How Do I Choose the Best Sewing Machine?

Tara Barnett

Choosing the best sewing machine requires research into both the technical aspects of the sewing machine and the price of the desired model. Many websites provide options that allow consumers to compare the features of models directly, but this ability means very little when the actual functions of sewing machines are not thoroughly understood. Some machines are better than others for specific projects, like quilting or embroidery, and some have additional features that are primarily suitable for advanced crafters. When you simply need a basic sewing machine, it is often advisable to go with the least expensive option that is straightforward and functional.

A woman working with a sewing machine.
A woman working with a sewing machine.

Before considering any aspects of price, it is usually a good idea to start by thinking about what the sewing machine actually needs to do. If you simply need a machine that can sew a straight line, a very expensive machine with many different stitches is likely not a good option. It is, however, extremely useful to have a sewing machine that can handle some versatility in terms of projects. The best sewing machine for your needs often balances functions that are completely necessary with those that come up in projects but are not necessarily basic.

For basic needs, like sewing a straight line, an inexpensive machine without complex stitching capabilities will do.
For basic needs, like sewing a straight line, an inexpensive machine without complex stitching capabilities will do.

In many cases, the best sewing machine designs are electronic rather than mechanical. Electronic sewing machines can produce stitches that are more even and predictable than mechanical machines, but because mechanical machines are often less expensive, these frequently are more popular. Computerized sewing machines can also be valuable tools, particularly for people who need a wide variety of stitches. Given that different types of projects are often better suited to different machines, the best sewing machine overall may not be the best for every project.

One problem with choosing a more expensive machine is that parts and maintenance for these machines are also often expensive as well. Also, it can take longer to learn how to use complicated computerized machines. Unless a person is devoted to the craft of sewing, there is usually no need to invest this much time in learning how to use this type of tool. The best sewing machine that will be used only for small repairs and basic hems will almost certainly be the least expensive model that is hardy enough to last a long time.

Once the best sewing machine model has been chosen, it is still important to purchase the best actual machine that will be taken home. This means considering the cost of the machine, any current sales, and special warranties if they are available. Purchasing a used sewing machine can be a great way to cut down on costs, but this increases the risk of needing to repair the machine. Thinking about risk is very important when buying a sewing machine, but in the end it is often better to pay more for a machine that works than less for one that does not.

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