Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: August 27, 2021
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Faced with the explosion of DIY, more and more people feel the desire to fend for themselves. Are you one of those people who dream of wearing unique, handmade clothes? With an easy-to-use sewing machine from Brother’s range, it is quite possible to make this project a reality. With a Brother sewing machine, repairing clothes, fixing new buttons or zipper on a bag or a piece of clothing is a breeze! If you are not entirely familiar with the craft of sewing, take the time to read our review. We will help you find the best Brother sewing machine, depending on what you know how to do and your projects.
Affordable and a suitable sewing machine brand for beginners, the intermediate, and the pros, there is something for everyone. Focusing our search on Brother’s catalog, we’ve come about what we discover are the 7 best Brother sewing machines on the market. Our choice of the best models didn’t come at a whim. We compiled the list putting some criteria into account. These include the type of machine, number of stitches, stitch length and width, buttonholes, dimensions, and weight. Check them out!
The Brother XM2701 is a mechanical type of sewing machine which is suitable for occasional and simple use. If you are not a sewing enthusiast but want a tool to do small emergency touch-ups every now and then, this is a practical and economical option. The floral design of the device can give an elegant and colorful touch to your workshop’s decor.
Its ease of use is very impressive. The bobbins can be loaded easily from above. You get LED lighting that lets you focus on your work when you have to sew in a dark or poorly lit environment. This is a particularly compact machine. It measures only 30.73 x 14.99 x 38.86 cm, which is equivalent to 12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches. It weighs 5.72 kg or 12.6 lbs.
There are 27 options available for sewing stitches, ranging from decorative stitches to zigzag stitches, blind or elastic stitches. 6 presser feet are provided: a buttonhole foot, a button sewing foot, a zipper foot, a zigzag foot, a hem foot, and a blindstitch foot.
The Brother XM2701 is perfect for beginners, those who do not have a lot of budget, and those who only need to perform very modest tasks. For other uses, aim for a higher range.
We love the HC 1850 not only because you can do regular sewing and quilting with it. But it’s also computerized and can perform monograms. The machine has 130 unique stitching functions, and it’s got 55 alphanumeric stitches and eight styles of buttonhole. This one comes with a whole bunch of accessories. The first thing you get, of course, is the pedal.
There’s an adjustable speed. So, if you’re doing quilting – for instance, free motion quilting, it’s vital that you regulate your speed. It allows you to have a very low speed, a medium speed or high speed.
It has an automatic start system, and there’s a little computer screen which is going to give you the number of selections for the stitches. And then it’s going to show you the stitch length and the stitch width. The 2-in-1 computerized sewing machine makes 850 stitches per minute. Perfect for beginners, and built to be transportable, the HC 1850 has a very portable and lightweight design. It’s ideal if you need a machine to take to your sewing classes.
Have you ever watched the popular television show Project Runway and wished you could create the kind of fashion-forward garments the contestants had? Now you can stop wishing! Brother International provides a full line of Project Runway sewing, embroidery, quilting, and surging machines. This machine helps you turn your dreams into runway ready reality.
The computerized sewing machine is perfect for garment construction and quilting projects. It has 50 built-in stitches, 5 one-step buttonholes, and an easy-to-use speed dial for more options. The multilingual machine has 294 built-in stitches, built-in tutorials. And the Brother Exclusive My Custom stitch feature lets you create your stitch patterns if you’re ready to take on an embroidery job. It’s one of the best Brother sewing and embroidery machines around.
This lightweight and compact machine is popular not only because of the affordable price tag but also because of the number of features it comes with. This machine also comes with a bag for easy machine transport. Every designer needs a dependable fashion-forward machine to craft their wares. Brother offers the best lineup in the business with the Project Runway line of machines.
We selected the Brother SE 600 sewing machine for its good price/quality ratio. It is a sewing machine that can be used by those who are new to sewing and those who are more experienced.
The Brother model offers decorative, embroidery, and fancy stitches. The sewing machine also has 10 buttonholes. Coming with amazing features, the machine is perfect for project personalization.
If we selected the Brother SE600 sewing machine, it is also because it is really easy to use and adjust. It is quite silent. It has a colored touchscreen LCD and the automatic needle threader will make it incredibly easy to use!
Our best Brother embroidery sewing machine, this model is built with 80 designs as well as 6 lettering fonts for embroidery and project customization. The machine has 103 sewing stitches with a sewing speed of up to 710 stitches per minute (SPM).
The Brother ST371HD is a lightweight mechanical sewing machine with a versatile free arm. It sets itself apart mainly by the possibility of adjusting the tension but also by its sewing speed of up to 800 stitches per minute. This Brother also favors user-friendliness and simplicity of use. Strong and durable, it is suitable for occasional and everyday use. You can sew varying types of fabrics on this: from thin silk materials to thick denims and bags.
The adjustment of the stitches is limited to 7 mm in width and 5 mm in length. This sewing machine nevertheless has a high margin of maneuver. It’s possible to carry out sewing work or more or less advanced internal decoration on it.
It has a complete range of accessories, which includes an integrated needle threader intended to facilitate threading. With the adjustability of the stitching points on this model, it allows for a different style of works. You can easily set the sewing speed and tension. Finally, the mechanical sewing machine comes with an instructional DVD for newbies.
This sewing machine is fully computerized and suitable for sewing and quilting. With it, you have the choice between 8 buttonholes. To perform certain specific tasks, a few additional feet are supplied with the device. A set of needles is also delivered with it. Spare spools also accompany the machine. The feed dogs are typical of the brand. The different fabrics are therefore driven with precision, regardless of their thickness.
To be able to sew sleeves or narrow pieces, the presence of the free arm is efficient. This machine has integrated lighting. This lights up the countertop so you can see what you do. You can also adjust the thread tension using a rotary knob. The machine comes with 150 built-in stitches. These stitches are quite sufficient for performing various sewing jobs. There are thus straight stitches, zigzags, and some decorative stitches. The selection is made utilizing a rotary knob.
The Brother sewing machine comes with many accessories. This includes a DVD that guides you step by step in your first steps with this model. Quick Set system, free arm, bright LED lighting, ergonomics, performance, and robustness are the other strengths of the Brother SQ9285. The sewing machine lets you sew with ease. It’s also one of the best Brother sewing machines for quilting.
The Brother XR950PRW is positioned between the entry-level and the high end. It offers excellent versatility and more creative possibilities than entry-level products. You benefit from 110 stitches on this product, as well as a certain number of decorative options. The diagrams of all the stitch points are clearly marked on the side of the device and associated with a number that allows you easy selection.
Everything is done using the buttons next to a backlit LCD screen displaying your settings. The bobbin can be inserted directly on top of the machine. Eight presser feet are available. These include feet for zigzag and invisible stitches, a zipper foot, or feet for sewing buttons and buttonholes. When it comes to buttonholes, you also have eight automatic options in one step.
A few accessories are included. These include different types of needles, a seam ripper, 4 bobbins, and an additional bobbin holder. A protective case is included, and the plate is large enough to fit all your jobs.
It measures 17.78 x 41.4 x 31.75 cm in dimensions, which is equivalent to 7 x 16.3 x 12.5 in. The machine weighs 8.98 kg, that is to say, 19.8 lb. As you can see, it’s not a compact product. So it’s better to plan a location before buying.
To choose the right machine for sewing, all you have to do is ask yourself what your experience level and the type of work you need it for is. If you want more information to help you before, during, and after your purchase, continue with the buying guide below:
Who is Brother?
Brother is indisputably one of the top 3 leading brands. It controls a sizeable share in a sewing machine manufacturing industry which has top players like Juki, Singer, Janome, among others. Brother is a reference brand in the sewing machine department. First, a Japanese family business that was founded in 1908, Brother, is today a multinational company. It offers sewing machines for all levels.
At its inception, it specialized in the manufacture of industrial sewing machines. The brand, therefore, focused on equipment for professionals. However, as the brand grew, it also dedicated itself to providing machines for individuals. In 1954, it became Brother International Corporation and opened its activities internationally. A part of their creations was therefore exported from this time. Following an almost immediate enthusiasm among consumers, the brand is expanding its expertise even further. Today, it produces several types of sewing machines while promoting innovation.
Those who are new to sewing will, therefore, find the sewing machine that adapts to their level. And the more experienced will find from the Brother brand a sewing machine that meets their requirements and their needs.
The Brother brand offers mechanical and computerized sewing machines. The brand’s reputation is built on the quality and reliability of the machines. Innovative, it provides models adapted to all budgets. Buying a Brother sewing machine is buying a sewing machine that is robust, easy to use, functional, and practical. They are designed above all for all users and their requirements.
The advantages of choosing Brother sewing machines
Whether you plan to do sewing or embroidery, the Brother brand has a wide range of machines. They range from the simplest to the most sophisticated. Their machines generally have a multitude of options and settings that will allow you to carry out your sewing work in the rules of the art. Their various types of machines have their characteristics that can meet the needs of each user. Here are all the advantages we find in the Brother sewing machine:
Ease of use
This is the main advantage of the Brother sewing machine. Whichever model you buy, getting it to work is a snap, especially for beginners.
Even if you’ve never sewed before, a Brother sewing machine is designed for you to use it easily. Each model is also accompanied by a manual and a DVD to help you get started.
Robust and easy to handle, these machines are essential tools for learning and practicing sewing.
Fast and quiet
Brother sewing machines are the fastest in the industry. These machines run at a speed of around 700 to 800 stitches per minute, or more. In fact, Brother XR9550PRW has a speed of 850 SPM. Some models of the Brother brand can offer a sewing speed of 1000 stitches and more per minute. Also, their machines aren’t just fast; they operate quietly.
Compact and lightweight
Brother machines are not only light in weight, but they are also compact and have portable designs. Many of them are built with newbies in mind. In addition to their lightness, they include a carry bag, makes them easy to carry to lessons and the workshop.
Durability and 25 years of warranty
The Brother brand is renowned for the robustness of its sewing machines. Although we can find a lot of plastic on some models, their lifespan is excellent. They often come with a warranty of 25 years, although limited.
The Brother brand offers you machines that combine performance and creativity. It gives consumers various ranges at very competitive prices. The majority of the brand’s models are reasonably priced and, therefore, accessible to all budgets.
Because not all seamstresses have the same level, the Brother brand has sewing machines adapted to everyone. You will, therefore, find machines for those who are just starting out. There are also models that have a wide range of features and, therefore, suitable for professional or experienced seamstresses. Also, features such as the automated needle threader system or the automatic buttonhole will give perfection to your works. With generally ten sewing options, a Brother sewing machine is able to adapt to almost all types of fabric.
In general, the models offered are equipped with LCD, touchscreen, or not. This display has been designed to make your job more comfortable, and also to allow you to fine-tune your machine settings.
Features to consider when choosing a Brother sewing machine
Because it’s not easy to choose a Brother sewing machine as there are many models, here are the criteria to take into account:
Type and application
Computerized sewing machine: The Brother brand also offers a wide selection of electronic sewing machines. They have everything to envy, when compared to a Singer sewing machine, a Toyota sewing machine, a Husqvarna sewing machine or even a Pfaff sewing machine. If you are a rather experienced seamstress, you will certainly find what you are looking for in this type of machine. They offer a high number of stitches. You even have the option of using embroidery software with your new machine. A good electronic sewing machine can also avoid complicated manual adjustments. It is aimed above all at users who have a certain level of sewing. However, they have a much less simplistic operation than with a mechanical sewing machine. Indeed, an electronic machine is equipped with an assisted motor, a guarantee of optimal user comfort. Also, the settings are made on a simple LCD or touch screen. With a few clicks, you can adjust the stitch width, buttonholes, needle positioning. This screen also simplifies the activation of the automatic threading mode. It guarantees successful embroidery: in the event of incorrect handling, error messages will appear on the screen. Finally, whatever the model is, the screen shows the basic commands associated with any electronic device. Among them is the OK key to validate a setting, the cancel key to return to the main menu, or the reset key to return to the default setting. For better reading, you can also adjust the screen brightness.
Mechanical sewing machine: With Brother mechanical sewing machines, you can also have more complete settings. For example, you will be able to define the length and width of the stitching without any difficulty. A manual is also delivered with the device. These allow neophytes to use their first machine.
Industrial sewing machine: An industrial sewing machine is best suited for professionals. Some models of professional sewing machine allow a wider margin of maneuver. This is thanks to advanced features such as the free arm, the needle threader, or the thread cutter. This type of machine also allows you to make professional-quality hems, like with a real cover machine. From 2016, a single drive flat stitcher became the standard for industrial sewing machines. It is notably embellished with a thread cutter, as well as an ultra-fast straight stitch needle. Its robustness allows it to adapt to all tailoring work. Also, its stepper motor simplifies training management. Finally, the silent operation of their engines also explains the increased craze for a flat stitcher. This should be a determining factor if you use it in an apartment, or at night.
Electric sewing machine: For ease of use, consider purchasing an electric sewing machine. Some settings can be more complicated. However, you will find your way around the Brother models as with any sewing machine. This type of machine allows you above all to avoid the tedious task of installing the bobbin.
An assisted sewing machine: A Brother sewing machine is also available in an assisted model. It is an optimized mechanical sewing machine with an electro-mechanical assistance system. A rheostat pedal is then used to actuate the motor.
A high-performance sewing machine must have a sufficiently powerful motor. A machine with a powerful motor ensures it can go through the thickness of a fabric without hindrance. A high power gives the machine the capacity to sew thick fabrics such as jeans, for example.
SPM and number of stitches
This is probably the most important feature to watch out for. Dependent on the engine and type, your sewing machine can have a number of stitch ranging from 20 to 200. If you want a versatile machine with a high number of stitches, choose the Brother SQ9285. This offers you up to 150 stitches.
A machine with reasonable stitches per minute (SPM), as earlier mentioned, can range between 700 to 1000. This will depend on your experience level.
Whatever your budget is, you should know that you should opt for a model that must offer at least the basic stitches. These include straight stitch, zigzag stitch, and buttonhole. It should preferably be automatic in 1 step or 4 steps. Please note, “4 steps” means that you will have to change your sewing settings 4 times to sew all 4 sides of a button. If you’re doing it on a shirt, it could be particularly tedious. In any case, we advise you to always turn to the 1-stroke models, but this will mainly depend on your budget, and if you can afford it the Brother XR9550PRW with 8 buttonholes or the Brother SE600 with 10 buttonholes are really advisable.
Sewing stitch settings
If you don’t want to be restricted when working, your machine must have sewing stitch settings. This can either be manually for mechanical machines or automatically for electronic models. Among other things, the stitch length selector should be present. There is also the stitch width selector. This controls how far the needle moves from side to side. This is especially done when you do zigzag stitches or when you do decorative stitches. Finally, if you have any sewing experience, you will surely appreciate the side needle position change function.
The free arm is one of the defining features of a good sewing machine, as you can see it by the Brother ST371HD. It offers you the possibility of stitching tubular parts (sleeve, trouser leg, etc.). It is useful, especially when it comes to putting on and sewing cylindrical pieces of fabric, such as sleeves or pant legs. Also, on many Brother machine models, the free arm is located under the accessory box or the table. To access it, all you have to do is remove these two components.
Thread trimming function
The thread trimming function is also a feature to consider when purchasing a Brother sewing machine. Its primary role is to cut the upper and lower threads (distributed by the bobbin). Above all, it considerably saves time, whether it is a question of making or retouching. During your purchasing process, you’ll have to choose between a model with which the activation of the thread cutter is done via a simple button or by bottoming out the pedals. Note that on some models, the thread cutter is coupled with the automatic tie-off.
The presser foot
A good sewing machine should ideally have 4 presser feet. One of these should be classic type, another for zippers, and another for buttonholes. The fourth would possibly be one that you will use for button framing.
Be careful, when you want to buy additional presser feet, check if they are compatible with your sewing machine model. Note that the presser foot pressure must also be adjustable when sewing on each type of fabric (light, heavy or thick). Ideally, your machine should have an automatic pressure setting based on the fabric you will be using. Depending on the model, you may have a double feed foot, a free motion foot, a blind hem foot, or a gathering foot. The choice, therefore, depends on the type of sewing work envisaged. It is better to combine this presser device with a multibrand crowbar adapter. It guarantees you a greater margin of maneuver during a sewing or embroidery work.
The bobbin loading system
As for the bobbin, choose Brother sewing machine models with top loading bobbins, with a clear plastic cover. Typical examples are the Brother XM2701 and the Brother XR9550PRW. This will allow you to see when the thread is about to be finished. Instead of installing the coil, opt for horizontal systems. This will allow the wire to deflect smoothly and, therefore, more easily.
The speed variator
If you want a simpler grip, the variable speed drive can be the best to make it happen. Indeed, when the speed is blocked, you can fully press the pedal, and the set limit will not be exceeded. It also allows you to slow down when you are making difficult runs.
We recommend a sewing machine equipped with LED lighting. This will give you a good view of the work surface, very useful during night use. Above all, this essential accessory provides enough light to further simplify certain operations, such as the manual installation of the bobbin. Some Brother sewing machines have regular LED lighting, and some have dual LED lighting. The latter, of course, offers optimal visual comfort.
Dimensions and weight
These are criteria that should not be overlooked. This is because if the machine is too bulky, you will have difficulty finding a place for it at home. You’ll have to plan a space in your workshop. Fortunately, most Brother models are light and compact. In terms of weight, the models available generally vary from 10 to 25 lbs. For your information, mechanical models are usually the lightest. However, most of the computerized models in this review are lightweight. The Brother XR9550PRW weighs just 10 lbs. If you plan to move or transport it frequently, choose Brother sewing machines weighing between 9 to 15 pounds.
The warranty for Brother sewing machines is reasonable on paper. However, it has been a point of dispute between the brand and its customers. The brand offers a 25-year limited warranty on most of its sewing machines. However, many customers complain this is a “farce” and that they could not have access to repair or replacement services from the brand. It’s a downside of the brand which needs to be addressed.
You should know that there are different ranges of sewing machines, and the Brother brand models are no exception to this. Be aware that the price ranges according to the type of use expected. Without further ado, we will detail them to you right away!
Entry-level models: Like the Brother XM2701 and the Brother CS5055PRW machines, these machines are intended for people who are new to the field. They are the best brother sewing machine for beginners. They’re for those who only wish to sew occasionally. If you’re a newbie or occasional user, then entry-level models are right for you. Generally speaking, these are mechanical machines (although a few computerized models are among). The prices are most often very affordable. If you are just starting out, devices like this will allow you to work simply but efficiently. They are easy to thread. They usually feature an arrowed or numbered spool thread path in stages. Generally speaking, an entry-level machine has 10 stitches (often more) and basic presser feet. The only downside is that you will not be able to add sewing accessories to optimize its operation.
Mid-range models: Machines of this type are more suitable for people who want to upgrade or those who want to work in the field. More robust, they can work on thicker fabrics. They can thus be suitable for sewing furniture fabrics, for example. The models are available in mechanical, but also in computerized models. They include functions such as the integrated thread cutter, the speed variator, or the automatic needle threader, among others. These optimize the comfort during use and, above all, the practicality of the machine. Compared to entry-level models, mid-range models offer more number of stitches. These will, therefore, be useful for decorative designs.
High-end models: These are designed for people who have experience in the field. The high-end machines offer a large choice of presser feet, for example, and other accessories. As for the stitches, they can provide you with a multitude. For comfort, they generally have a large LCD or touch screen and a particularly efficient LED lighting system. They also provide a sizeable retractable work surface, making it easier for you to use. Some models may even provide functions that can allow you to perform quilting techniques, using free motion, for example. You can also make pattern settings if you want to.
How to maintain your Brother sewing machine
Constant maintenance is the key to making your Brothers sewing machine work perfectly. Below are tips and expert recommendations that’ll help you keep the machine new.
Before using your machine, you must change the sewing needle and completely clean the bobbin. Specialists recommend doing it with compressed air or any method that removes dust and lint.
Avoid hooking pins to fix the fabric. This is because when colliding with the needle of the machine, it can weaken or even break it. Instead, mark the material with the pattern you need and fix it firmly with the help of a presser foot.
Never overheat the engine by overworking it.
When you finish using your machine, clean it with a damp cloth, and protect it with a plastic cover or sleeve. Thus, you prevent dust from accumulating on it.
Once a month, you should remember to lubricate the sewing machine in the places indicated by the manual. In this way, you ensure that the motor runs efficiently and maintains its power and speed.
For commercial or industrial use, look for a Brother model with a powerful motor that can offer 1,000 to 1,700 SPM. This helps it work on all materials possible: be it leather, denim, or soft plastics. Choose a model with an automatic needle threader and a one-step buttonhole.
To put the thread in a Brother sewing machine, nothing could be simpler. Most of the brand’s models are equipped with simplified threading systems. First, you need to install the spool on the spool holder, wind the thread around the guide, unwind the end of the thread and pull it down. Then pass it through the lifter and thread the needle. This operation can be complicated for beginners, but you will quickly master the process.
To fill the bobbin of a Brother sewing machine, you must open the winder hatch and raise the spool pin as far as possible. Then place the bobbin on the spindle of the winder. Make sure that the spindle is in the notch of the bobbin. Tilt the bobbin winder shaft to the right. Then place the spool on the spool holder. Put on the spool cover, pull the thread and thread the thread guide. Wind the thread clockwise and pass the end of the thread through the slot in the winder. Then pull the thread to the right so that it is cut. Slide the controller to the next, and press the power button.
Brother is clearly a leading brand in the sewing machine market. It has made its reputation by offering sewing machines that are robust, efficient, easy to use. They are available at all prices and, of course, for all levels of sewing. To find the one that will accompany you to sew your seams, define your future uses, the essential points for you, and, of course, your budget.
Our overall best Brother sewing machine is the Brother XM2701. This affordable model is perfect for beginners and those who only need to perform very modest tasks. The Brother HC1850 wins our Best Value nomination. We love it not only because you can do regular sewing and quilting with it. But it’s also computerized and can perform monograms. Finally, Brother CS5055PRW is our Budget Pick. Not only cheaper, but the computerized sewing machine is also perfect for garment construction and quilting projects. It has 50 built-in stitches and 5 one-step buttonholes.