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Choosing the Right Sewing Machine: A Guide to Different Types & Models


Purchasing a Sewing machine for the first time can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, and this article is intended to help you find the perfect machine for the best price!

It's important to know what type of sewing machines are available and what you are willing to pay for. Sewing machines can range from $60 to $400.

We will review the types of sewing machines, links to recommendations, and Affordable Alternatives.

Choosing a of Machine

Mechanical Machines

Computerized Machines


Affordable Alternative


1. Mechanical Machines

Mechanical machines are for everyday use and typically come with 15 - 20 stitches. These machines come with precision and essential features for beginners to learn and experiment with. These machines are electric, with a power cord and foot pedal.

$100 - Brother LX3817 17-Stitch Portable Full-Size Sewing Machine

$260 - SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

2. Computerized Machines

Computerized machines are more advanced than Mechanical machines, with over 150 stitches. They run on a computerized machine that has more functions. They can create embroidery and quilting stitch designs that are programmed in. It is more advanced for tech-savvy sewers and always comes with a needle threader. It is more heavy-duty than a regular mechanical machine, and stitch designs can be imported. These machines are more convenient, and you can control if you want the needle to stay in the fabric or lift it when you finish sewing.

$370 - Brother CP100x Sewing Machine

I recommend an investment in a computerized machine if you are interested in sewing long-term and require more versatility for your designs. These machines operate in sequences; they can be programmed to sew words and numbers.

3. Sergers

Sergers are entirely different from computerized and mechanical machines. Sergers can utilize up to 5 different thread spools at once to create clean finishes and hems, similar to the finish seen in clothing stores. These machines also cut the fabric neatly and are faster than other machines. It is excellent for items that are being duplicated with one pattern. Because sergers can have 4 threads in the machine at once, they can also gather and sew fabric simultaneously.

$280 - Brother Serger, 1034D, Heavy-Duty Metal Frame Overlock Machine

Before investing in a serger, consider how often you plan on sewing and how much you sew.


I purchased my first sewing machine for less than $25. An affordable alternative to buying a brand-new machine is to purchase a used machine. There are many platforms, such as eBay or Mercari, but when I first bought a sewing machine, I was just interested in learning the basics. I did not want to invest in sewing as a hobby because I did not believe I would be doing it long-term.

I worked at Goodwill at the time and found out they had an online e-commerce platform.

This platform operates as an online auction site where you can bid on items too big to be sold in-store. You can find machines by searching for Sewing machines, and you can filter to a Goodwill site near you to avoid shipping costs. They have brand-new and used sewing machines on this platform, and often they do not have many bidders, so the prices are lower. This is an affordable alternative to lowering the financial investment in a hobby like sewing.

Now that I have a new machine, I am glad that I took this route and bought my first machine on shopgoodwill because learning how to sew for the first time can be frustrating, and this alleviated the pressure I would have felt to learn if I had bought an expensive machine.

If you have any questions or appreciate this post, please leave a comment or a like!

Happy Sewing :)

Weslyn Harmon

College student passionate about sewing, creating, law, nonprofit work, and justice.

Instagram: @_harmon.e
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