Fully featured sewing machines can be rather costly and more often than not, unnecessary. Whether you’re looking to buy a new sewing machine or replace an old one, do keep in mind that for you to find the best sewing machine under $100, it’s important to take note of the features that are important to you and will help the machine serve its intended use.
Beginners are a lot less likely to need a touchscreen display that offers 200+ unique stitch selections or a stitch speed in excess of 1000 stitches per minute. Being able to compromise on the features included with your potential sewing machine could not only save you money but also a lot of hassle.
To help the more budget conscious among us, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best sewing machines currently available for less than $100. We’ll go through the pros and cons of each sewing machine in order to give you an idea of what might and might not work for you. We’ve also included a buying guide of things to look out for in the right sewing machine.
How to Choose the Best Sewing Machine Under $100 Dollars
1. Intended use
The largest determining factor will be the intended use of your sewing machine, and by this, we mean, evaluate whether you’re a hobbyist who is only looking to use it during weekends or a professional using it numerous hours throughout the day. These two groups of people will have very different needs, so it’s important to determine how often you plan on using the machine and what do you plan to create with it.
2. Stitch Speed
A higher stitch speed heavily contributes to increased productivity. However, if you’re simply repairing the occasionally worn garment or playing around with a few designs, this shouldn’t hold a great deal of influence over your buying decision.
3. Stitch Variety
A larger stitch variety is something that appeals to all levels of users at different jobs. The vast majority of sewing machines will have at least 20+ unique stitch settings that allow for even more stitch variations. The higher-end models can have over 200+, and this would be unnecessary for beginners but will hold a greater weight for professional users.
All sewing machines offer a variety of attachments that come with the machine. The important attachments to look out for are the type feet as these are what allow for a diverse range of sewing options.
Knowing what type of sewing you’ll predominantly be doing will help you determine which feet are most important to you. Feet typically cost around $10 each but can range anywhere up to $50 depending upon the manufacturer; this is why it’s good to see what ones come included.
Buying from a reputable brand will ease a whole bunch of concerns you may have, especially as a first-time buyer. Larger brands can often offer better quality products at lower prices as well as better warranty deals. It’s a good idea to get down to a local store to get a feel for each machine before you make a purchase as the online image can often be deceiving.
Finally, the price of the machine will give you a good idea of the features it’s likely to contain as well as the quality of its construction. When looking to buy a sewing machine, ignore the price at first and simply look at the features and find which ones seem to best suit your needs. Knowing what features are best for you will help you know what you may need to compromise on in order to match the sewing machine to your budget.
Best Sewing Machine Under $100 Reviews
Please note: All sewing machines were under $100 at the time of writing
1. Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Free-Arm Sewing Machine
This free-arm sewing machine has 25 stitch settings already built into it, which is more than most people need to use over the entire lifetime of a machine. These pre-programmed stitches can be used to hem, embroider, sew buttonholes, quilt, and more.
Other things that make this a very convenient and user-friendly sewing machine are the auto bobbin winding capability, the light bulb, and the handy little storage compartment located in the arm of the machine that can be utilized to keep all your accessories. Additionally, upon purchase, you’ll get five presser feet and a bilingual user’s manual.
- Illuminated workspace
- Wide range of stitching options
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Versatile and compact
- Easy to use
- Keeps things organized and neat
- The spool is designed mainly for smaller amounts of thread.
- Some of the built-in stitches won’t be used
This cool and contemporary machine is user-friendly and very reliable, as well as a great little all-around product. If you are in need of a durable and versatile machine that can be used for personal projects rather than huge sewing marathons, then this is a smart choice. This model by Brother is great for sewers of all levels of experience, from beginners at embroidery to veteran quilters.
2. Brother XM1010 Sewing Machine
This lightweight and full-sized machine has a total of 10, built-in stitch functions ranging from zig zag stitching to blind hems. There is also a four-step buttonhole function which is very convenient, as buttonholes can be very tricky to get right manually. Also, the stitch length and the width adjustment can both be set automatically, while the free arm can be converted to a flatbed and vice versa so that you can hem cuffs and sleeves without hassles.
The drop-in bobbin of this machine that is located on top can be set quickly and easily as well as does not jam. The presser feet are very responsive to the touch, and so you will find that speeding up or slowing down your sewing is so simple to do.
When you purchase this machine, you will also receive a darning plate, three-piece needle set, four each of bobbins and feet, a foot controller, a screwdriver, an instructional DVD, a bilingual manual, and a quick start guide.
- Durable and reliable
- Automatic adjustments
- Easy to use
- Comes with multiple accessories
- Limited stitch selection
- Not suitable for large industrial scale projects
This is another excellent entry-level sewing machine, which you can keep using even when you become an expert at sewing. Despite not being as fancy as the Sew Advance model reviewed above, and is probably not as good for decorative embroidery and quilting, this is a machine that is perfect for everyday mending, hemming, and garment-making projects.
3. SINGER 2259 Tradition Easy-to-Use Free-Arm 19-Stitch Sewing Machine
With a frame made of metal, user-friendliness is the name of the game with this model by Singer. The presser feet have a snap-on style, so you do not need to screw them in when you want to change them (as is the case with some other sewing machine models).
When it comes to built-in stitch functions, there are 19 choices, so whether you would like to try decorative embroidery or just some basic hemming or mending, you will find just what you need on this machine. It also comes with a four-step buttonhole as well as an adjustable presser foot and free-arm sewing functions.
Another feature that makes this machine good for beginners is the way that threading is made easy with little arrows drawn on to the machine. These arrows will help guide you to thread the needle yourself, making something that is often still difficult for veteran sewers surprisingly easy!
The things you would expect when you open the box, apart from the sewing machine itself are four different kinds of feet: all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, and button sewing, and zipper. You’ll also find two thread spool caps, a screwdriver, class 15 bobbins, needles, a seam ripper with a lint brush, a foot pedal, and a power cord. You’ll also get an edge or quilting guide, an instruction manual, and a DVD.
- Settings are easy to adjust
- Heavy duty
- Comes with various accessories
- Better for beginners than intermediate or expert sewers
- Not suitable for very large projects
This sewing machine perhaps provides the middle ground between the two machines reviewed above. It has plenty of built-in stitches and automatic features, and it comes from one of the other big names in the sewing machine manufacturing world! Embroiderers, quilters, and people making their own garments will find that they have all the stitches that they require integrated into the machine.
4. Brother XL-3750 Convertible Free-Arm Sewing Machine
This model of sewing machine with a quilting table and built-in stitches and patterns is one of the finest ones by the company Brother. It is a lightweight sewing -plus-quilting machine, yet highly sturdy and durable, so you can be sure that this unit is made to last for years. There are several features incorporated to it that takes the stress out in sewing, embroidery, or even quilting. This is why it ranks as one of the best sewing machines for beginners who need a solid unit to use for their sewing and quilting projects.
When it comes to the ease of use, functionality, and convenience, this sewing machine has it all. There are 73 stitch functions and 35 built-in stitches available, which beginners can use. Moreover, this machine has a 7-accessory presser feet and a quilting table that make the entire activity fun and simple. Other features that make stitching a breeze include the auto-bobbin winding, drop-in bobbin, and the auto needle threader. These intelligent features can significantly cut back the time you spent stitching in minutes.
For our full review of the Brother XL-3750, please click here.
1. Why is the thread continuously breaking?
This can occur for many reasons, but to help prevent this from happening, make sure to use a high-quality thread, while also ensuring that you thread the machine and position the bobbins correctly. If your thread continues to break, take a look at the tension settings as it may be too low or too high.
2. Why does the machine keep skipping stitches?
This is most likely due to your needle either being dull or not properly locking with the bobbin. Changing the needle should solve most issues, but if stitches are still being skipped, make sure to check the feed dog and that you are allowing it to feed the fabric through without forcing it as this can bend the needle.
3. Why does the machine seem to be running slower than normal?
This is a common problem and can usually be solved by checking if the foot control is working properly, adjusting the speed control to ensure other speeds are working, cleaning out lint or dust from under the needle plate, and making sure the bobbin winder is engaged.
All of these machines are perfect entry-level models and have plenty of inbuilt stitches for you to play with.
While the Singer machine might be replaced for a more advanced machine in later years, the products by Brother can be used by beginners, intermediate, and expert sewers alike. Nonetheless, some people may feel that the Advance Sew and the XL-3750 models by Brother have rather too many stitches, and some of them will be superfluous, that is why the Singer model is our choice as the best of the best.