This nifty starter machine comes with a range of different presser feet and tools included in the box, meaning that even absolute novices can get stuck in straight away and keep on top of basic maintenance issues such as broken needles or jammed bobbins. The machine is lightweight enough to be taken on the road and can handle a wide range of different beginner’s projects, even offering twin needle and free-motion capabilities for those looking to dip into those techniques.
While those using computerised machines might find the mechanical control of the E20 a little over-simplistic and time-intensive to use, for others who are brand new to using a sewing machine, it’s an easy way to get the hang of the basics of machine sewing. Advanced sewists might find the lack of extra functions and add-on accessories problematic if they want to expand their skills beyond basic projects.
We’ve taken a closer look at the H Class E20 to weigh up the pros and cons, and find out more about this entry-level machine.
Husqvarna H Class E20 review: summary
- Great machine for beginners but you may outgrow it as you progress
- Price: £239;
- 32 stitches (including one-step buttonhole), adjustable foot pressure, adjustable stitch width and length, built-in needle threader
- Seven presser feet and mini tool kit included
What is the Husqvarna H Class E20?
The Husqvarna H Class E20 is a mechanical sewing machine that’s aimed at beginners, as well as those who don’t need the fancy bells and whistles of more complicated machines. It features 32 stitches, a one-step buttonhole, a handy needle threader, twin needle sewing, and adjustable stitch width, stitch length, feed dogs and presser foot pressure.
What does the Husqvarna H Class E20 do?
The E20 is ideal for quick and easy makes, offering a variety of utility stitches and several decorative ones for those who want to branch out. It’s aimed at sewists who are new to the craft and want to practice their skills without getting flustered by complicated functions.
- Mechanical machine
- 32 stitches
- One-step buttonhole
- Adjustable foot pressure
- Built-in needle threader
- Twin needle sewing
- Adjustable feed dogs
- Seven presser feet and mini tool kit included
How much is the Husqvarna H Class E20?
This machine retails for around £239
Is the Husqvarna H Class E20 good value for money?
As an entry-level machine, the E20 offers a good range of beginner’s functions at a fair price point. However, comparably you may find that other models offer slightly more functionality and a wider range of add-on accessories for less money.
Is the Husqvarna H Class E20 easy to use?
As a mechanical machine that’s aimed at beginners, I hoped that the E20 would be quick and simple to set-up straight out of the box – and I was right. Loading the top thread was intuitive and easy to follow; each part of the thread guide was numbered and fully-illustrated instructions were provided within the machine’s manual. The front-loading bobbin was also easy to install, with full instructions once again given alongside handy illustrations. Those of you who are used to drop-in bobbins may find the front-loading design a little jarring at first, but the mechanism is easy to master and you’ll soon forget the difference.
With twin needle sewing capability, the machine offers two spool pins as well as a separate bobbin pin, meaning that you can wind spare bobbins without having to unload your top thread – an extremely helpful little addition that even some high-end models don’t offer. It also includes the ability to lower the feed dogs, opening the doors to free-motion work – which can be achieved using the included free-motion foot.
The E20 uses a mechanical wheel system for stitch selection; simply take a look at the guide along the top of the machine, find the stitch you want to use, then turn the lower right-hand wheel until the relevant letter shows through the window on the front of the machine. It felt a little clunky at first and did mean that selecting my chosen stitch wasn’t as quick as with some other models, but overall was an easy, no-nonsense way of working. Adjusting the tension, stitch width and length and presser foot pressure were also performed via a system of wheels and dials, whilst reverse stitch is triggered by a large lever of the front of the machine.
Husqvarna H Class E20 quality / durability
Upon first looking at the E20, I could tell it was built to last – the machine itself is sturdy and almost makes a point of not featuring too many delicate parts, with the front of the model featuring only a simple reverse lever and the stitch selection window, as well as the list of available stitches which is printed onto the top front. The machine itself is relatively lightweight but is clearly made from high-quality materials. It was exclusively designed in Sweden by Husqvarna’s team of sewing experts, who first began building machines as far back as the 1870s.
The wheels on the side of the machine are well-built and positioned ergonomically and don’t stand out from the body too much, meaning that the chances of damage from knocks and bumps is kept to a minimum, despite the lack of a hard cover case. The machine’s built-in storage (hidden beneath the sewing plate) means that small, easily-lost accessories such as presser feet and maintenance tools can be stowed away safely, and aren’t at risk of falling off or being damaged even when the machine is in transit from one place to another. Replacements and warranties are also available for the various parts of the machine, meaning that ongoing maintenance and services should be easy to manage.
Husqvarna H Class E20 functions and stitch options
With 32 different stitch options to choose from, the E20 certainly covers the basics of day-to-day sewing. It features a wide variety of utility stitches and several decorative ones, meaning that even complete beginners can experiment with different styles. The stitches are also easily adjustable in both width and length, adding more customisation. The machine sews at up to 600 stitches her minute with the speed being adjusted using the foot pedal, meaning that beginners can work at their own pace.
What does it come with?
The E20 comes with an impressive seven different presser feet provided in the box, including:
- standard foot
- zip foot
- satin stitch foot
- one-step buttonhole foot
- quilting foot
- free-motion/darning foot
- blind hem foot
- mini tool kit – including screwdriver, seam ripper, oil bottle, brush, spare needles and bobbins, seam guides and spool pin felts.
Swapping the feet out is simple to do and the spares are stowed away within the hidden accessories compartment, meaning they’ll always be nearby at a moment’s notice. As well as the spare feet, the machine comes equipped with a mini tool kit – meaning that even absolute beginners should be able to deal with standard maintenance issues such as broken needles or fluff-laden mechanisms.
I tested the machine using a variety of different fabrics, and it took them all in its stride – guiding thick denims and stretchy polyesters under the needle as smoothly as it did standard cottons and linens. Again, this is a great sign for beginners, who may want to experiment with a wide range of projects to test out their skills. The automatic needle threader was a nice time-saving addition, as was the thread cutter, which made finishing seams relatively effortless.
How portable is it?
Being a manageable 7kg in weight and compact enough to stow away easily in even the smallest car boot, the E20 is definitely a machine that can be taken out and about. A soft fabric cover is included in the box, which provides shelter from dust but not so much from knocks and scrapes – so if you’re planning to take your machine on the road a lot, you might need to invest in a sturdier solution. That being said, the robust design of the machine and the lack of breakable parts and accessories attached to the main body should mean that the E20 can withstand standard day-to-day travel to and from classes, friends’ houses, and more.
Our verdict: should you buy the Husqvarna H Class E20?
Overall the Husqvarna H Class E20 is a good beginner’s machine, with just a few small points that hold it back from greatness. The lack of add-on accessories available (the only one listed on the Husqvarna website is a circular sewing pin) means that once new stitchers begin to advance their skills, the machine might not be able to keep up – the lack of an extension table for example means that larger projects could be tough to work on the E20, leaving quilts and throws slightly beyond reach (despite the inclusion of a quilting foot).
This is a robust, intuitive model that provides beginners with a wide range of options and capabilities for starting their sewing journey. While some may find the mechanical selection wheels slightly clunky and time-intensive to use, especially on projects that feature several different stitches, we think it will prove a worthy addition to any novice’s craft room.