing machine, in terms of power supply it can be either a machine that depends on power adapter and current or one that depends on batteries.
In our collection on this list, there are both types of machines.
You need to be careful while picking a machine: power cord limits the portability while batteries may expire in the midst of sewing.
Powerful or Needful
Another point related to the power supply question is whether you want a better than handheld and smaller than professional sewing machine or you want a full-fledge professional sewing machine.
In case you are fine with an underpowered one because you need it only for small projects, go for a sewing machine with batteries, but in case you want good speed (stitching) and a lot of features, you’d have to get a machine with power adapter.
Now we’re talking more about the general points of consideration. In case your stitching is at a beginner level or you only do small projects, a speed below 850 stitches/minute is fine.
However, in case you want a machine for professional purposes or for big projects at home, you need a machine with 850+ stitches/minute speed – ideally 1,000+.
This shows how consumer-centric a machine is. A professional sewing machine, mechanical or computerized, cannot have less than 30 built-in stitches. The best of them would have 100+ to 300 or 400 – even 600. Also, bigger number of stitches means you can have different types of designs including buttonholes, alphabets and others.
Other Advanced Features
Other than these basic features, some other basic and advanced features should also be expected while you buy a sewing machine:
- LED light
- Reverse sewing
- Automatic needle threader
- Automatic thread cutter
- Automatic bobbin winder
- High presser foot
- Free foot
- Backlit LCD with big digits
- Easy navigational buttons
- Top drop-in bobbin
- Rotary hook
- Accessories and box for them,
- And many other features.
FAQs About Electronic Sewing Machines
Here are the most frequently asked questions about electronic sewing machines and the answers to those questions.
What is an electronic sewing machine?
This one has been answered in detail above. Simple – a sewing machine that either relies on electric current or batteries is an electronic one.
Is electronic sewing machine better than the old/regular ones?
An electronic sewing machine can be mechanical as well as computerized – this means that an electronic sewing machine is what we call a regular one. It is definitely better than the old ones and the reasons have been explained above.
Is a computerized sewing machine better?
There are two or more types of electronic sewing machines – mechanical and computerized. The computerized machine is better because a) it has bigger number of built-in stitches, b) it has an LCD display and very helpful navigational buttons, and c) it has a host of modern features that mechanical ones mostly don’t/can’t.