Singer 9960 vs 9980 vs 9985: Comparison and how to choose the best?

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If you are looking for comparisons among Singer 9960, 9980 and 9985 you're at the right place.

Which is right for you? You already know that these three machines are part of the Singer Quantum Stylist family of the sewing machines. They’re solidly built and would be a fantastic machine for anyone who loves to sew.


In a nutshell, the 9960 is the winner because it has the best variety of features for the price point. Sometimes sewing machines go on sale for a limited period. If you see 9980 or 9985 on sale, then go for them otherwise don't.

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9960 at Amazon.


Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9985 at Amazon.


When evaluating machines, I look at the price point as well as reliability. All three of these devices are from Singer and have strong customer support and a 25-year limited warranty.

So then it comes down to what features would you use? How many of the stitches that are built in would actually get used?

So you need to ask yourself what kind of sewing will you do. Are you interested in making something from scratch or just altering your existing stuff? And how much decorating will you want to add in?

I’ll answer all of those in a moment. I will say that my final recommendation is based on someone new to intermediate at sewing a variety of projects, and is still learning about decorating with built-in stitches.

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9960 at Amazon.

Key Similarities

All three machines are built upon the same heavy-duty internal metal frame and have the same DC motor.

  • All have top drop-in bobbin system.

  • All three of these have 13 styles of automatic one-step buttonholes.

  • Regardless of your choice, you'll be getting automatic needle threader.

  •  You can do the stitch manipulation, i.e., mirrored, elongated with every one of these.

  • Stitch reference chart in the upper lid of all these machines.

  • You get bot the options of automatic and manual tension adjustment with all three quantum sewing machines.  

  • All three machines have a nice wide 7mm stitch width. This is great for making a lovely satin stitch decoration.

  • And the machines are fairly quick at 850 stitches per minute. Singer says it’s a fast speed, but honestly, it’s not. It’s about average for today’s sewing machines. I’m not complaining since it’s a lot faster than the sewing machines of the 1940’s.

  • Finally, all three have the ability to vary the speed with a simple sliding lever. You can remove the foot pedal, and the Singer Quantum Stylist will sew along at a consistent speed that you set with this speed control button.

Design differences among 9960, 9980 and 9985

Even though the 9960, 9980 and 9985 are all part of the Singer Quantum Stylist line of sewing machines, they look a little different.

The 9960 Quantum Stylist has the LCD on the vertical part of the sewing machine.

The Singer 9980 and 9985 both have their LCDs on the horizontal part. 

The color is also very different on all three machines. The Singer 9985 is a mauve/pink color whereas the Singer 9980 is a blue color, and the Singer 9960 is white.





Built-In Stitches




Thread cutter




Built-in Alphabets





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Singer 9960 vs 9980

  • When looking at the Singer sewing machine 9960 vs 9980, the 9980 has 220 more stitches than its competitor.

  • Both have black and white LCD of almost the same size.

  • On the Singer 9980, they have built-in sewing assistance which is more or less same as the LCD digital advisor of its rival. 

  • Although 9980 sewing assistance is supposed to be better than its competitor, it isn't. I would not call this as a difference between singer 9960 and 9980.

  • With both these machines, you can read recommendations on-screen for tasks like bobbin winding, changing the presser foot, adjusting a stitch pattern, and when to start/stop the machine when you’re in the middle of the design.

  • The 9960 has an extra wide table that 9980 doesn't have.

  • Rest of the features are almost the same even the built-in alphabets are five with both of these machines. 

Which wins this Singer 9980 vs 9960 fight?

The 9960 is a clear winner here. Only one small difference and that is the extra number of stitches, and I don't suggest you spend extra money since you might not need those stitches.

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9960 at Amazon.


Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9980 at Amazon.

Singer 9960 vs 9985

  • The 9985 actually has a better user interface display and an advisor that talks you through the on-screen help.

  • So if you want to elongate a design and then put some stitches together for a border, it would help to have a larger screen and more help with the next step. So that’s a definite thumbs up for the 9985.

  • However, there are a lot of online videos to teach you how to do this for free. You can easily live without this extra help on the machine. 

  • Along with the one additional alphabet, Singer 9985 also comes with 360 plus more stitches, and most of those are decorative ones.

  • 9985 doesn't come with an extension table which is weird since it does come with a 9960 model.

Which wins this battle of the Singer 9985 vs 9960?

So while a lot has to do with what you like to sew, when looking at the Singer 9985 vs the 9960, you should go for the 9960 unless you’re certain you want the additional 360 decorative stitches and one extra built in alphabet.

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9960 at Amazon.

Is it worth to have 9985 over 9960 considering the price difference? 

No, I don't think so, the price difference is way too much, and you can get most things done with 9960 as you would with 9985 except some decorative stitches. 

One thing I've to admit though touchscreen color display of 9985 is better as compared to the black and white LCD of 9960. But you can certainly live without it as you can adjust the brightness of the LCD on the Singe 9960 quantum stylist. 

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9985 at Amazon.

Singer 9980 vs 9985

  • 9985 has 140 more stitches than 9980.

  • Singer added in a voice to the advisor for the 9985 instead of just text on the screen. So you can listen to advise while you’re setting up a complex stitch, or getting ready to sew.

  • That, the color, the number of stitches, and the larger touch color screen are the main differences between the 9980 vs 9985.

  • To get these extra features of 9985, you have to shell out more than $100 as compared to the price of 9980.

Do these differences justify the price difference between the 9980 and 9985?  

This price difference is not too much especially for the color and bigger touch display which you can get with 9985. 

Which wins this battle of the Singer 9985 vs 9980?

If you’re in the market for an advanced sewing machine that does a lot of decorative stitches, you will love either of these.

If you’re going to choose between the Singer 9985 vs 9980 and can pay a little extra, you should go for the 9985 and get the full amount of built-in stitches and touchscreen color display.

However, I would say just stick with 9960, and you'll get the most bang for your buck. 

Best for Quilting

The 9960 is the best for quilting because it comes with the extension table.  Quilters need that extra space when working on large quilt tops.

And while you could purchase the table separately for the other Singer Quantums, if you know you’re going to do quilting, you may as well buy the sewing machine that comes with it.

Best for Alterations

The 9960 is the best for alterations since it has the best price point. Someone who is doing only alterations won’t need as many decorative stitches.

Best for Apparel Sewing

This area is where it can get a little difficult. If you’re new to sewing clothing, or you’re interested in some embellishing or decorative stuff, then you want the 9960.

But if you’re a very creative type and love to explore all the additional stitches, then choose the 9980 or 9985. 

Best for Heavy Duty Sewing

All three have a solid metal core for skip-free stitching. 

People have been able to sew some heavy duty stuff with these machines with right accessories. But remember, all three are also computerized machines.

That means if you try to sew too heavy of a project, you may throw out the timing. And that requires a trip to the repair shop.

If it’s a small section (like hemming a pair of jeans and you have multiple layers at the seam), use the special needle and special plastic tool for helping it sew over the hump. And you may want to turn the flywheel manually or sew very slowly.

The DC motors will provide consistent power while you’re sewing. So, while all three could do heavier duty sewing, but I don’t recommend you get any of them if you are doing only heavy duty sewing. 

Best for Lightweight Fabric

All three have set to automatic tension adjustment to sense the weight of the fabric. However, you can always adjust this manually as you deal with lightest weight materials. So there is no clear winner.

Best for Decorative Sewing

The Singer Quantum 9985 has more decorative stitches than either the Singer 9980 or the 9960. It could be your choice if you need more options for embellishing.

The documentation and built-in guidance will be able to help you get set up making decorative edging or embellishments on your jeans or backpack.

Best for Beginners Overall

The Singer sewing machine 9960 is the best for beginners. It allows you to have an excellent sewing machine with a good variety of decorative stitches.

Final Words - Best Singer Quantum Machine

I already told you at the top! I’m kidding. I think the best overall Singer Quantum sewing machine is the 9960 because it has the best blend of features for the price point.

The differences among the Singer sewing machines 9960, 9980, and 9985 are small. The 9960 is easier to learn with because there’s less to get distracted by. 

Click here to check the today's price of the Singer 9960 at Amazon.

If you need more information on 9960, here is the review of this machine. 

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