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8 of the Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines for 2022

Take on even the toughest of projects with our guide to best all-singing, all-dancing, heavy duty sewing machines. Use them to make light of work of jeans, leather jackets, quilts and more.

Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines
Published: February 5, 2022 at 8:11 am
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There’s nothing more frustrating than getting halfway through a project and discovering that your sewing machine isn’t quite up to scratch. From snapped threads and bent needles to jammed mechanisms and broken presser feet, sometimes everyday machines just can’t handle those XXL projects.

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Trying to work through several layers at once or stitch through thicker materials can throw some domestic machines off-course – even the most expensive ones. Handling fabrics such as as leather, PVC and denim can result in messy, uneven work or even a completely ruined garment.

You may also be tired of sitting at your machine waiting for it to slowly work its way along all those lengthy quilt seams and large-scale creations. If any of this sounds familiar, then swapping your old, everyday machine for a snazzy new heavy duty model could the answer you’ve been searching for.

If the machines in this post seem like more than you can handle, or need, head over to our entry level round-up of the best sewing machines for beginners.

What is a heavy duty sewing machine?

Heavy duty sewing machines are built to take on tougher jobs than standard models – whether that be thicker fabrics, larger projects, or unusual materials that are otherwise difficult to handle. They are often built to a higher specification than regular domestic machines, with outer cases made of robust steel and aluminium and industrial-style rotary systems taking care of things behind the scenes.

They’re built to stand the test of time and often operate at much higher speeds than regular machines, allowing users to breeze though projects that would otherwise take much longer to complete.

If you’re looking to invest in a machine that is built to last and can take on any project, no matter how difficult, then a heavy duty sewing machine could be a great option. Keep scrolling to read our reviews of the best heavy duty machines and find the perfect match for you!

And you're on the hunt for a heavy duty sewing machine and think you're ready to go ultra pro level, you might also like our guide to the best industrial sewing machines.

Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machines for 2022

1 Necchi Q132A

We’re kicking things off with one of the lowest-priced machines on our list, the Necchi Q132A. Despite its budget-friendly price point this machine still packs a real punch, with a durable metal frame, a sturdy stainless steel needle bed plate and swift sewing speeds of up to 1,000 stitches per minute. It’s a fantastic machine for everyday projects, with 32 decorative and utility stitches to choose from, an easy one-step buttonhole, and a range of other adjustable features and functions.

The Q132A comes supplied with a selection of different feet and accessories as well as a large extension table, allowing you to get stuck into super-sized projects right out of the box.

Necchi-Q132A-Heavy-Duty-Sewing-Machine

2 Janome HD2200

  • Ideal for: Workshops and classes

The HD2200 from Janome is often described as being the ideal machine for workshops and classes, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s sturdy, hard-wearing, and intuitive to use, with a drop-in bobbin that makes set-up simple and 23 different stitches to choose from.

A built-in information window automatically suggests the best presser foot, stitch length and width for your project, meaning that even absolute beginners won’t feel lost or overwhelmed, no matter what they’re making.

The HD2200 boasts a powerful motor that can handle a wide range of projects and a variety of accessories, feet, and tools are included in the box - alongside Janome’s two year warranty, which comes as standard with all new machines.

Janome HD2200 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

3 Pfaff Select 4.2

  • Ideal for: Extra thick projects

Pfaff’s 4.2 is the premium model from its popular Select range and is purpose-built to take on super-sized makes, with an extra-high presser foot lift, industrial rotary hook system, large working area, and Pfaff's original Integrated Dual Feed (IDT), which guides fabric through the machine from both the top and the bottom at the same time, giving reliable, even results. The 4.2 offers its users 40 different stitch designs and the machine’s powerful motor has been tested against the toughest projects, proving itself to be a reliable model even when working through 12 layers of denim at once. Each machine comes supplied with a range of feet and accessories, including a quilting and patchwork guide, a hard-case cover, and twin needle sewing pin.

Pfaff Select 4.2 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

4 Bernina 570QE

  • Ideal for: Quilting and embroidery
  • Buy now Quilt Direct (£2,495)

With an extra-large 22cm working area to the right of the needle, Bernina’s 570QE was specifically built to handle super-sized quilting projects with the greatest of ease. The machine features a swift maximum speed of 1,000 stitches per minute (ideal for all those long patchwork seams!) and its extra-long 9mm stitch width allows it to penetrate through the thickest of layers without any puckers or snags. The 570QE is not only equipped for sewing and quilting but embroidery too, with a whopping 1,450 built-in stitches and designs to choose from, including eight alphabets. It really is an impressive all-rounder and for those looking to invest in a high-end machine that they can really rely upon, the 570QE might just be the perfect match.

Bernina 570QE Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

5 Singer 4423

  • Ideal for: Longevity

The Singer brand is known for producing sturdy, reliable machines for over 150 years and we couldn’t put together a list of our favourite heavy duty models without including its iconic 4423. It’s part of the brand’s core range of Heavy Duty sewing machines, running at 1,100 stitches per minute and featuring a robust internal alloy frame and a stainless steel needle bed. It offers 23 different stitch functions and a no-nonsense rotary design that is built to last for years to come, as well as a range of time-saving features such as an automatic needle threader, one-step buttonhole, and automatic bobbin clutch.

Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

6 Brother HF27 Strong & Tough

  • Ideal for: Beginners

As the name may suggest, Brother’s Strong and Tough HF27 is made of sturdy stuff, with a traditional metal chassis, rotary dial system, and a stainless steel needle plate.

It features 27 different fully-adjustable stitches and comes supplied with a range of accessories that are geared towards taking on extra large makes, such as heavy duty needles, a non-stick foot for working with leather and PVC, and a self-levelling J foot. Each machine also comes provided with a free instructional DVD, meaning that even absolute beginners will have no issues getting up and running.

Brother HF27 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

7 Janome HD9

  • Ideal for: Super speed

The Janome HD9 is the perfect flat bed machine for serious creators, with incredible speeds of up to 1,600 stitches per minute and a sturdy industrial-style build. The HD9 is a straight-stitch only machine, meaning that it doesn’t offer the same array of designs as some of the others on our list, but don’t let that put you off – what it lacks in decoration it certainly makes up for in other areas.

Its unique large bobbin holds 40% more thread than a standard machine and also features an independent motor, meaning users can wind new bobbins without unthreading. It also features a strong aluminium body, an extra large working area, and a wide range of tools and accessories included as standard.

Janome HD9 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

8 Necchi Jeans Pro Q411A

  • Ideal for: Dressmaking and denim
  • Buy now from Hobbycraft (£165)

This clever model from Necchi is built to take on a wide range of different projects, from durable denim, soft leather and canvas, through to delicate silks and satins. Its high-powered 90-watt motor can work at up to 1,000 stitches per minute and a horizontal anti-jam rotary hook keeps snags and problems at bay.

The Q411A has 11 built-in utility stitches including a blind hem and three-step zig zag, both of which are perfect for making your own jeans, jackets and other garments. It’s currently available from Hobbycraft as a stand-alone machine or, for a limited time, customers can pay £1 extra and receive a 167-piece professional sewing kit, too.

Nechi Jeans Pro Q411A Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Have you got a heavy duty sewing machine you swear by but we haven'g included it in this list? Leave a comment below to share! Or perhaps you're still not sure you've found the right machine for you? If you're looking for a machine to use for a special type of sewing, for example dressmaking or quilt making, take a look at our guides to the best overlockers and best sewing machines for quilting.

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Looking for more sewing inspiration? Check out our guide to The Great British Sewing Bee.

Authors

Sophie TarrantWriter and sewing pro

Sophie is a Colchester-based writer and lifelong craft enthusiast with over 15 years' experience in the UK publishing industry. She worked on the launch of Let's Knit and Sew magazines, where she ran the sewing machine reviews section during her time as Deputy Editor. She loves dressmaking, embroidery and collecting way too much fabric and also worked for 6 years as Craft Editor for Hubert Burda Media, on titles including Your Home, Wedding, Wedding Flowers, Christmas Made Easy and HomeStyle magazine. You can follow her latest creations in needlework at @SeeSophieStitch on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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