In this guide, we’re looking at the best heavy duty sewing machines. A heavy-duty sewing machine is designed to handle multiple layers of fabric or thick fabrics that are used on upholstery.
Heavy-duty sewing machines are often used in the industry, as not only can they handle a wide range of fabrics they can also stitch at a much faster rate when compared to the standard sewing machines.
Of course, not everyone needs a heavy duty sewing machine. I have sewed hundreds if not thousands of different items on my Bernina sewing machine and it’s not classed as a heavy duty machine.
So, if you’re looking to get started with sewing, please try and not get bogged down with the expense of these heavy duty sewing machines and the number of different settings and materials they can handle.
If you’d like a trial of a heavy duty sewing machine then consider going to a sewing class or a physical sewing machine retailer who may have demo machines available.
A heavy duty sewing machine is expensive and is designed to last the test of time, so ensuring you get the right one is important – it’s the exact reason I made this guide.
The Benefits Of A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
A great heavy duty sewing machine has the following benefits when compared to a standard sewing machine;
Increased Durability – As is in the name ‘heavy duty’ these heavy duty sewing machines have an increased durability.
Often designed with metal frames and components rather than the standard plastic components on standard sewing machines.
Heavy duty sewing machines often don’t include an LCD or LED screen that you’re likely to see on many standard sewing machines as this is a common point of failure, instead, you’ll see an increase in knobs, buttons and switches.
Again, this makes using a heavy duty sewing machine often harder than a standard sewing machine for beginners.
Ability To Sew Tough Materials – There are certain fabrics that standard sewing machines struggle to sew together or through.
These materials include; denim, leather and upholstery fabric to name a few…
The powerful motors of a heavy duty machine allow them to sew through these materials without damage to the material or the machine.
Increased Stitch Speed – As heavy duty sewing machines are designed for industry, they have an increased stitch speed (often up to four times faster) when compared to standard machines.
Speed and efficiency are two highly critical factors when manufacturing products and garments. This, in turn, allows experienced machinists to complete projects much faster when compared to using a standard sewing machine.
Ability To Sew Through Multiple Layers – Much like the ability to sew through heavy duty fabrics, heavy duty sewing machines can also sew through multiple layers of fabric.
There are certain projects in which sewing through multiple layers of fabric is essential, and heavy duty machines allow you to complete those projects without risk to your machine or your project.
Things To Consider When Buying A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
A heavy duty sewing machine is an investment due to its price point, so there are some things to consider looking out for when purchasing a machine aside from the machines specific features;
Your Budget – When you thought about purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine you may have glanced at the cost to give you an idea of how much you’d need to save in order to purchase one.
However, as you research the machines further you may find that the exact machine or machines you’ve narrowed the search to cost more.
As purchasing a heavy-duty sewing machine is an investment, saving an additional amount to purchase a machine with a better motor, that’s stronger, has an increased warranty length or a larger variety of built-in stitches is worthwhile.
The Warranty – When thinking about purchasing a heavy duty sewing machine you probably don’t think about the warranty of the machine. I know I’m often more concerned with all the fancy things it can do!
However, a machine with a long warranty shows the faith the manufacturers themselves have in that machine and I think that’s a testament to the quality of the machine and the brand itself.
Warranties vary from zero years (rare) right up to twenty-five years.
Be sure to read the warranty in advance to see what it covers, some warranties only include domestic usage for example and require the machine to be serviced on a regular basis.
The Cost Of Repairs & Servicing – I’m guilty of not having my sewing machines serviced as often as they should be.
That’s often due to the costs associated with doing so.
However, much like a car, a heavy duty sewing machine is an investment and a regular service can help you drastically extend the life of the machine and minimise the cost of repairs.
Be sure to research whether your local sewing store offers a licenced service for the brand of sewing machine you choose as well as heavy-duty sewing machines. Ensuring these services and repairs are approved by the sewing machine brand is important to maintain your warranty.
Find out the cost associated, and the cost of parts that may regularly need replacing so you have an idea of the maintenance costs of your favourite heavy duty sewing machines prior to purchase.
The Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
So, you’ve designed that a heavy duty sewing machine is right for you. In which case, we’ve put together this buyers guide that should help you find the right machine.
While all of these machines are above a certain price point, some are more expensive than others, and some offer different features and have a different specification so be sure to read each of the reviews to determine the right machine for you.
Singer 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The Singer 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is the very best heavy duty sewing machine on the market right now. It comes with a range of incredible features and specifications and is built on a very robust metal frame.
- Can perform 1,100 stitches a minute
- Has 32 different built-in stitches
- Includes a one-step buttonhole
- Has an automatic threader
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Automatic tension setting
- Has a choice of three needle positions
- Includes a 25-year limited warranty
The Singer 4432 has a 60% stronger integrated motor than standard Singer sewing machines allowing it to sew through multiple heavyweight fabrics with ease.
My favourite feature of the Singer 4432 and what in my opinion makes it the best heavy duty sewing machine on the market right now is the incredible free arm which offers easy access to cuffs, collars, trouser hems and other hard to reach areas.
Sadly, the Singer 4432 doesn’t include some of the convenience features that you’ll find in other heavy-duty sewing machines, take for example the drop-in bobbin, you’ll still need to pull up the thread, it’s not automatic.
Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Speed Sewing Machine
The Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed is in our opinion one of the very best heavy duty sewing machines on the market right now.
- It has a top speed of 1,100 stitches per minute
- Made from a strong metal frame
- Has 23 stitch variations
- Has an automatic threader
- Comes with a drop-in bobbin for convenience
- Has a smooth stainless steel bedplate
Aside from the incredible quality and features of this Singer heavy duty sewing machine, it’s also super quiet and certainly on the more affordable side of things when it comes to its competitors.
One thing that does let the machine down is the motor, while the machine will be able to handle single layers of heavy fabric, and multiple layers of basic fabric, it may struggle with multiple layers of heavy fabric such as denim.
Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a strong heavy duty sewing machine then the Janome HD3000 is a solid choice.
- It has 18 stitch settings
- Built on a 6.5mm heavy-duty frame
- Comes with a 1-step buttonhole
- Built-in needle threader
- Easily adjust foot pressure
- Variety of pressure feet included such as; hemmer, blind hem and overedge.
- Has a reverse lever
- Comes with snap-on feet
The Janome HD3000 has a slightly lower number of stitch settings when compared to the Singer 4423 however it makes up for this with a slightly better frame and motor. So, if you’re after performance over features then this is likely to be the best heavy duty sewing machine for you.
If you’re a fan of Janome (I know many of us have our favourite brand when it comes to sewing machines and couldn’t think of ever-changing to another) then you might want to compare the HD3000 to the HD1000 both are heavy duty machines, however, the real nitty, gritty specifics do vary ever so slightly.
Brother HF27 Strong & Tough Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
If you’re a fan of the Brother sewing machine brand then you’ll be pleased to know they also have a heavy duty sewing machine in the form of the Brother HF27 Strong & Tough.
- 27 built-in stitches
- Non-stick foot
- 1-step buttonhole
- Comes with a number of different feet
- Automatic needle threader
- Drop-in top bobbin system
Certainly more affordable than some of its competitors this is one of the best heavy duty sewing machines on the market right now. However, it’s not as popular as the other heavy duty machines on this list from the likes of Janome and Singer.