Top 5 Small Sewing Machines Compared

  1. Brother XM2701 2. Singer 1304 3. Janome Merlot 4. Janome Fastlane Basic 5. Michley LSS-505
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Manufacturer Brother Singer Janome Janome Michley
Model XM2701 1304 Merlot FastLane LSS-505
Dimensions 12.1″ x 5.9.” x 15.3″ 13″ x 7″ x 11.5″ 10.5″ x 9″ x 5.8″ 10.5″ x 9″ x 5.8″ 10.8″ x 4.8″ x 10.2″
Weight (pounds) 12.6 12.7 5 5 5.4
Color White White Merlot Blue, Fuschia, Gray, Green, Lilac, Mint, Pink, Purple, Red , Teal, Yellow White

Basic Features

Hook Type Top drop-in top bobbin Top Loading Full Rotary Hook Bobbin Top Loading Full Rotary Hook Bobbin Top Loading with non removable Bobbin Case Top Loading Full Rotary Hook Bobbin
Bobbin Winding Automatic Automatic Push-Pull Push-Pull Automatic
Stitch Selection Dial Dial Dial Dial Dial
Lighting 1 LED 1 LED 1 LED
Needle Threading System Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Automatic
Knee Lift
Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment
Drop Feed
Built-in Sewing Lettering Fonts
Built-in Quilting Stitches
Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter
Free Arm

Sewing Features

Maximum Sewing Speed 800 spm 750 spm N/A N/A N/A
Built-in Sewing Stitches 27 6 4 4 8
Buttonhole style 1 One-step 4-step None None N/A
Stitch Width 5 mm 5 mm 3 stitch width adjustment 3 stitch width adjustments for Zig-Zag Stitches 5 mm
Stitch Length 4 mm preset 5 stitch length adjustments 5 stitch length adjustments for Straight Stitches 4 mm
Feed Dog 6 3 4 4 3

Additional Features

  Quick-set top drop-in bobbin Dual spool pins   Finger guard Thread cutter
Accessories Buttonhole foot, Button sewing foot, Narrow Hemmer foot, Zipper foot, Blind Stitch foot, Zigzag foot, Darning plate, accessory bag with needle pack, twin needle, screwdriver, extra spool pin, bobbins (3), power cord, instructional DVD and operation manual All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Darning Plate, Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Spool Pin Felts, Seam Ripper / Lint Brush, Power Line Cord, Foot Control, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual. Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Power Line Cord, Foot Control, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual. Pack of Needles, Bobbins, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Power Line Cord, Foot Control, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual. 2 thread spools, 2 metal bobbins, needle, small threader tool


Warranty 25-year limited warranty 25-year limited warranty 1-year limited warranty 1-year limited warranty 1-year limited warranty
User Manual
Customer Support

1. Brother XM2701

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As you probably know, there are so many models of sewing machines on the market, these days, that it is quite difficult to find the right one for your needs. Most sewers want quality yet small machines that provide them with excellent performance and accurate results. It is a bit complicated for a model to meet all these requirements. However, we have tried to find small machines that deliver excellent results. Therefore, if you need something good at a low price, the Brother XM2701 could be a good choice.

Sewing abilities

According to the manufacturer specifications, it comes equipped with 27 built-in stitches, including basic, decorative and quilting stitches that will help you with other projects. Each one of these stitches is listed on the front of the unit, so it won’t be very difficult to learn how to use it. Also, it has an automatic, one-step buttonhole thanks to which you will be able to create perfect buttonholes. With a maximum sewing speed of 800 stitches-per-minute, we can confirm that this is one of the most efficient small size tailoring machine available for sale. Aside from its built-in stitches, it also comes with 6 quick-change sewing feet, zipper, narrow hemmer, blind stitch, zigzag and button sewing. All these will help you finish and complete even the most complicated sewing and quilting projects.


Like any other quality tailoring machine, it comes equipped with a plethora of impressive features. Aside from all those stitches, buttons and multiple sewing feet, it comes equipped with a built-in free arm that allows you to tackle all these tasks with ease. In addition to this, it features an easy threader and a drop-in bobbin. The threader will help you thread the needle much easier, while the drop-in bobbin system is for added convenience, reliability and safety. It should be noted that the machine comes with an automatic bobbin winding system that uses an advanced technology. Thanks to this technology, the bobbin stays in place when the device is in use. So, there won’t be any problems with that. If you are a busy person, you will probably only have time to work at night. This means that you have to stay in low-light conditions, which is not exactly what we recommend. However, to help you with this, the manufacturer has added a built-in LED light which will make it much easier to get the task done right.

Ease of use

What we really like about this model is the fact that it is very easy to use. As compared to other similar small models that are equipped with a lot of complicated and difficult to navigate features, this one comes with several features that won’t give you headaches. After reviewing more than 20 models, we are convinced and we can clearly confirm that this might be one of the best tailoring machines for kids and beginners available right now. Due to its easy-to-read stitch dial, it is truly very easy to use. Plus, it comes with both a manual guide and a DVD that will help you discover exactly how the machine works. Actually, the guide covers most of the sewing basics and will help you use the machine correctly.


The Brother XM2701 is covered by a 25-year limited warranty for the chassis casting. In addition to this, it comes with a 1-year warranty for parts and 5-year warranty for electronic components and printed circuit boards. If you have any troubles using the machine, there is a free customer phone and online technical support that will gladly answer all your questions.

2. Singer 1304

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The Singer 1304 is a perfect choice for people who want a basic, simple and easy to use sewing machine. This is a great choice for beginners and also for those sewers looking for a lightweight and portable machine. Although it is one of the most affordable models available in the current market, Singer 1304 is extremely efficient and does a great job. It comes with plenty of impressive features and is equipped with lots of useful accessories. Therefore, if you are planning to purchase a machine, keep in mind that this model comes with 6 built-in sewing stitches, including straight, zigzag, scallop, 4-step buttonhole, satin and blind hem stitches. Additionally, the machine comes with three presser feet, such as the all-purpose foot which will help you complete almost all your sewing projects, the buttonhole foot which is specially designed for buttonholes, slots and more, and a zipper foot for adding piping, zippers and more. Most sewers, especially beginners choose this model because of its small dimensions. It measures 13″ x 7″ x 11.5″ and weighs 12.7 pounds. It is a lightweight product which can be easily carried around or moved from a place to another.

3. Janome Merlot

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Another interesting model that will meet your requirement is the Janome Merlot. This is the only model in its price range. It is an efficient machine that comes with a plethora of features. Therefore, it comes with 4 built-in stitches and a reverse button which allows you to control the stitches. The top drop-in bobbin of this machine is extremely easy to use and remove. Plus, the manual thread tension control and the push-pull bobbin winder makes it accessible to anyone, including beginners and kids. In terms of design, the Janome Merlot comes with a compact, yet stylish design. It is a small machine which measures 10.5″ x 9″ x 5.8″ and weighs no more than 5 pounds. Compared to other similar models, it doesn’t feature a knee lift or a presser foot pressure adjustments. However, it has an extra-high presser foot lifter and a free arm which provides easy access to cuffs, collars, pant hems and other difficult to reach areas. Overall, this is a great machine specially designed for quick mending jobs, scrapbooking, quilting and more.

4. Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic

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The Janome Fastlane Fuschia Basic is undoubtedly one of the best machine for beginners. It is small, portable and comes with a lot of features to help you complete all your sewing projects. It has a compact design which allows you to move it around. The stylish design and the wide range of colors make it ideal for young kids with the needs for sewing. The Janome Fastlane is equipped with 4 built-in stitches, a free arm and a top drop-in bobbin with clear cover for easy setup. Furthermore, there is a reverse lever and presser feet with finger guard which protect little fingers. As compared to other mini machines, this model is found to be light in weight and very small. It weighs 5 pounds and measures 10.5″ x 9″ x 5.8″. Overall, this is a great sewing machine that will surely fulfill every sewer needs.

5. Michley LSS-505

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One of the most efficient machines available in the current market, the Michley LSS-505 is ideal for beginners and experienced sewers alike. Apart from the 8 built-in stitches (3 straight, 3 zigzag, 1 blind hem and 1 scallop stitch), the machine is equipped with a High-Off-Low button and a free arm feature which helps you access hard-to-reach areas, such as cuffs, hems, collars and the likes. Additionally, it has a LED light that illuminates the entire work surface allowing you to work even late at night. What we really like about the Michley LSS-505 machine is that it is one of the lightest units on the market. Thanks to its compact design and lightweight feature it can easily fit even in the smallest corners of the house. The machine only measures 10.8″ x 4.8″ x 10.2″ and weighs 5.4 pounds, which means that it is ideal for homeowners who are limited by space. Best of all, this machine is very easy to use and operate. Since it is mechanical, you can easily turn the dial and navigate through the range of designs until you will find the desired stitch. All in all, this is a great product that comes at a reasonable price.

What’s Behind our Ratings

Do you have a friend or a child who is interested in sewing? Sewing is a great artcraft for young people and kids to learn. If you are looking for a top-rated small machine for your child, choose a versatile model and try to understand the purpose of all its features and settings. Some models, especially the computerized ones are more complicated than the mechanical model. As such, if your child doesn’t feel comfortable using it, try to find a mini machine that satisfies its sewing needs.

  • Built-in stitches

    If you are planning to purchase a small model, have a look at the built-in stitches that it is equipped with. Most small machines have some basic stitches and any extras are just for fun. If you choose to buy a mini machine for your kid, it’s recommended to opt for a model with a few stitches instead of a machine with hundreds of unnecessary stitches. A simple machine is great for beginners and kids who are learning and building their skills.

  • Needle threader

    Threading a needle on a small machine could be one of the most complicated aspects of sewing for beginners or kids. However, it’s recommended to choose a model that features an automatic needle threader. This types of machines are much easier to use and set up, so your child will enjoy using it.

  • Presser feet

    The presser foot is a part of the machine that keeps the fabric firmly in place. If your child is using the machine is recommended to use the finger guard so they couldn’t get their fingers stuck in the presser feet.

  • Free arm

    The free arm is one of the most interesting features a machine can have. It has no advantage when you sew long and straight materials. If you don’t have it allows for easy storage. Furthermore, it provides easy access to sleeves, cuffs, pant hems and other hard to reach areas.

  • Sewing speed

    In spite of their lightweight features, some machines are very powerful. They come with a maximum sewing speed of 800 stitches per minute, which is more than enough to help you complete even the larger and more complicated projects.

  • Tension control

    The tension control of a machine is an important feature as well. Some units automatically adjust the tension while others are equipped with a dial that can help you adjust the tension.

Things to Remember When Buying

Just because these types of machines are not specifically labeled kids or beginners models don’t mean they are not. There are hundreds of models on the market, but the model you choose will depend on your budget or on what features you need. Some machines are computerized while others are mechanical. However, the computerized models are much more expensive and difficult to use than the manual models. In order to help you make the right decision, we have gathered some key things to look for when you shop for a small machine.

  • Choose between computerized and mechanical

    As it was mentioned before, there are 2 basic types of sewing machines, such as the computerized and the mechanical models. The computerized machines come with a built-in computer with automatic features and touch button controls. On the other hand, on mechanical models, you won’t find a computer or a digital LCD screen, so you can choose the stitches by a turn dial.

  • Weight

    When purchasing a machine for your kids, you need to consider the weight of the chosen model. Although they are small, some machines could be heavier than others. However, you need to focus on a lightweight machine that is easy for your child to carry. You may find some lightweight products made from cheap plastic. They might be inexpensive, but they are not durable and you will end up choosing a model that doesn’t work at all.

  • Finger guard

    If you are looking to purchase a machine for your little sewers it is important to choose a model that comes with safety features. One of the most important safety features is the finger guard. The finger guard is designed to keep you away from the touch of the needle during sewing. While some models come with a built-in finger guard, others will allow you to attach it separately.

Best Brands Available Today

Whether you are a professional sewer or a beginner, you probably know that there are hundreds of sewing machines brands on the market, these days. Each manufacturer tries to create quality and durable products that can satisfy every sewer’s needs. Janome, Brother and Singer top the list produce amazing models that could be right for you. To determine which is the most suitable machine for you, have a look at the basics of what each brand can provide. Each one of these three brands tries to make your sewing chores easier. They deliver performance and quality.

If you are a beginner you will enjoy the features of a Janome or Brother model. Sewing can be an interesting experience even for your kids who can learn to sew by using a sewing machine. Both Janome and Brother create machines with safety features that prevent fingers from being pinched. In what regards the costs of a machine, the industrial models can cost more than $4000 while the entry-level machines can be priced under $100.

very portable and lightweight. They come with a compact, yet stylish design that makes them nicely fit in any corner of your room. Furthermore, they are very easy to use and simple to handle for small jobs. Also, a small machine is much more affordable than a standard model. It doesn’t come with so many features as other expensive models do, but it has the basic settings that will surely meet all your requirements. However, if you are new in this industry, you won’t need a computerized model with hundreds of stitches and plenty of other complicated features. You just need something simple which is easy to use and maneuver.

On the other hand, if you are looking to purchase a sewing machine for your child, a mini model is exactly what you are looking for. Some models are specially designed for kids and they are equipped with different safety features. However, they are slightly more expensive but it’s something your kids can grow into. Another benefit of owning a sewing machine is that you can make your own clothing or home décor. The fact that you can create and personalize your own clothes will lead to a lot of satisfaction once you see the final product.

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