Best Mechanical Sewing Machine Reviews 2017

image of best mechanical sewing machine

Our Top Pick – Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm

Some people assume that computerized sewing machines are always superior to mechanical. This isn’t the case – mechanical sewing machines are often more reliable and simpler to use. Mechanical machines are also less expensive than computerized models, making them a good sewing machine for beginners, or as a backup model.

These machines still use electricity to function, but don’t come with an LCD or LED screen. Settings, such as stitch type and tension, can be adjusted using dials and switches. While they tend to be easier to use, this often comes at the cost of reduced speed.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing one. Your budget is one of the most important. Mechanical machines are cheaper than other options, but you should avoid gimmicky or low-quality models.

Other considerations include the number of built-in stitches, strength of the motor and whether the machine has a free-arm function. As a general rule, if you want to sew thick or tough materials such as leather, look for a heavy duty machine.

Many are compatible with extra components and accessories. It’s a good idea to look at the available accessories for a specific model before you decide to buy.

We want to make buying one as easy as possible. To help you decide on the right model, we’ve researched the two top rated machines and listed them below. Both of these models provide a range of features and settings for a very reasonable price.

Top Two Rated Mechanical Sewing Machines

image of Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm

1. Brother XL2600I Sew Advance

The Brother XL2600I is a budget model that’s still capable of tackling almost any everyday project. Features include 25 built-in stitches, a thread cutter and automatic winding bobbin. The XL2600I also has a drop-in bobbin for easy setup. Aside from its technical specifications, the XL2600I comes with an array of accessories including five presser feet.

A reviewer says that the machine is perfect for beginners who want to complete everyday projects. Another reviewer mentions that the XL2600I is an excellent choice for hemming.

Several reviewers say that the XL2600I’s instruction manual is difficult to understand. Fortunately, the model is relatively simple to use. The lack of clear instructions may make initial setup frustrating, but you only need to do this once. Considering the low price and high-quality stitching, the XL2600I provides great value for money.

image of Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 18 Built-In Stitches + Hard Case

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty with 18 Built-In Stitches + Hard Case

2. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty

The Janome HD3000 is designed to tackle more difficult projects than the XL2600I. It’s a heavy duty model that comes with 18 built-in stitches, including a one-step buttonhole. Other features include an automatic threader, reverse setting and convenient snap-on feet. If you need a machine that can sew through multiple layers of denim, the HD3000 is an excellent choice.

A reviewer says that the HD3000 is a “truly heavy duty” machine. This is important, as many so-called “heavy duty” models don’t have the required motor strength to sew through the toughest materials. Other positive comments from reviewers include that the Janome HD3000 is easy to use and durable enough to cope with daily use.

The HD3000 is considerably more expensive than others. This may put some people off – especially beginners looking for their first machine. If you need to sew through difficult materials, however, it’s important to buy one that’s powerful enough for the job. The motor on the HD3000 appears to cope with multiple layers of strong materials admirably, which is why it’s more expensive than alternative machines.


Mechanical sewing machines are often easier to use and cheaper than computerized models. While mechanical models don’t have a screen or built-in memory, they are often more reliable. Some sewers also prefer the simplicity of a mechanical machine.

The most important consideration when choosing is the type of projects you want to complete. For straightforward everyday projects, a cheaper model with basic functions is probably sufficient. For tough materials, you need a machine with more power and a durable construction. Heavy duty machines, such as the HD3000, are built with a metal frame for sewing through thick fabrics.

If you’re a beginner searching for your first model, we recommend the Brother XL2600I. It’s a simple model that still comes with useful features such as a jam-resistant bobbin and automatic threader. It has also received thousands of positive reviews from buyers, and appears to be a durable model for the price.

For more advanced projects, the Janome HD3000 heavy duty sewing machine is the better option. It’s built with a strong motor and can cope with more difficult tasks.

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