How Much Strong Brother ST371HD & ST531HD Sewing Machines Are?
So for some people, this might come as a surprise, do you know that Brother ST371HD and ST531HD are the first heavy duty sewing machines made by Brother for budget sewists?
Yeah, that is correct. I don't know why Brother took so many years to come up with their first real heavy duty machines for budget users.
In short, both are great, affordable and versatile mechanical sewing machines. Having said that, winner is ST531HD.
If you’ve been looking for a sewing machine to handle more difficult and high-demanding jobs, the Brother ST371HD and ST531HD Strong and Tough might be just the machines you've been looking for.
Designed specifically to handle multiple layers of fabric, and thick applications like leather and suede, these are heavy-duty machines that comes with a lot of attractive accessories.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Brother ST371hd machine and explore some of the features that Brother has equipped it with.
Note: Both these are almost same except the two differences which you can read below. When you read anything about 371 version here, assume 531 has it too.
Every project requires the right equipment, so this Brother ST371HD review will give you all the information you need to decide if this is the right machine for your unique projects!
|Buttonholers||1 step automatic|
|Needles||#16, #14 and #11|
Brother ST371HD Vs. Brother ST531HD
Both machines are almost the same except the following:
Brother ST531HD has sixteen more stitches than the ST371hd model. ST531hd also has a metal finger guard to save your fingers from the injury.
Despite the more stitches and figure guard, ST531hd is not easily available for sale online. You need to check your local stores for this model. Update: It's now available on Amazon. Click here to buy the ST531hd from Amazon.
What Features Are Included on the Brother ST371HD?
Brother has equipped this machine was some quality features that make it easy to use and can work on a variety of applications.
The heavyweight needles will handle the toughest jobs. It also accepts needles for work on even delicate materials like silk.
One feature that even veteran sewers will find immensely help when threading the sewing machine is the automatic needle threader. This handy device will catch the thread in the eye of the needle and pull it through.
This will save you the tedious task of trying to fit a frayed or large thread through the eye of a small needle.
The ST371HD comes with Brother’s Quick-Set drop-in bobbin feature which means you can simply place the threaded bobbin into the bobbin holder, and the thread guide mark helps you guide the thread into place.
With the transparent cover, you will be able to see exactly when the bobbin is low on the thread so that you do not run out in the middle of a project.
The top of the sewing machine also features a bobbin winder so that you can load multiple bobbins with different threads. This will make it easy to switch threads quickly in the middle of a single project.
Storage and Free Arm
The work area features a storage compartment where you can keep all your extra feet, bobbins, needles, and other accessories. This keeps them close at hand, so you do not have to go looking for them when you need them.
This area can also be retracted so that the free arm can be used for cylindrical pieces like cuffs, pant legs, and other different applications.
It gives you several levels of customization for the thread and needle. The thread tension is controlled by a dial on the top of the sewing machine. This will be particularly useful when you are sewing through materials of different thicknesses.
Overview Video of this machine:
What stitches come built-in with the ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine?
Brother has equipped this machine with 37 different stitches built-in to this particular model. This gives you great versatility and variety in choosing stitches for your projects.
Beyond the common straight stitch and zigzag stitches offered on different sewing machines, the Brother st371hd heavy duty sewing machine also comes with other useful stitches.
Double Action and Fagoting Stitches
If you are looking to join two pieces of fabric together, this model has six different stitches (Double Action Stitch, Bridging Stitch, Rampart Stitch, Decorative Hem Stitch, Fagoting Stitch and Decorative Stitch) that will enable you to bring them together depending on the type of fabrics.
If you need to finish off a piece of fabric to make sure it does not fray, this machine has several stitches that will overcast the stitch to finish off the fabric and secure it properly. Some of these are elastic shell tuck stitch, comb stitch, and elastic overlock stitch.
Elastic overlock stitch works with elastic fabrics that need more stretch than traditional fabrics.
For those looking to do projects that require non-utility stitches, Brother has included over a dozen decorative stitches like feather stitches, scallops stitches, and other elegant stitches.
A decorative stitch can be the perfect way to add accents and flair to simple projects, and it has plenty of options to choose the right pattern for your project.
The patterns are all clearly pictured on the outside of the machine so that there is no guess work when it comes to choosing the perfect stitch for your project.
Is selecting a specific stitch hard?
The stitches are selected from a dial on the side of the machine which simply needs to be matched with their number.
Does it allow stitch length and width adjustments?
The stitch length dial on the top of the machine will allow you to adjust the stitch length up to 4mm.
The stitch width dial will help you adjust the width of the stitches up to 7mm. While adjusting the width of your stitches, make sure the needle does not touch the presser foot it can damage the needle.
This level of customization, especially the width adjustments, mostly not offered on beginner machines.
I'll recommend testing the dial positions for stitch settings on the scrap piece of fabric before you do any stitching on main fabric.
What feet does Brother supply with this machine?
Brother gives you six different feet for this machine designed for a variety of applications. This is more than comes with the average machine, so it gives you a few more options for the kinds of fabrics that can be sewed properly.
These can be attached to the sewing machine by simply snapping them into place. This makes changing the feet an easy process.
Spring Action Zigzag Foot
Unlike a standard zigzag foot that comes with most sewing machines, Brother supplies this machine with a spring-action zigzag foot. This uses a spring to create tension against the fabric as you sew instead of simple pressure from the presser arm.
This allows you to work more easily across fabrics of different thickness. As you transition from one thickness to another, the spring with automatically adjust the tension on the fabric to keep it secure against the feed dogs.
When working with materials that are difficult, like suede, vinyl, or leather, the standard zigzag foot can get stuck. So, this nonstick foot is made from a plastic material that will slide across these fabrics easily.
Since this machine is designed to work with thicker fabrics, this is a nice addition to ensure that they will feed through the machine properly while you sew them.
Sewing buttonholes are made easy with this foot which can be set for different lengths.
This is a one-step process that will sew the four sides of the buttonhole at measured lengths. This makes it nice and easy to put buttonholes on many different fabrics.
Button Sewing Foot
To match the buttonhole, there is a supplied button foot which will hold the buttons securing in place while you sew them to the fabric.
The foot will raise high enough to accommodate even the thick materials or for sewing buttons on multiple layers of fabrics.
Blind Stitch Foot
The blind stitch is an essential stitch that takes some practice to master. With the blind stitch foot you will be able to hide stitches in the cuffs, curtains, or anywhere else a stitch would be unsightly.
Brother also includes a zipper foot which will allow you to sew zippers properly into even heavy fabrics.
Using a simple zigzag foot cannot accommodate the teeth of the zipper correctly, so this zipper foot will keep the fabric properly secured while you attach the zipper.
Are there any downsides to this machine?
Brother has been making quality sewing machines for many decades, so it should come as no surprise that there are no design flaws associated with this model.
There are a few features that could make this model better when compared to other sewing machines of the same level.
For example, since this is a “heavy-duty” machine it would be nice if Brother had used metals instead of plastics in certain components (like with the automatic threader) so that it felt more durable.
Secondly, it only delivers 800 stitches per minute. This is pretty good for most applications, but there are other heavy-duty models, like the Singer 4432 which can handle up to 1,100 stitches per minute.
If you are concerned with doing commercial level sewing and speed is an issue, there are faster machines. But if this is not an issue for you, the ST371HD should be fast enough for home sewing.
Beyond these things, however, there are really no complaints associated with this model. It delivers the performance that Brother is associated with.
What Is the Warranty on the ST371HD?
Brother offers different warranties depending on the component. For the frame and chassis, the warranty is 25-years. For all other components, the warranty is 1-year against all manufacturer errors and parts defects.
The warranty is only good for the original purchaser, so you need to keep your receipt before Brother honors it.
The warranty does not cover any damage that is caused by accident, misuse, or unauthorized repairs.
Brother has a good history of quality customer service, so this warranty is more than enough to ensure that you will be protected should anything go wrong with your sewing machine.
The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine is a durable, reliable machine that can handle demanding jobs with the heavier fabrics. If you want a sewing machine that is versatile and affordable, this machine can get the job done.
It comes with some nice advanced features that even a beginner sewer will find useful with a little practice. Veteran sewists will also find this machine very useful given all its accessories and stitches.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty machine that will last for many years, this could be a good option.