You’re shopping around for a sewing machine and wondering, computerized sewing machines vs mechanical: what’s the difference? If you already have a mechanical sewing machine, should you upgrade to a computerized one? Are they really better for sewing and if so, why? In this blog post, I share what a computerized sewing machine is and what the difference is between one and an ordinary mechanical sewing machine.
Computerized sewing machines vs mechanical
What is a computerized sewing machine?
A computerized sewing machine is a sewing machine that is operated mainly by computerized settings according to what stitch you choose. Rather than manually setting up your needle for the stitch you need, you can enter the stitch number by pressing the buttons, and your selection will show on the LCD screen on the machine. As you’re selecting your stitch, the machine’s needle will automatically adjust, ready to sew.
The very first computerized sewing machine was released by Janome in 1979.
What is a mechanical sewing machine?
A mechanical sewing machine is one that is manually operated, in that you need to set up your machine when changing stitches. It isn’t automatically done for you as it is with a computerized sewing machine.
Computerized sewing machines vs mechanical: what’s the difference?
The main difference between the two machine types is that with a computerized machine, a lot of the manual tasks are automated for you. When you’re changing from one stitch type to another, all you have to do is make the selection and the machine will automatically adjust itself to suit your new stitch.
This makes it so much easier to work from one stitch to another and helps your machine set up faster and more correctly. If you’re busy working on many projects, such as if you run a sewing business, then it’s important to have a computerized sewing machine.
Computerized sewing machines can also operate without a foot pedal, instead you use the stop/start button instead. Computerized sewing machines have many more stitches than a regular mechanical sewing machine, often over 100, including decorative and heirloom stitches.
How does a computerized sewing machine help your sewing?
A computerized sewing machine makes your sewing more professional. You end up with higher quality items because the sewing is more precise.
It’s also less work using a computerized sewing machine, once you actually know how to use it properly!
A computerized sewing machine has dozens more stitches available than a mechanical sewing machine. Some sewing machines that also have embroidery capacity, allow you to upload your own designs onto your machine’s computer for more customized projects. A computerized sewing machine is truly very versatile!
One of the most important features of a computerized sewing machine is that it helps you easily create neat, high-quality buttonholes. This is because you can use the buttonhole attachment and your sewing machine, once you’ve selected the buttonhole stitch on your machine, will automatically sew a buttonhole for you without any of your input required, other than using the foot pedal!
When can a mechanical sewing machine be better than a computerized one?
A lot of industrial sewing machines are mechanical because they are used for basic stitches and are usually used by sewing businesses that aren’t interested in fancy stitches or extra features. They just want a strong, sturdy machine that has high speeds so that they can sew their garments as efficiently as possible.
Sometimes, a mechanical sewing machine is better for those who aren’t tech-savvy and don’t want to learn how to use the different features of a computerized sewing machine. People who have been sewing for years and are used to a mechanical sewing machine, might be better off purchasing a replacement mechanical sewing machine when their existing one stops working.
How much does a computerized sewing machine cost?
You would think that being a computerized sewing machine, it would cost a lot more than a mechanical sewing machine but this isn’t the case.
There are many affordable computerized sewing machines, some even under $200.
And the opposite is true- there are computerized sewing machines that cost over $1000.
There are also mechanical sewing machines that cost over $1000! So it’s not necessarily true that a computerized sewing machine is more expensive than a mechanical sewing machine.
How long do computerized sewing machines last?
Most computerized sewing machines come with a 25 year warranty, so they do last a very long time if they’re well maintained and looked after. It also depends on how much you use your machine. If you run a sewing business, you may need to replace your machine sooner.
Can computerized sewing machines embroider?
Yes, there are computerized sewing machines that are a combination of a sewing and embroidery machine so that you can work on either type of project.
What are some examples of computerized sewing machines?
Computerized sewing machines include:
What are some examples of mechanical sewing machines?