Best heavy duty sewing machine: for leather, denim and heavy fabrics
Heavy duty sewing projects need the best heavy duty sewing machine- you can’t just use a beginner’s machine when making a pair of jeans or a leather jacket.
My review of the best heavy duty sewing machine will help you pick the best one for your sewing needs, whether you’re just sewing for yourself or you have a sewing business and need something industrial to help with better quality pieces at a quicker turnaround.
You might’ve read other heavy duty sewing machine reviews that tell you rubbish such as “every beginner needs a heavy duty sewing machine” or “it’s good to have one just in case”, the reality is that heavy duty sewing machines are not for your average sewing enthusiast.
They’re best used for projects where you’re working with denim, leather and nylon. So if you’re making a pair of jeans or sewing a leather jacket, you’ll need to use the best sewing machine for heavy fabrics. If you regularly work on such projects, then you’ll get your money’s worth when you invest in the best heavy duty sewing machine.
If you’ve tried sewing either with a machine or by hand and you’ve tried using a regular sewing needle for a stronger fabric, you would’ve experienced breaking a sewing needle or maybe even hurting yourself while trying to get the needle through the thick, strong fabric.
This isn’t the best way to work with heavy duty fabrics, especially if you’re running a sewing business and need fast turnover. It’s not practical, economical or productive to be damaging needles and machines trying to use a regular sewing machine on fabric like denim or leather.
So how do you choose the best heavy duty sewing machine? What’s the difference between the various makes and models? How do you know which is the best one for your needs?
My best heavy duty sewing machine review looks at the top brands that are all available to purchase on Amazon. My review covers not only the features and benefits of each machine, but what this means for you. So what if a machine has a fast speed? So what if a machine can work with leather? Why should you choose machine A over machine B?
Let’s take a look at the best heavy duty sewing machines on the market in 2020.
Here’s my list of the best heavy duty sewing machines:
Best heavy duty sewing machine reviews 2020
My top pick:
If I had to pick THE best heavy duty sewing machine, the holy grail of industrial sewing, I’d pick the Juki TL-2000Qi.
You might’ve read my Juki review before but if you haven’t, here’s what you need to know about this great machine.
Type: sewing and quilting
Max speed: 1500 stitches per minute
Max stitch length: 6mm
Lift of the Presser Foot: By Lever, Maximum 9mm; By Knee Lifter, Maximum 12mm
Needle: HAx1 (130/705H) #7-#18, HLx5 #9-#16
Dimensions 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
Weight (Machine only) 11.5 kg
Warranty: 2 year motor; 5 years parts
While it’s an expensive machine, the Juki TL-2000Qi is the best choice if you’re wanting an industrial sewing machine with a fast speed and solid build that will last you many years.
At a speed of 1500 stitches per minute, the Juki is the second fastest machine in my review of the best heavy duty sewing machines. This is much faster than your average sewing machine, which is important when you’re running a business and need to work fast while still creating a professional finish for your garments.
But don’t worry- when you need to slow down the machine when working with denim and other heavy fabrics, you can control the speed to what suits the fabric and the project. This will help you create a quality garment with an excellent finish.
Also helping with your productivity is the automatic thread cutting- meaning that’s one less thing for you to worry about as you’re creating garments. No need to stop, find scissors and cut the thread. You can use the foot controller to cut thread or you can use the automatic thread trimmer button on the machine.
The Juki comes with an even feed foot which gives you a reliable stitch especially when working with difficult fabrics such as velvet and georgette.
Despite being a fast machine, you won’t need to worry about strong vibrations while using it. The Juki has an aluminium die cast frame for reduced vibration.
The maximum stitch length of 6mm is perfect when working with thick fabrics that require thick threads. This is what makes the Juki the best sewing machine for heavy fabrics.
While you might not be buying a Juki for quilting projects specifically, it’s great to know you can still use it for this. There’s 9 inches of space between the needle and the machine’s arm which is enough space for a large quilt project.
If you spend hours working on garments, you want to reduce eyestrain and keep your working space light and easy to work in. The Juki features an LED light to brighten up your working space and make it easier to work faster without impacting on your eyes.Click to check price here
Janome HD3000- Currently unavailable on Amazon
Janome HD3000- Currently unavailable on Amazon
Type: sewing and quilting
Speed: 860 stitches per minute
Max. stitch length: 4mm
Warranty: 25 years
Machine: heavy-duty frame
Number of stiches: 18 stitches
6.5mm max. stitch width
Includes 7 feet
If you’re looking for the best heavy duty sewing machine for home use, you can’t go past the well-known and loved Janome HD3000.
If I had to pick the type of user this machine is suited to, I’d say for those who are ambitious with their sewing projects and want to create professional garments to sell but need a bit more creativity and flexibility that’s not provided with other heavy duty machines such as the Juki.
The Janome heavy duty sewing machine can be used for both sewing and quilting projects and has 18 stitches so you can use this machine for different projects.
Although you can get creative, you can also use the Janome if you’re running a business and need to create professional-looking garments and work with heavier fabrics like denim. While the machine is great for use on denim and leather, for anything thicker, you may need a more heavy duty machine as the Janome isn’t great on canvas.
There’s also been feedback that changing fabric thicknesses while sewing can cause the machine to jam. But if you avoid doing this you shouldn’t have many issues.
I really like that this machine has a long warranty period, which is important when you’re paying a lot of money for a heavy duty sewing machine. Another good aspect is that the machine is mechanical, it’s not a computerized machine. This is makes it easier to repair and maintain if there are issues- just take it to someone who is good at working on machines. If there were computerized components, you would need to send it away for costly technical repairs.
Finally, the Janome is lighter and more portable than other heavy duty sewing machines, making it easier if you need to move the machine from one place to the next.
Sewing Speed (SPM): 1,100
Max. stitch length: 4mm
Warranty: 25 years, limited
Frame: Heavy duty metal frame,
Number of stitches: 32 built-in stitches (18 decorative, 6 basic, 7 stretched)
Feet: 4 feet included
Stitch width: 6mm max stitch width
Other features: SINGER Sewing Assistant App
The best heavy duty sewing machines all look rather industrial, and the Singer is no different. It’s a heavy duty metal frame which makes it look sturdy and reliable, and is great when you want a machine to last you years.
Of all the best heavy duty sewing machines I’ve reviewed, the Singer is the most budget-friendly. This is helpful if you’re struggling with finances right now but still need to buy a heavy duty sewing machine.
A bit like the Janome, the Singer 4452 is great if you’re working on different types of projects that require different stitches. The Singer 4452 heavy duty machine has 32 built-in stitches suitable for many project types making this a versatile machine for those wanting quality garments. It has 6 basic stitches, 18 decorative stitches and 7 stretched stitches.
The Janome can sew up to 1100 stitches per minute making it a great industrial machine for when you’re making lots of garments if you run a business.
To save you time and hassle, it has a built-in needle threader making it quick and easy to thread the needle.
Also like the Janome, the Singer 4452 is a mechanical heavy duty sewing machine which makes it a lot less prone to technical issues than computerized sewing machines.Click to check price here
Best heavy duty sewing machine: buying guide 2020
Many people are using self-isolation as a time to learn a new hobby or turn an existing sewing hobby into a business.
If you’re running a business making garments, a regular sewing machine just isn’t going to cut it for you. You need the best heavy duty sewing machine for your budget so that you can create garments that are more professional looking and are made faster than by using a regular machine.
You also need the best sewing machine for heavy fabrics which isn’t going to be your average, run-of-the-mill sewing machine that you’d use on easier crafts and projects.
What is a heavy duty sewing machine?
A heavy duty sewing machine is a machine that’s built to be used with thicker, stronger fabrics. It’s used in industrial sewing which requires a sturdier machine that’s built to handle the complexities of sewing with denim, leather, nylon and other similar fabrics.
Why use a heavy duty sewing machine?
Trying to use a regular sewing machine on a project with heavy, thick fabrics is likely to damage the machine. It also doesn’t help with productivity and a professional garment finish.
To work with heavy duty fabrics and also create a quality-looking garment, you need a heavy duty or industrial sewing machine that can handle the strength of the fabric.
Heavy duty sewing machines are stronger, and can sew at faster speeds than a regular machine could handle. This helps not only with the heavier fabric but it allows you to work more productively. This is important when you’re running a sewing business and need to turnover garments much faster than if you were sewing for fun.
Why are heavy duty sewing machines more expensive if they have fewer features?
Heavy duty sewing machines are expensive because they use fewer plastic parts and are made of strong metal. To be able to sew at faster speeds and sew through thicker, stronger fabric, the machine needs to be built with stronger components and a tougher frame. This adds to the cost of producing a heavy duty sewing machine.
Why are heavy duty sewing machines mechanical rather than computerized?
Since heavy duty sewing machines are used in an industrial setting, computerized features aren’t required. Most people who own a heavy duty sewing machine use them for thicker fabrics but less complicated projects that don’t require fancy stitching. Therefore, there’s no requirement for computerization of the machine.
The benefits of a mechanical machine versus a computerized machine is that it’s much easier to maintain and repair a mechanical machine. Computerized machines are more complicated and require someone with computer knowledge to repair, whereas mechanical machines can be repaired by most people who have a good knowledge of how machinery operates.
What is the best heavy duty sewing machine for denim?
All of the heavy duty sewing machines I’ve reviewed in this post can be used when working with denim. The machines are durable enough to handle the thickness of denim without breaking the needle or jamming the machine.
If I was picking a machine for denim, I’d choose the one with the longest arm and most space to accommodate a pair of jeans. This will make it easier for you to sew the garment.
What is the best heavy duty sewing machine for leather?
When working with leather, any of the heavy duty sewing machines listed in this review are suitable. Read the review of each machine and select the one that best suits your overall needs.
One final word…
There isn’t as large a range of heavy duty sewing machines as they are regular sewing machines, but the ones that are available are reliable and perform well. Choose the best machine to suit your budget and make sure you have your machine serviced regularly and follow the instructions.
By choosing the best heavy duty sewing machine for home use, you’ll be creating the most professional looking jeans, leather jacket and other garments with ease!