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The 5 Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
No matter how much sewing experience you have under your belt, if you’re working with heavy-duty materials (like denim, leather, and heavily layered quilts), you may want to consider buying the best heavy duty sewing machine. There are few things more frustrating than having an inadequate sewing machine give up mid-project, so doing your research to purchase the right sewing machine. If you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, read our heavy-duty sewing machine reviews and ratings below.
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But where to start? That’s what we’re here to help with. So that you can make an informed decision on what brand model is the best heavy duty sewing machine for you, we’ve found the best models available. Keep reading for the top five best heavy duty sewing machines currently for sale.
The Brother Wide Table Sewing and Quilting Machine is the best heavy duty sewing machine because it can work at an impressive speed of up to 1,500 SPM, has a wide workspace table, and comes with 7 different sewing feet to work with.
Brother is a well-respected brand in sewing, and the Brother Wide Table Sewing and Quilting Machine is no exception to that standard. Built for both sewing and quilting on a wide table, this model stitches up to an impressive 1,500 stitches per minute max sewing speed. The automatic needle threading system saves you from the trouble of having to thread through the tiny eye of the needle and a top drop-in bobbin, which helps prevent annoying jams.
This professional sewing machine comes with a variety of convenient accessories including: a wide table, knee-lifter, 7 different sewing feet, an instruction manual, and more. The knee-lifter is removable, and its purpose is to allow you to lift the presser foot with your knee, thus leaving your hands free to handle the fabric. The reason that this model is good for heavy-duty sewing is because of the adjustable pin feed mechanism that allows you to move all layers of a quilt at once or not leave feed dog marks in the nap of more delicate fabrics.
- Push-button automatic thread trimmer
- Four additional feed dog settings for fabric control
- 25-year limited warranty and free technical phone support for life of product
- The automatic thread dial can be great and time-saving, but some advanced sewers may prefer to adjust tension automatically
The Consew 206RB-5 is the best heavy duty sewing machine because it is built to handle heavy fabrics like upholstery, vinyl, leather, canvas, and other laminated materials with ease.
The Consew Triple Feed Heavy Duty Single Needle Sewing Machine can handle nearly any fabric you throw at it. This is one of the best sewing machines for heavy fabrics like leather, vinyl, upholstery, canvas, and other coated or laminated materials with extra layers to work through. This is a great option if you need an upholstery sewing machine for auto, boats, and furniture, sails, tents, trailer and car covers, umbrellas, luggage, sports or camping equipment, canvas shoes, and more.
The Consew has several features to ensure clean sewing on even the heaviest fabric, like a stitch regulator that locks to prevent the stitch length varying because of the vibration of the machine. The sewing machine for canvas also has a bobbin that can be changed without having to remove the sewing project you’re working on from the machine and adjustable reverse stitching that can be the same width as the forward stitch.
- Bobbin can be changed without removing your sewing project
- Needles, walking feet, and other attachments are interchangeable with some other Consew models
- Louder than other sewing machines
The Singer Commercial Grade Sewing Machine is the best heavy duty sewing machine because it is built with sturdy metal, stainless steel, and a power motor, but also has convenient modern features like electronic foot control.
The Singer Commercial Grade Sewing Machine sews at a speed of up to 1,100 stitches per minute and is built to last with its metal interior frame, bedplate of stainless steel, and powerful motor. It has drop feed capability, which makes techniques like free motion quilting and good old-fashioned darning easy options.
This model offers electronic foot control, meaning that you can guarantee a consistent speed without worrying about jump starts or losing control of the speed on straight sections. A simple dial allows you to raise or lower the max speed, so even when you apply more pressure you can choose to set a lower speed threshold if you are working on more intricate or delicate work.
- Comes with specialized sewing feet for different purposes, needles, bobbins, and more
- Easy speed and electronic foot control dial
- May not be able to handle very heavy materials like draper cording
The JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine is the best heavy duty sewing machine because it boasts an impressive 1500 stitches per minute max speed with features for intuitive operation like built-in LED lights and easy one-pedal operation.
The JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing and Quilting Machine has been updated to have LED lights and one pedal operation for easy sewing, and it now boasts an impressive 1500 SPM max speed. One of the nice things about this model when you’re working on larger-scale projects like quilts is the included extension table, so you can easily expand your work area if need be. Because the arm and bed are aluminum die-cast, there is less vibration while you are working, which can disturb the consistency in the length of your stitches.
The TL-2000Qi also boasts some convenience features that modern sewing has come to expect, like an automatic needle threader. It also comes with four different sewing feet for standard sewing, a walking foot, free motion foot, and a foot that compensates 1/4″.
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Extra large extendible work area
- Max stitch length is only 6mm
The JUKI Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine w/ K.D table & Servo Motor is the best heavy duty sewing machine because it can handle over a dozen layers of fabrics, but still doesn’t pucker thinner materials for when you need to do light work.
The JUKI Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine w/ K.D table & Servo Motor is an industrial straight stitch sewing machine for medium to heavy material and is capable of sewing through 14 layers of vinyl, but still doesn’t pucker the fabric on thinner or lighter materials. The DDL-8700H has a different needle system than the standard DDL-8700 and it has 18 different parts that allow it to sew heavier fabrics with heavier thread. The maximum stitch length on this machine is 5mm, and it can handle needles from sizes 9-24 (DB x 1).
The tension, stitch length, and other factors are easily adjustable with the knobs on the machine, so you can get the exact stitches that you need. Accessories include the sewing table itself, bobbin winders, bobbin and needle, spool, instruction manual, screwdriver, machine oil, and more. One thing to note: assembly will be required, but you may have to research the assembly instructions yourself to ensure that all the machine parts are assembled together correctly.
- Comes with table to create an entire sewing work station.
- Easily adjustable tension and stitch length to perfect stitches
- Assembly required, may require the help of a sewing machine mechanic
Features to Consider for the Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
Finding the best heavy duty sewing machine for your situation can be quite an investment, so reading heavy-duty sewing machine reviews can really help ensure that you purchase a machine that meets all of your needs. Here are some features to look out for when narrowing down the list of necessary features.
Stitches per Minute (SPM)
One of the easiest features to compare across the best heavy duty sewing machines is the SPM, or stitches per minute. Simply put, this is the fastest speed that the sewing machine is capable of stitching at (generally in a long straight line to make it up to full speed). Keep in mind that the SPM is not an average, but a maximum, so you will most likely be working at a much lower SPM than the listed numbers. Still, the SPM gives you a good idea of what speeds the sewing machines work at relative to each other since they all use the max speed. Generally, SPM will be between 700 and 1,500.
Automatic Thread Trimmer
While many modern profesional sewing machines have some sort of automatic needle threading (or other needle threading assist system), far fewer have an automatic thread trimmer. Automatic thread trimmers help make the process of sewing repeated lines more efficient since you don’t have to mess around with scissors or pulling out your project to try and snip the thread. While it’s not 100% necessary, it’s a nice convenience to have when you’re trying to work quickly with heavy, cumbersome materials.
Since heavy-duty sewing machines are often geared more towards industrial and commercial use, they are often bigger and come in more parts. “Some Assembly Required” can have very different meaning across brands, so you may want to really check and see what is required of you on assembly. Some professional sewing machines can be put together with an instruction manual or a YouTube video, but others may require bringing in a professional. Once it’s assembled, you shouldn’t need professional help for regular care and maintenance, but you can have someone do it for you if you prefer.
Industrial sewing machines tend to be quite mechanical in nature, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have some flair. Many will come with a variety of built-in stitching types, which can help make seemingly complicated stitches more attainable, no matter the project. If certain stitch types are very important to you, it is worth going through the features or watching videos on that exact model of sewing machine to see if it includes the types of built-in stitches and designs that you most often use.
Benefits of Using Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
There are many benefits to using the best heavy duty sewing machine over a traditional home sewing machine. Here are some benefits to look forward to once you find your best heavy duty sewing machine.
Professional and Industrial Use
For true professional and commercial use, there is no substitution for a true heavy-duty sewing machine. They are faster, more efficient, and actually built to handle the amount of sewing required for professional use, especially when dealing with heavy materials. When dealing with outdoor fabrics, upholstery, shoes, bags, and other mass commercial products, a proper heavy-duty sewing machine is a must.
There are also different types of heavy-duty sewing machines. If you specialize in sewing denim jackets for the upcoming 90s resurgence, you can get a sewing machine for denim. Or, if you work with leather, you can get a leather sewing machine. If you primarily work with one type of material, it can be very helpful to get a machine that specializes in that material.
Precautions of Using Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
Before diving in the deep end finding the best heavy duty sewing machine for home use, there are a few things to keep in mind—especially if you’re not sure whether you need a heavy-duty machine or a more standard home sewing machine.
The best heavy duty sewing machines are bigger and more powerful than their standard-sized counterparts. Being able to handle layers upon layers of leather, vinyl, canvas, and denim means bigger needles, bigger threads, stronger frames, and more powerful engines. All of that extra horsepower is reflected in the price, which is why you should be sure that you need the best sewing machine for heavy fabric for the type of sewing that you do.
More Limited Capabilities
The best heavy duty sewing machines are built to be powerful and sturdy enough to handle many layers of thick fabric. Because of how much energy and strength that takes up, these types of machines don’t tend to have a lot of other flashy features. If you’re looking for something more versatile (like a computerized sewing machine that can download new patterns or double as an embroidery machine), a professional sewing machine may not be the way to go.
Of all these great sewing machines, the best heavy duty sewing machine is the Brother Wide Table Sewing and Quilting Machine. Honestly, it’s hard to beat a speed of up to 1,500 stitches per minute, and with how sturdy this professional sewing machine is built, the PQ1500SL is a great option if you need to do large, heavy-duty projects like quilting and upholstery. It’s also hard to rival a 25-year warranty and free tech support for the entire life of the machine. With all of this, it’s no wonder why it topped our heavy-duty sewing machine reviews.
No matter which heavy-duty sewing machine ends up being the best option for you, we hope it helps you reach all of your heavy duty crafting dreams!