When you’re in the market for a new sewing machine, or even your first one, names such as Brother and Singer will become familiar to you. These are definitely two of the best companies when looking for a good high-quality sewing machine, but how do they compare to one another?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when trying to decide between Brother vs. Singer:
- Does the machine offer the features you consider important?
- What if the machine breaks – is there someone in town who can fix it?
- What if you need a repair under warranty?
Some of the Basics
Let’s take a look at the characteristics of Brother vs. Singer machines to see how alike they are.
The Singer Company has been around since the 1850s and is now owned by the same company that makes the Husqvarna and Pfaff brands of sewing machines. Brother started it’s company in 1908 in Japan, and they’ve been known as Brother since 1962. Both have high-quality products at various price ranges.
First of all, both Brother and Singer make many different models of sewing machines in many different price ranges, from basic sewing machines to machines that do embroidery, have computerized stitches, and which can work on commercial and industrial projects as well as others. This means you’ll never find it difficult to find the perfect sewing machine if you stick with machines made by either of these companies.
If you’re on a budget, there is even better news. Because sewing machines are made with a lot of plastic parts regardless of the brand you choose, they are lighter than ever before, and just because it is super easy to find a machine that is affordable doesn’t mean they are low-quality. In fact, you can count on both Brother and Singer to provide you with a dependable, long-lasting sewing machine whether you spend $100 on it or $1,000.
Let’s Do Some Comparisons
Both Brother and Singer offer a wide selection of sewing machines that are perfect for beginners, although as a general rule, Brother has fewer of them than Singer does. A few important features of your typical Singer sewing machine are:
- Adjustable needle positions that make it easier for beginners.
- Allows you to sew through thick and multi-layer fabrics with ease.
- Many built-in stitches to choose from.
- Most are heavy-duty and meant to last.
- Some have features that make it easy for beginners to learn to sew, including automatic buttonhole features, adjustable pressure feet, and even stitch lengths that are adjustable.
Of course, Brother offers a lot of advantages as well for the beginning sewer, and some of these include:
- Sometimes more versatile than Singer as far as their overall features are concerned.
- Some come complete with an extension table or free arm for your convenience.
- Some serve multiple purposes, such as the ones that can both quilt and sew.
- Most include beginner-friendly features such as easy bobbin winding, detailed stitch chart on the machine itself, easy threading, and speed control, to name a few.
Overall, Brother sewing machines sometimes offer a better overall value than Singer machines, in part because they provide tons of features that seamstresses love yet their prices are usually lower than those made by Singer.
Some experts recommend that if you’re a novice when it comes to sewing, a beginner-friendly Brother is likely your best option, whereas a beginner-friendly Singer machine is best when you are somewhat familiar with sewing, you’re planning to do a lot of sewing, or if you know you’re going to be using a variety of fabrics.
How Should You Decide?
If you need a way to decide between Brother and Singer sewing machines, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Does the machine offer all the features you consider important?
- What if the machine breaks – is there someone in town who can fix it?
- What if you need a repair under warranty?
With both Singer and Brother, there is a very sturdy metal frame, which means they can sew through extra-thick fabric without burning up the motor. When it comes to heavy-duty machines, there are other considerations as well. For instance, Singer has a few more options when it comes to heavy-duty sewing machines than Brother does, and the number of built-in stitches can vary from one machine to the next, which can be especially important if you’re a beginner.
When it comes to non-computerized heavy-duty machines, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Brother has 37 built-in stitches, while Singer only has 13.
- Brother only offers 800 stitches per inch.
- Singer’s heavy-duty machine allows you to raise the presser foot much higher.
Many experts have concluded that when it comes to heavy-duty sewing machines, Singer is the brand you want to go with. Why? First of all, Singer machines usually have more options when it comes to alphabet and embroidery designs. Although both brands carry machines with LCD touchscreens, the screen on the Singer machines are generally bigger and easier to use, especially when you want to edit something.
For both of these brands’ heavy-duty machines, you get automatic thread-trimmers, automatic needle-threading, and tensioning. They also both have USB ports, and Brother even has a port for embroidery cards. Nevertheless, Singer offers downloadable software for you to design your own creations, a free online class to help you learn how to make those creations, and even a universal power supply that comes in handy if you travel internationally.
Both Brother and Singer offer embroidery hoops as well. Brother offers a total of three hoops (5” x 7”, 4” x 4”, and 2.5” x 1”), while Singer has two of them (10.25” x 6” and 4” x 4”). Having said all this, when it comes to heavy-duty embroidery machines, Singer has two main advantages over Brother: the free online classes and more flexibility.
You should also keep in mind that both Brother and Singer offer a variety of these heavy-duty embroidery machines, and because of that, you’ll need to do your due diligence if you are looking for a machine with certain features or functions. The above characteristics do not apply to all Brother machines and all Singer machines. Indeed, if you chose another set of these types of sewing machines, you may get different results.
The Top Machines in Each Category
If you’re curious about the top five sewing machines by each company, here are a few of the highest-rated machines made by Brother and Singer.
Top five machines made by Singer - 2020:
- Singer Quantum 9960 – best for quilting
- Singer 4423 – best for working with leather
- Singer Start 1304
- Singer 4452 – best overall
- Singer 7258 – best for making clothes
Top five machines made by Brother - 2020:
- Brother HC1850 – best overall
- Brother XM2701 – best for beginners
- Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW
- Brother CS6000i
- Brother XR3774 Sewing and Quilting Machine
As you can see, there are numerous types of sewing machines regardless of which brand you’re looking at, and this includes portable, computerized, embroidery, electric, mechanical, and heavy-duty machines, and as soon as you decide you want a certain one of these, you have to then compare it to the same type of machine that the other brand carries. In other words, you have to compare apples to apples to get the best results so that you can determine which machine is best for you.
Brother vs. Singer: More Comparisons
Professional comparisons have been made between various machines produced by both of these companies, and here are a few observations that were made:
- Computerized machines: Both Brother and Singer offer computerized sewing machines that handle thin, medium, knitted, and thin knitted fabrics, and both offer numerous functions and capabilities that are top-notch.
- Convenience: Both Brother and Singer make comfortable machines; however, Singer sewing machines also offer advantages such as removable parts that have a convenient cover and very detailed instructions, a body that has a rotary knob to make it easier to move it to any distance, and a convenient and unique angled design. But Singer also has plastic pedals that some people dislike.
- Design: When it comes to design, Brother has received numerous international awards for sewing and embroidery machines, and their control panel is one of the top features. Brother also has plans to improve both the comfort and design of its sewing machines. On the other hand, Singer machines often come with an angled design, which helps with the comfort level of the sewer.
- Power: This is an area you’ll want to research because even though Singer sewing machines have very good power, Brother machines offer both high- and low-power machines, allowing more options for you to choose from.
- Sewing machine type: Both companies have computerized and mechanical sewing machines available. When it comes to mechanical machines both Singer and Brother tend to make a little noise, although they do offer machines with very fast speeds.
- Sewing speed: Singer machines are high-speed but tend to make a lot of noise, but Brother tends to have faster speeds overall.
- Versatility: Both Singer and Brother can accommodate lots of different fabrics and materials, and both can make high-quality seams as well. However, even the inexpensive Singer sewing machines have extra perks, such as a stitch width regulator and several paws that you can change by yourself.
- When it comes to basic features such as reliability, noise level, and overall sewing quality, both Brother and Singer rated much higher than other brands.
So what does this mean for you as a consumer when you’re trying to decide between a Brother and a Singer sewing machine? First, you have to decide which features are most important to you and look for a machine that offers those features. The bottom line is, both of these brands offer high-quality sewing machines of all types that you are certain to fall in love with, but the final decision is up to you and depends more on your personal preferences than anything else.
How to Choose the Perfect Sewing Machine
Choosing a sewing machine can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether you’re trying to decide between Brother and Singer machines or any others, here are a few things to think about before you make your decision:
- Decide which features are the most important to you; these can include good lighting, automatic threader, free arm, knee lifter, and so on.
- How many stitches do you want to be able to have on your machine? You can save yourself some money if all you want are the basic stitches and nothing else.
- How much money is in your budget? Again, this shouldn’t be the only consideration, but most people can only afford a certain amount when shopping for a sewing machine.
- Miscellaneous factors, such as portability, the type of fabrics you’ll be working with, handheld versus standard, preference for quilting or embroidering machines, and anything else that you consider important so that it is more personalized in the end.
- The amount of space you have. Sewing machines come big or small, so the space you have allotted to your machine can help determine which one to buy.
- Which type do you need? In other words, will you be using the machine for personal use or do you wish to start a home business? Do you also want one that embroiders and quilts?
- Your own skills and needs. Do you need something specifically for a beginner or something that’s a bit more advanced? This can make a big difference in the one you end up choosing.
When it comes to the Brother vs. Singer debate, the question of which one is best is often just a matter of preference. It is much like the “Coke vs. Pepsi” debate, meaning it depends on whom you ask and who is making the final decisions. But one thing’s for sure: once you determine what you’ll be using your sewing machine for and which features are most important to you, the decision becomes much easier.
One more word of caution – when choosing between Brother and Singer, don’t let the price be your only consideration, unless you find two machines with the exact same features and the only thing different between them is the price. Otherwise, you need to take everything into consideration before you make a final decision; this way, you’ll be happier both immediately and in the future.