Heavy Duty Fabrics Need Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
Sewing light fabrics, such as cotton or silk, is one thing, but stitching thicker fabrics such as denim is quite another! And, if you’re a busy parent with a houseful of kids who are always tearing their new pants, then denim is likely something you’re going to be mending a lot of. You don’t want to waste time and money getting a machine that can’t handle your workload or clothing demands, so you need to be looking for a sewing machine that’s specifically designed to be heavy duty, right from the off.
Heavy duty sewing machines are also recommended for individuals looking to scale up from a hobby to a small business. They are not, however, designed or intended for the needs of professional commercial sewers, or those working with leather. And, of course, whatever type and weight of fabric you’re working with, make sure you select a suitable size of needle for the fabric you’re using. It is advisable to purchase a range of needle sizes, so that all your potential demands can be met with the contents of your needlework box.
The following helpful reviews should enable you to choose the best machine for your needs, and avoid costly, frustrating mistakes.
Top Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Reviews 2017
The Brother CS6000i comes with a full range of accessories, and provides you with the opportunity to use the machine, right out of the box, for monogramming and quilting, as well as regular sewing. This model has been designed with practicality and the needs of a busy sewist, in mind. It offers a storage compartment, situated within easy reach on the arm of the machine, for your accessories. This is ideal for sewists who may not have much space to call their own. Even if you do have a dedicated craft or embroidery room, this space saving storage option means you don’t have to get up from your table to look for your core project accessories. When you’re at a tricky or pertinent point in your project, having everything to hand is exactly what you need.
The CS6000i is a versatile machine, offering a range of 60 built in stitches, and seven sewing styles, including an easy, one-step autosize buttonholer, and adjustable sewing machine, so the completion of your dreams needn’t be held up by the speed of your model!
As with most modern machines, the CS6000i provides a handy LCD display, making selecting and adjusting your stitch style or length as simple as pressing a button. The display area could do with being a little better-lit, although many sewists choose to use a desk lamp, even when their machine offers good display area lighting.
With a detachable outsize table, the CS6000i is ideal for sewists with occasional larger projects. If you are regularly working on large pieces, it would be best to invest in a machine designed with a large work area as standard. However, the flexibility of a detachable oversize option would suit those who create a range of products for craft fayres, for example.
The CS6000i can suffer from very minor inaccuracies in how it produces stitching. While this won’t matter to the busy parent repairing a child’s pants, it can be a deal breaker for those who need a professional-standard finish. The plastic gears may also impact on the functional lifespan of the device if the sewist has a high volume of work. However, for standard household repairs or hobby sewing of heavier fabrics, the plastic gears shouldn’t be an issue.
The CS6000i also comes with a hard carry case, making it ideal for student sewists traveling to and from classes.
The Singer 7258 gives you the option to sew on electronic autopilot, without using a foot pedal. This makes sense if you are doing a lot of the same type and style of stitch. There is a programmable needle up/down function, making it quick and easy to stop the needle to remove fabric.
With 100 stitch patterns, the 7258 offers versatility, while its LED display means you can easily see your work in progress, even on darker fabrics.
The 7258 is metal framed, although, as with many domestic-use machines, the gears are plastic.
The 7258 is easy to use, and Singer provide full social media support, so you can talk directly to other sewists using the same model. There are also YouTube videos on the manufacturer’s official channel, which are handy for basic trouble shooting and set up queries.
Although designed for heavier fabrics, such as denim, the 7258 does not handle bulky fabrics, such as tweed, very well. This may be down to its small throat, which also doesn’t leave a lot of space to get your hands in and out when you’re moving fabric around.
Also from Singer, the Singer 9980 Quantum offers built in sewist assistance, which feels as though your most experienced friend is right beside you as you sew. Coming with a massive 820 built in stitches, and stitch memory for both regular and personalized designs, this is definitely a machine for those do a lot of sewing, and who like to have fun while they’re doing it.
There is a full range of accessories provided. This includes 13 presser feet, allowing easy user control over a variety of functions. The 9980 Quantum also features an automatic thread cutter. This is useful when you are working with very light thread, which can be hard to see, or if you are unsure how much of a “tail” you need to leave. The machine takes care of that for you, leaving you free to focus on the big picture aspects of your project.
As you might expect from such a powerful device, the 9980 Quantum is quite noisy when it’s running. However, most household appliances that offer a lot of power also end up making a lot of noise, so, as long as you have neighbors who can be pacified (no, we didn’t say bribed…) with hand crafted gifts from time to time, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It can also be difficult to keep the bobbin from jamming, and to set the correct tension for stitching, but these are things that come with practice. Spend enough time with your machine, and most glitches sort themselves out.
The Janome HD3000 is a good, basic model. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles – there are 18 built in stitches, as opposed to the hundreds found on some other machines. It also only offers the basic presser feet required for standard operation. While some people would say it “needs more”, if you’re just starting out with sewing, the HD3000 offers pretty much everything you’ll need while you learn the ropes. You also benefit from the versatility afforded by being able to work on heavier fabrics than a standard machine could handle.
The internal gears and parts of the HD3000 are all metal. This makes it a durable, long-term machine which will withstand the stresses and strains of a beginner learning the ins and outs of working with heavier fabrics.
If you like creating a lot of intricate designs and products, then the HD3000 probably isn’t the machine for you. If, however, you’re just looking for something that will allow you to do household clothing repairs, this machine is perfect.
Toyota Super Jeans J34
Finally, another good basic heavy duty sewing machine is the Toyota Super Jeans J34. All of Toyota’s sewing machines are made in the same factories that make Toyota automobiles, so you’re getting a genuine product, with the skill and expertise of a well-known, professional brand. Although they’re definitely more famous for their autos, Toyota have been making these devices since 1946, so they’re not new to the game.
With it’s ability to handle denim, suede, leather, and even buffalo hide, as long as the correct needle is used, the Super Jeans J34 could be the perfect way to introduce the man in your life to the joy of stitching. Think about it – a brand typically associated with automobiles, the ability to handle buffalo hide – what man wouldn’t want that kind of power and imagery at his fingertips?
The Super Jeans J34 comes with a range of accessories, and 21 built in stitch designs. This offers you the flexibility and versatility you need and want for the range of fabrics the machine can handle, without over complicating things. This functional simplicity makes the Super Jeans J34 an ideal machine for someone who’s new to the craft, but is looking to do a lot of work on tough fabrics right from the get-go.
Do I Really Need A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine?
The short answer is – yes. Even if you’re just starting out sewing, so many clothes are made from denim, for example, that it makes sense to have a machine that can handle that right from the start. Also, as many crafters and professional sewists will attest, this hobby is addictive. You think all you’ll ever need is a device that can repair a rip, or maybe run off a quilt or two for the occasional baby shower, and, before you know it, you want to make stuffed toys with their own cute range of stylish outfits!
Rather than keep paying for a new machine to handle your latest enthusiasm, it makes sense, and saves dollars, to buy a good, basic heavy duty sewing machine, such as the Janome HD3000 or the Toyota Super Jeans J34 when you’re first starting out.