The 4 Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines

Best-Inexpensive-Sewing-Machines

Let’s be real. There are a lot of reasons why you may be looking for an inexpensive sewing machine.

You might be looking for a gift for a newbie sewist (who might totally drop the hobby in a year… or a week.) You might want to have an extra machine on hand at your second home (think your cottage, your mom’s house, or the trunk of your car.)

You might just be a rational person who is grounded enough in reality to have a moderate budget when it comes to crafting (if so, I kind of need you in my life. I need accountability in this area).​

No matter what your reason is, I have great news for you: there are some great inexpensive sewing machines out there. Even though you may have to sacrifice a few bells and whistles, you can totally buy a quality machine for less than you think.​

FYI: If you are in the market for a more upscale sewing machine, check out this article. I list machines based on a wider price range. Also, if you are shopping for a young sewer, check out this article on sewing machines for kids.​

My 4 Picks for Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines Under $300​

inexpensive-sewing-machine-bernette-33

1. Bernette 33

This machine has exactly what you need as a quilter and nothing more, which keeps the price nice and low. Most modern quilters rarely use decorative stitches, so the 15 standard stitches on this machine, including the zig-zag and the blanket stitch, are perfectly adequate for what you’re going for.

If you are leaning toward the Bernette 33, I would encourage you to tack two additional accessories onto this purchase: a walking foot and a patchwork foot (that's the 1/4" foot we quilters like.). This machine does not come with any quilting-related accessories, and those feet will help ensure quilting success.

Price at time of article: $199.00​


Sewing-Machine-Janome-2212

2. Janome 2212

If you are a Janome fan (or just a person who likes quality sans price tag), the 2212 is a great, affordable option. This sewing machine is lightweight, but strong, and easy to navigate through, especially for those who are less familiar with sewing machine anatomy.

The Janome 2212 comes with 12 standard stitch functions, a 4-step buttonhole style, a push-pull bobbin winder, and two, vertical and fully retractable spool pins. One downside for quilters: this machine does not come with an oversized table, making it a little tricker when you’re working with larger fabrics.

On the plus-side, Janome sells this machine with a 25-year limited warranty, so you can really milk your investment, even if you’re going the inexpensive route!

Price at time of article: $189.00​


Brother-Designio-Series-DZ2400

3. Brother DZ2400

Brother has come out with some fantastic sewing machines, and though this one is available for under $300, it’s no exception. This sewing machine is computerized (which may help or hurt its cause, depending on where you fall on the techy spectrum), and has a LED display monitor built in to help you navigate through the 185 built-in stitches (yeah, this is where this model really stands out.)

True to the Brother brand, the DZ2400 is a versatile, portable machine that is known for its smooth, continuous stitching at various speeds. Unlike the Janome 2212, this machine does come with an extra wide table, which is really nice for quilting.

That said, since much of the machine is made of plastic, you do sacrifice a little bit of sturdiness there, but all-in-all, this machine is well-designed, and even at a lower price tag, can deliver some really great results with your sewing projects. (One note: this machine does not come with a carrying case!)

Price at time of article: $263​.00


Singer-Curvy-Sewing-Machine

4. Singer Curvy 8763

Another computerized option is the Singer Curvy 8763. Singer’s reputation has lagged a bit in the last few years, but this machine may be its first step on the road back up to the top. With 30 even, well-defined built-in stitches, this curvy beauty sports an extra-high presser foot lifter (so you can fit your quilt sandwich through your machine with ease) and thirteen handy needle positions.

Though this machine is a reliable one, it’s not recommended for extra thick fabrics or lots of heavy layers (no mending your leather jacket with this baby). It may not be a singer from the 70’s, but the Curvy 8763 is another inexpensive machine that can deliver great results on a budget.

Price at time of article: $185.00​

These four machines won’t break… and they also won’t break the bank. I’d say that’s a pretty great combo! Have you found a less-expensive machine that you really love? Share the wealth and tell us about your tops picks for the best inexpensive sewing machine in the comments!

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4-best-inexpensive-sewing-machines

Suzy Quilts

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19 thoughts on “The 4 Best Inexpensive Sewing Machines

  1. Deb says:

    I just got a bernette seville for a back-up machine and it is amazing, the 1/4 inch is right on and so cute. Just the basics but it works great for peicing.

  2. Tonya Wohlever says:

    When I first went looking for a machine- I went bonkers trying to decide which one!! Wish I had this article then! But, I finally found the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. I’ve had it over a year and LOVE it!!! Price was awesome on Amazon- between $280-$380 depending on the day. Comes with tons of feet for quilting and a table. Also, SO many stitches-not that I’ll ever use them all. My fave features: auto threading, cut thread feature, needle down button, you can lift the presser foot higher,etc etc etc– just a really nice machine for the money. Having said that- I have only sewn on a Brother machine before this one. Thanks for this article- very helpful:)

  3. Emily says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Suzy! Awesome article! Any recommendations for inexpensive machines that come with auto tread clippers? #ballinonabudget

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Great question! After a bit of research it looks like an automatic thread trimmer is a feature that comes with more deluxe sewing machines. The cheapest machine I could find with good reviews is a Brother PQ1500SL. Other brands that market themselves as inexpensive alternatives, such as Singer and Juki would also be good places to look, as long as you read the reviews first. With these inexpensive brands, a good warranty is a major plus when thinking about a purchase.

  4. Ashley says:

    Okay so not specifically on topic and might be a dumb question but I was wondering if you send your quilts out or do you have a long arm machine? Or just a regular one? If you have a long arm what kind is it?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Great question! I do both. Depending on my timeframe, how intricate I want the quilting or how large the quilt is, I will either do it myself or send it to a professional longarm quilter. Currently that’s about 50/50. I don’t own a longarm machine, but maybe someday!

  5. Julia says:

    I’ve made around 15 quilts so am not a beginner…but I am mostly self-taught with a lot to learn. I have a Brother similar to the one you listed here. Stupid question, but… what does a walking foot do?! I’ve only ever used the 1/4″ foot and the standard foot that came with the machine.
    Thanks!
    Julia

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      A walking foot is going to change your life! It’s great at pushing layers of fabric evenly through your sewing machine. Try it when quilting your next quilt and I promise you will immediately feel and see the difference.

  6. Lisa Burger says:

    I own almost this exact model of brother, and bought it at Costco for $160-ish. I love it and it does all I need- quilting, garment, and swimsuit sewing! One day I will own a Juki, but for now I’m content with my brother!

  7. Mary Ann Hentschell says:

    Another great machine is the Singer 7258 priced now on Amazon for $138.99. It is all metal inside which is very good. It is a computerized machine. I really like mine.

  8. Tutti McCormick says:

    I’m looking for a less expensive machine that has a needle threaded and automatically cuts the threads. Also, are there any machines that you can control the speed of sewing and not control it by the pressed foot? Does that make since?

    • Suzy Quilts says:

      Hey Tutti, yes, that does make sense, and yes, usually even the most basic of machines have speed settings. My first sewing machine was a very basic Janome. I think it was actually marketed to children because the speed dial had icons of a tortoise and a hare. If you turned the dial all the way down to the tortoise you sewed at about a quarter of the speed as the hare setting.

      A lot of basic sewing machines come with a needle threader, but not so many have an automatic thread cutter. Look at my response to Emily’s comment for more details about machines with that feature.

  9. Amanda Z. says:

    I have been using a Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 for the last couple years and it’s been a great sewing machine. It has an automatic needle threader, thread cutter and speed control. It even came with an extension table and walking foot, and gets great reviews. Right now it’s selling for $338 on amazon, which is in a slightly higher price bracket than the ones you recommend, but does have a ton of bells and whistles.

    Some day I will have a snazzy expensive machine but my Quantum Stylist has really impressed me so far.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RDH7Y8

  10. Claudia Himmelberg McCarter says:

    What are good portable machines, around 14 pounds, that are reasonably priced. It would be great if I could do free motion quilting on it. No fancy stitches required.

  11. Candace Strong says:

    Can someone recommend a moderately priced machine for free motion quilting larger quilts? I’m looking primarily for a generous throat space and reliability. I don’t need big bells and whistles or embroiderery

  12. Meagan says:

    This is a question not about sewing machines, but do you have a pattern for the ombré colored quilt that is pictured with the title?

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