Anyone who wants to get through multiple layers of fabric or tough materials like leather are going to need a heavy-duty sewing machine. Stronger than a regular machine, they should still be capable of pushing out plenty of stitches per minute, and have some neat features along the way.
This is only the case when you find a product from a reputable brand. Even then, some are better than others which is why we have compiled a list of the best heavy-duty sewing machines available. With something for every budget, each product comes with a deserved reputation and has the durability to stitch for many years.
The 7 Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
#7 Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine
Anyone looking for a heavy0-duty sewing machine that is also good for quilting should consider this quality product. It has all the hallmarks of a machine that will last and in the 1,500 stitches per minute, is certainly capable of speeding things up. There is, of course, an automatic needle threader and a removable knee lifter to make life easier and its wide table allows the user to put it to task on multiple projects.
It has 4 built-in feed dog positions and comes with 7 presser feet among the numerous included accessories. Whether you want to get through tough materials of quilts, this is super fast and comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
#6 SINGER, 57 Applications-Perfect Made Easy
Ideal for a beginner, this is one of the easiest sewing machines to use. Although some of the others on our list might be stronger, this can still pack a punch with its 400 stitches per minute. There might not be enough to get through the tougher materials, but it can see multiple layers together and there are 6 built-in stitches that are easy to use.
Simplicity is the name of the game with this product and with a four-step buttonhole feature, it makes it easy to add the finishing touches to a multitude of projects. Its quick and easy threading and simple stitch selector take away a lot of the hassle of getting up and running. As portable as a proper sewing machine can get, this is well suited to anyone who is taking classes or wants to be able to move from room to room with ease.
#5 Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches
A good option from the people at Janome, its 14 built-in stretches might not offer quite as much versatility as some of the other options. However, its sturdy cast aluminum body takes a lot of the vibrations away, and it is more than powerful enough. There is a free arm sewing capability. so it can be used to sew cuffs, collars, and pants of a variety of fabrics.
Included are plenty of presser feet, drop feed for darning, a softcover to keep dust away, and hem guide among other accessories. The built-in automatic needle threader makes it easy to get things started and at 22.5 lbs, it is on the heavier side, which can be a good thing if you want added stability when getting through tougher materials.
#4 Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine
With 50 Built-in Stitches and an LCD, this heavy-duty sewing machine offers a little more than a lot of the competition. This is evident in the 9 included feet that open up plenty of options but it also makes life easier for the user. Because it has an advanced automatic needle threader and a jam-resistant top in the bobbin, there is less of a learning curve, allowing the user to get on with their projects.
The LCD screen makes selecting the stitch size and selection easier, as well as helping advise on the recommended sewing foot. In terms of being heavy-duty, it includes heavy-duty needles for thicker fabrics and 850 stitches per minute with no problem from vibrations.
#3 SINGER Heavy Duty 4411 with 69 Stitch Applications
With a steel bedplate and the ability to sew 1,100 stitches per minute, this in an impressive heavy-duty sewing machine that can be picked up by a beginner, and mastered in no time. Because the user can adjust the needle position, it makes it easier to sew with accuracy and there aren’t as many overwhelming choices meaning the 11 built-in stitches and the built-in buttonhole is plenty enough to get started with.
Its powerful motor makes it fast and absorbs a lot of the vibrations for comfortable sewing. Because of this, it can be used on a variety of fabrics and multiple layers without an issue. There are 4 presser feet included so it is also versatile enough for most users, and has 69 stitch applications so there is plenty of ways to use it.
#2 Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough
Anyone looking to get through the likes of the denim will find this to be an excellent option. Not only does it have the reputable Brother brand name behind it, but it comes with 37 built-in stitches, and is easy to use thanks to the automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin.
With six sewing feet making it easy to switch between tasks and fabrics, free arm capability for when you are ready to step things up, and a sturdy, heavy-duty body, it makes like work of tough tasks. The body itself is on the light side but this doesn’t take anything away from the power. It’s LED light above makes for added accuracy, and 800 stitches per minute, it offers good value when looking for a hardy machine.
#1 SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine
For many people, this is the ultimate heavy-duty sewing machine because not only is it sturdy with a metal housing that reduces movement and vibrations, but it comes at a reasonable price. This means you get all the benefits such as 23 built-in stitches, a big 1,100 stitches per minute, and a motor that is 60% stronger, all without breaking the bank.
The added accessories make it an attractive purchase, these include an all-purpose foot, zipper foot, and blind hem foot among others, heavy-duty needles for getting through tough materials, bobbins, and a lot more. Described as a workhouse, this is a best selling heavy-duty sewing machine for a reason. People seem to like it. for the same reasons, including the fact that it gets through thick layers with no trouble, doesn’t make a lot of noise, and is ideal for sewing materials like leather.
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Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine Guide
Most basic sewing machines become pretty limited as a user’s experience grows. There comes a time when you want to sew certain fabrics or multiple layers, and the machine just isn’t up to scratch. Because of this, many people end up investing in another machine. This can be costly, so it is better to choose wisely.
A heavy-duty sewing machine should allow you to not only move through thicker materials but at greater speeds. With nothing to slow you down, a good product is versatile and reliable, This is only when you find a quality product. The following guide will help you find out how to get this purchase right.
What Makes A Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine So Good?
It all starts with the body of the machine. If it is made from a sturdy, fully material housing then it will be able to deliver plenty of stitches per minute, without making it shake all over the table. By reducing vibrations, it allows the user to get through tough fabrics with accuracy.
Regular machine machines lack stability and power, which is why they become redundant after a while.
What To Look For In A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
We’ve already touched on some of the major points, but here is what makes the best so good:
Sturdy Metal Body
This is what absorbs a lot of the vibrations, and delivers the power. Look for the likes of cast aluminum for a mix of durability and sturdiness.
Stitches Per Minute
Although power is key, so is speed. Tough fabrics shouldn’t slow you down when you have a powerful machine to use, so anything around 850 stitches per minute and above is on the powerful side. Some give you plenty more and although it won’t take long to work up to it, not everyone needs 1,500 stitches per minute.
This comes down to the quality of the build as anything that doesn’t give consistent stitches if going to slow you down and create a need to go over parts.
A heavy-duty sewing machine is built for power, but when you need to take some of the power away and sew intricate stitches and thinner fabrics, adjustable tension opens up more possibilities.
Although a portable machine can be appealing in obvious ways, a heavy-duty machine does need a bit of weight behind it to deliver the right amount of power. Dense fabrics are not easy to get through without some added pounds to the machine which is why a lot of heavy-duty sewing machines are on the heavier side.
This can come in many forms and after the machine itself, getting a good deal is all down to the accessories. It’s not always the quantity but the quality of the presser feet etc, although it never hurt to get as a fair few included. Other accessories to look for include a cover, needles, LCD screen, and more.
Because you want a bit of versatility to go with the power, it is always nice to have as many built-in stitches as possible. A basic sewer might not need so many but otherwise, having a handful at your disposal can allow you to get creative.
Although it shouldn’t take long to thread a sewing machine when you get used to it, some products just make this fiddly stage easier. Look for a heavy0duty sewing machine that can still offer an automatic needle threader to get things started faster, and a top in bobbin.
Tips For Using A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
Before you start pushing as many stitches per minute through a new fabric or thicker layers, test a piece before you get going. Adjust the tension whilst sewing a piece of scrap material and sew all the stitch types you intend to use.
Use The Correct Needle and Thread
A lot of heavy-duty sewing machines include multiple needles for the job. The thicker ones are of course meant for dense materials but the thread is also important. If you want the stitches to be secure then you must get this right as well. Heavy-duty thread is perfect for the likes of denim, with upholstery thread being suitable for upholstery fabrics.
Switch To The Right Presser Foot
Certain presser feet just aren’t right for thick materials. Most products include plenty to ensure the machine is versatile and the likes of a walking foot as usually suitable for thick materials.
Use A Longer Stitch
Getting the stitch length right will be vital to how secure the fabric is after. Short stitches are good for delicate materials but if you want to keep that denim or leather in place, use a longer stitch. Most machines make it easy to adjust.
Look for A Warranty
Although most products tend to include a pretty. generous warranty of around 20 years, it is always good to make sure the product you are considering has one. These machines are hardy and built to last, but there is always a chance that something can go wrong.
How Much Does A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Cost?
Thankfully, these machines are more affordable than a lot of people think. This is why a quality machine doesn’t have to cost a lot more than $250. This will still get you a product from a reputable brand, and plenty of stitches per minute to go along with that heavy0duty metal frame.
Anything below this, and you might find yourself having to compromise on some of the key features, and the machine might not be as strong as needed.
Can I Still Sew Light Fabric With A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine?
Yes. a heavy-duty sewing machine doesn’t go immediately into top gear and there are plenty of ways to use them before you start attaching the larger, thicker needles and thread. These machines are still easy to control at the slower speeds when you need an intricate stitch. As long as there are adjustable tension levels, this should be easy to do.