Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines 2021

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When it comes to bulky fabrics or sewing for hours at a time, you need a machine that can keep up. You need a heavy-duty sewing machine designed to work hard and sew whatever you need.

With options suitable for beginner sewists, experienced stitchers and everyone in between, it can be tricky to pick the right one for you and your sewing.

There are domestic machines, semi-industrial and industrial. Knowing the differences between each type of machine will help you choose your long-term sewing partner with confidence.

To help you make that choice, here’s a list of the best heavy-duty sewing machines for 2021.

Domestic Heavy Duty Machines

Designed for the home sewist, domestic sewing machines have all the features needed for heavy-duty sewing plus all the various stitches and features you want your sewing machine to include. These machines are for sewists who need a sturdier option than ordinary sewing machines but still need the versatility and small size of the domestic.

Janome HD 3000

Janome HD 3000, one of the best heavy duty sewing machines

The Janome HD 3000 packs a punch. With a heavy-duty motor and a metal frame, this sewing machine can sail through multiple layers of fabric with ease. One of the lighter sewing machines on the list, the Janome HD 3000 comes with a handy carry case for easy portability.

Although it appears to be made of plastic, the interior framework is metal. This gives the Janome HD 3000 the edge over normal domestic machines and the oomph it needs to get through heavy-duty projects.

Unlike other heavy-duty sewing machines, however, the Janome HD 3000 doesn’t have a thread stand dedicated to the larger cone-shape spools.

Key Features:

  • Metal frame
  • 18 stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Reverse stitch
  • One-step buttonhole
  • Free-arm

Pros:

  • Metal framework
  • Variety of stitches available
  • Carry case included
  • Quiet

Cons:

  • Expensive with limited built-in stitches
  • No thread stand for larger cones of thread

Singer HD 4452

Singer HD 4452 Heavy Duty sewing machine

No list of sewing machines is complete without Singer and the HD 4452 is no exception. Although similar to the previously mentioned Janome HD 3000, this sewing machine is affordable and still manages to hold its own. With a robust design and a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, the Singer HD 4452 races through even the toughest projects.

Key Features:

  • 32 built-in stitches
  • One-step automatic buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Stainless steel bedplate

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Metal framework

Cons:

  • Might be too fast for a beginner
  • No speed control
  • May experience tension problems

Singer HD 4423

Singer HD 4423 grey sewing machine

Like the Singer HD 4452, the HD 4423 is a great option for beginner and experienced sewists alike. Despite having less stitches, it offers the same power and usability as the HD 4452 at a lower price. Focused on ease of use, the Singer HD 4423 allows you to explore your passion for sewing and work on heavy projects. Both the beginner and advanced sewist can work without worrying about convoluted controls or missing out on the more advanced features.

Key Features:

  • 23 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • One step automatic buttonhole
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • 25 year limited warranty
  • Accessories
  • Dust cover
  • Heavy-duty metal frame

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • 1,100 stitches per minute

Cons:

  • May be too fast for beginners
  • No speed control
  • Less stitches than the HD 4452

Janome HD 1000

Janome HD 1000- cheap and durable sewing machine

Constructed with durability and reliability in mind, the Janome HD 1000 is a cheaper version of the Janome HD 3000. Utilizing a sleek, modern design the cast aluminum framework is perfect for the heavy weight projects you’ve left on the back burner. Not only that, but this model comes with a free arm, drop feed, and an automatic needle threader.

Key features:

  • 14 built-in stitches
  • Cast aluminum
  • Free arm and drop-feed
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Built-in buttonhole
  • Accessories storage

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Great for quilters

Cons:

  • Only has 14 stitches
  • No speed control

Brother ST 371 HD

Brother Heavy duty sewing machine- Brother ST 371 HD

The Brother ST 371 HD is a reasonably priced, entry level machine. It’s internal metal frame and metal needle plate give the machine stability. Brother’s focus on usability and durability make the ST 371 HD the perfect companion for any heavy sewing sessions you have planned.

With 37 stitches, free arm and drop-feed, this sewing machine will suit quilters, dressmakers and general sewists.

Key Features:

  • 37 built-in stitches
  • Automatic buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Free arm & drop-feed
  • Jam resistant, drop-in bobbin
  • 25 year limited warranty

Pros:

  • Great for free motion quilting
  • 37 stitches
  • Easy to load bobbin

Cons:

  • Only 800 stitches per minute
  • Slightly underpowered motor
  • No needle up/down button

Brother ST 150 HDH

Brother ST 150 HDH sewing machine

The Brother ST 150 HDH is computerized. With 50 built-in stitches, including 5 auto-sized buttonholes, this machine can tackle a variety of sewing tasks. Equipped with 9 sewing feet, a set of heavy-duty sewing needles, and an LCD screen, this model even has a speed control.

Key features:

  • LCD display
  • 50 built-in stitches
  • 5 automatic buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Jam resistant, drop-in bobbin
  • 7-point feed dogs
  • Speed control

Pros:

  • Computerized LCD display
  • Speed control
  • 7 point feed dogs

Cons:

  • May suffer from tension issues
  • Stitch chart is detachable so could get lost

Janome MC 6650

White Janome heavy duty sewing machine MC 6650- professional grade sewing machine

If you’re looking for a domestic machine that blows the others out of the water, the Janome MC 6650 is the choice to go for. As a professional-grade sewing machine, it comes equipped with a 10″ seamless flatbed for your larger projects and a start/stop button to better control your sewing.

Plus, with 170 built-in stitches and the ability to set your favorite for easy access, your next project will be a walk in the park. If that still isn’t enough, check out the 6 LED lights available to illuminate whatever project you’re working on.

Key features:

  • 10″ seamless flatbed
  • Favorite stitch setting
  • Start/Stop button
  • 170 built-in stitches
  • 1000 stitches per minute
  • 6 LED lights

Pros:

  • 6 LED lights
  • Start/Stop button for easy control
  • 170 built-in stitches
  • 10″ flatbed perfect for large projects

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Beginners may find it intimidating

Semi-Industrial Sewing Machines

Between the dainty domestic and the intrepid industrial, you might find your best choice is a hybrid of both. Designed for heavier use than the domestic but without all the limitations of the fully industrial, the semi-industrial offers the best of both worlds.

Juki TL 2010

Juki TL 2010- one of the best semi industrial sewing machine

Quilters in particular love Juki sewing machines for their robust, hardy, and tenacious natures. Backed by experience in commercial sewing machines, the Juki TL 2010 has all the sturdiness of a full industrial with the portability of a domestic.

With an impressive amount of throat space and a speed of 1,500 stitches per minute, it’s no wonder quilters adore these machines.

Key features:

  • Portable
  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Aluminum die-casting
  • 23″ work area (with auxiliary table attached)
  • Speed control
  • Industrial sub-tension system
  • Knee lifter system

Pros:

  • Speed control
  • Sturdy
  • 23″ workspace allows for larger projects
  • 1,500 stitches per minute

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only straight stitch
  • 38lbs may be too heavy for some sewists

Brother 1500 SL

Brother 1500 SL- white color

Although only slightly lighter than the Juki TL 2020, the Brother 1500 SL is one of the best semi-industrial machines available. Sturdy and designed for heavy-weight projects, the Brother 1500 SL comes with a wide table extension for larger projects and a speed of 1,500 stitches per minute to make sewing a breeze.

Key features:

  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Knee-lifter system
  • Wide table extension
  • 25 year warranty

Pros:

  • 25 year warranty
  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Wide table extension

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Straight stitch only
  • May be too fast for beginners

Industrial Sewing Machines

Great for projects a domestic sewing machine just won’t touch, industrial machines are the true workhorses of the trade. Designed for the factory floor and heavy commercial use, Industrial machines are built to take a beating.

They do have limitations though. Industrial machines are capable of only doing one thing. Some only do straight stitch, some only do buttonholes. Engineered for the assembly line, each phase of garment construction is done by a different operator. On a different type of machine.

Juki DDL 8700

Juki DDL 8700- industrial sewing machine

Finishing off our list is the Juki DDL 8700. Perfect for factory work, this industrial machine meets all the challenges of a long day’s work with ease. Putting the previous sewing machines to shame with a maximum speed of 5,500 stitches per minute, the 10.5″ throat space and servo motor means you can finally tackle that heavy quilt you’ve been struggling with.

Key features:

  • 5,500 stitches per minute
  • Self-lubricating
  • 10.5″ throat space
  • Sturdy

Pros:

  • Perfect for lengthy sewing sessions or factory work
  • 10.5″ throat space
  • Cheaper than the Juki TL 2020
  • Some models have speed control

Cons:

  • Not portable
  • Has to be housed in a table
  • Only does one type of stitch.
  • Some come with clutch motors which are noisy and expensive to run
  • Too fast for a beginner sewist

Things to Consider Before Buying a Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Now we’ve looked at the best heavy duty sewing machines for 2021, let’s take a step back and think about what you need from your machine.

A sewing machine should make your sewing a breeze not hinder your efforts. Not all machines are created equal. Some machines can be confusing to use. Others can be so fast they can be intimidating. Your heavy duty machine needs to suit you and your skill level. Otherwise, you won’t want to take it out of its box.

Let’s look at some of the most important things to consider in your search for the ideal heavy duty machine.

Noise

Let’s face it, all sewing machines make noise. Some, however, are louder than others. Depending on your situation, the noise your sewing machine makes can be a little obtrusive.

If you’re lucky enough to have your own sewing room, the noise your heavy-duty industrial machine makes probably won’t be a problem. You can close the door and keep your sewing machine’s happy singing to yourself.

Unfortunately, not all of us sewists have a lot of room for our hobbies. If we’re stuck in a small apartment the neighbors might take offense at having a noisy motor going for hours every day.

Space

Sewing machines, even the lightweight models, come in a range of sizes for various uses. If you need a portable machine to take to sewing classes, a smaller model is the way to go. For the sewist who wants to make quilts and draperies, however, a larger sewing machine is the better choice.

Depending on the space you have available, the larger heavy-duty sewing machines might not fit. Remember to take into account where you do your sewing. A dedicated sewing room will grant you a lot more freedom than a temporary spot at the dining table.

Stability

Heavy-duty sewing machines are, in a nutshell, designed for intense use. They’ll chug through thick fabrics and heavier projects with ease. Like sizes however, these machines all come in various weights. Some are more portable than others, which is great if you need to keep moving off the dining table but not so good when the sewing machine rattles off the desk as you work.

Speed

This comes down to personal preference and your sewing ability. While an experience sewist might be more than happy with an industrial sewing machine that sails through stitches in a matter of seconds, a beginner might prefer a slower, more sedate domestic.

When considering a new sewing machine, take into account your familiarity with the machines itself. Don’t go for a machine that will leave you behind.

Cost

One of the biggest issues you’ll face when buying a new sewing machine is the cost. While you can get cheaper models and brands, they may not offer the same stability as the top-of-the-range, industrial workhorses everyone knows about.

Breaking the bank over a new sewing machine, however, won’t give you many funds to work with when it comes to buying supplies for your next project.

Choose your budget wisely and stick to it. If a cheaper model can do everything one of the more expensive brands can, awesome.

Features

We all have sewing in common but, as individuals, we have different interests within our hobbies. Some of us enjoy sewing plushies for the youngsters in our lives while others enjoy creating garments and creating outfits from our favorite TV shows.

Whatever your habits are, your sewing machine needs to include all the features you use the most often. For example, if you sew a lot of sleeves, a sewing machine without a free arm may hinder your progress. Likewise, if you sew a lot of buttons but purchase a machine without an automatic buttonhole, you’ll be pulling your hair out in no time.

The type of sewing machine you choose will also play a part here. A domestic sewing machine will have a lot more features than an industrial that only does straight stitch.

Conclusion

From the heavy-duty domestic to the commercial-grade industrial, there’s a model to cover every type of project. Whatever your sewing needs this list of the best heavy-duty sewing machines 2021 is sure to include the ideal model for you.

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