Singer and Brother are two of the most popular brands of sewing machines on the market today. Both brands are reliable and packed with features, making it hard to pick one. When it comes to a choice between Singer vs Brother sewing machines, which is better?
Brother and Singer both make sewing machines to cover every sewing activity. With features unique to each brand, they each have areas where they excel. Brother is a world leader in embroidery machines. Singer machines are workhorses. The best one for you depends on the sewing you do and the functions you need.
In this article, we’ll compare the strengths and weaknesses of both brands. Helping you choose between Singer vs Brother sewing machines.
Singer Sewing Machines
An American entrepreneur, Isaac Singer first introduced Singer sewing machines back in 1851. Since then, Singer has been at the forefront of the sewing machine industry. Partly due to their incredible marketing skills as well as their sturdy, robust machines.
By 1890, Singer machines accounted for 90% of the global market share. Their machines were so popular the Singer Company Ltd. had factories around the world. Their largest factory was Kilbowie, Scotland. At its peak, it was producing 13,000 machines per week. The Kilbowie site was also the largest sewing machine factory in the world.
One of their popular models, the Singer 15 was so successful other manufacturers embraced the design and styled their machines in a similar way.
Being a hard act to beat, the Singer 15 became the basis of all modern domestic machines. Today, most popular brands use Class 15 bobbins, bobbin systems, and needles in their machines. Including machines made by one of Singer’s biggest competitors, the Brother International Corporation.
Sewing machines aren’t the only thing the company is famous for. Their focus is on sewing and all the tools needed to perform any sewing-related task. Over the years, the Singer Company has written sewing guides and instruction books. They also sell a range of sewing notions, including sewing machine needles, bobbins, scissors, sewing kits, and dress forms.
Singer is known for a series of world firsts. They introduced the first zigzag machine, the Slant-o-MaticTM in 1952. Then came the world’s first electronic machine, the Athena 2000 in 1975. Quickly followed by another world first in 1978, the TouchtronicTM 2001, a computerized machine.
The popularity did take a little bit of a nosedive in the 1970s when poor quality components and management problems created a backdrop of tension and customer dissatisfaction.
Since then, the company has had a revival. Singer’s current sewing machine models are among the most popular available today. They regularly top the best seller’s lists with 5-star reviews.
The company’s best models today are the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 with autopilot mode and the Singer 4452HD, a rock-solid workhorse designed for heavier use.
Brother Sewing Machines
Originally called Yasui Sewing Machine Co., the Brother International Corporation was founded in Nagoya, Japan back in 1908.
They didn’t make their own sewing machines back then. In the early days, they serviced and repaired industrial machines. When Yasui died in 1925, his sons took over the company and it became known as Yasui Brothers Sewing Machine Co. They introduced the first machine made entirely in Japan in 1932.
The Brother International Corporation came into being in 1954 to export products across the globe. By the late 1950s, the company had set up offices in Europe and America.
These days Brother is known for more than industrial and domestic sewing machines. Unlike Singer, who stayed a sewing-only brand, Brother became one of the world’s best technology companies. Famous for a range of electrical and computerized office products like laser printers, label printers, fax machines, and typewriters.
Their expertise in electronics has enabled them to become a leader in the field of 3-in-1 multifunction devices which combine fax machines, printers, and copiers. This expertise is mirrored in their groundbreaking and innovative embroidery and sewing combination machines.
Brother machines include the popular CS6000I with an easy to see LCD display and 60 built-in stitches. There is also the Brother CS5055PRW, a lightweight and easily portable model weighing a little over 10lbs.
Singer vs Brother: What Are the Similarities and Differences?
One of the main differences between Brother and Singer is their company set-up and the products they make. Brother is known internationally as a technology company, famous for office equipment like printers and its sewing machine range.
Singer has been a global leader in a niche market for over a century. It is a world-famous maker of sewing machines. The company supplies sewing notions but doesn’t venture out into any other industry. When it comes to sewing and sewing machines, Singer is a specialist company.
Let’s take a look at some other areas important to any sewing machine manufacturer. From customer service to overall reliability, how do Singer and Brother compare against each other?
Ease of UseAny sewing machine company needs to cater to all the different skill levels. Both Singer and Brother machines are aimed at sewists of all abilities. From the basic entry-level machines, through intermediate to the more advanced.
They both score well in this area. However, Brother sewing machines are powered by technological advancements. Their high-end machines in particular are full of groundbreaking innovation. With convoluted menu systems and high-tech computers, they can be a little confusing. This can make them attractive only to advanced stitchers. Or those with more time on their hands to learn how to use them.
Singer has the edge when it comes to ease of use. Their machines tend to be a bit more down-to-earth, relying on durability, reliability, and simplicity. A beginner may be in awe of the vast array of functions at first. But, after a quick sit-down with the manual, even the top range Singer machines can be worked by newbie sewists. Their tagline is, “Singer is sewing made easy”.
Features and FunctionalityBoth Brother and Singer sewing machines have similar features and functions. They each have automatic needle threaders, drop-in bobbins, built-in stitches, and speed controls on many of their models.
If we look at the features and functions you get for the price you pay, Brother is the clear winner. Brother machines tend to have more for less cost. Singer is and always has been expensive in comparison, with fewer features and accessories.
With both Brother and Singer sewing machines being backed by two of the most popular companies in the world, their customer service is top-notch.
The companies are easy to contact and have an active social media presence. Reacting to and acting on customer complaints, they strive to maintain a good consumer experience with excellent aftersales care.
Both have easy-access to trouble-shooting guides and can help replace lost manuals. It’s too close to call. This area is a draw.
Singer sewing machines have been around for 170 years. They are a well-known brand with a history of providing reliable domestic and industrial sewing machines. Because of this, they tend to run on the expensive side. You’re paying for the name, backed by generations of experience.
Brother machines give you more functions and accessories for your hard-earned cash. This makes them slightly more popular with sewists on a tight budget. Even their entry-level models are jam-packed with features.
It is difficult to say which brand is better for affordability. Budget models tend to be cheaply made and may not last as long as a more expensive machine. Brother’s basic range tends to be plastic and cheap and cheerful.
Singer may be slightly more expensive, but their machines, especially the budget-friendly heavy-duty range, are durable with well-built metal frames. If we look at longevity and affordability, the scales start tipping in favor of Singer for this category.
QualityThe quality of sewing machines has changed a lot over the years. Originally made out of cast iron, you could expect a sewing machine to last for generations. Many of the antique Singers from the late 1800s and early 1900s are still in use today.
Machines are not made out of cast iron anymore. Nor do they have many metal components. The majority of them are plastic and quick to wear out, regardless of who made them. Modern sewing machines usually last between 5 – 10 years. The cheaper they are when purchased, the shorter their lifespan.
When it comes to quality, Singer and Brother perform equally well. This is one of the reasons both have been on the list of most popular sewing machine manufacturers for decades. This one is a draw.
Mechanical or Computerized
The two companies have more between them when it comes to mechanical and computerized machines. Brother is the absolute master in computerized technology. They excel at product automation and innovative designs in all aspects of electronics. It’s their day job.
Similarly, Singer is hands-down the best when it comes to durable, mechanical machines that sew. Singer is a sewing company. They make machines that sew and they make them sew well. There are fewer bells and whistles with Singer, but they more than make up for lack of computer functionality with sturdy reliability.
It’s an even split for this section. If you want computerized, go with Brother. For a mechanical workhorse, choose Singer.
For durability and longevity, Singer outshines Brother. Simply because Singer machines are built to be robust, regardless of whether they are budget or top-of-the-range models. The machines will cope with light sewing, heavy sewing, and everything in between.
Brother models have a dividing line between cheaper options and their flagship Innov-is range. While their top-of-the-range, expensive models can sew on a par with Singer, the budget and entry-level ones are a bit of a disappointment. With less powerful motors and mostly plastic bodies, Brother’s budget range has less oomph and not a lot of staying power.
Popular Models: Singer vs Brother
When it comes to pitting Singer and Brother sewing machines against each other, these next two models allow an all-around comparison. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one.
Deciding between the popular models from Singer and Brother relies on your sewing needs and the features you are looking for.
For a portable or back-up machine, the Brother machine fits the bill. The Singer machine is a sturdy workhorse with plenty of sewing space for the largest of projects. This selection of Singer against Brother is a draw.
Budget Models: Singer vs Brother
For this section, we’ll take a look at two budget models to identify which brand, Singer or Brother, gives the best value for money.
You get what you pay for is certainly true when it comes to sewing machines. For the budget models, the choice between Singer and Brother machines is what you get for the price. In this comparison, the Singer comes out best.
Brother vs Singer: Heavy Duty Machines
This is an area where Singer excels. They have a range of heavy-duty machines designed to cope with projects of all types, sizes, and weights. From heavyweight fabric to heavy use, there’s a machine to suit your needs and budget. There’s even a heavy-duty serger.The machines in the Heavy Duty stable are mostly mechanical. They are made with durable metal frames giving them a sturdy persona that doesn’t bounce as you sew. Singer has recently added a computerized version to the range with touch-button stitch selection and an easy-to-view LCD screen.
One of the popular models is the Singer 4452. With 32 built-in stitches, a fully automatic buttonhole, a needle threader, and a top speed of 1100 stitches per minute, this heavy-duty sewing machine will power through your sewing projects like a knife through butter.
All Singer machines in this range are simple to use and reasonably priced. Making heavy-duty sewing affordable, attainable, and refreshingly easy.Brother machines are a little limited when it comes to heavy-duty. The Brother PQ1500SL is considered to be heavy-duty as it’s a semi-industrial model. However, it’s aimed primarily at quilters for use in long-arm or free-motion quilting tasks.
It may have a faster speed of 1500 stitches per minute, but it’s a straight stitch-only machine. There are no decorative stitches. The shortage of features on this machine means it isn’t a good choice for sewists who need a machine that can tackle anything. Rather than being an all-around heavy-duty machine, it’s restricted to projects that aren’t stretch and don’t need a zigzag.
In comparison, the Brother ST371HD is capable of zigzag, decorative, and straight stitches. It has a speed of 800 stitches a minute, making it a slower machine. It’s also more lightweight than the Singer 4452, so it isn’t as rock steady when sewing. Overall, Brother machines score fairly low when it comes to heavy duty machines.
Need something robust, sturdy, and a true workhorse? In a Singer vs Brother contest, there’s only one choice. Stick with Singer’s Heavy Duty range.
Singer vs Brother: Embroidery MachinesBrother has an impressive range of embroidery sewing machines suitable for beginners and the more advanced. When it comes to the art of sewing machine embroidery, Brother is a tough act to beat. Their models are leaps ahead of Singer.
One of their top sellers, the Brother SE600, is a machine capable of doing both sewing tasks and embroidery. It’s perfect for beginners as it’s a budget-friendly introduction to the amazing world of Brother machines.
Packed with 80 built-in embroidery designs, color LCD touchscreen, 4×4 inch design space, and 103 sewing stitches, this machine ticks all the right boxes when it comes to features, affordability, and ease of use.
The most revered Brother embroidery machines are part of the Innov-is line. With hoop sizes ranging from 8×12 inches to 10×16 inches, they can cover embellishment tasks from small to large. Making it easier for you to express your creativity and personalize your projects.
Powered by the phenomenal Brother StitchVision technology, The Luminaire Innov-is XP1 allows you to preview your designs on the fabric before committing to sewing. A larger than average workspace, 10 inch LCD display screen, large hoop size, and 192 built-in Disney designs make this Brother machine an all-around dream machine.
From sewing garments, quilting, home décor, and embroidery, you can complete any project in style. The top of the range Brother sewing and embroidery machines do come at a premium. If you’re serious about embroidery, it’s a price worth paying.
Singer isn’t known for its embroidery machines. Their forte is more towards heavy-duty sewing machines or the sewing & quilting combination machines. Although they had a range of embroidery machines under the FuturaTM banner, many have been discontinued.
One Futura still available is the Futura XL400. A combination sewing and embroidery machine, the XL400 has 125 embroidery designs and 30 built-in general sewing stitches. There isn’t a display screen on this machine. Designs have to be viewed on a separate computer.A similar machine to the Futura, the Singer Legacy SE300 is another combination sewing and embroidery machine. This one has 200 built-in embroidery designs, including 6 fonts. It has two hoop sizes, 10×6 inches and 4×4 inches, so compares favorably with the Brother SE600 on everything except price.
The Singer machine is almost double the cost. That’s a hefty investment for something that is an entry-level machine.
If you are in the market for an embroidery machine, the choice between Singer and Brother is simple. Look no further than a Brother machine. They are the best.
Singer vs Brother Sewing Machines: Which Is Better?
The simple answer to which is better, Singer or Brother, is they are both equally good. The question you should be asking is; which brand makes the sewing machine that suits your needs?
To answer that question, look at the type of sewing you do, your budget, and your location. The first thing to keep in mind is, how much money you can put into a sewing machine. Once you know what you have available, you can start looking for an affordable machine.
Now let’s look at the kind of sewing you do. Your sewing activities will determine the type of machine you need. Sewing machines are all designed to sew but some will cope with specific tasks better than others. Compile a list of functions you can’t live without and look for those items when you check out different machines.
For instance, if you are a garment sewist in need of a portable machine with a buttonhole function, the Brother PQ1500SI isn’t going to be of any use. It isn’t portable and doesn’t do buttonholes. The Singer 4452, on the other hand, ticks both boxes. So your choice in this situation would be the Singer.
Say you are a long-arm quilter and need a large working area, the Brother PQ1500SI would be suitable as it’s fast and sturdy. For regular quilting, you might find the autopilot function on the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 more beneficial. So you see, when it comes to Singer or Brother, it’s down to the items on your wishlist.
Something that may make a difference between Singer or Brother is your location. Which brand has a repair service in your area? Do you have to ship your machine off to a faraway location for service and repairs? Having a local sewing machine dealer will make servicing your machine simple. It’ll be cheaper too!
Brother’s strength is in technology. Their sewing machines show their technological and innovative prowess. Singer’s strength is they live, breathe and sell sewing. From books, notions, and machines, sewing is all they do.
Neither company is better than the other. They are both world-class. The choice between the two companies comes down to your personal preference.
Let me know in the comments if you liked the article. Have you purchased a Brother or Singer? Which one do you like best?