best choice

5/5

5 out of 5

  • Weight: 12.6 lbs
  • Size: 15.3 x 6 x 12

Best for beginners

4.9/5

4.9 out of 5

  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Size: 13 x 7 x 11.5

Best for quilting

4.8/5

4.8 out of 5

  • Weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Size: 20 x 11 x 16

best for leather

4.8/5

4.8 out of 5

  • Weight: 14 lbs
  • Size: 16 x 6.5 x 12

best for clothes

4.6/5

4.6 out of 5

  • Weight: 13.6 lbs
  • Size: 15 x 6.2 x 12

What is a good cheap sewing machine? Read My Master Buyer's Guide Below

best cheap sewing machine reviews

My Verdict

best overall cheap sewing machine

By including 27 built-in stitches and an auto-size buttonhole, the Brother XM2701 is capable of handling everything from straight stitches and hemlines to tiny embellishments and buttonholes. With so many features, it might be the best cheapest sewing machine or the best sewing machine cheap. 

To save time, this machine has an automatic needle threader so that you don’t need to worry about threading the machine yourself. 

When you want to work on hard-to-reach areas like the end of a sleeve or cuff, the free arm is versatile and easy to manage without a lot of hassle. 

Although extra accessories might not be a priority to everyone, they can be essential. If the machine you purchase doesn’t have the feet you want, you often have to buy them separately (which can quickly become expensive). Fortunately, the Brother XM2701 includes six different feet that you won’t need to purchase on your own. 

Not to mention, it also comes with several accessories that make cleaning the machine and performing regular maintenance much easier. While this product is built to last, it does come with a 25-year limited warranty. If there’s a defect in the product that shouldn’t be there, all you need to do is reach out to Brother’s customer service team.

  • Pros
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Jam-resistant
  • Comes with six presser feet
  • Includes multiple accessories for regular maintenance
  • 25-year limited warranty
  • Has an instructional DVD and manual
  • Versatile free arm
  • Cons
  • LED lights might not be extremely bright
  • The storage drawer might not hold everything
My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine

My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for beginners

Designed with six built-in stitches, the Singer Start 1304 might not be a great choice for professionals, but it’s an excellent option for beginners that are still learning. In fact, it may be the best cheap sewing machine for beginners or the best low price sewing machine. 

While some sewers may prefer to adjust the stitch length and width themselves, this can be a tricky process for beginners. Luckily, the Singer Start 1304 takes away the confusion by presetting the length and width. 

It’s worth noting that, while it only includes six built-in stitches, sewers can still accomplish anything from adding embellishments to decorations or hemming the end of a pant leg. 

If you want to add a buttonhole to children’s clothing or even pillows, the machine has a four-step buttonhole feature too. For items that might have hard-to-reach areas, like sleeves or cuffs, the extension table is removable and will expose a free arm. 

While portability might not be a priority for everyone, this machine is only around ten pounds. If you ever need to pack up your project and work somewhere else, the Singer Start 1304 makes it a lot easier. Despite being lightweight, this machine still has a durable metal frame that ensures it’s less likely to break or get damaged over time.

  • Pros
  • An excellent choice for beginners
  • No need to adjust the stitch length or width
  • Designed to be user-friendly
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Extra-high presser foot lifter
  • Comes with a 25-year limited warranty
  • Easy to switch between stitch settings
  • Can sew 350-400 stitches per minute
  • Removable extension table
  • Can sew 350-400 stitches per minute Comes with three different feet
  • Cons
  • Not optimal for professionals or sewers trying to work on complicated projects
  • Singer doesn’t accept returns after 30 days
My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for beginners

My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for quilting

As the Women’s Choice Award for 2019, the Brother CS5055PRW offers all the special features of a more professional machine without the cost. With 50 built-in stitches, sewers can take on any project and perform more complicated stitches. It might just be the cheap and best sewing machine. 

To save time, there’s an automatic needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin to prevent the machine from getting jammed while you’re working. In some cases, your workspace might not always provide the light you need to work with. 

This Brother Machine tries to eliminate this issue by providing LED lights and even an LCD screen. While switching between stitch types can be difficult with some machines, it’s not an issue with this product. The LCD screen includes an intuitive stitch selector to make things much easier. 

Although this machine might take beginners a little bit longer to get the hang of, experienced sewers can use it to give their projects a designer touch and custom feel. 

If you ever have an issue with the product, it’s worth noting that it comes with a 25-year limited warranty as well as free lifetime technical support in case the machine needs repairs or there’s a defect.

  • Pros
  • 50 built-in stitches
  • Extra LED lighting
  • LCD display screen with intuitive stitch selector
  • Includes a vertical spool pin
  • Convenient stitch chart
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Resistant to jamming
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Great for more experienced sewers
  • Cons
  • Might not be optimal for beginners
  • Instruction manuals might be confusing to understand
  • The setup might be a little challenging
My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for quilting

My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for leather

With 11 built-in stitches, the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 includes six basic stitches as well as four decorative stitches and one built-in buttonhole for adding buttons to children’s clothing, pillows, or other fashions. If you’re a quilter, this might be the best cheap sewing machine for quilting or for making clothes. 

To give you more options, the Singer machine allows you to move the needle position to three different places in case you want to add decorations or a zipper to your project. 

One of the most significant advantages of this machine is its heavy-duty frame. While some machines may only be built to last a few years, this product has a metal frame that adds more stability as well as a powerful motor that’s unlikely to jam or stop working. When you need to work on bigger projects, the Singer 4411 will allow you to sew up to 1,100 stitches per minute. 

If you want, you can always download the Singer Assistant app for more tips about using the machine or finding tutorials for specific projects. However, there’s also an instruction manual that you can refer to when it comes time to set your machine up. 

At only 14 pounds, it’s worth noting that this machine is still relatively lightweight and easy to transport from place to place if you need to move it around.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can sew 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • 11 built-in stitches
  • Stainless steel bedplate
  • Stitch length and width is adjustable
  • Comes with accessories for regular maintenance
  • Includes instruction manual and app
  • Cons
  • Might require more regular maintenance
  • Instruction manual might be difficult to follow
My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for leather

My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for clothes

As the perfect balance between beginner and advanced, the Singer Tradition 2259 contains 19 built-in stitches as well as a built-in 4-step buttonhole for adding buttons to certain materials. As a versatile product, this could be the best economical sewing machine. While some machines might not be designed to handle thick or layered fabric, that isn’t the case with the Singer Tradition 2259. 

Whenever you’re working with fabrics that contain multiple layers, all you need to do is adjust the position of the presser foot to a higher place. Speaking of presser feet, this product comes with four different feet and several accessories for keeping your machine in tip-top shape. When you aren’t using them, you can easily store them in the storage drawer that’s included. 

Although 19 stitches might be a lot to deal with, Singer makes it easy by allowing for easier stitch selection. All you need to do is turn the dial and choose the type of stitch you want to work with.

Like with any product, durability is always a priority. Singer has a durable metal frame that keeps all the internal mechanisms in place and in alignment. Even if the machine accidentally falls, it’s unlikely that anything will have shifted. 

  • Pros
  • Can adjust the position of the presser feet
  • 19 built-in stitches
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable metal frame
  • Easy stitch selection
  • Easy to use
  • Includes accessories for regular maintenance
  • Comes with an instructional DVD and manual
  • Cons
  • Might jam more frequently than some other options
  • The bobbin may fall out
My Verdict

best cheap sewing machine for clothes

Final Thoughts

Although each of these cheap sewing machines has its own benefits, only one stands out from the rest—and that’s the Brother XM2701. With 27 built-in stitches, this machine has everything that most sewers need without overwhelming beginners. 

Not to mention, its light and portable, will serve you for a long time for sure.

Everyone has different needs, but if you’re looking to invest in a cheap sewing machine, the Brother XM2701 can offer all the perks of a more expensive model without the hefty price tag.

Whether you’re an experienced sewer with plenty of projects or just an enthusiastic hobbyist looking to gain more experience, sewing can be an expensive craft. On top of paying for a machine, you’ve also got to worry about the cost of thread and material. While some people may try and tell you that you need an expensive machine to accomplish individual stitches or projects, that isn’t true. 

There are plenty of cheap sewing machines on the market—the hard part is being able to identify the best cheap sewing machine. Fortunately, I’ve already handled the hard part for you. Here’s a list as well as general precautions and tips to keep in mind:

Sewing machine near threads

What to Look For in a Cheap Sewing Machine

There are plenty of the best cheap sewing machine reviews out there, but not all of them may address your concerns. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality. When it comes to purchasing the best inexpensive sewing machine, there are a few factors to consider.

Built-in Stitches

While every sewer might work differently, the number or type of built-in stitches that come with your machine is essential. While some people may only want a few basic stitches, other sewers might need ten or twenty stitches on their device. 

Before you buy anything, it’s always a good idea to consider how many stitches (and what specific stitches) you’ll want on your machine. Some machines may have plenty of options, but if they’re missing a zigzag or blind hem stitch, they might be a waste of money. Most sewers, regardless of what they work on, will need at least a straight stitch, buttonhole stitch, zigzag stitch, and a stretch stitch.

Free Arm

Regardless of what kind of projects you work on, most sewers like having a free arm. A free arm is a removable piece that allows you to slip narrow pieces (like a sleeve or cuff) under the needle. If you plan on hemming a sleeve or fixing the end of a pant leg, having a free arm is crucial.

Presser Feet

Along with the machine itself, many products also include a certain number of presser feet too. The more presser feet that come with your device, the less you’ll have to purchase later on. For instance, quilters may want a walking foot while anyone sewing a garment may be interested in a zipper foot. 

Before purchasing a machine, you should always consider what types of presser feet you’ll need first. Then, while you shop around, you can check whether or not these presser feet come with the machine you want to buy. Since presser feet can run up to fifty dollars apiece, it can save you quite a bit of money if they’re already included with the machine. 

Special Features

On top of thinking about basic features your machine may have, it’s always worth considering the special features too. Just because you’re purchasing a cheaper sewing machine doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few added perks: 

  • Adjustable Speed Control: Some machines allow you to adjust how fast or slow you sew. For more fragile or complicated projects, this feature can come in handy. 
  • Lighting: Even if your workspace has excellent lighting, you might still struggle to see what you’re looking at under the machine. Products that come with LED lights can provide the extra lighting you need. 
  • Automatic Needle Threader: Not all machines come with an automatic needle threader, but those that do can save you some serious time. With an automatic threader, your device is less likely to jam, and you won’t have to worry about threading it yourself.
  • Knee Lifter: While you might not see this feature on a lot of budget sewing machines, a knee lifter can be beneficial if you’re trying to sew a curve or corner. The knee lifter will allow you to move the presser foot while you’re still holding the fabric.

Durability

Like any product you buy, sustainability is always an essential component with your sewing machine. Even the best cheap sewing machine might end up being a waste of money if it doesn’t last more than a few months. 

It can be difficult to tell whether or not a machine is durable before you buy it, but one thing to look for is a metal frame. Sewing machines that use a metal frame to keep all the internal mechanisms in place tend to last longer than those that don’t. 

It’s always worth checking for a warranty too. While many sewing machines come with limited warranties, the manufacturer might be willing to offer replacement parts or pay for maintenance if something goes wrong.

Woman sews om sewing machine

Safety Considerations For Using a Sewing Machine

If you have limited experience with a sewing machine or you’ve never owned your own machine before, brushing up on the safety precautions is always a good idea. Sewing machines are powerful pieces of equipment, and if you aren’t careful, you could end up hurting yourself or permanently damaging the machine. Here are a few safety considerations to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure your sewing cord machine is in good shape and not damaged. Even if you’ve just taken it out of the box, making sure the cord is in excellent condition is a necessary safety precaution to take. If you notice that there are a few nicks or cuts in the cable or it looks frayed, you shouldn’t plug it in. 
  • Unplug your sewing machine after every use. Even if you plan to come back to your project tomorrow, unplugging the device is still a good idea. 
  • Pull your hair back. If you’ve got long hair, pulling your hair back can prevent you from getting it stuck in the machine. Since the sewing machine moves at incredible speeds, you might not realize you’ve got a little bit of your hair stuck under the needle until it’s too late. 
  • Don’t sew across any pins.
  • Make sure you always have enough light, and you can clearly see what you’re doing. 
  • Protect your eyes. For experienced sewers, wearing protective eyewear might seem a little overboard, but accidents do happen. Grabbing a pair of protective goggles might not be necessary in every case, but it might be an excellent precaution for beginners who are still learning their way around the machine. 
  • Pay close attention to your fingers. While you’re working, your fingers are at their most vulnerable. If you aren’t paying attention, you might end up needing a few bandages later on. If you have to look away from what you’re doing (even if it’s only for a second), don’t forget to stop working.
  • Keep your fingers from getting too close to the feeder. If you need something to hold the fabric closer, try using the end of a pencil or even a chopstick. 

While some of these precautions might seem a little extreme for more experienced sewers, it’s always important to remember that these machines can be dangerous. If you aren’t careful, accidents can happen. 

Tips to Keep Your Sewing Machine Clean

If you’ve never owned a machine before, you might be unfamiliar with how to maintain them. Just like a car, you’ll need to clean your machine on a regular basis if you want to keep it in tip-top shape. A device that has regular maintenance tends to last longer than one that isn’t. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your machine: 

  1. The first step is to take your machine apart. This means unplugging it from the wall, taking out the bobbin casing, lowering the cover and removing the hook. You’ll also want to take off your presser foot and throat plate. 
  2. Use a brush to get rid of any lint that’s built up inside the machine. Although many machines come with a small plastic brush for this very purpose, you can use any anti-static brush you find. A pipe cleaner can always work great for areas that may be hard-to-reach. 
  3. Once you’ve made sure all the lint is cleared out, you can oil the machine. Before you take this step, you should always check the manual that came with your device to see how (and if) you should oil it. Some brands may ask that you use a specific type or brand of oil. Keep in mind that, when it comes to oil, less is more. It’s possible to over-oil your machine, and you may need to run a piece of scrap fabric through the machine until it’s free of oil stains. 
  4. Next, you can start reassembling the machine again. Don’t forget to replace the bobbin casing, throat plate, hook, needle, and then reattach the presser foot. 

Aside from cleaning the machine yourself on a regular basis, scheduling routine maintenance with a professional is essential too. A technician might be able to spot a problem that you can’t and fix it before it becomes a more significant issue. While it can vary, many people get their machines examined annually. For older machines, it might be more frequent. If you still need more information about cleaning your machine, this video provides more information.

How Much Does Price Matter?

One question that many people may ask themselves when they shop for a machine is how much price matters. Does a more expensive machine equal a better machine? 

The answer is no. While price can play a factor in the quality of your machine, it doesn’t necessarily determine how good it is. There may be plenty of expensive machines that don’t work as well as cheaper ones. 

That being said, some expensive machines may include more unique features or more accessories. For instance, a more costly device might include more presser feet or built-in stitches. However, if you’re just looking for a capable machine that will get the job done, you shouldn’t need to spend exorbitant amounts of money. There are plenty of cheaper machines that still include plenty of built-in stitches, presser feet, and even automatic needle threaders.

Woman's hands sews on sewing machine

Types of Sewing Machines

While many machines might look the same, there are actually several different types. The kind you need to buy often depends on what you plan to do with it.

Mechanical

Also known as manual machines, a mechanical machine is any machine where the basic settings are changed manually by the user. They often contain fewer features or unique add-ons. Many beginners might purchase a mechanical machine since they’re easier to learn on, and they’re usually more affordable as well. 

Keep in mind that mechanical machines usually have trouble working with thicker fabrics like leather or denim. While a mechanical machine might be a great starting point, professionals or experienced sewers typically jump to an electronic or computerized device.

Electronic

As a combination of a mechanical and a computerized machine, an electronic machine is a happy medium. Since they contain a variety of different features, an electronic machine can be great if you’re looking to add a professional touch to your projects. Most of them include at least seven built-in stitches as well as an automatic needle threader. 

On more advanced machines, you might even see LCD display screens that allow you to easily pick the stitch you want to use or adjust the settings. 

One thing to note about electronic machines is that they often need more repairs than a mechanical one. As a result, the regular maintenance of an electronic machine might be a little more costly.

Computerized

Computerized machines are the most advanced. By using modern technology, these machines can connect to the internet. Many of them often contain at least 50 built-in stitches. 

Most of the time, computerized machines are used for industrial purposes. Someone who only sews as a hobby might not need all the bells-and-whistles of a computerized machine. Although they work quickly and contain plenty of added features, these machines are large and often take up a lot more space than a mechanical or electronic machine.

Embroidery machine

When it comes to embroidery, not all mechanical or electronic machines can do what you need them to do. An embroidery machine, however, is capable of designing different patterns for embroidery. 

In comparison to mechanical machines, an embroidery machine tends to be a little pricier. Most of the time, an electronic machine with an embroidery presser foot can accomplish everything you need to do without purchasing a separate machine. 

One perk of an embroidery machine is that they’re usually much cheaper to maintain than an electronic or mechanical machine is. They typically don’t require as much regular maintenance.

Stephanie Green

Stephanie Green

I fell in love with sewing eight years ago after stumbling on Etsy and being fascinated by seeing all the creative projects hobbyists were able to make in their spare time. I think part of my interest is that sewing seemed like such an old-fashioned activity, and yet so many young people enjoyed it.

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