Heavy duty sewing machines are absolutely crucial for sewing leather. It takes a sturdy machine to sew through such a thick and rather unyielding material. If you’re sewing leather with a pattern that requires a detailed or complicated stitching, the type of machine you use can make a big difference in the results. That’s why we’ve put together this review – to help you find the right machine you need for your projects. Here you’ll find product descriptions, pros and cons because our team of experts want to give you the ability to make informed, smart choices.

TOP 10 AT A GLANCE

10. Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

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With 14 built-in stitches and made of cast aluminum, this machine is capable of handling your tough sewing projects. Features include extra needs, felt, bobbins, screwdrivers, buttonhole/seam ripper and a host of others, you’ll be able to easily complete quality projects.

PROS
The machine itself is durable as is the bobbin casing. Has a convenient storage box on the front of the machine. It’s easy to switch stitches.

CONS
This machine does sew leather but keep in mind you’ll need to purchase leather needles and a Teflon/non-stick foot. Those items do not come with this machine. 14 stitch capacity is rather limited so those who are interested in more complicated stitch work may find this particular machine unsuitable for their needs.

9. SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Speed Sewing Machine

SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Speed Sewing Machine

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An affordable heavy duty machine that gets the job done. The Singer 4411 has a metal frame and stainless steel bedplate. With a rate of 1,100 stitches per minute you can get projects done quickly. This machine has 11 built-in stitches and a drop-in bobbin system that is easy to load.

PROS
This is a good machine for beginners. Sews stitches that are both tight and straight. Doesn’t make as much noise as some machines.

CONS
While this machine will sew leather, it may not be suitable for projects that require sewing thick leather. Be careful with threading the machine – the instruction booklet isn’t very clear with the illustrations.

8. Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

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Precise fabric control with a 7-piece feed dog, 18 built-in stitches and a top loading bobbin system that is tangle-free and jam proof is what you’ll get with this sewing machine. There is a convenient stitch panel on the front of the machine that illustrates the various stitch options and there is also a storage compartment on the free arm.

PROS
Great machine for beginners. The bobbin cover is clear which is nice as you can see how much thread you have left. Comes with all standard accessories you need to use it straight out of the box.

CONS
This machine does sew lightweight leather but if you’re looking for a machine to sew heavy/thick leather or a multitude of leather projects, this might not be the machine for you. It isn’t computerized.

7. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

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Pressure feet that snap on, needle threader built-in, stitch lever that’s reversible and 18 built-in stitches – this is a machine. It also has a one-step buttonhole, automatic bobbin winding and a convenient light.

PROS
Comes with a hard case. Sews nice, straight, sturdy stitches. There is a convenient storage compartment on the top of the machine.

CONS
This machine does sew leather but you’ll want to make sure you purchase needles made for leather as the machine does not come with them.

6. Singer 820-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

Singer 820-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

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820 built-in stitches provide quite a variety! There is a speed control feature that allows you to control speed with or without a paddle. You can also create customized patterns and designs with the stitch memory/editing ability. You can cut thread instantly with a simple push of a button.

PROS
The manual is very easy to understand and follow. Works great for beginners with a little patience and willingness to learn. The stitch quality is excellent and it does a good job with monograms.

CONS
You’ll need to purchase the proper needles and accessories for sewing leather but it does sew leather well.

5. Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed® Walking Foot Sewing Machine

Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed® Walking Foot Sewing Machine

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This is a powerful sewing machine that can sew through many layers of thick fabrics. Some machines come with a traditional flywheel but this one has a Power Plus Balance Wheel that offers more power. This one also has what Sailrite calls a patented Posi-Pin clutching system.

PROS
Great for beginners or home use. Provides basic, simple stitches. Comes with quite a few accessories including a tool kit, guidebook and instructional DVD.

CONS
It is a very basic machine so might not be suitable for anyone who needs to do complicated, detailed projects. Rather expensive for a basic machine. Some users may find the castings and inconsistent.

4. SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

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This Singer machine comes with 23 built-in stitches, pressure feet that snap on, 1-step automatic buttonhole, top drop-in bobbin and a needle threader that is automatic. It makes 1,100 stitches per minute and has a metal frame.

PROS
The stitches are smooth and the knobs are easy to use. It’s an attractive machine that is quite affordable.

CONS
If you’re sewing leather be sure to purchase the proper needles and accessories as this machine does not come with those items. The instructions that come with the machine aren’t great so you may have to do a bit of research for more details on how to use the machine.

3. SINGER 5532 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER 5532 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

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1,100 stitches per minute provide a fast sewing speed. This one has 32 built-in stitches and a sturdy, metal frame. It also has a needle threader that is automatic which is a great time-saving feature.

PROS
Feels solidly built and sturdy. Threading the machine is easy. It’s very simple to set up this machine.

CONS
You’ll need to be sure to purchase the proper needles/accessories for leather as this machine does not include those items. Works well with light/medium leather but may not be suitable for heavier leathers.

2. Janome FullSize Freearm Sewing Machine

Janome FullSize Freearm Sewing Machine

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The Janome 2212 has a manual thread tension control, slide lever drop dog feed and a 4-step buttonhole. It also has 6 built-in stitches and includes a bonus package of needles and bobbins.

PROS
This is an easy to operate and dependable machine. It’s lightweight. Great for beginners.

CONS
You’ll need to purchase the proper needles/accessories for sewing leather as this machine does not come with them.

1. Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine with 37 Stitches

Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine with 37 Stitches

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The Brother ST371HD comes with several accessories and features. It has 6 sewing feet, 37 built-in features. The needle threader is built-in, the drop-in bobbin is jam resistant and it comes with a LED light. This is a durable machine made to handle all types of fabrics.

PROS
This is a dependable machine. It is easy to use and would be great for beginners.

CONS
The LED light may not be bright enough for some users. Make sure you have the proper needles/accessories before sewing leather.

Sewing Machines and Accessories

The proper needles and accessories for all fabrics are vital, especially leather and heavy fabrics. Do your research and make sure the machine you are buying comes with what you need or that the manufacturer makes compatible items for your machine.

There may be universal options available, as well. Using the wrong equipment could damage your machine. Sewing machine repairs can be expensive so don’t take the risks.

Final Thoughts

With Singer having a history dating back to the 1800s and Janome being on the market since the 1930s, it’s no wonder these brands appear on our Top 10 more than others. They are both reliable, dependable and long-lasting. With multiple models and types of machines, you are certain to find one that suits your needs. Happy sewing!