Best Mechanical Sewing Machine in 2020

If you are in a hurry and want to quickly find out which the best mechanical sewing machine is, then I’d recommend Juki TL-2010Q as the best one.

In simple terms, a mechanical sewing machine is a ‘basic’ machine. It’s the kind of sewing machine your grandma used. These non-computerized sewing machines are still just as popular as they were in your grandma’s times.

I personally prefer mechanical sewing machines over computerized ones. This is because mechanical machines are less complicated and more durable. They are also easier to maintain and require less upkeep.

Here are my top 5 recommendations for the best mechanical sewing machines you can buy at the moment:

 

Is a Mechanical Sewing Machine the Right Choice for You?

A mechanical sewing machine is a right choice if one or more of the following statements are true for you:

  • You are looking for a machine that isn’t too complicated to use
  • You are not comfortable with technology
  • You are not too interested in bells and whistles
  • You want a sewing machine that will last you a reasonably long time
  • You want a machine that is easy to maintain
  • You want a machine that does a good job with the basics
  • You want to spend money on something reliable and durable
  • You don’t need too many fancy stitches

How to Choose a Mechanical Sewing Machine?

It is important to understand your own needs and requirements in order to make the right choice. Hence, you must ask yourself the right questions.

What kind of sewing projects will you be working on? Will you be dealing with thick fabrics or regular ones? How often will you be sewing?

You would also want to take into consideration your skill level. Are you an advanced sewer who understands the nuances of sewing perfectly? Are you a beginner who is looking to get started?

The thing is a mechanical sewing machine can be a good fit for anyone. However, these machines vary a lot in prices. You can buy a cheap machine if you are a beginner on a limited budget. This machine might fulfill your current sewing needs. (I would recommend that you check out my guide on the best sewing machine for beginners. I have shared the most cost-effective sewing machine options for beginners)

On the other hand, if you are an advanced sewer, you might have already developed a taste for quality. You are likely familiar with the hacks and tricks of sewing complex projects. Hence, a more expensive model that holds a reputation for quality would be a better choice for you.

Therefore, understanding your needs is the first step towards buying the right machine. Now, let us evaluate a few other key pointers that you might want to take into consideration.

Number of Stitches

Computerized sewing machines are usually more expensive than mechanical sewing machines. This is because they come with a wide range of built-in stitches. If you ask most sewers, they will tell you that you don’t need that many stitches.

Having a handful of basic stitches would be more than enough for most projects. The only exception would be if you plan to do a lot of craft projects. In that case, you would likely want to have more options for decorative stitches.

The finest sewing machines known for outstanding quality are actually straight-stitch machines. This means that they only do the classic straight stitch. However, they give you an exceptional sewing experience. This is why I decided to include several straight-stitch only machines here.

Sewing Speed

If you are a professional sewer, then sewing speed will be a critical factor for you. A quality machine should be able to sew fast and with accuracy.

You would also want to check if a speed control slider is included or not. I think a speed control slider makes life easier by leaps and bounds. In the absence of it, you are left relying entirely on the foot pedal.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have figured out how to control your foot pressure. But if you can buy a mechanical sewing machine with a speed control slider, then I would recommend that you go for it.

Durability and Stability

I don’t know about you but long-term durability is very important to me. When we buy cheap things, we end up spending more on replacement and repair costs. Also, it’s frustrating when cheap items don’t live up to expectations.

I would recommend that you buy a durable machine. If this means spending a little more than you had anticipated, then don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it in the long run.

A durable machine would also be heavier as it comprises more metal parts than plastic ones. Hence, you can expect it to give you a stable sewing environment. The machine shouldn’t vibrate or rattle all over the place when you are working on it.

Budget

Now, this is a very personal one. My general recommendation is to buy the best manual sewing machine you can afford. Set the budget considering your individual needs and requirements as we discussed earlier.

Portability

How important is portability for you? Keep in mind that a portable machine will be more lightweight than its counterparts.

Hence, it might be less stable and durable. Again, this is about setting your priorities right. Make the best choice keeping in mind what’s important for you and what’s not.

Mechanical Sewing Machine Reviews

Now, let us learn more about the best mechanical sewing machines you can buy. Here are the detailed reviews for each of my top picks.

Brother XM2701

This brother mechanical sewing machine is my budget pick. It’s a great option for anyone who wants a decent mechanical sewing machine for simple projects. I would not recommend this for heavy duty projects. It is not a good fit for working with very thick fabrics.

I would say that Brother XM2701 is best for the hobby sewer. It works well for lightweight sewing and repair work.

The machine comes with 27 built-in stitches. There are plenty of decorative stitches to choose from. Hence, you have room to get creative with your sewing.

All the stitches are displayed on the front panel of the machine. You can make your choice using the stitch selection dial.

The machine comes with 6 presser foot attachments. Hence, you can work on a wide variety of sewing projects.

Pros

  • Budget pick
  • 27 built-in stitches
  • 6 presser foot attachments (button sewing, buttonhole, blind stitch, zipper, zigzag, and narrow hem foot)
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Uncomplicated, easy to use, and beginner-friendly
  • Easy threading system (with an automatic needle threader)
  • Comes with a decent instructional DVD
  • Built-in free-arm for sewing legs, sleeves, and cuffs

Cons

  • Not the most durable or stable sewing machine
  • Some users find it difficult to thread the machine using the automatic needle threader

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

 

Singer Heavy Duty 4452

This is a wonderful sewing machine available at a very reasonable price. Singer Heavy Duty 4452 is marketed as a heavy duty sewing machine. It is surely more stable and sturdier than other machines in the same price range.

I must warn you that this machine isn’t meant for serious heavy duty projects like upholstery or vinyl sewing. It can’t sew through multiple layers of very thick fabric.

I think, overall, this is a decent machine for everyday sewing projects. Because of the metal parts, it is a tad more durable than other machines in this range.

Singer Heavy Duty 4452 comes with 32 built-in stitches. It also comes with a handful of different presser foot attachments. Hence, you can use this mechanical sewing machine for a host of different projects.

Pros

  • Value-for-money
  • Durable – possesses a metal internal skeleton and other metal parts
  • 32 built-in stitches
  • Comes with several presser foot attachments (all-purpose, zipper, button sewing, buttonhole, even feed/walking, and non-stick foot)
  • Option to customize stitch width and stitch length (up to 6mm)
  • Option to adjust presser foot pressure
  • Built-in free-arm for sewing legs, sleeves, and cuffs
  • Fast sewing – can sew up to 1100 stitches per minute

Cons

  • No speed control slider – speed can be controlled only through the foot pedal
  • Not for serious or professional level heavy duty sewing. It won’t be able to sew through multiple layers of very thick fabric

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

 

Brother PQ1500SL

Brother PQ1500SL is marketed as a quilting and sewing machine. It happens to be quite popular with seasoned quilters and for good reason. 

For starters, this machine is sturdy and durable. It also has a large harp area for maneuvering quilts and other big projects. With 4 different feed dog settings, you get to have maximum control over the fabric.

Like most professional mechanical sewing machines, this is a straight-stitch only machine. It sews fast and smooth. Sewing speed can go up to 1500 stitches per minute.

Brother PQ1500SL is great for both regular and heavy duty sewing. You can coordinate the presser foot pressure with the feed dog height. This is a real godsend when you are working with difficult and thick fabrics.

The machine also comes with the automatic needle up/down function. You can use the tension control dial to adjust the thread tension. Hence, this machine is amazing for customizing your sewing experience.

Pros

  • Reliable, durable, and sturdy
  • Fast sewing – can sew up to 1500 stitches per minute (straight-stitch only machine)
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure and feed dog height
  • Adjustable dial for controlling thread tension
  • Extension table for expanded work area
  • Great for both heavy duty and lightweight/regular sewing
  • Comes with several presser foot attachments
  • Large harp area for quilting and maneuvering other big projects

Cons

  • Speed can be controlled only through the foot pedal
  • The automatic needle threader is not very user-friendly. The instructions manual is also not very helpful

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

 

JUKI TL-2000Qi

JUKI TL-2000Qi is a strong and powerful machine at a good price. The Juki brand has long been synonymous with outstanding quality. Once you have sewn on a Juki, it would be difficult to revert to anything of inferior quality. All their machines sew like butter. 

This mechanical sewing machine leans more towards the higher end of the price range. But it provides excellent value-for-money.

With an aluminum die-cast arm and bed, you get a stable sewing environment. This machine is an ultimate workhorse. It can handle any type of fabric with ease.

JUKI TL-2000Qi is made for the professional sewer or someone who is serious about the art of sewing. You can use it daily and for hours on end. This machine is reliable, sturdy and durable.

No matter how much you put it to work, it won’t even let out a grunt.

Pros

  • Outstanding quality and performance (straight-stitch only machine)
  • Reliable, sturdy and durable (aluminum die-cast arm and bed)
  • Fast sewing – can sew up to 1500 stitches per minute
  • Can handle any kind of project and even the toughest of fabrics
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure and feed dog height
  • Comes with several presser foot attachments
  • Extension table for expanded work area
  • Option to customize stitch length (maximum length of up to 6mm)

Cons

  • Threading the machine can be a tricky process
  • No speed control slider (foot pedal for speed control)

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

 

Juki TL-2010Q

I think this is the most amazing mechanical sewing machine ever. It is an upgraded version of JUKI TL-2000Qi. Since it has some additional features, it also sells at a slightly higher price point than JUKI TL-2000Qi.

You get the sturdiness, durability, and brand reliability of the Juki label. This mechanical sewing machine can handle any kind of fabric with ease.

Indeed, TL-2010Q sews like a dream whether you are dealing with tough or delicate fabrics.
Unlike JUKI TL-2000Qi, you do get a speed control slider. I love having this feature as relying on foot pressure alone sometimes gets tedious.

Juki TL-2010Q also comes with a sub tension lever and a tension scale. This is extremely helpful for customizing tension settings. It helps you match the thread tension with the fabric you are dealing with.

Pros

  • An enhanced version of JUKI TL-2000Qi
  • Extremely sturdy, reliable, and durable
  • Can handle all kinds of fabrics (from the toughest to the most delicate)
  • Speed control slider for controlling the speed
  • Sub tension lever and tension scale for customizing tension settings
  • Comes with several presser foot attachments
  • Option to adjust stitch length
  • Sews fast and with extreme accuracy (straight-stitch only machine)

Cons

  • Features on the higher end of the price spectrum
  • A lot of users feel that the automatic needle threader doesn’t work well

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

 

The Winner

My favorite mechanical sewing machine is hands down Juki TL-2010Q. You just can’t beat this beast of a machine!

This is the kind of machine that you can depend upon for a very long time. If you are in the market for the absolute best sewing machine, then you won’t be disappointed with this one. It sews smoothly and with accuracy.

You can get it to sew through multiple layers of vinyl and upholstery fabric. It won’t groan or complain. Just as easily, it would sew delicate and slippery fabrics like silk.

You get to customize the tension settings to match the fabric you are handling. There are options to vary the stitch length. Plus, this mechanical sewing machine comes with a variety of presser foot attachments.

All these features make Juki TL-2010Q suitable for diverse sewing projects. I can’t think of anything this workhorse can’t handle with ease.

In conclusion, go for it without a second thought!

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