Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: December 25, 2020
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A quality sewing machine has always been a necessity in any household, but finding the perfect sewing machine isn’t as simple as one might think. While the average person might not need a heavy duty sewing machine, we believe that everyone can benefit from owning one as it is the best option when it comes to sewing machines. Apart from typical fabrics, the best heavy duty sewing machine can sew thick materials like denim and leather and can even be used to make quilts. It has a versatile sewing system and is also dependable and durable.
There are various things you will have to consider before you make your purchase such as the type of fabric which it can sew, stitches per minute, and durability among others. A heavy duty sewing machine is different from a usual household sewing machine as it is built keeping the industry in mind, so it comes with advanced features as well as a smoother sewing performance. For this type of sewing machine, the number of stitches per minute is important because it needs to pass through the thicker fabric. The type of fabric helps you determine whether or not your machine can handle different types of materials. A heavy duty sewing machine requires less maintenance over the years as it is heavier and made of thicker and stronger metal. So naturally, it is more durable and can stand the test of time.
In order to help you in your quest to find the best heavy duty sewing machine, we did our own research. We compared numerous models of different heavy duty sewing machines. We also went through customer reviews for all these machines before testing and trying them out for ourselves. After doing all that, we have narrowed down our research to finalize our top six picks. The structure of this article is such that there is a table with nominations for each sewing machine, followed by in-detail reviews for them along with pros and cons. In the end, there is a buying guide to clear things up in your search for the best heavy duty sewing machine.
The SINGER 4432 is another mechanical sewing machine which is very easy to get used to as it doesn’t have that many functions. It has 32 built-in stitches which include 18 decorative stitches, 6 basic stitches, 7 stretched stitches as well as a one-step buttonhole. This sewing machine has a dial which controls the width of the stitches and it can be set to a maximum of 6mm. The SINGER 4432 also features a built in needle threader which saves you time and has three different needle positions. It contains a motor which is 60% stronger than other motors which allows the machine to sew at a rate of 1,100 SPM and also has the piercing power to sew through multiple layers of fabric. And because it is inexpensive, it’s good for those wanting to start sewing.
While the SINGER 4432 is good for beginners, its lack of functions makes it restrictive as you gain more experience. And, this machine is partly made up of plastic to reduce the weight so it is flimsier than others in the market.
What we liked:
Good for beginners as it’s easy to use
Has a strong motor so can make easy work of thick fabric
What could be better:
Its build contains plastics as well so it isn’t as durable
This sewing machine becomes restrictive if you want to do more professional work
The JUKI TL-2000Qi is one of the best in the business. Like many modern devices, this sewing device features loads of automated features. It has automatic thread trimming, which allows you to trim both the top thread and bobbin thread with great ease. The JUKI TL-2000Qi features a better thread tension adjustment system with which you can find the best tension for both your fabric and thread. This sewing machine has a microprocessor which looks after the speed control. So, you can easily adjust the speed your machine so that it suits all types of fabric, thick or thin. The machine also has better needle control so you can have more precision when you quilt and design. The JUKI TL-2000Qi features an automatic needle threader so you won’t have to go through the hassle of manually inserting the thread, which helps you sew your fabric faster. This sewing machine also contains LED lights so that you can clearly see the area you’re sewing.
What we liked:
Automated, so it’s easy to start using it
It’s easy to maneuver the fabric in the machine, making it ideal for quilting
It’s pretty durable
What could be better:
There is a steep learning curve as it has many features
The Janome HD3000 is a heavy duty mechanical sewing machine. It contains 18 types of stitches and you can even change the length and width of those designs using sliders. The learning curve for this sewing machine is quite small so you can get the hang of it easily which makes it perfect for beginners. The Janome HD3000, being a mechanical sewing machine, is more durable as it doesn’t have many electrical components and it’s easier to maintain and repair. Unlike computerized sewing machines which need to be repaired by professionals, the Janome HD3000 can be fixed by anyone who has some basic knowledge about sewing machines. This sewing machine is powerful enough to handle tough fabric such as leather, fur, upholstery and even multiple layers of fabric while also being delicate enough to sew softer fabric like linen, wool, cotton. The Janome HD3000 is pretty light compared to other sewing machines so it’s easier to carry around.
While the Janome HD3000 does do a good job sewing thick fabrics, abruptly changing the thickness while sewing can cause problems. Also, for fabrics like canvas or reptile skin, there are better sewing machines in the market. And although the Janome HD3000 is light, it can take up a lot of space. This sewing machine is also a bit expensive so beginners might not want to make this investment.
What we liked:
It is comparatively lighter and portable to an extent
Singer has made this model to ensure exceptional level of quality. It has 32 built-in stitches that will allow you plenty of versatility with your sewing and quilting. There are also plenty of accessories to get you started.
This is a reliable model, and you can sense that it was built to last. If anything does go wrong, then you’ll have the support of a 25-year warranty on the machine head and two on the motor. Durability is impressive here, and it’s heavy-duty in that respect.
Where it’s not quite heavy duty is the types of fabrics that it can deal with. It can struggle with the likes of thick leather or several layers, which is important to note. It also doesn’t support the largest spools of thread which can be frustrating if that’s what you prefer working with.
Aside from those issues, this machine is excellent in almost all areas. It’s relatively compact and doesn’t take up too much space. The vibrations are kept to a minimum, so the table won’t rattle. Another nice feature is the built-in lights to help guide you for accurate sewing. It’s an impressive model and one that’ll allow you to use it in any project.
The Janome Industrial-Grade HD1000 is an industrial grade sewing machine that can be used for heavyweight fabrics and leather. That is achieved thanks to the powerful motor, and also the product has an all-aluminum interior frame and body.
The main purpose of the Janome HD1000 isn’t to sew dresses or hats. It’s to craft baggage, upholstery, sofa cushions, blankets, and so on. Another amazing feature of this machine is the automatic needle threader that makes operating it a breeze.
While the HD1000 works great on heavyweight fabric, it’s not meant to be used on thin fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton and so on. Although this is an industrial grade sewing machine, it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Unfortunately, a few people mentioned that the thread was getting jammed constantly, even on straight stitching. Also, its cord might seem too short for some.
The Highlead GC0618-1SC is an industrial grade sewing machine only to be used for heavyweight fabrics and leather. This is a newer model manufactured by the company to replace the GC0618 model. The Highlead GC0618-1SC features tons of improvements such as the addition of the safety clutch assemble. This makes it so that there is less damage on the hook if the machine jams up. The main purpose of the Highlead GC0618-1SC isn’t to sew dresses or hats. It’s to craft baggage, upholstery, sofa cushions, blankets and so on. Another feature of this sewing machine is its unique needle bar support. It allows the machine to have better synchronization with the fabric that’s being fed and ensures uniform stitches and makes easy work of those thick fabric.
While the Highlead GC0618-1SC works great on heavyweight fabric, it’s not meant to be used on thin fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton and so on. And, as this is an industrial grade sewing machine, it costs a lot of money.
What we liked:
It’s powerful enough to sew through the thickest of fabrics
Has safety features to stop the machine from getting damaged
What could be better:
Not good to use on thin fabrics
Things to Сonsider
Even if you’re buying your first heavy duty sewing machine or just looking to update the one you currently have, it is difficult to find the perfect sewing machine because there are so many different models readily available these days. With this buying guide, we’re here to help you maneuver your way through these machines and to clear up any confusions so that you’re not lost on any technicalities, in your search for the best heavy duty sewing machine.
What is a heavy duty sewing machine?
Before purchasing your sewing machine, you should consider what you will actually be using it for and how often you plan to use it. A heavy duty sewing machine is often used in the industry and is made for long-lasting durability and dependability. However, it is well equipped to handle extended daily use and is even recommended for it. This type of machine is excellent when dealing with heavy fabrics like leather, animal skin and denim. It is great for making upholstery, blinds, buttonholes, and quilts.
What makes an ideal heavy duty sewing machine for your needs?
Whether or not a heavy duty sewing machine is ideal for you depends on your needs and on the features that you consider the most important such as the type of machine, build of machine, speed, stitches among others.
Sewing machines can be categorized into five types: mechanical, electric, computerized/automated, embroidery and overlock sewing machine. Mechanical sewing machines have basic settings and have to be used manually by the user. Electronic sewing machines have more features than mechanical sewing machines and have motorized functions. Computerized sewing machines are high technology machines that can even be connected to the internet. Embroidery sewing machines are best for different patterns of embroidery and can even be used for industrial purposes. Overlock sewing machines or sergers are used to overlock or seam the fabric. Heavy duty sewing machines are usually manual in nature.
A manual or a mechanical machine is easy to operate and is suitable for beginners. Because of their manual setup, heavy duty sewing machines are easier to maintain, give fewer problems and are more durable. All the machines that we’ve picked for this buying guide are manual heavy duty sewing machines.
Heavy duty sewing machines are much heavier than your typical home sewing machines as they are made out of steel or iron instead of plastic. The robust exterior and strong metal frame can withstand large amounts of pressure and force, so the machine is likely to last for a longer period of time. The SINGER 4452 is partly made of plastic and is portable. However, the Janome Industrial-Grade HD1000 Sewing Machine has a body made of steel so it is difficult to carry around, but it is long lasting. These machines even come attached with a sturdy wooden table so that they can be fixed to one place and cannot be moved easily. Because of their weight and immobility, a very stable sewing environment is created.
Speed control is another major part of sewing. You should set the speed at your own pace so that you won’t have to stop and readjust your fabric every few seconds. If speed is important to you then you should consider getting a sewing machine with variable speed control. If you have adjustable speed control, then you can determine the right speed for different types of materials. It’s often assumed that faster speed is better but that’s not really the case. Several fabrics that are either delicate or too thick require slow speed. This is why it is preferable for users to be able to set their own speed.
The number of stitches available sheds light on the machine’s sewing capacity. If there are several stitching options, then you can be more versatile with your sewing. For example, the Janome HD3000 has 18 different stitches available. Apart from this, the number of stitches per minute also tells us how efficient a heavy duty sewing machine really is. A quality heavy duty sewing machine should be able to produce several hundreds of stitches per minute (SPM) and a heavy duty sewing machine has more SPM than the average household sewing machine. The typical range of stitches per minute lies between 800-2,000. This results in a much faster sewing experience as the machine will be able to power through several layers of fabric with ease.
Presser foot lift
Many heavy duty sewing machines come with one or more presser foot lifts. The presser foot lift works with the feeding mechanism to hold down the fabric to keep it taut while being stitched. Having a presser foot lift is extremely important and convenient, especially if you are stitching several layers of thick fabric at the same time. It is also often spring-hinged to provide flexibility. So while considering heavy duty sewing machines, you should also check if they have a presser foot lift as that will make your work much easier. Among the machines we have reviewed, The Highlead GC0618-1SC and Janome Industrial-Grade HD1000 Sewing Machine have pressure foot lifts.
Apart from the features that are already mentioned, heavy duty sewing machines come with additional features that could prove to be useful for the user. An automatic needle threader is often considered a must-have in a sewing machine these days. It can pull the thread right through the needle’s eye in a matter of seconds and that can save you valuable time. From our picks, JUKI TL-2000Qi and SINGER 4452 have this function. Some sewing machines also have LED lights so that the sewing area is illuminated better. Other convenient features we think you should look into are the safety clutch assemble and the drop-in bobbin. They can be quite handy for people who spend a lot of time sewing.
Price and warranty
Heavy duty sewing machines typically cost more than your average machines. They are made of stronger materials, are much more durable, and you will probably not even have to purchase another sewing machine after you get one. The starting price for most heavy duty sewing machines is around $300, and depending on the feature, the specifications, and the brand, it can even go up to $1,000. The warranty for the electrical parts is often 2 years while you can get up to 25-year warranty for the outer frame. However, this also depends on the brand and the type of material the machine is made out of. For example, you will have about 2-5 years of warranty for JUKI TL-2000Qi, because it’s an industrial-level machine with usually shorter warranties. But with the Janome HD3000, you can get 25 years of warranty. We recommend checking the warranty period which the manufacturer is offering on the machine before you make your final decision.
The sewing machines we’ve chosen for this buying guide have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more efficient, some do the stitching work better, and some are cheaper. Trying to help you find one that meets your needs is what we’re trying to accomplish. The JUKI TL-2000Qi is certainly expensive, but we think it’s worth the price seeing how it makes sewing easier. Its automated features save time and you can even adjust the speeds and stitches for the fabric you’re sewing. The SINGER 4452 is a cheap yet powerful machine. Its main feature is its motor which is 60% stronger than regular motors, making sewing through heavyweight fabrics quite a breeze. The Janome Industrial-Grade HD1000 Sewing Machine and Highlead GC0618-1SC are both machines that can be used in an industrial level. They’re made to deal with the toughest of fabrics that you could possibly throw at them. The Janoma HD1000 has innovative ways to optimize power and the Highlead GC0618-1SC features safety mechanism so that it can work without being damaged. However, these industrial machines cost a fortune, so if you’re looking for a cheaper replacement, the Janome HD3000 is the one you should go for.