Best Cheap Sewing Machine - Complete Buyer's Guide

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Whether you're a novice to the sewing world, or you've been doing it for decades, you know sewing machines can skyrocket in price. Sometimes that's because of the extra features the best sewing machines include and sometimes that's a result of a big name brand. It can be intimidating to search the sewing machine marketplace, and it can get downright dizzying when you start comparing features and price points.

There's good news though. You don't have to sacrifice great quality, and handy extra features just to get a budget-friendly sewing machine. While you shouldn't choose a sewing machine based solely on price, it's often a leading factor in your decision. These sewing machine reviews are designed to help you find the best sewing machines that are within a reasonable budget for most people.

Low-Cost Sewing Machine

Summary

Editor's Choice

Brother CS6000i

Brother CS6000i

This is a great sewing machine if you need portability. It's user-friendly and suitable for beginners.

Brother XM2701

Brother XM2701

This Brother sewing machine has plenty of built-in stitches. You'll love the added LED lighting.

Singer Heavy Duty 4411

Singer Heavy Duty 4411

If you want plenty of power, check out this sewing machine. The motor is 60% stronger than other models.

Singer Simple 3232

Singer Simple 3232

This Singer machine is ideal for beginners. It features quick, easy setup.

You get a ton of helpful accessories with this Brother GX37 machine. The free arm is a great feature.

Brother Project Runway

Brother Project Runway

The Project Runway comes with 50 built-in stitches. It's really easy to learn to use.

Spiegel SP 3201

Spiegel SP 3201

This Spiegel is one of the most budget-friendly sewing machines out there. It's durable and user-friendly.

Our Top Picks For The Best Low Cost Sewing Machines

    Editors Choice- Brother CS6000i

Brother CS6000i

Pros:

  • Includes wide table
  • One of the best sewing machines for beginners
  • Features sturdy, durable construction

Cons:

  • Tension requires some adjustment

More About The Brother CS6000i

The Brother CS6000i is one of the best sewing machines for beginners, so if you're looking for a 'starter' machine you've found it. Don't mistake a good starter machine for a low-quality machine; this is a well-constructed sewing machine, and it's durable enough to last for several years.

It has all the basic features you're looking for, and then some. It's worth mentioning that it includes an extra-wide table, which is a nice bonus for when you're ready to move up to bigger projects like quilts and drapery. Instructions are thorough and clear, making it one of the best sewing machines for beginners who may need a little extra guidance.

It's a digital model, which makes it even easier to get started on. The LCD screen is simple, effective, and manageable. People also love how well and easily it threads the needle. If you need a budget option that’s still feature-packed nonetheless, this is the sewing machine for you.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Brother XM2701

Brother XM2701

Pros:

  • Plenty of automatic start-up features
  • Includes instructional Dvd and support
  • Very strong, uniform stitches

Cons:

  • Doesn't handle extremely thick fabrics as well

More About The Brother XM2701

This is another Brother sewing machine that's great for beginners, but users of any skill level can get everything they need from it. It comes with plenty of instructional materials and supports too, so you can get started even if you haven't sewn a stitch in years.

Where some machines have a bobbin design that makes you feel like giving up, this beginner sewing machine is so easy you'll wonder if you skipped a step. It does have an automatic needle threader, which is great if you struggle with this step. That said, it's pretty easy to thread the needle manually too, which is a nice surprise. This beginner sewing machine can handle most regular fabrics without getting stuck, and the stitches are nice and even.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine 4411

Singer Heavy Duty 4411

Pros:

  • Can sew heavy materials such as leather
  • Speed can reach 1,100 stitches per minute which is much higher than average
  • One of the best sewing machines to learn with

Cons:

  • Works best with ‘heavy’ needles when sewing leather

More About The Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

If you need the best heavy duty sewing machine but can't afford the premium models, this Singer sewing machine is exactly what you need. It packs in high power, and you'll be able to feel the difference as soon as you start running it. The motor is 60% more powerful than other machines, and it provides ample work area for most jobs.

It gets through all those super heavy materials that clog up other machines or end up breaking needles. That means you can even sew leather and the thickest canvas materials with no problem. Don't be intimidated by the power this sewing machine packs in, it's still one of the easiest to learn on. The presser feet pedal controls your speed, and it's responsive, so you can find the right place without a struggle.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Singer Simple 3232

Singer Simple 3232

Pros:

  • Includes automatic needle threader and automatic reverse
  • The very sturdy frame doesn't move when in use
  • Plenty of built-in stitches and design options

Cons:

  • Doesn't use a top drop-in bobbin

More About The Singer Simple 3232

This Singer sewing machine is often regarded as one of the best sewing machines for beginners. While it is very easy to get started with the machine itself, the Singer company does an outstanding job of providing learning resources for its customers. You can use this sewing machine nearly out of the box if you’re familiar with sewing machines, or you can refresh your knowledge with any of the many tutorials the company provides.

It works just as well for hemming and repairs as it does with creating entirely new garments; and with all the built-in stitches and the free arm, there's virtually no limit to what you can create. While it isn't technically a ‘heavy-duty' machine, it can sew through several layers of fabric, and even canvas or leather with an appropriate needle (it doesn't stick or get bunched up either).

Even if you have a favorite sewing machine, you really can't beat how efficient this model is. It's a perfect choice if you need to take your work to go to.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Brother GX37

Brother GX37

Pros:

  • Quick set bobbin saves time and frustration
  • Includes extra feet, accessories, and instructional materials
  • Includes 37 different stitching patterns

Cons:

  • The bobbin is machine-specific (other types can't be used)

More About The Brother GX37

If you need a good, solid sewing machine, and hate paying an arm and a leg for extras, you'll want to see this Brother sewing machine. It's a budget-friendly option that'll have you wondering why you were even looking at more expensive machines. The nice thing is that all the extra feet it includes: blind stitch, zig-zag, buttonhole, you name it, and chances are it's included. Where other machines have the basic functions and pricey extra gear, this is an affordable, all in one solution.

The automatic needle threader is nice, but the quick-set bobbin is fantastic! If you've ever given up on a project because of a stubborn bobbin, you know exactly what we mean. As is Brother's habit, the machine is simple enough to dodge beginner's anxiety and very easy to adjust.

It’s lightweight, but don’t let that fool you, this machine is very sturdy. Another bonus is the LED light; it shows you exactly what you’re working on, even if it’s a minute stitch or thread. There are plenty of sewing machines that include supplemental lighting, but it often ends up as a disappointment. The lighting in this sewing machine is the perfect brightness, without being overpowering.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Brother Project Runway

Brother Project Runway

Pros:

  • Includes 6 finishing feet, 50 built-in stitch designs
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Makes strong, uniform stitches that last

Cons:

  • The LED light isn't as bright as other models

More About The Brother Project Runway

As you may glean from the name, this Brother Project Runway sewing machine can turn out couture looks and quality in a snap. Looking at the stitch quality and wide range of features, you'd never guess this sewing machine is so affordable. It's also a noteworthy choice because it includes 50 different pre-programmed stitches, but with a few adjustments, you can easily have 87 preset stitch options.

Some machines only have one or two automatic options at this price point, but that’s where this machine also stands out. It has an automatic needle threader, automatic bobbin threader, and built-in thread cutters. So if you're looking for convenience, you've certainly found it.

You get reliably strong, uniform stitches. Plus you'll love the built-in finishing solutions that are perfect for creating seamless, couture quality finishes. If you're hesitant to buy a computerized sewing machine because it sounds overly complicated. Don't worry, it's anything but with the Project Runway sewing machine. You can access tons of different custom options from the display panel, which also helps you figure out which foot works best for your design.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Spiegel SP 3201

Spiegel SP 3201

Pros:

  • Quiet, smooth operation
  • Easy dials control tension, stitch length, and width
  • Drop-in bobbin and automatic needle threader

Cons:

  • Customer service isn't great. But the company does provide an accompanying app and learning resources.

More About The Spiegel SP 3201

This is a great sewing machine for any skill level, but beginners will love how easy to understand it is and how easy the adjustments are!. Not all sewing machines at this price point include a drop-in bobbin, but you'll be relieved to know that this one does. Seasoned crafters will love how easily the machine takes to freehand sewing; just lower the feed dogs to where you need them and get stitching.

It's also a stand out the sewing machine for another reason: most affordably priced sewing machines don't have adjustable tension, and that can create a lot of issues. This Spiegel machine lets you adjust the tension with a simple turn of the dial. It's worth noting that the stitch length and width can be adjusted with the same easy dial system.

Shop Related Products

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

Brother XR3774

Brother XR3774

SINGER 1304

SINGER 1304

Machine Portable Crafting

Machine Portable Crafting

Benefits of an Inexpensive Sewing Machine

Alter your own clothes

If you have children, you know how fast they grow out of clothes. A sewing machine and some practice will have you transforming their old clothing into something new and improved as they grow. Little ones who still carry around a favorite blanket or toy often end up with rips and tears in them. Simple fixes are available for these and you will save your little one from too much heartache.
Old clothing that has gone out of style can be repaired and replaced with the right sewing machine. With different stitch options, stitch lengths, decorative stitches, and stitch selection options on new machines, it is easy to bring new life to old clothing and materials.

Save Money

It seems obvious, but it has to be said. Making your clothing is cheaper than buying new clothes in the shops. Your options are not limited to clothing. A machine for beginners is great for sewing and quilting. You can make your sheets, curtains, bags, and even bibs.
Many people enjoy creating their costumes for Halloween or cosplay conventions. All of the things can be very costly if you are buying someone else's creations, but making them yourself for a fraction of the cost is easy with a bit of practice and a sewing machine.

Earn Extra Money

You can see that there are many items that you can create and repair with a sewing machine. Boosting your talent and turning into a profitable skill is a wonderful idea for those who need a little side income.

Follow Trends

Trend alert. That’s right, trends come and go at lightning speed and definitely, literally, change with the seasons. It is easier to tweak clothing items with size changes and designs than to chase trends with your wallet. Fortunately, craft supply stores keep up with the trends and you should easily be able to find in-style fabrics and other trendy items.

Improve your Mental Healt

Not only will learning a new, practical skill give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will boost your overall mental health. Keep your brain strong and healthy by performing tasks, like sewing, that build your hand-eye coordination and sharpen your focus.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Low Cost Machine

We want to make sure that you get the right sewing machine for your needs. You don't want to end up with a quilting machine you won't use or a side table that won't fit in the space you have. Let's go over some things to consider before buying.

Price vs. Value

Decide on a budget before investing in a sewing machine. Outline what you will use it for and what features you would most enjoy. If you have a limited budget, this will help you stay within your means. Thrift shops and auctions tend to have quality machines at decent prices. Make sure that you do your research beforehand so you know what makes a quality machine. If you do not need something huge, maybe check out portable sewing machines for their price as well.

Plastic or metal frames and speed control options can also affect pricing.

Attachments

Sewing machines have attachments galore: automatic needle threader, presser foot, free arm, digitized screens, drop-in bobbin, and more. Some of these, like having a selection of pressure feet, will make your job much easier. Don’t lose hope if you find a machine you love that does not include a presser foot you need – some machines have additional accessories that are sold separately.

Stitching Needs

Basic sewing needs include the straight and zigzag stitch. Many machines come with hundreds of preset stitch options. That is amazing and some of those stitches truly are fun to use. However, if you will not be using them regularly, don't let that be a deal-breaker for you.
Something important to consider is stitched length adjustment capabilities. For example, being able to adjust both the length and the width comes with some machines. Stitches per minute will determine how quickly you get a project completed, so this needs to be considered as well.

Noisiness

Yes, sewing machines can be surprisingly noisy. We do not want your evening time sewing extravaganzas to be tied short because your new machine sounds like a drill. Read machine reviews on the machine you are considering, and, if you’re able to, go to a store and do a test run.

Mechanical vs Computerized Sewing Machine

Whether you're buying an embroidery machine, or a sewing machine, you need to decide whether you want a mechanical, or computerized version.

Mechanical Sewing & Embroidery Machine

Mechanical sewing machines are often inexpensive sewing machines and are great for those who are less tech-savvy. Stitches are chosen by turning a knob, and there are no buttons to press. One of the downfalls is that they often lack in several stitches, have fewer buttonhole options, and can be awkward to use.

Computerized Sewing & Embroidery Machine

These machines are made for tech-savvy individuals who require many different options that speed up projects. You will have a slew of built-in stitches available, more buttonhole options, and bright LCD screens.

Automated is the key feature here. The following things are automatic on a computerized machine: needle threader, needle up/down, thread cutter, and tension.

And Sew It Begins…

Now that you have read through all of these machine reviews, you should be able to itemize your list of requirements and buy one of the best sewing machines for your budget. Wanting to get a bargain doesn’t always mean you have to lose out on quality. Fortunately, there is an array of models and brands on the market today to keep things competitive enough so shoppers like yourself have more of a choice.

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