There can be many reasons to look for a budget-friendly sewing machine. The main reason many may be looking for a machine on the cheaper side is that it will be used by a beginner. There are many beginner-friendly sewing machines on the market, in this article, we will take a look at 3 different budget-conscious machines. We will determine through the pros and cons of each machine, which is the best cheap sewing machine on the market.
Top 10 Best Cheap Sewing Machine Choices
1. Brother HC1850
The Brother HC1850 sewing machine is a personal favorite of a lot of sewing connoisseurs in the community. This is vastly based on its versatility. This machine in specific has many great reviews on the internet, and for good reason, the versatility of the machine has garnered good reviews. Some other features included in the Brother HC1850 that cause it to stand out are the over one hundred built-in stitches it provides, the numerous types of buttonholes included, and the alphanumeric stitches.
While being a sewing and quilting machine, it also can be used as a basic monogramming machine. This is because of the included monogramming font that comes with the machine. Despite so many functions included in the machine, it still has a lightweight feel and is portable at the same time. This is because of the molded carrying handle.
This allows for easy maneuvering and the ability to take it to sewing classes or on trips! This specific brother product is a computerized machine. In addition to the features already described it also has many beginner-friendly features. Things such as automatic needle threading are just a start to the number of beginner features. It also includes a quick set, a top drop-in bobbin, and an automatic drop feed.
The Brother HC1850 sewing machine provides options for experienced sewers, as well. With an instructional DVD included it is so easy to learn and teach beginners how to get started on this machine. The price point is unbeatable when compared to machines that offer the same capabilities. From a quilting standpoint, this machine is perfect for large projects, included as a nice perk is an oversized wide table.
Quilting is made easier on this machine because of the spring action quilting foot, this allows for more of a free motion quilting experience. A 1/4″ piecing foot is not included which could be a problem for quilting. Although, purchasing these shouldn’t cost much. One thing that may help is a quilting machine with a larger throat space.
As for portability, The brother HC1850 is one of the most s lightweight and most portable sewing machines on the market. While having great portability capabilities it doesn’t lack any area of functionality, either. At a weight of 13 lbs, it can be easily moved from one place to another. If you wish to bring it on vacation or to a sewing class, there will be no problems at all. Although, it doesn’t come with a protective carrying case. It may be a good investment to purchase one.
Sample Customer Review… I do a lot of sewing & machine quilting. This is my 3rd sewing machine after many years of sewing. This Brother HC1850 is the best I’ve ever had. It sews, quilts & embroideries with a computer that is easy to use. The instructions are clear enough for novice seamstresses. I am disabled so sometimes my leg muscles just will not work. This machine gives you a choice of using the foot pedal or you can use the controls on the machine. It will move the presser foot up/down, start your seam, then stop & lift the presser foot. Of course, you are in control of the buttons & the speed so it is comfortable for your use. Another plus is this machine is not very heavy like my other ones. I also use a serger which is a bit heavier than my sewing machine. This is a real help if you suffer from motor problems as I do. The price is very good for a computerized machine that does so much. Great buy!Read More Reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Brother XR3774 Full-Featured Quilting Machine
The Brother XR3774 Quilting Machine is versatile enough that it would be valuable for both the beginning sewer and the advanced quilter. Still within the lower price range, this machine includes many extra features one would expect in a professional quilting machine such as a walking foot, the ability to do free-motion sewing and a large working space.
Said working space is adjustable as the expanded table is detachable, allowing for less space to be taken up when storing the machine while not taking away the ability to sew while draping larger amounts of fabric on the table. The machine also comes with 37 stitches, but customizable dials on the machine allow for up to 74 different stitches.
Along with the walking foot, there are 7 other included feet in the machine. The walking foot is simply the one that would be most essential to quilters. The ease of use features continue from there, with the increasingly sought after automatic threader as well as a one step, user friendly buttonhole creation option.
Although presented as a quilting machine, the Brother XR3774 is a sewing machine that could be ideal for both beginners and veterans. Quilting-focused features add to the versatility of the machine while the inclusion of basic features makes this machine user-friendly for those with little sewing machine experience overall.
Sample Customer Review… This is my first ever sewing machine. I’m a beginner and I find this machine very easy to use if you follow the instructions of course! It sews really well, I’ve completed some projects with it and it’s very user-friendly and easy to understand. It has a lot of stitches and settings, I haven’t tried them all but I’m getting used to the common ones! This is a really nice machine for a very good price. The table is really useful, I use it all the time! And all of the accessories included are perfect! It really has everything you need to start sewing right away! I did buy separate needles (for knit and for jeans) and they fit perfectly! I tried the needles that came with the machine to sew some t-shirts and the fabric got stuck inside the feed dogs, I then realized that I needed to change the needle to sew the t-shirts and when I did I had no problem at all! I really recommend this machine, it has everything and at a very affordable price!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
3. Singer Start 1304
Greatly intended for the beginner sewer, the Singer Start 1304 makes true to its name; it contains all of the basic features that are crucial to a novice. Without the confusion of too many added features and buttons, the simplicity of the Singer Start is perfect for learning the basic functions of a sewing machine. It can also be utilized by more experienced users who value a streamlined machine and completing basic projects with a quality finish.
Some of the included features in the Singer Start include 6 pre-set stitches and the inclusion of 3 walking feet. The small lever allows for the ability to backstitch, and included feet allow for a four step buttonhole making process. A dial located on the machine allows the sewer to quickly navigate through different stitch types.
If you are searching for a permanent, multifunctional machine for your sewing room, this may not be the choice for you. However, the lightweight design of the machine makes it ideal for anyone who desires the ability to transport their machine. This can be increasingly useful for the novice sewer who may be intended to bring their machine back and forth to sewing classes.
Although it is not the most complicated machine, the well-structured basics of the Singer Start 1304 allow for basic to intermediate projects to be easily completed. The simplistic functions also keep beginner sewers from getting confused due to complicated functions.
Sample Customer Review… I bought this sewing machine after reading reviews about its ease of operation and that it was a good machine for beginners. I have never sewed a thing in my life, and I have certainly never used a sewing machine. I had a project I needed this for and it was easier to buy a machine than try to find time to use someone else’s. This machine was incredibly easy to set up. It comes with step-by-step directions and diagrams. It took me about 45 minutes to set up, again because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but it was no fault of the directions at all. Once the machine was up and running, I was able to complete my project with ease. I was sewing some heavy-duty fleece fabric and had zero issues with the machine. I was really impressed with how my son’s Jedi robe turned out. I would recommend this machine to anyone looking for a simple machine. I am not sure what kind of limitations it has for the advanced sewers, but for basic, it’s perfect!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
4. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine
An inexpensive option for the novice or experienced sewer, the Brother XM2701 Lightweight sewing machine offers many unique features allowing for easy and intuitive use. With 27 built in stitch options and the ability to use the manual dials in order to create 63 unique stitches, the versatility of this reasonably priced machine holds up in comparison to some of the more expensive models.
There are other features on the machine including an automatic needle threader and a top loading bobbin. Experienced sewing machine users will know that this helps streamline the set up process and ease frustrations throughout the sewing experience. Another user-friendly addition to the XM2701 is its one-step buttonhole creation ability. Where it might take another machine up to four steps and manual adjustments to create a buttonhole, this machine is beginner friendly in allowing them to create a buttonhole with one step.
There is a large variety of inclusions when you purchase this machine. The most notable is the included bunch of six presser feet that include a blind stitch foot, narrow hem foot, zig-zag stitch foot, and others. If you are worried about confusion during set up or use, the machine also comes with a DVD with accompanying instructions.
Overall, this machine offers many beginner-friendly features as well as additions that can streamline the sewing process of more experienced sewers. With special additions such as the LED light and a jam-resistant, quick-set bobbin, the machine boasts high ease of use at an extremely affordable price. This is the ideal machine for an individual looking for a versatile and reasonably priced machine.
Sample Customer Review… I knew next to nothing about sewing machines until my wife bought this and I borrowed it from her. I spent all of about 20 minutes reading the manual, and after that minor introduction, I was able to repair a huge hole in a pair of pants and to custom-fabricate a sleeve to direct mail from the garage door mail slot into a box located a couple of feet away. If you’re a beginner looking to get a basic knowledge of sewing and to have broad capabilities without spending a ton of money, this is definitely for you. I can’t recommend it enough. With 20+ stitch patterns (including buttonholes) and a super easy-to-use threading mechanism, this thing is the way to go. highly recommended.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
5. Brother CS60001
More desirable for the sewer on the move, the Brother CS60001 is lightweight due to its mostly plastic design. This makes it ideal for the beginner who plans to attend classes or for and sewer who plans on traveling.
There are a variety of desirable features included with the machine including the ability to use a large variety of 60 different stitches. On the top of the machine, there is also a small LED screen that can help navigate through the stitch options along with the help of buttons and a switch. Those who are worried about not understanding how to use a sewing machine should not be worried with this purchase, as the manual it comes with is incredibly detailed and easy to follow, and the machine itself is pretty user friendly.
Some may be cautious that the affordability of the machine decreases its quality, but the Brother CS6001 can sew through multiple thick fabrics like denim. Finally, the machine also has an automatic thread cutter, which any seasoned sewer would tell you is a must!
Overall, this machine is ideal for both beginners or experienced sewers who value stitch variety and portability.
Sample Customer Review… I have to say I really like this machine! I did read the whole instruction manual and have followed it without any problems. I have had zero issues with the bobbin, tension, or skipping stitches. I have successfully used a ruffle attachment, and various rolled hem attachments with no issues. It is quiet and almost foolproof. As soon as anything goes wrong it beeps and stops stitching. Anyone who has ever stitched a mile worth of fabric only to find out your bobbin ran out 5 seconds after you started knows how frustrating that can be, but not with this machine. It immediately beeped at me and stopped until I put a new bobbin in. Unlike my old machine that had 3 needle positions this one has a bunch for the straight stitch which really helped me customize my project.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
6. Singer Heavy Duty 4411
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Although it is on the pricier end of the cheap sewing machines, the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 is one of the only machines with heavy duty sewing capabilities that you will find in its price range. Extremely user-friendly, this machine can handle a variety of extremely difficult or thick materials such as leather and denim. Although it may not have as many fancy stitching options as a quilting machine, the 4411 offers a total of 11 pre-programmed stitches.
Other features of the machine include the ability to adjust the pressure of the presser foot, buttonhole capabilities, and three needle positions including centered, left shifted and right shifted. Another usability feature that is nice in this machine is the top-loading, drop in bobbin loading mechanism.
With 1100 stitches a minute, the machine promises efficiency. However, it is important to remember that with durability and efficiency comes the inability to easily transfer the machine. The body of the machine is made of metal, not plastic, and thus the weight of the machine is greater than some of the less durable models. This is ideal for a sewer who plans to leave their machine in a sewing or craft room instead of taking it back and forth to classes.
Sample Customer Review… The machine was purchased primarily for sewing denim and canvas. After reading reviews and using other brand machines, I rolled the dice. For the money this is an outstanding machine, I have sewn through folded multi layer seams with no problem. I would strongly encourage purchasing a walking foot if you intend to sew multi layer or light weight material. This purchase began as a challenge. I run an upholstery and boat cover business and this Singer now sits beside a $ 6,000 Chandler industrial machine and there’s very little it can’t handle. We will let time and use determine its outcome.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
7. Janome 2212
While looking for a machine on the cheaper side, you will need to know if it is beginner-friendly. The Janome 2212 is perfect for just that. If you are a beginner or intermediate trying to get more into the hobby, this machine will do the trick. Because of the non-digital nature of the machine, it is very durable and lasts a very long time.
There is little to no maintenance needed, as well. A few questions to ask yourself when looking into this machine: are you new to the hobby of sewing? Are you looking to get back into sewing but don’t want to break the bank on an expensive machine? Is this a gift? If you relate to any of the previous questions, the Janome 2212 fits into all of them.
Janome is one of the best cheap sewing machine options and one of the top brands in the game. Most of the time, people equate cheap prices with bad quality. That is not the case with this machine. The Janome 2212 is a mechanical sewing machine. It doesn’t have a built-in computer and does not include any fancy stitching, this is great news for beginners.
All in all, this machine is recommended if you’re a beginner. If you have experience sewing and are getting back into it, It will be great at first but you will outgrow it. This machine is great for simple needs and basic sewing. If you are making clothing or simple at-home projects. If you are needing to do heavy-duty sewing, this is not the machine for that. As for quilting, while you can make quilts, you will want to be careful while doing so.
For a small quilting project, it will do the job but if you’re doing a bigger quilting project, breaks will be needed. This machine is also great for simple gift-giving projects, like a baby quilt. It also does the job of hemming projects. The portability is also great for this machine. If you need to bring it to a sewing class, it is definitely light enough. For how cheap this machine is, you can not really go wrong.
Sample Customer Review… I bought this machine because I wanted to learn how to sew. I hadn’t touched a sewing machine since freshman year in home ec, so my endeavor into the sewing world was quite the learning experience. By chance, a friend of mine had a Janome machine she had received as a gift, which she was kind enough to let me play around with. I liked it enough, and after extensive research, decided on the 2212 model. I must admit, I really love this little machine. As a true beginner, it has done everything I needed it to do. It has mended jeans, sewn through several layers of thinner material, and I even attempted coasters! The 2212 has done all this will flying colors! Additionally, I would like to say that the manual for this bad boy is super amazing and easy to follow. There are LOTS of pictures, with step-by-step instructions. The manual comes in dual English and Spanish if that is a selling point for you. The only trouble I have had with my machine was purely user error. I didn’t load the bobbin properly the first few times, but after I figured it out, I haven’t had any issues. I appreciate the ease of use and the simplicity of the machine. It is just right for my needs as a beginner who is learning. The button-hole foot is easy to use, and straightforward. Spooling a bobbin is also easy and convenient. In my opinion, this is an excellent choice for a beginner or someone who is only planning on doing basic sewing. Once I am more skilled and ready for a new machine, I will definitely stay within the Janome family. And you can’t beat a 25-year warranty!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Singer Confidence 7469Q
The Singer 7469Q is known by most sewing connoisseurs to be a basic sewing and quilting machine that caters more to the beginner community. This review will be a more basic overview of customers’ thoughts on the machine. This machine is widely liked by customers due to the simple fact that it is easy to operate.
The Singer 7469Q also comes with many accessories and features. While all of this is great, it does not come without faults. According to some customers, the light that is provided is not bright enough and there is a lack of instructions for some of the features provided, making them basically pointless.
Ratings across the internet from consumers are also very mixed for the 7469Q. People sway both ways when it comes to this machine, there are pros and cons. That does not mean that the machine is poor and there is nobody happy with its performance. There are others that have problems with things like the machine having poor quality construction and tedious issues with the threader, tensioner, and bobbin system. One common thing that many consumers enjoy the most from this machine is the extended bed.
The extended bed provides extra space where you can store larger items. One thing that I have noticed people enjoy from machines is an instructional DVD. This machine comes with one that shows an overview of the machine. The Singer 7469Q is fairly easy to set up according to consumers. The accessories are also quite easy to use. The machine is known to also be great for people who like quilting. While there are many positives from this machine, from a close glance there seem to be just as many problems.
Sample Customer Review… I just love this sewing machine. Bought this machine specifically to make quilts for Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Have been sewing every day for weeks. For the price, it’s a great bargain. It’s easy to use and has all the bells and whistles to make your projects enjoyable. The large table is great. The functions and stitches are ones that you’ll use all the time. Being able to purchase this on Amazon prime was an added bonus. Should have gotten this sooner!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Singer 1507WC
If you are someone new to sewing and worry that your sewing machine may be too confusing for you, the Singer 1507WC is a fantastic option. Heavily user friendly, the machine may not be the most advanced in the world, but it is affordable and easy to navigate. Threading a sewing machine is one of the most intimidating tasks for a new sewer, but that is made easy with this machine’s guided threading through numbers visible on the machine.
Other features of this machine are its inclusion of four separate presser feet options and the ability to use a dial on the machine to rotate through a variety of eight separate stitches. The 1507WC has a detachable free arm that allows for detailed sewing such as sleeves, and in addition to the presser feet, it comes with a cloth cover.
The machine is definitely portable, however it does weigh more than other plastic based options. This is important to keep in mind if transportability is important to you. If this is your first machine, there is no need to worry about an intimidatingly fast stitch speed as this machine’s speed is adjustable and allows for slower or faster sewing.
Although there may not be very many fancy stitch options, this machine is an affordable and reliable option that has many added features other affordable machines may not offer.
Sample Customer Review… I have been using Singer machines since the days of the Treadle machines and I have always been satisfied. Now that I’m older, I don’t do as much sewing except for mending, covering pillows and cushions and miscellaneous stuff, so I didn’t need a high tech machine. I chose this one because it would do all the stitches I needed and it came with a cover. It arrived quickly and was very easy to use. I don’t know how it will hold up yet because it is brand new, but even if I only get a few years use, the price is so affordable that I opted to buy this machine instead of repairing my old one.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Janome Graceful Gray
Although Janome is a brand well known for quality, they are not often associated with affordability. That is what makes the Janome Graceful Gray so unique. It is incredibly light at only five pounds making it ideal for kinds beginning to learn how to sew or those with the intention of attending frequent sewing classes.
Some of the features that the Graceful Gray boasts are 10 stitch options that can be altered by variations in stitch length and width manually through the dial on the machine. You also have the ability to backstitch on the machine. However, if planning on creating more in-depth projects, especially in clothing design, it is important to note that the machine does not have the option for buttonhole creation.
If you are looking for a safe way to introduce a little one to sewing, the finger guards included in the machine, as well as the variety of color options and ease of use make the Janome Graceful Gray ideal. There is also a drop-in bobbin feature that will make it easier for kids to learn how to thread the machine.
Overall, the slower speed and lack of variety may not make this the ideal machine for a seasoned sewer, but it is a reliable and high-quality machine for those wishing to do smaller projects or learn to sew.
Sample Customer Review… I got this for my 7 year old daughter to learn on, and she absolutely loves it! She’s able to set it up and thread it herself. We would have liked an on/off switch but that’s only a minor detail. The instructions were easy enough for her to read and follow. Changing the stitch type is also a breeze. The color choices are awesome. I’m sure most girls would love any of the color choices. We’d recommend this machine for every beginner.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing the Best Cheap Sewing Machine
Sewing machines are not one size fits all. Those who plan to bring their sewing machine on the go, intend on only using basic stitches, or those who are limited on storage space may be more inclined to purchase a miniature sewing machine as it may better suit their lifestyle. Comparatively, for those who have adequate storage space and are seeking greater functionality, a traditional, full-sized machine will be a better option.
Similar to size, the weight of a sewing machine can also vary. The desired weight of the machine often depends on the intended portability. If you intend to bring your machine back and forth from classes or on trips with you, you may want to consider one of the lighter machines that can weigh less than five pounds. However, if you intend to leave your machine in one setting, you may benefit from a heavier machine, which can weigh up to thirty pounds. The added weight not only improves the stability of the machine but has also been proven to increase durability as the parts are usually made from metal instead of plastic.
Providing a more traditional experience, mechanical machines will be controlled through a foot pedal and adjustments to features such as stitch length are done manually through dials on the machine. However, for those who are willing to spend a little more, modern developments have led to computerized machines which allow for streamlined sewing through the touch of a button, as well as the navigation of other features through an LCD touchscreen.
Ease of Use
Simpler machines with less features may seem less worthwhile, but they are actually extremely beneficial to those who have just begun to learn to sew. Some features will still be useful to a beginner such as durability, number of stitch options and computerization, but you can avoid features that you would not use. Such features may only make navigating the machine more frustrating, and will usually raise the price.
Different sewing machines offer a variety of specialized features including the number of stitches they offer, additional presser feet, the ability to create buttonholes, and even automatic needle threaders. The need for a feature such as the number of unique stitches will vary in priority for each individual based on their intended use for the machine.
After reviewing each and every one of the different sewing machines and going through the pros and cons of each I have decided that the Brother HC1850 is the best machine to go with. In my opinion, the pros of the Brother HC1850 far outweigh the cons. There are so many stitch options with this machine.
They cover most sewing and quilting projects that anyone could imagine, the basic monogramming font is included, there are beginner-friendly but still, attractive features for advanced users, simple and easy use of winding the bobbin and threading the needle, the instructions included are very clear, the foot controller pedal is included for those who like to use them and above all, It is very lightweight.
All of these things combined made the decision quite easy for me to choose the Brother product over the other two. With one of the only main cons of this machine being the lack of ability to do heavy quilting, compared to the others there are basically no cons to this machine. Another reason I chose this machine over the others is because of the beginner-friendly nature.
There are so many features that are attractive to beginners like the automatic needle threading and the quick set, top drop-in bobbin, and an automatic drop feed. But while it is enticing for beginners, it is no slouch to an experienced user as well. With the instructional DVD included this machine is just an all-around machine that will get the job done for pretty much anyone with any experience level.
Match all of this with the price point and you cannot go wrong. At first glance, a cheap price normally correlates in a person’s mind to a cheap product that’s likely not to perform well. That couldn’t be farther from the truth with this machine. This machine is reliable and with the weight of the machine, there is no reason to worry about durability. Durability is an important aspect when buying a sewing machine and this one is no slouch in that area. All of these reasons are why I chose the Brother HC1850 to be the best cheap sewing machine.
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Written by Matthew Zuppardi and Tess Howard