Are Expensive Sewing Machines Worth It? (for Beginners)

Most decent household sewing machines lie in a reasonably affordable price range. But then there are the models that retail closer to the price of a second-hand car! In most cases, the more expensive a piece of equipment is then the better quality it is – so is the same for the high-priced sewing machines out there?

Depending on your sewing preferences and budget, a higher-priced sewing machine can be worth the expense when you factor in the extra features. Things like settings that memorize your stitch preferences, hundreds of stitching styles, personalized programs, and computer connectability (allowing you to customize and save your designs) can be hugely desirable.

Expensive sewing machines certainly pack on all the features most sewists could ever dream of, but if you’re still relatively new to sewing it won’t make much sense for your skill level or bank account if you jump straight to the high-end machines. Whatever your sewing experience level, it doesn’t hurt to find out more about the high-budget machines, so we’ve looked at the priciest ones to find out why they’re so steep, plus how much you really need to spend to get a decent model…

Why are Some Sewing Machines So Expensive?

Unlike standard lower-end sewing machines that simply do the job of seaming a handful of stitch styles onto fabric (perhaps 20-30 at the most), the higher-priced contemporary sewing machines tend to possess hundreds of different stitching styles and may feature specific settings to make the job that little more professional looking, such as in-built embroidery and button-sewing techniques.

Expensive sewing machines are also designed with something that truly takes them into the 21st century when it comes to ease of use and up-to-date design trends – computerized features.

Compared with the basic mechanical sewing machines, high-budget sewing machines feature large touchscreen displays and USB connectivity so that hobbyists can upload patterns and designs found on the internet into the sewing machine, allowing users to save not only stitch designs but font pre-sets for embroidery and many other sewing capabilities.

How Much Should You Spend on a Sewing Machine?

It’s a good rule of thumb to spend somewhere between $200 and $500 for a decent-quality sewing machine. This is within an acceptable range for most budgets and grantees a good range of stitches for the average hobbyist sewer. If you are a very casual sewist or tend to only use your for small mending jobs, then you can opt for even lower cost mini sewing machines costing between $50 and $100.

To figure out how much you can afford to spend on a sewing machine, simply consider your sewing lifestyle and personal budget. If you have ambitions to run a small sewing business, for example, a machine upwards of $500 can make a great investment as you’ll have more decorative stitch capabilities at your fingertips to create more unique designs.

On the other hand. if you’re content with making simple projects, it may be wise to save up for a more expensive machine and stick to one in the $200-300 range for the foreseeable.

TIP: If the thought of buying a high-end sewing machine makes you nervous, consider purchasing your sewing machine through a dealership as opposed to buying from a chain store. Treat it like any other big purchase in life (the same way you might buy a bike or car).

Many brand dealerships like Singer, Brother, and Janome will have their models set up and ready for demonstration. Many may let you try them out with a few sample fabrics if you ask them – a bit like taking a test drive!

What Is the Most Expensive Sewing Machine?

The most expensive sewing machines out there start in the eye-watering thousands due to diverse features like custom designs, computer memory, and touchscreen displays. Let’s find out why each machine is so pricey!

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850

This boasts a lot of features for the price including a full-color LCD touchscreen to let you navigate your stitches, an automatic thread tension adjuster, 175 built-in embroidery designs, and it’s also capable of running up to 800 embroidery stitches per minute!

Elna Elnita ef72

This specialized sewing and quilting machine has a large throat space to make quilting much easier than with standard machines. It also has a display screen, a high presser foot-lift to stitch over thick, heavy fabrics like denim with ease, and 3 LED lights to illuminate sewing in the dark.

Janome Memory Craft 8200

This Janome model comes with its own wheeled accessory trolley case for sewing on the go and the machine itself features an LCD control panel, a needle threader and cutter, and over 10 accessories for customized stitching.

Juki HZL-NX7

A sleek long-arm sewing and quilting machine to accommodate larger projects, with a full control panel and smooth, quiet stitching for quality results.

UXZDX CUJUX Multi-function Machine

This embroidery and sewing machine features 132 stitch styles, 9 button-sewing styles, a 7-inch color touchscreen, plus automatic threading, trimming, and bobbin-winding features.

Are Janome Sewing Machines Worth It?

Janome sewing machines are regarded as very trustworthy due to their durable and sturdy nature. They also tend to produce a range of versatile models that can appeal to every kind of sewer from basic and mini models for casual and hobbyist makers up to ones requiring more intricate functions for those interested in embroidery, quilting, and more.

The Janome brand has also been around for over a century, cementing a lot of trust in the sewing community for those willing to invest in a long-lasting machine.

Janome 1600P-QC

The 1600P offers a high speed that customers have described as “somewhere between an industrial and domestic machine”. It can handle thick fabrics, has a wide working area, and a powerful thread cutter.

Janome MC6650

170 stitches, a wide flatbed, and a detailed LCD screen informing you of stitch selection settings and recommendations on which foot to use for each stitch put this Janome model quite high on the list in terms of value for money.

Janome S5 Skyline

Great features like a spacious flatbed, automatic thread cutter, 91 different needle positions, 170 decorative stitch options, and 6 bright LED lights make this a very user-friendly model.

Janome Sewist 780DC

This model boasts a high speed of 820 stitches per minute, a durable all-metal internal frame, an auto thread cutter, and superior feed system with a 7-piece feed dog.

Are Bernina Sewing Machines Worth It?

According to the crafter’s website Silver Bobbin, Bernina sewing machines’ steep prices can be justified by the high-quality design and super durable parts. Many customers have compared the more sophisticated, higher-priced models to industrial sewing machines in terms of their lifespan, speed, and function.

So if you want a sewing machine with the feel of industrial quality at home, splurging on a Bernina machine can be worthwhile if you have the budget. Finding a good repair shop is recommended to protect your investment.

Bernina 770QE

The high price tag is justified by the fact this is close to an industrial sewing machine at home. The 770QE features an extendable for work on projects of all sizes, a whopping 1,809 stitch styles, 74 dedicated quilting stitches, and much more.

Bernina 475 Quilters Edition

200 sewing stitches, 40 quilting stitches, an incredible speed of 1,000 stitches per minute, and a large easy-to-navigate touchscreen makes this 475 model a joy to design with (and use fewer seams while doing so!)

Bernina B 325

This small but powerful model is perfect for hobbyists with smaller sewing spaces. It has 97 stitches (including alphabet/number characters), boasts 900 stitches per minute, includes an extendable table for larger projects, and has a memory function to save your stitches.

Bernina 335

Compact but versatile for the smaller studio, the Bernina 335 offers 221 sewing stitches, 900 stitches per minute, a free-arm extension table, and many foot extensions/accessories.

Bernina 435

With 650 stitch patterns, wide color touchscreen with stitch memory programs, automatic thread settings, and a jumbo-sized bobbin (holding 70% more thread compared to standard machines!), this 435 model is a solid investment for any mid-level sewists.

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