The Best Sewing Machine Under 100 Dollars | Top Reviews & Guide
You want the best sewing machine money can buy. However, you’re on a strict budget. Can you still get the best sewing machine under 100 dollars? Yes!
Whether you’re a beginner or need a sewing machine around for making simple clothing and alterations, you can get sewing machines under $100.
Budget Friendly Sewing Machines Under 100
From my research, I’ve found these to be the best sewing machines under $100. They are easy to use and provide good quality results.
This sewing machine has 27 built-in stitches including a 1-step automatic buttonholer.
The Brother XM2701 is an Amazon Choice item. What’s that mean to you? Amazon reviews a lot of factors including the rate of return, sales and feedback.
The bottom line to you is that the item sells well and people are happy with their purchase.
What makes the Brother XM2701 so great is that it’s easy to use out of the box. If you’re a complete beginner, you will be sewing quickly.
The machine is easy to understand, and there’s good documentation.
Plus, there’s a lot of online support including videos to demonstrate every little detail on using the sewing machine.
The only downside is that while the XM2701 can stitch most things well, it doesn’t do heavy duty things well.
You can hem pants, but you may have difficulty hemming jeans. And while you could make a thin low loft quilt, you’d have a lot of frustration trying to make a high loft quilt.
It's certainly the best sewing machine for beginners under $100.
You can read my review of this budget friendly sewing machine under 100 dollars.
This sewing machine has 17 built-in stitches.
The Brother JX2517 (read my full review here) is also very easy to set up and start sewing quickly.
It would be easier for you to hem jeans and sew heavier fabrics. You still wouldn’t have a lot of success with very thick quilts, though.
The JX2517 holds its tension settings well. That means you will see high quality stitches for a sewing machine under $100.
It’s jam resistant. And the drop in bobbin means you don’t have to do much to get the bobbin thread pulled up.
4-step automatic buttonholer.
You can sew heavier fabrics on this sewing machine than you can with the XM2701, but it doesn't have one step buttonholer.
This sewing machine has 19 built-in stitches.
Unlike a lot of inexpensive sewing machines, the Singer 2259 has a heavy duty metal frame inside.
This allows you to sew on heavier fabrics and thicker fabrics. You can lift the presser foot up higher than others to allow for thick material.
The heavy duty frame provides accurate sewing since machine won’t move around. It also prevents skipped stitches when you’re going at full speed.
This Singer is great for beginners since it’s easy to set up and get sewing on many fabric types.
You can adjust tension easily with the dial even while you’re sewing so you can immediately see if you’re getting the tension correct.
The downside of the Singer 2259 is that there is no stitch width adjustment. That doesn’t mean you can’t adjust the width of the zigzag, however.
If you look at the pattern selector dial, you’ll notice that the zigzag stitches go from close together to farther apart.
So you choose the width by where you place the pattern selector dial. If you are near the narrow end, you’ll get a narrow zigzag.
Only has a 4-step automatic buttonholer instead of one step.
This sewing machine has six built-in stitches.
The Singer 1304 is a great sewing machine for people just starting out or those who won’t be doing projects with decorative stitching.
It’s straightforward to thread and set up.
One unusual and cool feature is that there are dual spool pins for twin needle sewing. If you’re intending to do a lot of hemming of jeans and t-shirts, you can get a professional look using this technique.
The biggest complaint I could find is that the machine can jam up if your tension is off or your bobbin thread isn’t wound properly. And there weren’t a lot of people unhappy about this.
Most people feel it’s a sturdy machine that does basic sewing really well, and that it’s easy to use.
Singer 1304 only has an automatic 4-step buttonhole.
Verdict For The Best Sewing Machine Under 100
You can get a quality sewing machine for under $100. And you’re down here because you want to know which is best.
Well, the secret is that the best is determined by what you want to sew.
If you’re leaning towards quilting, then I’d recommend the Singer 2259 (via Amazon.)
If you’re leaning towards garments, I’d recommend the Brother JX2517 (via Amazon.)
If you just want a machine around for the occasional work, I’d recommend the Singer 1304 (via Amazon.)
And if you don’t know because you’re just starting out, the best sewing machine under $100 is the Brother XM2701 (via Amazon.)
Guide To Choose The Best Sewing Machine for Under 100 dollars?
Let’s take a quick second to talk about cheap vs. inexpensive. What you’re looking for is an inexpensive machine that can do some basics really well.
Also, if you’re a beginner, you should look for a sewing machine that is easy to use.
Cheap machines are difficult to use and don’t produce quality work, and end up being so frustrating that you either use it as a doorstop or you donate it so it can bring someone else a lot of annoyance.
So how do you know if it’s inexpensive or just cheap?
Easy To Thread
A good machine is easy to thread. You don’t need to spend a lot of time lining up the thread in various places.
It’s clear where you put the spool of thread. And it’s a natural way to get the machine into the tensioning devices.
Even more important is that the thread stays put. Cheap machines have the thread popping out and causing snarls and uneven stitching.
Provides Accurate Stitches
Cheap machines product sloppy stitches. They’re uneven in tension and size. And they pucker the fabric.
A good inexpensive machine will have crisp looking uniform stitches. The seam feels secure when you test it.
And you don’t feel like you can pull the thread right out.
Able To Sew Different Fabrics
Should be able to sew on a variety of material including lightweight and heavier weight fabrics.
May or may not be able to handle thick projects like quilts with a lot of lofting.
Should be able to hem pants including jeans occasionally with the correct needle.
Holds Tension Well
There are two areas in a sewing machine where you get tension. The first is the sewing thread and the second is the bobbin thread.
When these are out of sync, you get snarls underneath the fabric, or you get thread breaking.
Other tension problems include seam puckering, skipped stitches, random loops, and fabric stretching. The bottom line is you don’t get what you’re hoping for in a final project.
Cheap machines either don’t have tension adjustments or they don’t hold the adjustment that you set.
The best sewing machines sewing machines under 100 dollars have the ability to adjust tension, and they hold it well.
Easy To Use Bobbins
Most sewing machines do have automatic bobbin winding. Let me step back and say there’s automatic bobbin winding and true automatic bobbin winding.
More expensive machines allow you to wind the bobbin when it’s still in the machine.
Most machines have you put an empty bobbin on the top of the device, and take the thread from the spool where it’s being held on the spool holder.
Then you wind the thread through tensioning devices and thread it into a hole in the bobbin.
Finally, you adjust the machine to let it know you’re winding a bobbin, and press the presser foot.
Then your machine automatically winds the bobbin.
Some cheap machines don’t. And some even cheaper machines don’t even use a bobbin. You want to avoid those altogether as you won’t get a well-stitched product.
Now, you also want to be able to take that wound bobbin and insert it into the machine easily. The drop-in bobbin is easier than the side-load bobbin with a case.
Good Variety Of Basic Stitches
You want a machine that has the basic stitches done well. You don’t want uneven stitching.
Can you imagine if you’re doing a topstitching and the length varies as you’re going along? That screams “Hello, I’m homemade.”
No, you want it to do straight stitch and zigzag evenly. And you want to be able to have the other built-in stitches be just as reliable.
You should be looking for a clean looking buttonhole stitch and an even blind-hem stitch.
You also want your sewing machine to be easy to make stitch adjustments like length and width.
Most inexpensive sewing machines are electronic but not computerized. That means you use dials to select. Look for ones that are clear and easy to read.
Some best budget sewing machines under 100 dollars have a lot more built-in stitches which can be great for your projects. Brother XM2701 is one of them.