Best Sewing Machines for Business

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Knowing the best sewing machines for business is important for sewists wanting to venture into the sewing trade. It’s one thing to repair the occasional torn seam, but another to dedicate hours a day to a top-of-the-line curtain company. You need a sewing machine that can keep up.

Turning your hobby into your career can be daunting but rewarding. What better way to show your love for all things sewing than starting your own clothing line or niche sewing gifts? The biggest question though is: which sewing machines are the best for business? There are so many brands and models out there, how do you know which one is right?

From the heavy-duty industrial to the standard, home-sewist domestic, this article will explore the pros and cons of each. Helping you make the best decision for your business.

Domestic Sewing Machines Best for Business

Depending on your sewing level and the business you intend to run, you may be able to get away with a simple domestic sewing machine. They’re cheaper and take up less space, perfect for sewists working from home.

From a budget point of view, a domestic could be the way to go if you want to keep initial overheads low. Not only that, they also have a range of features meaning you only need one machine.

Domestic sewing machines, however, aren’t capable of heavy-duty sewing, all day, every day. They’ll get you by in a pinch and for the odd alteration and clothing repair business. If you make a line of garments, or regularly sew all day, you’ll want something more robust or you’ll be replacing it frequently.

Here’s a list of the best domestic sewing machines for light business use.

Singer Heavy Duty 4452

Singer Heavy Duty 4452- great sewing machine for a small home business

With a speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, the Singer Heavy Duty 4452 rivals the speed of semi-industrial machines without the limitations. Built with a metal framework, the HD 4452 can handle tough projects with ease.

Plus, the 32 built-in stitches and one-step automatic buttonhole gives you a range of features to make your start-up business a success.

Key Features:

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

Pros:

  • Sturdy Metal frame
  • A top speed of 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Affordable yet packed with features

Cons:

  • No speed control
  • May experience tension problems

Janome HD 3000

Janome HD 3000 sewing machine- strong, reliable machine

Easy to use for the beginner sewist, the Janome HD 3000 is a robust sewing machine ready for anything you throw at it.

Constructed with a metal frame for stability and strength, even the heaviest sewing project will be a breeze. The 18 built-in stitches, one-step automatic buttonhole and free-arm give you a selection of unique features to utilize in your next project.

Key Features:

  • 18 built-in stitches
  • Automatic needle threader
  • One-step automatic buttonhole
  • Free-arm

Pros:

  • Metal frame gives stability
  • Comes with a range of accessories

Cons:

  • Expensive

Semi-Industrial Sewing Machines Best for Business

For larger businesses, particularly quilting services or bag makers, you’ll need a sewing machine with more oomph than the previously mentioned domestics.

Semi-industrials give you the benefits of industrial sewing machines, without the same need for space. Although slightly slower, they can fit anywhere a domestic machine would and make a great intermediate option.

Unlike domestic sewing machines, semi-industrials can withstand heavy-duty use all day. However, they are limited to only one task, which means purchasing another machine if you want to use a different function.

Janome 1600P-QC

Janome 1600P-QC, one of the best semi-industrial sewing machines

Although the Janome 1600P-QC is one of the more expensive sewing machines, it’s also one of the fastest semi-industrial sewing machines on the market at 1,600 stitches per minute. There’s even a speed control for newbie sewists or those tighter spots on your sewing project.

As a semi-industrial sewing machine, the 1600P-QC only has straight stitch but it’ll chug through your clothing alterations, bag making and quilts in no time at all.

Key Features:

  • 1,600 stitches per minute
  • Presser foot sensor
  • Variable Speed control
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Memorized needle up/down setting
  • Independent bobbin winder

Pros:

  • One of the fastest semi-industrials at 1,600 stitches per minute
  • Speed control for precision sewing
  • Needle up/down setting for easy pivoting

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Straight stitch only
  • No buttonhole function

Juki TL2000Qi

Juki TL2000Qi- a sturdy sewing machine for commercial seamstresses

Backed by years of experience in the commercial market, the Juki TL2000Qi is made to last and sail through your sewing projects. With a speed of 1,500 stitches per minute it’s not as fast as the Janome 1600P-QC.

What the TL2000Qi lacks in speed though, it more than makes up for with the included extension table for larger projects. This sewing machine is perfect for a sewing business dedicated to heftier workloads.

Key Features:

  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Extension table
  • Knee lift

Pros:

  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Lightweight aluminum arm and flatbed
  • Metal frame reduces the chances of vibration while sewing

Cons:

  • Straight stitch only
  • No speed control

Brother PQ 1500SI

Brother PQ 1500SI- a durable semi-industrial sewing machine

Well known for their robust sewing machines, the Brother PQ 1500SI partners durability with steadfast reliability. At 1,500 stitches per minute and no speed control, new users may be intimidated. However, the large throat space more than makes up for any initial concerns. Coupled with the extension table, getting bulky projects through the machine and under the needle is simplicity itself!

Key Features:

  • 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Extension table
  • Removable knee-lifter
  • Adjustable feed dogs
  • Large throat space

Pros:

  • Fast stitching with 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Time saving automatic needle threader
  • A large throat space gives room for bigger projects
  • Adjustable feed dogs for different tasks and fabrics

Cons:

  • Straight stitch only
  • No speed control

Industrial Sewing Machines Best for Business

Designed for use in factories, industrial sewing machines are the workhorses of the trade. They’re expensive though, especially when you need more than one for various functions, and they’re too heavy to move frequently. These commercial-grade sewing machines will happily work all day, every day, year-round.

Juki DDL-8700

Juki DDL-8700, a strong industrial sewing machine designed for factories

Heavyweight and sturdy, the Juki DDL-8700 is the perfect addition to any factory floor. Designed purely for relentless work, the self-lubricating construction, 10.5″ throat space and speed of 5,500 stitches per minute means all your projects will fly by. For sewists who can’t stretch their budget to the Juki TL 2020, this is a great alternative.

Key features:

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

Pros:

  • Perfect for factory work
  • 10.5″ throat space to tackle larger projects
  • Heavy duty servo motor
  • Comes with its own table

Cons:

  • Not portable
  • Limited to one function
  • Needs space for the table
  • Speed can be intimidating
  • Require assembly on delivery which can be complicated
  • May not be able to tackle a range of fabrics without changing some parts

Yamata FY5318

Yamata FY5318 sewing machine

Despite being one of the lesser-known brands, the Yamata FY5318 doesn’t skip out on reliability. Although it’s relatively slow for an industrial sewing machine, it’s self-lubricating and compatible with presser feet from all the major brands. The large throat space also allows for all sorts of projects from garments, canvas awnings, and leather.

Key Features:

  • 1,350 stitches per minute
  • Knee lift
  • Self-lubricating
  • Can use common brand presser feet
  • Large throat space

Pros:

  • Walking foot machine
  • Large throat space
  • Comes with its own table

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Needs space for the table
  • Slow for an industrial machine
  • It will need to be assembled on delivery

Consew P1206RB

If the previous two industrial sewing machines are either too slow or too fast, the Consew P1206RB is a good middle ground. With a sewing speed of 3,000 stitches per minute, it holds its own with the best industrial brands available. Designed primarily for heavy materials, it’ll chug through upholstery and curtains without complaint.

Key Features:

  • 3,000 stitches per minute
  • Large throat space
  • Designed for heavy materials
  • Knee lift
  • Reverse stitch

Pros:

  • Perfect for heavy projects like upholstery, sails, bags
  • Mid-range speed of 3,000 stitches per minute
  • Large throat space
  • Reverse stitch

Cons:

  • No speed control
  • Intimidating speed
  • Requires assembly on delivery

Things to Consider

Businesses of all types require planning and sewing businesses are no different. Now you know the best sewing machines for business use, it’s time to narrow down your options until you have the right one for you. Here is a list of important things to consider when buying a sewing machine for your business.

Do You Need an Industrial Sewing Machine?

All sewing machines sew but, depending on their construction and purpose, they all handle different tasks. Your business will have a very specific purpose and require equipment suitable for the workload. Be sure to keep this in mind when you choose your sewing machine.

Domestic sewing machines are designed for the home sewist. These sewing machines are cheap and portable with a range of functions for all sorts of simple projects. If your business focuses on the odd clothing alteration and a few garments here and there, a domestic will handle low-level work with ease.

If you’re sewing all day, every day, you may find you end up replacing your machine every few months. Domestic sewing machines just aren’t cut out for the same level of work as industrials.

Industrial or Semi-industrial?

Industrial sewing machines are on the opposite end of the spectrum to domestics. They’ll speed through tasks and leave a domestic in the dust. These sewing machines are heavy and robust but reliable, although you wouldn’t want to move them too often. Due to their limited functionality, you may need more than one depending on your sewing business.

These workhorses are best suited for factory work. They’ll churn out mass-produced clothing lines, car seats and all sorts of other projects.

If you’re a home sewist though, industrial machines can be incredibly noisy. It’s probably best to avoid them if you’re living in an apartment, unless you buy one with a servo motor. Even so, the servo might make them quieter, you may want to check your apartment floor can take the weight!

Semi-industrial machines are hybrids. They combine the portability and space saving nature of domestic sewing machines with the heavy-duty reliability of the industrial. While they’re limited to one function, they’re still faster than the common domestic.

Designed for sewing on a regular basis, semi-industrial machines can’t quite keep up with their fully industrial counterparts but they still give domestics a run for their money. They’re perfect for heavy fabrics and regular sewing sessions, even if they can’t churn out mass-produced clothing lines like the industrial.

Your Business Budget

One of the most important things to consider is your budget. Especially when you take into account how much equipment you’ll need to support your business.

While an industrial machine has the stamina to work long hours, it can only perform one task. Which means, you’ll need other machines for other tasks. This could blow your budget leaving you with little left for fabric and supplies.

Think about what your business needs before choosing a machine. Make sure you list all the features and functions that are important to you. Once you know what you are looking for, set your budget and stick to it.

Conclusion

Now you know what to look for in a sewing machine for business, this article should help you narrow down your search.

Whether it’s domestic, semi-industrial or industrial, the best sewing machine for your business, is the one that helps your sewing business thrive.

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