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We tested 40 leather sewing machines so in a bid to ascertain which was best for working with that ubiquitous piece of fabric for furniture, bags, and other items. The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 impressed us the most out of all the machines we sewed with.
This computerized machine is capable of adjusting font size and affords you the flexibility of being able to choose from six hundred built-in stitches.
You can also mix, mirror, and elongate stitches to achieve a wide variety of stitch combinations for unique and professional looking designs.
For the ability to control stitch speed and thread trimming with the push of a button, SINGER Quantum Stylist machines is among the best leather sewing machines.
- 1 Top-Rated Heavy Duty Leather Sewing Machines
- 2 Singer 9960 600-Stitch Computerized Leather Sewing Machine (TOP Choice)
- 3 Janome HD3000 Leather Sewing Machine (Best Value)
- 4 Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Portable Sewing Machine
- 5 The Singer 4411
- 6 Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich
- 7 Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Sewing Machine
- 8 Juki DDL- 8700 Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine
- 9 Singer CG590 Commercial Grade
- 10 TechSew 3650HD Industrial Sewing Machine
- 11 Sailrite Walking Foot Stitching Machine, Perfect for Upholstery
- 12 Tippmann Manual Leather Sewing Machine
- 13 Reliable 4000SW
- 14 Tacsew GC6-6
- 15 Janome Sewist 500
- 16 Brother ST371HD
- 17 Janome HD3000 with Leather & Universal Needles
- 18 Leather Sewing Machines Buying Guide
Top-Rated Heavy Duty Leather Sewing Machines
|SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960||100||80|
|SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423||100||80|
|JUKI DDL-8700 Industrial||5||80|
|Singer CG590 Commercial Grade||60||60|
|Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LS-1||5||70|
|Tandy Leather Tippmann Boss||5||100|
|Janome Sewist 500||30||60|
|Janome HD3000 with Leather Needles||50||80|
Singer 9960 600-Stitch Computerized Leather Sewing Machine (TOP Choice)
Coming from the trusted age-old brand in sewing machines, this machine has crossed far from those vintage sewing machines.
The Singer 9960 features many functions and accessories you’ll enjoy using. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, it features an intuitive design that makes it both fun and easy to use.
For one, it provides a wide selection of ready stitching options that go from basic to decorative options. This makes it perfect not just for regular sewing projects, but also quilting, crafting, and other home décor projects.
The Singer 9960 also features and automatic needle-threader so you can worry no more about eyestrain or frustration while threading.
Singer doesn’t hold back with features on this machine. It includes up to 600 ready stitches for various uses. That’s almost twice as much options in comparison to other sewing machines in its class.
Moreover, it includes 13 ready single-step buttonholes as well as 5 alphanumeric fonts. And if that’s not enough, it also has Mirror Imaging and Stitch Elongation features for more creative stitch projects.
This leather sewing machine makes a good choice for heavy-duty and industrial use as well.
Apart from the efficient features mentioned above, it also features an automatic thread cutter, an auto-bobbin winder, and tension control.
This means you can continuously sew projects seamlessly and easily with the help of these features.
Speed-wise, the Singer 9960 works at 850 stitches per minute allowing efficient and fast completion of projects. You also have the option to adjust the speed to match your preference and pace. All that and it’s many useful accessories make this machine our favorite.
- High-speed performance and efficiency supporting features. This machine comes with multiple features and accessories that support efficient work while also performing up to 850 stitches per minute.
- Leading number of ready stitch patterns for use. With 600 ready stitch options to choose from, the Singer 9960 provides double the variety of stitches compared to other brands.
- Multiple accessories make it more versatile and easy to use. The machine includes accessories that help with beginner and advanced level projects while also helping with efficiency and machine maintenance.
- Weighs over 20lbs. Though featured-packed, this machine is too heavy to carry around.
Janome HD3000 Leather Sewing Machine (Best Value)
If you’re looking for something more simple and straightforward, the HD3000 by Janome would be a great choice for you. Rather than focusing on fancy features, this machine focuses on durability, power and reliability.
Powered by a 1.0 amp motor, the Janome HD3000 lets you sew through thick layers of fabric easily. Think even 4 layers of denim and going through that without losing speed or efficiency.
It’s the best sewing machine for denim and leather or canvas for upholstery, jackets and other projects.
Durability wise, this machine is made to last. Don’t be fooled by its outer plastic housing. Every component of the Janome HD3000 is made of metal. It’s a strong and reliable sewing machine.
Meanwhile, though this machine doesn’t come with fancy computerized features it isn’t so lacking either. For one, it has a built-in needle threader and thread cutter for efficiency.
It also features 19 decorative and basic stitches, one-step buttonhole, reverse stitch function and push/pull bobbin winder. Additionally, it features a 5-piece feed dog supporting a smooth fabric movement and help with quilting or batting projects.
With these features, you can easily thread and wind through the machine as you sew.
It also comes with a guide to help you work through features and settings according to the best application. Settings are easily accessible for the foot presser, stitch selection dial and resetting the buttonhole sensor.
Overall, the Janome HD3000 may not be fancy with hundreds of accessible stitches, but it gives you what you need.
It provides the 21 frequently used stitches, efficiency features and the power to work through more demanding materials. It’s a sewing machine built to last.
- Powerful for Heavy Duty Use. With its 1amp motor, you can easily work with tough materials.
- Features easy threading and cutting for efficiency. Comes with a built-in threader and cutter.
- Smooth running performance. Its 5-piece feed dog helps keep fabrics in place.
- Easy to use. While designed for heavy-duty use, the sewing machine features guided functions that make it easy to use for beginners.
- Utilitarian design. This machine isn’t designed to be pretty; it features a boxy utilitarian look.
- Not as fast as other models. While powerful and strong, it doesn’t sew as fast as other machines.
Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Portable Sewing Machine
Affordable, portable and reliable, these tend to be words don’t always go together when buying a good sewing machine. For one, most heavy-duty machines are too heavy to lift and carry around. But with the Singer 4423, we found something different.
We can’t say it’s completely heavy duty leather sewing machine, but at the least, it works well with most any material from satin to leather and denim.
However, don’t expect full performance in true heavy-duty projects that require sewing multiple layers of leather or denim. The reviews tend to be mixed on this end.
However, positive reviews outnumber any negatives by a mile; some even go to note that negative experiences are probably due to handling.
More than power, the Singer 4423 also performs at a whopping 1100 stitches per minute at top speed. One of the fastest you can get in this class and size.
It also comes with 23 stitch options covering most frequently used stitches. This includes basic, decorative, and stretch stitches plus a buttonhole stitch.
This means it works well on different projects from sewing to embroidery projects and décor.
Many users find it very easy to use (including beginners). Settings are easy to adjust. And with its easily accessible dial, you can change for a thin or thick fabric.
The Singer 4423 also comes with a great feature set. This includes an automatic needle threader as well as a free arm (for cuffs, hems and collars).
This makes it easier to use for beginners from basic sewing to hemming and clothes making. Additionally, you can purchase presser foot varieties as you progress in your sewing skills and projects.
- One of the best in speed. It’s one of the fastest for mid-range machines performing almost twice as much as others.
- Solid build. The machine feels sturdy though portable.
- Quiet and smooth to work with. Holds the fabric well and works quietly.
- Not as efficient for more heavy-duty tasks. Despite being advertised as heavy duty, the machine struggles when working through multiple layers of thick materials.
The Singer 4411
Not so far from the 4423 model is another heavy-duty Singer model, the 4411. This simple straightforward machine may look humble but it packs a lot of power and speed. Just what you’d expect from Singer.
For an affordable sewing machine, the Singer 4411 doesn’t disappoint. Just don’t expect any fancy features and hundreds of stitches.
Weighing only 14.5lbs, this machine is quite lightweight and easy to carry around. Moreover, its onboard storage lets you keep and carry your sewing supplies along with it easily.
Now, while it sports a plastic casing, the machine has a metal frame and stainless steel bedplate. This makes it sturdy and reliable.
Most customers highlight this as a good quality and note how this simple machine runs like an industrial model. Moreover, if there’s one thing Singer is known for, it’s for having durable motors. So you’re sure this piece is built to last.
The Singer 4411 come with 11 most commonly used stitches. It doesn’t seem like much but is enough to complete most tasks. Plus, considering its price, it’s still a good set to carry.
Plus, it’s strong enough to work on all types of fabric, including tougher denim, leather, and canvas. Along with that power, it also works at an incredible speed of 1,100 stitches per minute.
Note, however, that while the machine works well on any material, it’s not powerful enough to handle multiple layers very well. Like the 4423, this machine also tends to slow down or falter with thick layers of heavyweight material.
Meanwhile, for a powerful machine, it works quietly and smoothly. Its stainless bedplate effectively keeps the fabric in place for easy feeding, while its adjustable foot presser control supports gliding.
Though almost similar to the 4423, the 4411 tends to be the go-to model as a budget choice. They are sturdy, fast and reliable but come with different feature sets.
- Super fast speed. It can go as fast as 1,100 stitches per minute making it among the fastest budget sewing machines.
- Runs quietly and smoothly. A lot of customers appreciate how quiet the machine runs and how smooth it feeds even on heavier material.
- Affordable price. It’s a sturdy, fast, and reliable machine that comes at an affordable price.
- Can handle any material. With its powerful motor, this machine can handle any material from silk to leather and canvas.
- No automatic needle threader. If you’re used to machines with an automatic needle threader, this may take some getting used to.
- Mostly basic stitches included. The 4411 is a very basic machine. If you do other projects which require some versatility from your machine, this may not the best choice.
Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich
Though you probably know the brand in the league of typewriters and printers, they actually do well in sewing machines. Brother delivered great quality with this feature-rich CS6000i.
Plus, many reviews and user feedback note how it’s probably one of the best in the market (especially for beginners). Each review highlights many features.
Moreover, you get a great feature-set for a good price; it’s probably why this brand has earned the “Consumer Digest Best Buy” title in 2013.
To start off, the Brother CS6000i features a wide range of functions that make it a very versatile machine. For its price point, you already get 60 ready stitch options, 7 one-step buttonhole options, and an automatic needle threader.
These stitch options include both basic and decorative stitches. Meanwhile, sewing speed is also adjustable to match your pace and material.
A lot of customers also like its LCD stitch selector and lit workspace. It makes the machine very easy to use and are great features especially for those with some eyesight challenges.
When it comes to versatility, this machine comes with an onboard free arm for easy sewing of cuffs and sleeves.
Plus, work easily through your quilting projects with its detachable large sized table. All that, plus its nine presser feet inclusion and variety of stitches make it a versatile machine.
If you aren’t convinced yet, Brother is ready to support you with a 25-year limited warranty and free phone support.
It’s not the best for beginners though; reading through the manual can be a doozy. However, with the help of a friend or their support team, you may be able to make good use of this machine.
- Excellent stitch selection options. It comes with 60 built-in stitches and 7 one-step button-hole options.
- Lightweight and portable. This machine is feature-packed and sturdy yet easy to carry around.
- Versatile and reliable. It comes with a detachable wide table and onboard free arm along with its wide variety of stitches.
- Affordable. Despite its awesome feature set, it comes at an affordable price.
- No automatic tension. Some newbies are challenged with tension adjustment.
- Not heavy duty. The machine doesn’t work well on thick layers.
Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Sewing Machine
Making it as one of the best industrial leather sewing machines, we definitely can’t miss the Consew 206RD-5 on our list. Coming from a brand popular with a professional seamstress, many love this best sewing machine for leather and other materials.
This table-mounted industrial sewing machine is both reliable and sturdy. And while it’s built to last, after sales support is very reliable.
You can easily acquire and service parts for this Consew model. Moreover, maintenance is made easy with its central lubrication system.
Now, despite being foot pedal operated, this machine actually works quietly compared to other machines. Though of course, any industrial machine makes some level of noise, the Consew 206CRCB-5 is among the more quiet ones.
While this machine isn’t as fancy as your other computerized sewing machines, it does what it does with excellence.
You don’t have hundreds of built-in stitches but with this machine, every stitch comes out with full precision. You’ll find that this is true for whatever stitch length you select (up to 10mm/2.5 stitches per inch).
Except for extra fine fabric and knits, the Consew 206RB-5 can work with any fabric. This ranges from light to thick heavy material like suede, denim, and leather.
You can worry not about working on layers either, as this machine is powerful enough to support it.
Apart from power, this Consew has a maximum speed of 3000 stitches per minute. Moreover, it’s easy to work with even for longer periods through its extra-large Bobbin and walking foot.
You can also easily wind multiple bobbins while sewing with its table-mounted bobbin winder and storage tray.
While it’s not perfect for a beginner, it’s great for those who tend to work on large projects. It requires some degree of experience for one to be comfortable with using it.
- Ultra-fast speed. Works as fast as 3000 stitches per minute
- Wide options for stitch length. You get perfect stitching for any size up to 10mm/2.5 stitches per inch.
- Quiet and smooth performance. One of the quietest industrial sewing machines.
- Easy to maintain. Designed for easy maintenance and has easily accessible parts for repair when needed.
- Not ideal for beginners. Requires some level of experience for users.
- No stitching options. It only does one thing/one stitch but does it well. It’s a dedicated stitcher more than anything else.
Juki DDL- 8700 Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine
Coming from the popular sewing machine brand in Japan, the Juki DDL-8700 is also one of the best globally. Designed as a monogram machine, you can expect a level of versatility with the Juki DDL 8700.
This includes simple repairs to crafty projects, jackets, jeans to blankets and quilts. See, it does a great job whether you’re just stitching or working on patterns. Moreover, it’s also powerful enough to work on thick material like reptile skin in vinyl.
This sewing machine also works with a variety of needles with sizes similar to Singer machines. It offers a wider variety of options that you would normally find in a personal sewing machine.
The JukiDDL 8700 features a high-quality OrganDBX1 needle, and if you’re opting for a switch, its sizes are similar to those used by Singer between sizes 9 to 18.
While it’s an industrial sewing machine, this Juki’s servo motor is quiet enough to use at home. You can worry not about the usually disturbing noise from large sewing machines.
So if you have a home-business of dress-making or repairs, it’s an ideal choice to avoid disturbances.
Adjusting settings as you work isn’t too complicated either. You can change speeds at a press of a button.
This machine lets you work on up to 5mm/6 stitches per inch in length and can run as fast as 5,500 stitches per minute. This makes it to be the best industrial sewing machine, especially when you need to produce bulk clothing/linen.
When it comes to maintenance, the machine features auto-lubrication and features a full rotary hook. It also includes a 5-year limited warranty for the body and parts and a 2-year warranty on its motor.
- Super fast speed. This machine can perform a whopping 5,500 stitches per minute at max speed.
- Easy to adjust settings while working. You can easily change speed and settings with a press of a button.
- Sturdy and well-built. The overall build feels strong. Plus, it’s powerful enough to handle tougher materials.
- Easy to maintain. Auto lubricates and has a full rotary hook.
- Single needle. Can’t do other stitches like zigzags or other types.
- Not ideal for beginners. It leans more on the industrial and business side requiring some level of experience for good use.
Singer CG590 Commercial Grade
We love how Singer came through with this commercial grade machine yet pricing it reasonably. For under $250 the powerful Singer CG590 has a lot to offer any hobbyist or pro.
It’s a super fast machine with excellent performance making it the great next step if you’re leveling up from a beginner.
See, normally commercial grade sewing machines tend to be straightforward. However, the Singer CG590 provides a wide range of stitching options and other features, so it’s more than a stitcher. Featuring 18 ready stitches to choose from, you have access to basic stitches, 4-step buttonhole and more.
This machine also features a smooth feed with its stainless steel bed plate and supports a variety of materials. That includes soft cotton to hard denim and leather.
Moreover, its feeding system is designed with 7 segments. This unique design provides complete support to your fabric’s feed from rear to foot.
Unlike most commercial machines, this one comes with an automatic needle threader. Moreover, it has a drop feed feature that helps make quilting projects easier and a drop-in bobbin.
These, coupled with the Singer “Touch N’ Wind Bobbin System” allow you to work efficiently and safely.
The Singer’s amazing feature set doesn’t end there. You also have the option to adjust needle tension to suit your project and choose between 3 needle positions.
Plus, it comes with automated pressure control via its presser foot and stitches length options of up to 5mm. Then to cap all that, it works at a fast speed of 1,100 stitches per minute.
Finally, while the Singer CG590 comes as a commercial grade sewing machine, many beginners find it easy to use.
- Extra fast stitching speed. Can run as fast as 1,100 stitches per minute.
- Specially designed feed. The machine is designed to support a smooth and stable feed from the rear to the foot.
- Versatile and powerful. Provides 18 ready stitches to choose from while supporting a wide variety of materials. Moreover, you can improve/extend performance and efficiency with easily accessible accessories.
- Features plastic parts. Some users find these plastic parts concerning in terms of durability.
- Quality consistency. Though Singer provides good support, some owners have had to go through a number of repairs on their unit.
- Lighting can be better. Lighting isn’t bright enough to support sewing in dimmer lit places.
TechSew 3650HD Industrial Sewing Machine
If you’re looking for a sewing machine specially designed for leather, then you can’t go wrong with the TechSew 3650HD.
This powerful machine is ready to work on leather as thick as 7/16 inches. Whether you’re working on a saddle, belt, or harness the TechSew 3650HD makes a perfect tool.
It features a high presser foot clearance of up to 0.5 inches supporting thicker fabric. Moreover, with its SmartServo motor you get the power you need to work on heavier material and bulky items.
And since accuracy is particularly important when working with leather many appreciate how easy is to control speeds.
The machine provides a good range of stitch length adjustment options supporting up to 7mm max. Plus, you can control and more accurately execute stitches with its built-in roller edge guide.
It also feeds even larger projects smoothly with its 10.5inch cylinder bed. With all those features, you’re sure to avoid mistakes as you work on heavier and pricier materials avoiding waste.
If most of your projects are around the leather material, the TechSew 3650HD definitely has the complete features you need.
It comes with high power, supportive and smooth feeding while allowing you to work on thick layers. Moreover, its added features support more accurate stitching so you don’t waste material.
- Heavy Duty performance and feeding. This machine is designed to work on thick materials with a clearance of up to 0.5” thick. It has the strength to sew up to 4 layers of 8oz leather.
- Provides space and support for accuracy. It features a wide space and roller-edge guide for more accurate and straight stitching.
- Sturdy and reliable. Many customers appreciate how well the machine is built and how strong it is.
- No automatic threading. While easy to thread, beginners may be challenged since it doesn’t feature automatic threading. At the least, TechSew delivers it pre-threaded and ready for use.
- No support for winding bobbin. This process is manually done as well.
Sailrite Walking Foot Stitching Machine, Perfect for Upholstery
Looking for something capable of sewing through 8 to 10 layers of canvas? Then here’s another machine you have to check out, the Sailrite Walking Foot Stitching Machine (Ultrafeed).
This machine features a “Power Plus Balance Wheel”. It’s a feature that doubles the machine’s power allowing it to easily work through the heavy material. This design is twice as powerful and as big as most flywheels.
This feature, coupled with its 110 VAC motor (1.5 amps) makes this a powerful machine. You need not worry about controlling that power though; you still get full control of this power and speed via the electronic foot control.
If you’re worried about that power going to the needle and through thick layers of, Sailrite has a solution. Their patented Posi-Pin transfers all that power directly through the needle with full clutch control. No more worries about slipping and misalignment as you work through your fabric.
Now, to support thick layers of leather, canvas or whatever heavy material you have, the Ultrafeed features a 3/8” clearance.
This gives you enough space support thick layers under the foot lift. Along with that, you can adjust stitch length up to 6mm to match your material and project.
Meanwhile, the Ultrafeed isn’t the fastest in speed at 500 stitches per minute. However, it supports the control and accuracy needed when working with leather.
When it comes to stitching though, the machine is quite straightforward. It’s made simply for stitching forwards and backward.
However, it does feature an onboard welting tunnel that supports working on zippers without having to change the foot. Meanwhile, you do get a steady smooth feed even when working on thick layers thanks to its other features.
- Designed to work on thick layers and heavy material. Featuring high foot clearance and power, you can easily work on leather and other heavy materials.
- Features control and accuracy of supportive parts. Since working with leather means less room for error, the Ultrafeed comes with an EZ Set Stitch Plate and wide presser foot.
- No stitch options. Provides only the basic stitching.
- Not the fastest. Runs at only 500 stitches per minute.
Tippmann Manual Leather Sewing Machine
Sporting a sleek vintage looking design, the Tippmann Manual Leather Sewing Machine gives your leather work a feel of authenticity.
No motor and no cords, the Tippmann takes your leather sewing to an artisan level. Not to mention saves you some on electricity bills.
It’s a machine designed specifically for leather sewing. And while it’s manually operated, it surprisingly supports high precision stitching very well.
Though it’s lighter than most heavy-duty sewing machines, the Tippmann Boss is a well-built piece of machinery. Featuring precision cast metal, it’s a true durable piece made to last.
When it comes to sewing heavy material, you can expect it to handle up to 19mm in thickness. Many users find it perfect when working on holsters, harness, magazine pouches, handheld accessories and belts.
For one, its precision in stitching is perfect. Plus, it can take a good number of layers of heavy material.
However, being a hand operated machine has its drawbacks. Moreover, for a manual mechanical device with limited features, it isn’t cheap at all. So, it’s something that attracts users who are more interested in the romance and artisan touch of it.
- High Precision. Perfectly places stitches making it an excellent tool for magazine pouches and holsters.
- Lightweight yet sturdy. It weighs only 23lbs but is built-to-last, made of sturdy cast metal.
- Stylish and electricity saving. Has a beautiful vintage feel and is manually operated.
- Limited features. This machine is more focused on specific leather work that requires basic stitching.
- Expensive. Considering that you can get more advanced options for the same price, this machine may not be the best value choice.
Janome Sewist 500
Janome HD3000 with Leather & Universal Needles
Leather Sewing Machines Buying Guide
Why You Need a Leather Sewing Machine?
Unlike other materials, you can’t go wrong when it comes to leather. Every stitch leaves a hole, a permanent mark. This means mistakes can mean wasted material (material that isn’t so cheap either).
Moreover, the poorly powered machines won’t perform as well on heavy material like leather. The needle may not pierce well or the foot press may not let the material slide as smoothly. This would then cause damages to both the machine and leather.
You’ll also have to consider the stitching needed for leather. The best leather sewing machine needs to be able to support longer stitches for a secure seam considering the thickness of the material.
Types of Industrial Leather Sewing Machines
While there are different types of industrial sewing machines, not all of them are good for leather use.
Especially considering what we mentioned above. Here are the types of industrial sewing machines available but note that you need specific machine features to support leather:
- Cylinder Bed – Featuring a narrow, horizontal base, these machines are great for working on saddles and shoes. It has the space to support bulky items with a diameter ranging from 5 to 6 centimeters in its column.
- Flat Bed – If your leather work is more on belts, upholstery and garments, a flatbed may do fine. It’s the more typical type and is often used for flat projects.
- Post Bed – If your projects need more use of bobbins and feed dogs like boots and gloves, the post bed is a good choice. The column height of a post bed comes between ten to forty-five centimeters. This gives users enough workspace for more detailed sewing.
Tips for Sewing with Leather
Since leather is pricier and requires higher accuracy to work with here are some tips to help you make the most of your leather sewing projects:
- Practice using paper clips, binder clips and invisible tape. These will help you hold the material in place without leaving a permanent hole in it.
- When in doubt use scrap material. If you aren’t sure about your settings yet and trying out stitching options try it out on scrap. It’s best to use scrap material first rather than waste good material.
- Use cut-outs for patterns. Using a rotary cutter, cut out your pattern pieces per layer (not all together) this helps avoid misaligned patterns and scratches on your leather.
- No need for a seam finish. Leather doesn’t need a seam finish since it has fray edges. However, if you do prefer to finish the seams, you can use leather adhesive. You can also opt to finish with other options though it isn’t really necessary for this material.
- Use the right needle type and a new one. Make sure you’re using a needle specifically for leather. Meanwhile, it is also not ideal to keep reusing the same needle as leather can leave some debris over multiple uses.
- Tape the universal foot. Since leather tends to stick on the foot, covering this part with a scotch tape will help the material glide smoothly.