Consumer organizations tested various models of sewing machines of established brands, six of which can be purchased by European consumers in Europe.
They compared the equipment and functional properties of individual machines, assessed sewing quality, and tested how easy it is to work with them. They were also interested in their durability and safety; part of the assessment is also the volume of sewing.
Basic machine models are designed for beginners and easy sewing. The machine’s usability is influenced by both its basic properties and its accessories. Machines can be electronic, touch screens, or mechanical with ordinary buttons.
While we are somewhat limited in the choice of programs in mechanical versions, as some do not even allow variation in the length and width of the seams, electronic machines allow a much wider range of seams and their combinations and variations.
Therefore, the basic models of machines are designed for beginners and those who want to use the machine only for easy sewing and are more affordable (from 80 euros and more).
The machines for more demanding customers have a special pull-out plate, on which all the seams are presented with a picture, which is available to make it easier to choose the sewing program.
The button to start and stop sewing is also a privilege of more expensive models, although the feature is also very suitable for beginners and would be welcome on basic models as well. There are still many differences between the machines.
One of the important ones is sewing speed control. Important accessories that are crucial for the usability of the machine are accessories for making various special stitches (for example, a double-needle for a double-threaded edge stitch, a needle with a round tip for sewing jersey) and various sewing feet for some stitches or special tasks such as sewing buttons, making buttons and sewing zippers.
To make it easier to sew large areas, we can increase the basic work surface of the machines, and the solutions are better and worse. When sewing narrow, tubular shapes (sleeves, trousers), on the contrary, we need a narrower work surface, a kind of “hand.” These designs are also different for individual machines.
The Machines Withstood the Demanding Sewing Tests Surprisingly Well
All machines, even the simpler ones, allow at least five basic stitches: straight and zigzag, invisible sash hemming stitch, overlock stitch, and elastic stitch. In addition to these, they have at least one in the set; many also have several decorative stitches and several special tasks, such as sewing buttons and sewing zippers.
The sewing quality is more important than the data on how many and which seams the machines can do. “We evaluated how evenly and flawlessly they sew different textile materials and how they behave when sewing thin, stretchy, or thick textiles.
The sewing method was set according to the manufacturer’s instructions, the same needle was used on all machines, and the same sewing speed was ensured.
It Is Easy to Use, but the Instructions Are Not Always Clear
Using machines, the testers tested in practice how simple and undemanding sewing machines are to work with. “We also checked that the instructions for use that came with the machines contained all the important information, warnings, and instructions for work.
We also assessed the readability and comprehensibility of the text, where not everyone proved themselves, “said Breskvar, as in many places, the instructions were deficient, unorganized, and therefore poorly understood.
Durable and Safe, but Loud
The sewing machines also had to pass an endurance test, which everyone passed perfectly, and they also checked how the machines were made and the design solutions. The differences between the tested machines are small; they received a ” good ” grade or at least “average.”
“We are much less satisfied with the results of volume measurements during operation. If we calculate that we can sometimes sit for a few hours with a sewing machine, then it is understandable that sewing on a too loud machine is very tiring.
It is not surprising that manufacturers have paid less attention to this feature in cheaper models, but the values exceed the limit of what is acceptable, “said Breskvar, adding:” The low price tax is high. they have more breaks.”
ZPS Advise, Which Machine to Choose?
- We get more equipment and more sewing options for more money, which does not mean better results. In the test, all the more expensive models ranked in the upper half and the cheaper ones in the lower half of the table, but the ranking does not follow the prices.
- So which one to choose? First, answer what purpose you will use it and how often you plan to sew. For those who have been sewing for a long time, the equipment, the quality of sewing, and probably the machine’s durability probably mean the most. Still, the key features are certainly easy to use and good instructions for beginners.
- If possible, test the machine before buying. People have different habits and needs. Some features may not be needed or even bother us, although, in the seller’s opinion, they are a feature and advantage of the machine we are looking at. There are more options for this in specialty stores.
- After buying a new machine, take the time to read the instructions carefully before using them for the first time so that you can get to know the machine in detail and learn how to use it properly. We recommend that you follow the basic settings recommended by the manufacturer.
- The bulb should only be replaced by a service technician for machines with LED lighting, as indicated by the manufacturer in the instructions. There is a danger that incorrect replacement could cause a short circuit.
- Bernina Bernette 25
- Husquarna Emerald 118
- Pfaff Select 3.2 IDT
- Bernina Bernette 15
- Pfaff Hobby 1142
- Elna 1000
- Singer Curvy 8770
- Singer Tradition
- Ikea SY
- Toyota JSBA 21 RS
- Toyota Super Jeans 15