A lot of people started their own small business from the comfort of their home. There is an increasing demand for hand-made products and clothing seems to do extremely well. The good news is that the required accessories and gear to work with fabric and leather is not that expensive. Fabric is a bit easier to work with but leather is a bit more difficult to manage. Leather cannot be worked on with regular sewing machines. It requires something more powerful to pierce trough it. This is one of the reasons why so many chose to stay away from leather but it is not impossible. There are some sewing machines that can work with leather.
In order to be able to sew leather it is important to get a powerful sewing machine. Fortunately there are plenty of decent models. Also they require a special needle that needs to be purchased separately. The difficulty comes in choosing the right model. Manufacturers do not specify straight forward if the machine is capable of handling leather. This makes things a bit more complicated. The easy way is to get a special sewing machine that has been designed to work with leather but these are far too expensive.
How To Pick The Right Sewing Machine For Leather?
It is a question that will prove difficult to answer. First of all the machine needs to be powerful. This means the internal motor needs to be capable of delivering more power so that the needle can punch trough leather. The second and equally important aspect is to find matching leather needles. Needles that are advertised as being good with leather are usually different from the ones that work with fabrics. The good part is that manufacturers clearly state which needle is good for what. With these things in mind let’s get right to our list of the top 10 best sewing machines for leather in 2019.
Last update on 2019-07-21 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The Janome HD3000 is a great heavy duty sewing machine that can handle pretty much anything. It is not the most affordable model that can handle leather but it does a fairly good job. The manufacturers made it work with a wide range of materials with its free arm capability and 18 built-in stitches. To sew leather special needles need to be used that are actually included in the kit. As a bonus the machine comes with its own hard case.
What could have been improved about this particular model is the diversity of the stitches? Most sewing machines available on the market have more than just 18. The built quality is decent but not impressive. For its price, it should have stood out in terms of construction.
- Comes with leather needles
- Build quality is not impressive
9. Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine
Brother is one of the most dominant brands when it comes to sewing machines. It offers a wide selection of products. The ST371HD is a great model for the ones that are just starting out and do not want to spend too much money. It is inexpensive, compact and surprisingly powerful. The model offers 37 types of stitches and comes with an instruction manual that will prove to be useful for a beginner. The features a smooth feeder and can work with multiple types of fabric.
It is difficult to find a cheaper machine that can handle leather. The ST371HD is far from perfect but good enough. It does not feel sturdy enough and it will struggle when handling thick leather even when using the right type of needles.
- 37 stitches
- Not very sturdy
- Cannot handle thick leather
8. Singer HD-110 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The Singer HD-110 is one of their classic models. It comes with a reasonable price tag and a very sturdy construction. Unlike other models, its body is not made entirely out of plastic. It is a professional grade machine that comes with all the right features such as a needle threader, heavy duty motor and a heavy duty bed plate.
One thing that makes it different and can be counted as a con is that all the controls are manual. It feels like the sewing machine is a few generations too old and maybe not as accurate as some of the newer models that have digital controls. Also, it does not have all that many stitches to choose from and for a beginner the sewing machine might prove to be a bit confusing to use.
- Good price tag
- Sturdy construction
- Heavy duty motor and parts
- Small number of stitches
7. Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine
Singer CG590 is a great pick for both experienced and novice leather workers. It is a commercial grade sewing machine that comes with a great price tag. Its construction makes it very sturdy with its metal body and very little plastic parts. One impressive aspect of the model is the fact that it can reach speeds of up to 1,100 stitches per minute but this is conditioned by the material used. Of leather, it is a bit slower.
What some would not like about the model is the fact that it has a lot of manual mechanical dials. For some reason, Singer keeps making commercial grade sewing machines without digital controls. The ones that have no problem with all the manual switches will surely appreciate the sewing machine.
- Sturdy metal body
- 1,100 stitches per minute
- Manual mechanical controls
6. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine
Janome Magnolia 7318 is a professional grade sewing machine that was designed for regular users and hobbyists. It is compact, easy to use and quite powerful. The machine comes with a 7 piece feeder and a jam proof bobbin system. It allows for great precision stitching and can handle leather if the right type of needle is used. Leather needles will need to be purchased separately. To make it easy to move around the sewing machine has been equipped with a carrying handle. It also has a small drawer to hold all the accessories it comes with.
Sadly the model comes with only 18 stitches. For regular leather crafts it should be enough but for fabrics, most would have appreciated if the machine offered more stitch types. Other than that the machine has little to no flaws at all.
- Good price
- Easy to use
- Just 18 stitches
5. Brother Project Runway PC420PRW 294-Stitch Professional Grade Computerized Sewing Machine
The Project Runway series of sewing machines from Brother managed to become best-sellers for their versatility and durability. The PC420PRW is a great example of a machine that can handle pretty much anything. It has 294 stitches and a computerized system that makes it very easy to use. The model also features a simple speed control and a reliable feeder. Using dedicated leather needles the machine should be able to handle even thicker leather with great ease.
In terms of cons, the machine manages to get almost everything right. It does encounter some occasional problems with stitching when working with very thin fabrics. Also, the bobbin size is a bit small which will make a bit difference in certain situations.
- 294 stitches
- Easy to use
- Can have some issues when working with very thin materials
- Bobbin size is a bit small.
4. Singer 4432 Heavy Duty Extra-High Speed Sewing Machine
For heavy users the singer 4432 will prove to be an excellent choice for several reasons. First of all it is one of the more affordable machines. Also it is surprisingly fast. According to the technical sheet the sewing machine can reach speeds of up to 1,100 stitches which is quite impressive. Unlike other models in the series, the 4432 has more stitches for a total of 32. Its needle threader is automatic and the feeder is extremely smooth. To keep everything well organized the sewing machine has been equipped with a small drawer to hold all the small accessories.
One thing that could have been improved is the control dial. It is a mechanical model and these days, most people go for computerized machines. However, this does not compromise its precision or the quality of the stitching. It works great with both leather and regular fabrics.
- Durable metal body
- Excellent price tag
- Plenty of different stitches
- Not computerized
3. BEST VALUE: Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
The Janome HD1000 is one of the better choices when it comes to working with leather. It is a reliable sewing machine with a powerful motor and if the right type of needle is used, it can even pierce trough thick leather. It offers 14 different stitches which sound a bit low but for someone that works with leather, it should not matter that much.
What could be better is making it a computerized model. It has mechanical dials and pretty much everything about it is mechanical. This does make it reliable but also a bit more difficult to use.
- Good price tag
- Can work with thick leather
- Not computerized
2. OUR FAVORITE PICK: Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine
Brother HC1850 is a computerized sewing machines that comes packed with features. It can be used for regular sewing, quilting and with the right needle it can even pierce trough leather. The model offers a comprehensive set of no less than 130 stitches. It also offers decent stitching speed and features a very powerful motor. As a bonus the manufacturers offer a free DVD that contains plenty of useful instructions for beginners. It is worth mentioning that the model is also surprisingly affordable and comes with plenty of bonus accessories.
Not much can be improved about this particular model. It would have been great if the manufacturers did make it more versatile in terms of working with leather. By default, it will not be able to handle leather but with the right set of accessories, it can work quite well.
- 130 stitches
- Easy to use
1. BEST BUDGET OPTION: Brother XL2600I Sew Advance Sew Affordable 25-Stitch Free-Arm Sewing Machine
Brother XL2600l is one of the more advanced machines in our list or at least in its price range. It is an affordable little sewing machine with a robust construction and plenty of options. The machine offers 25 built-in stitches and a reliable feeder. Its motor is quite powerful and can handle regular leather with a dedicated needle. Also its bobbin is quite large which counts as a bit plus for some. Last but not least it is worth mentioning that the sewing machine comes with a foot pedal for better control and comes with a small storage drawer for various accessories.
In terms of cons, not much needs to be improved about the model. It is true that it is not a fully computerized model but Brother managed to make it easy to use and straight forward. Its construction is decent and the price tag makes it a great choice for the ones with a limited budget.
- Excellent price
- Easy to use
- Plenty of built-in stitches
- Advanced feeder
A Few Things To Look Out For
A regular leather sewing machine can be very expensive and most of them are commercial grade. Most people that make hand-crafted leather items have to use regular sewing machines with special needles but not everything works. The sewing machine needs to be equipped with a powerful motor that can help it pierce trough leather. Also, the bobbin should be large enough as sewing leather means using a thicker thread.
For our list, we managed to select models that can actually be used for leather. All of them can be considered affordable when compared with the regular price of a commercial grade leather sewing machine.