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Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine for 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

best heavy duty sewing machine
Working with leather requires time and attention to detail. A heavy duty sewing machine makes the task easier.

Versatile, dependable, and durable, heavy-duty sewing machines are the best when it comes to projects that require you to work with thick materials like denim and leather. A heavy-duty sewing machine is specially engineered using high-grade construction parts to allow you to work easily with stubborn fabrics such as upholstery fabrics, denim, canvas, leather, and multiple layers of different materials.

A heavy-duty sewing machine is different from a household sewing machine as it is built with industry requirements in mind. It incorporates advanced features to deliver a much faster and smoother sewing performance.

Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. SINGER 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • Works quickly
  • Built-in light
  • Minimal table vibrations
  • Durable frame
  • 25-year warranty
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2. JANOME Heavy Duty 1000 Sewing Machine
  • Powerful motor
  • Durable frame
  • Excellent for thick materials
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3. Juki TL-2000 QI Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • LED lights
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Extension table
  • Portable and easy to use
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4. BROTHER ST371 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • Lightweight
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • Great value for the money
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5. BROTHER CS6000i Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Best for quilting
  • Lots of accessories
  • Adjustable speed settings
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6. SINGER 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 25-year warranty
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7. BROTHER ST4031 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
  • Flexible and versatile
  • Trouble-free threading
  • Large spools of serger thread
  • A foot controller pedal
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Before you make your purchase such, you should keep several factors in mind such as the type of fabric it works with, stitches per minute, and durability among others. The speed measured in the number of stitches per minute is perhaps the most important as it needs to pass through the thicker fabric. A heavy-duty sewing machine also typically requires less maintenance over the years thanks to its industrial build.

We’ve taken a deep dive and compares the features and functionalities of some of the best heavy-duty sewing machines in the market today.

Our Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine Reviews and Comparisons

1. SINGER 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

A great pocket-friendly sewing and quilting machine, the SINGER heavy-duty 4452 offers a speed of 1100 stitches per minute (SPM). With 32 built-in stitches, automatic 1-step buttonholes, and a max stitch length of 4 mm, this heavy-duty machine delivers skip-free sewing.

Features

Singer’s 4452 has a sturdy built that keeps vibrations to a minimum. It has 32 built-in stitches that include 6 basic stitches, 7 stretch, a fully automatic 1-step buttonhole, and 18 decorative stitches that let you be quite versatile with your sewing and quilting.

With a maximum sewing speed of 1100 SPM and the 60% stronger motor, the 4452 ensures precise and smooth sewing through heavy fabrics. The automatic needle threader, a top bobbin that’s easy to insert and remove, and plenty of included accessories make this a reliable workhorse for a range of projects. The 4452 is backed by Singer’s industry-leading 25-year warranty on the machine head and two on the motor.

At 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches it doesn’t take up too much space. The built-in lights are a thoughtful addition to help you with accurate sewing.

What We Like About SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine

Customers prefer the 4452 for its durable built and the wide range of accessories such as the 5 pack of size 16 needles, its all-purpose foot, and the buttonhole, zipper, and button sewing foot. The quilting guide along with other useful accessories for a budget-friendly price makes the 4452 a sewer’s dream machine.

What We Don’t Like About SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine

Some customers struggled with thick leather or several fabric layers. The 4452 also doesn’t support the largest spools of the thread if that’s what you intend working with.

PROS

  • Works quickly
  • Built-in light
  • Minimal table vibrations
  • Durable frame
  • 25-year warranty

CONS

  • Unsuitable for large thread spools
  • Struggles with some thick fabrics

2. JANOME Heavy Duty 1000 Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

The Janome Industrial-Grade HD1000 is one of the best sewing machines on the market for heavyweight fabrics and leather. The all-aluminum body and interior frame and its powerful motor are the USP of this heavy-duty sewing machine. It comes with 14 built-in stitches such as stretch stitches and utility stitches. It also has 4 step buttonhole. Let’s look at some other things this popular sewing machine has to offer.

Features

The Janome HD1000 is built specially to work with heavy fabric to help you craft baggage, upholstery, sofa cushions, blankets, and more. Thanks to its powerful motor it delivers a speed of 1000 SPM and a max stitch length of 4 mm.

A front-loading bobbin system and the automatic needle threader makes operating the HD1000 heavy-duty sewing machine a delight. It’s quite compact with dimensions of 15.6 x 6.3 x 12.4 inches. Featuring a body and frame designed of cast aluminum, and backed by a 25-year limited warranty it will be with you for many years.

The included accessories such as bobbins, extra needles, buttonhole foot, felt, seam ripper and buttonhole ripper provide a versatile sewing and quilting experience. Also included is ahem guide, zipper foot, hemmer foot, and softcover along with a free arm, drops feed and other free motion applications make it a great heavy-duty machine.

What We Like About JANOME Heavy Duty 1000

The Janome HD1000 is loaded with all the right modern functions and features that make it one of the most popular sewing machines on the market. Customers really like the sturdy aluminum built which provides a sturdy, vibration-free experience. The extra accessories are a bonus package. Although an industrial-grade sewing machine, it’s a very pocket-friendly option.

What We Don’t Like About JANOME Heavy Duty 1000

This is not meant to be used on thin fabrics such as linen, wool, or cotton. Few customers experienced the thread getting jammed constantly, even on straight stitching. Some people would also have preferred a longer cord.

PROS

  • Powerful motor
  • Durable frame
  • Excellent for thick materials

CONS

  • The thread may get jammed
  • FShort cord

3. Juki TL-2000 QI Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

One of the best in the market, the JUKI TL-2000Qi features loads of automated features. Featuring a better thread tension adjustment system along with automatic thread trimming provides the best tension for both your fabric and thread and allows you to trim both the top thread and bobbin thread with great ease. The JUKI TL-2000Qi is equipped with a microprocessor that automates the speed providing skip-free stitching.

Features

Providing a speed of 1,500 SPM, a max stitch length of 6 mm, and an extension table, the JUKI TL-2000Qi provides a comfortable, stable, and flexible broad workspace to let you finish all your larger projects fast. Like most modern machines it features an automatic needle threader, a bed for low vibration operation, and an aluminum die-cast arm. With an onboard microprocessor, you can easily adjust the speed of your machine to suit all types of fabric, thick or thin. This sewing machine also has in-built LED lights that brightly lights up the area you’re sewing on.

What We Like About Juki TL-2000 QI

The Juki TL-2000QI stands out due to its industrial engineering. Customers really loved the automatic sewing speed control, the extended work platform. The foot controller with thread trimming function and the knee lifter mechanism on the 12mm presser foot lift make this a favorite amongst sewers of all skill levels.

What We Don’t Like About Juki TL-2000 QI

The main hurdle for customers is its steep price which means not everyone can afford it. Its functionalities are quite different from other conventional sewing machines and there is definitely a learning curve with it.

PROS

  • LED lights
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Extension table
  • Portable and easy to use

CONS

  • Unclear instructions
  • Expensive

4. BROTHER ST371 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

The ST371HD is a strong and tough machine from one of the most renowned names of the sewing machine industry. Designed to handle high volumes of work with precision it offers top results. Dependable, durable, and versatile, the ST371HD manages to deliver the easy and exciting sewing experience that the brand has come to be known for.

Features

This heavy-duty machine is designed for sewing all kinds of thick outdoor fabrics. The Brother ST371HD comes pre-loaded with 37 unique built-in stitches, and also features an auto-size buttonhole. This feature makes it super easy for creative stitches which delivers exceptional blind hems, zipper insertion, stretch stitches, and buttonholes.

The jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin and the automatic needle threader ensure the needle is pushed through perfectly and conveniently. The ST371HD includes useful accessories like 6 sewing feet, a blind stitch, a zipper, a spring action zigzag foot, and more. This is a free arm sewing machine backed by a 25-year warranty making it a preferred choice for beginners who are still discovering their love for upholstery sewing.

With a speed of 800 SPM, the ST371HD can help you complete your sewing projects efficiently and with great quality too. The fact that this sewing machine has won the Women’s Choice Award for quality says a lot about it too.

What We Like About Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Customers, especially beginners really like the compact ST371HD Sewing Machine which comes with an instructional DVD, and an English and Spanish user manual to help you get started. We also like the broad range of all modern features that come with this sturdily built machine. The useful accessories that help explore a wide range of heavy-duty sewing and quilting are also a big reason for customers to go for the ST371HD.

What We Don’t Like About Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

The relatively low stitch speed makes it a tad bit slower than other heavy-duty machines and some customers struggled with thicker fabrics.

PROS

  • Lightweight
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • Great value for the money

CONS

  • One of the slowest models
  • Struggles with thicker fabrics

5. BROTHER CS6000i Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

One of the best heavy-duty sewing machines for beginners and amateur level users, the CS6000i is another reliable offering from Brother. With 60 built-in stitches and lots of other extra features, it will help you improve upon your sewing skills.

Features

The accessories and features like the extra table, quick-set, and jam-proof bobbin, stop and start button and reverse stitch, LCD screen, stitch selection buttons, automatic needle threader make the CS6000i one of the best heavy-duty sewing machines in the market.

The ease of use it offers works great for sewers undertaking their first few demanding sewing projects. The stitch selector works perfectly to help speed things up quite a bit. The CS6000i lets you adjust the speed, although the maximum stitch speed that you’ll get is only 850 SPM. This translates to a much better level of control for beginners, making the work much more comfortable, fun, and easier.

It also comes with a built-in free arm for extra flexibility and a very wide table for letting you work on larger quilting projects.

What We Like About BROTHER CS6000i Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

We love the balanced combination of decent power and a broad range of functionality that the Brother CS6000i offers. The outstanding feature is definitely its overall ease of use.

What We Don’t Like About BROTHER CS6000i Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Some customers found the lack of speed as compared to other heavy-duty machines to be disappointing and struggled when working with thicker fabrics.

PROS

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Best for quilting
  • Lots of accessories
  • Adjustable speed settings

CONS

  • Does not work well with thick fabric
  • No automatic tension

6. SINGER 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

A reliable workhorse, the 4432 easily makes it through buttonholes, zig-zags, and a few decorative stitches. Thanks to the power it packs the Singer 4432 is considered to be one of the best-advanced sewing machines for denim and also the best heavy-duty sewing machine for leather. With 23 built-in stitches and an automatic needle threader, it allows you to both enjoy sewing while you work on versatile projects as well as reduce stress.

Features

The Singer 4432 is a well-built machine with a sturdy metal frame. To provide a great sewing experience and to fulfill a wide range of sewing demands, Singer has included a range of accessories like an all-purpose foot, button sewing foot, needles, bobbins, zipper foot, and more.

It is equipped with a 60% more powerful motor as compared to the traditional models. Other important features like the 23 in-built stitches, the automatic needle threader, extremely fast speed of up to 1100 stitches per minute make it quite popular among sewers of all skill levels.

The long list of useful accessories and a 25-year warranty and all at a surprisingly cheap price tag, making it a great heavy-duty sewing machine that doesn’t compromise on the durability at all. Automatic tension adjustment is a feature that greatly adds to the overall functionality and makes it pretty easy to use this Singer machine.

What We Like About SINGER 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

The Singer 4432 works perfectly for the right users who are looking for an affordably priced machine that doesn’t compromise on the durability, functionality, versatility, or power.

What We Don’t Like About SINGER 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

It does take some time to get used to the settings and you will need to fiddle about and experiment with them to get to the desired settings.

PROS

  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 25-year warranty

CONS

  • No lights
  • Hard to follow instructions
  • Some find it complicated to use

7. BROTHER ST4031 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Product Highlights

The ST4031 heavy-duty sewing machine from Brother lets you work with confidence on heavy-duty fabrics, layered knits, and multiple layers of denim. It is a durable and sturdy 3 or 4 thread serger that delivers on precision in work and flexibility to work with both light fabrics and heavy-duty materials at the same time.

Brother’s ST4031HD lets you explore and tackle heavy-duty projects with ease thanks to the accessories like the wide table, 4-piece needle set, 4 thread spools, 4 spool caps, 4 thread nets, and Foot control with 3 feet settings – blind, gathering, and standard.

Features

Known for its exceptional quality and performance, Brother pulls all the stops on the ST4031HD unit. The main feature that guarantees this model’s quality is its heavy-duty frame design. The strong interior metal frame provides the required strength that ensures that the serger can withstand heavy use.

Secondly, the weight of the frame keeps it stable during high-speed work, so that your project comes out perfect. Made from high-grade steel the blades on the Brother ST4031HD are another outstanding feature. They ensure smooth, clean edges are quickly cut through thick fabrics thereby giving you precision sewing.

A durable metal thread stand helps the thread properly feed up and off of the spools for faster sewing. The ST4031HD works through quickly and efficiently through all varieties of heavy fabrics without struggling. The color-coded format printed on the machine makes it super easy to follow and thread your serger.

Another great feature in the ST4021 heavy-duty sewing machine is their 3 or 4 thread option. This allows a large degree of flexibility as it allows for a strong overlock seam.

Delivering speeds of up to 1,300 SPM, it can be modulated for more comfort for inexperienced users. This also features a free arm, ideal for cuffs and collars, that allows you to easily manipulate fabric.

What We Like About BROTHER ST4031 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Users like the metal frame built and components which make it a sturdy and durable machine. We also like the 3 and 4 thread options, which allows for more versatility when it comes to fabrics. The high SPM along with the differential and width adjustment options are a great plus for sewers too.

What We Don’t Like About BROTHER ST4031 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

The only issue for some users with the ST4031HD is that it doesn’t recommend using elastic threads.

PROS

  • Flexible and versatile
  • Trouble-free threading
  • Large spools of serger thread
  • A foot controller pedal

CONS

  • Not the best choice for beginners

Final Verdict

We would recommend the SINGER 4452 Heavy-Duty sewing machine. First, it comes from the stable of one of the most renowned and leading names of the sewing world. Second, it’s a versatile sewing machine loaded with excellent features to help you carry out any project and third, for all the features packed into it, it will not burn a hole in your pocket.

However, having said that, there are others on this list that can cater to your needs and budget. So, you can always make a choice and get the best one for yourself.

We have tried our best to bring to you the best heavy-duty sewing machine after thorough research. We hope it will help you make a great decision for yourself. Do remember to go through the buying guide and make a smart decision before you settle on one. Also, there are some very basic FAQs answered for you in case there are questions in your mind regarding these sewing machines.

So, do weigh the pros and cons of the products and pick the best one based on your requirements and budget.

Buyers Guide

Deciding to go for a heavy-duty sewing machine is a level up in your sewing game. An industrial machine comes with a broad range of features and functionalities which help you explore more demanding and more versatile sewing projects.

There are several factors to consider that you should carefully consider looking into before you decide on your purchase. A heavy-duty sewing machine should have most if not all of the modern features like an automatic needle threader, an easy-to-use bobbin system, and more for you to begin your heavy-duty sewing journey and to undertake any heavy-duty projects successfully.

Let’s look into these elements in much more detail.

Brands

There are several renowned brands of the sewing industry in the market that have their own flagship heavy-duty sewing machines. Brands like Brother, Janome, Juki, Kenmore, Bernina, and more offer a useful range of features. Since this is going to be a long-term investment, checking out the pros and cons of all the brands, especially their after-sales service and warranty is a must.

Brands like Singer and Brother are definitely household names and leaders in the sewing world. If you are someone just entering the world of heavy-duty sewing, then SINGER, BROTHER, and JANOME are easy-to-use machines that are equipped with the right features to help you start out on the right foot.

What type of sewing machine do you need?

Heavy-duty sewing machines are categorized into 5 different types: (i) automated/computerized, (ii) electric, (iii) overlock, (iv) mechanical sewing machine, and (v) embroidery.

The computerized or automated ones incorporate high technology and let you work with the internet. The electric ones feature motorized functions as compared to mechanical ones that come with the basic setting. Mechanical sewing machines are best for beginners. The embroidery machine works for different patterns of embroidery and is mostly used for industrial purposes. The overlock sewing machines, commonly known as sergers, allows you to seam/overlock the fabric.

Price

Heavy-duty sewing machines typically start from $300 and go up to $1000 a pop. They cost more than your average sewing machines as they are made of high-grade materials meant for industrial use. The warranty offered depends on the brand you opt for and is usually around 2 years for the electrical parts while you can get up to a 25-year warranty for the outer frame.

However, this also depends on the brand and the type of material the machine is made out of. For example, you will have about 2-5 years of warranty for JUKI TL-2000Qi, because it’s an industrial-level machine with usually shorter warranties. But with the Janome HD1000, you can get 25 years of warranty. We recommend checking the warranty period which the manufacturer is offering on the machine before you make your final decision. If you are going to look for a good quality sewing machine, it will come with a price tag.

Usage

Making a decision based on your intended use and skill level is equally important. As a beginner, you need to prioritize ease of use along with the range of stitches, so that you get your basics right. As for experienced sewers, more advanced features are required, which mostly come in higher variants.

Your buying decision can also depend on the projects you decide to undertake, from making very basic repairs or simple alterations, to buttonhole features or the free arm feature in case you’ll also be working on the sleeves, hems, or projects requiring the manipulation of fabrics.

Storage

Mobility and portability are important factors to consider even for heavy-duty machines. This will depend if your machine is going to stay in one place or you’re going to carry it all around. Check the dimensions and weight of your choices and see if they fulfill your requirements.

Speed

The stitches per minute that a machine provides dictates the variety of work and heavy fabrics that you can do. For advanced skill level sewers, the faster the machine the better for you. But if you are a beginner then opting for the one that has decent speed but comes with a speed adjustment slot will be best.

Automatic Needle Threader

Although the automatic needle threader is a staple modern feature on most machines, do ensure that this is something you make sure your machine has. This helps to take out the frustration and stress of threading needles and helps you speed up projects and just enjoy your sewing.

Built-in Stitches

Built-in or pre-programmed stitches are another important feature to consider. Built-in stitches help you to work with a variety of fabrics and expand the sewing options considerably. Each brand offers a set of pre-programmed stitches aimed to fulfill certain jobs. Depending upon your intended use, do look at this feature of the sewing machines.

Drop Feed Dog Lever

The movement of the fabric is controlled by feed dogs and the smoother the flow, the faster and efficient will be your work. This provides free-flowing, skip-free sewing, quilting, or embroidery. If you need to exercise control while moving the fabric, then you must be able to drop the feed dog so that the material is not touched upon.

Top-Load Bobbin

Make sure the machine that you buy has a top-load bobbin. Unlike older machines, this feature ensures that you just slide open a panel and drop the bobbin in. You no longer have to thread the bobbin in a recessed compartment. And, a clear cover enables you to see hen the thread is running low.

Presser Foot Lift

Last but not less important is the presser foot lift. Most machines have one or several presser foot lifts that help you work with thicker fabrics or layers. If you’re a beginner who wants to skip the basics and want to learn how to sew like a pro, you probably don’t know that the presser foot lift contributes to the feeding mechanism that holds down the material while being sewed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

While we have provided you a list of some of the best heavy-duty sewing machines for 2020, we’re listing down a couple of FAQs relating these machines.

What is a heavy-duty sewing machine?<?h4>

A heavy-duty sewing machine is built keeping in mind industrial level needs and is built for long-lasting durability and dependability. These machines are well equipped to handle extended daily use and are most recommended for it. This type of machine is excellent for work which requires dealing with heavy fabrics like leather, animal skin, and denim. It is versatile as it is great for making upholstery, blinds, buttonholes, and quilts also.

What makes an ideal heavy-duty sewing machine for your needs?

Your needs and work requirements dictate if a heavy-duty sewing machine is ideal for you. You will need to consider all relevant features such as the type of machine, build of machine, speed, stitches among others.

How to properly maintain a heavy-duty sewing machine?

Proper machine maintenance includes two important things: oiling and cleaning, periodically. You should regularly clean and occasionally oil your machine in order to extend its lifespan. You should also take measures to protect your machine from moisture and dust to avoid jamming.

How often should your sewing machine be serviced?

If you are someone who uses your sewing machine once a month, then it’s okay to lubricate the machine every three months. However, you should get it professionally serviced yearly. This will depend on the frequency of use and the amount of work you plan to do.

What do you think?

Written by The CraftWhack Team

I'm Jeanette Nyberg: artist, author, introvert, creativity-pusher, color-lover.

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