5 Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine that Handles Thick Fabric

Last updated on October 17th, 2021 at 02:01 pm

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Janome HD3000 - Janome Sewing Machine
Janome HD3000 – Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

If you find yourself regularly sewing thick and hard materials ranging from jean, denim, upholstery, armchair covers and other thick fabrics, what you need is a good heavy duty machine with a thick and sturdy needle.

On this review, you will find my recommended 5 best heavy duty sewing machines for your consideration. Whether you are a professional tailor or a hobbyist home sewer, you can rely on these selected machines as they are some of the top heavy duty sewing machine you can find.

Read - Identifying an Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

How to know which Sewing Machine is Heavy Duty?

Identifying the best heavy duty sewing machine isn’t complex, just look out for these identifiers;

  • Mostly made with a heavy metal frame for stability
  • They are fitted with strong motor that seamlessly drives the needle through any material no matter how thick or overlaid.
  • Heavy duty machines also have extra presser foot lift which creates space for bulky and multiple layer fabrics.
  • The last identity is the leveling button; this feature lifts the frontage of the presser foot up to adjust to any change in thickness.

First let’s start with comparing the top 5. Afterward I will go into the details and review each one

Comparing The Top Heavy Duty Sewing Machines

FeaturesJanome HD3000Singer 4423Brother ST371HDJanome HD1000Brother PQ1500SL
Built-in Stitches182337141
Sewing Speed850 Stitches per minute1100 Stitches per minute800 Stitches Per Minute1000 Stiches Per Minutes1,500 Stitches Per Minute
Automatic Needle ThreaderYesYesYesYesYes
Weight24.4 lbs17.5 lbs14.5 lbs20.1 lbs29.8 lbs
Size16 x 11.3 x 7.2 Inches15.5 x 12 x 6.2 Inches7.87 x 16.1 x 12.21 inches15.6 x 6.3 x 12.4 Inches25 x 11.8 x 14.8 Inches
Foot presser adjustmentPresentPresentPresentNonePresent
Free ArmPresentNonePresentPresentNone
Solid Metal bodyYesYesPlastic and MetalCast AluminumYes

Quick Review of the Top 5 Heavy Duty Sewing Machines

1, Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

If you choose to go for the Janome HD3000 heavyweight industrial grade sewing machine, you are not making a wrong choice, as it is a solid choice among its peers.

This sewing machine is equipped with a built-in needle threader that will limit your in an attempt to fix threads. Using this machine on one of my denim trousers, I fell in love with it, as the machine practically does everything.

Janome HD3000 - Janome Sewing Machine
Janome HD3000 – Janome Sewing Machine

What’s The Main Gist:

Unlike other heavy duty machines I’ve used in the past that require attention and a steady hand, the 7-piece feeder takes total control from the onset. With the availability of the stitch length and width adjustment, selecting the desired stitch from 21 stitches plus a one-step buttonhole is much easier.

All my extra needles, feet, and thread are all within my reach as there is a lot of room for storage which aided the fast completion of the project since everything I need is just a few inches away.

The Icing on The Cake!

The provision of a hard casing by Janome increased the mobility of this machine as I was able to move it quickly to different positions. If you are always misplacing your scissors, the machine interestingly comes with an inbuilt thread cutter; you won’t need your scissors for eliminating the obstructions of threading.

The Bad!!

I wouldn’t forget to add that the solid metal frame of the machine makes it a complete beautiful beast, although it’s a bit heavy at 24.4 pounds.

The issue of weight is however solved with the inclusion of a hard carry case. This machine can be adopted for a variety of purposes, if you sew leather, rubber, jeans, and denim, this is made for you.

Features Recap:

  • 850 Stitches Per Minute
  • 21 Built-in Stitches
  • Metallic Body
  • 1-Step Buttonhole
  • 5mm stitch width
  • 0mm stitch length
  • Free Arm

Check Details of Janome HD3000 on Amazon

2, SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

One of the valued or cheapest heavy duty sewing machine you can find in the market.  Singer 4423 heavy-duty machine would make you love sewing. Its speed and accuracy would make you feel like a pro. It is not just an attractive heavy duty machine; it should be revered for it exception features and performance.

SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty leather sewing machine

The Unique Selling Point:

Adorned with a metal frame, it handles around 1100 stitches every minute, and the stainless steel bedplate makes sewing smoother than usual.

Singer 4423 avails you with 23 different varieties; it has five more stitches than Janome HD3000. When you desire stability, this machine delivers efficiently due to its enviable metal frame. You wouldn’t need to be straining your fingers and eyes in threading with the follow come automatic needle threader.

What Else?

This machine is equipped with more button holes than most of it peers with four fully fitted. For a machine of this caliber boasting stability, it weighs only 17.5pounds, almost 7 pounds lighter than the Janome HD3000. What else could you want for a budget.

The Bad!!

On the downside. You may not get much use for it if you are going to do much of sewing of lightweight materials. The machine will fumble, leaving you high and dry.

If you intend sewing jeans, denim, and even leather, consider this heavy duty machine. But if you desire stability, performance and efficiency, Singer 4423 will be the ideal heavy duty sewing machine for your need.

Features Recap:

  • 1100 Stitches Per Minute
  • 23 Built-in Stitches
  • Automatic Needle Threader
  • Free Arm
  • 1-Step Automatic Buttonhole
  • Adjustable Stitch Length
  • Strong Motor

Check Details of Singer 4423 on Amazon

3, Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Do you know that Brother ST371HD was built for demanding and difficult sewing tasks? Yes, it was designed to sew through multiple layers of fabrics not leaving out thick materials such as leather and suede.

With as much as 37 built-in stitches, you can run out of ideas on what is needed to score a perfect sewing. There are also six presser feet and the beauty of it is the ease of attaching them all.

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

What’s Unique

Brother ST371HD is programmed to moved as fast as 800 stitches per minute as maximum stitch speed. To save you time on threading, the needle threader allows to just push the lever and the thread will go through the needle. It’s not automatic, but it’s not problematic.

What’s The Main Gist:

We cannot overlook the presence of drop feed option as it’s an important element of free motion sewing and quilting. You also remember that pain you go through when your plastic needle plate breaks, that’s not going to happen here as there’s a metal needle plate.

The Bad!!

There’s actually a shortcoming. It seems this sewing machine is far from being 100% heavy duty as the internals are made of plastic rather than metal.

Don’t be worried about the materials used for the internals, the high speed and features compensate for it. Even if you have to sew a sunbrella canvas, the machine will whizz through it in a breeze.

Features Recap:

  • 800 Stitches Per Minute
  • 37 Built-in Stitches
  • Easy Needle Threader
  • Automatic Bobbin Winding System
  • Storage and Free Arm
  • 4mm Stitch Length and 7mm Stitch Width
  • 6 Presser Feet

Check Details of Brother ST371HD on Amazon

4, Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Machine

Janome HD1000 is designed to handle a broad range of fabrics; it is equipped with top of the line features expected of a heavy duty sewing machine.

Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
Janome HD1000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

What Else!

This heavy duty sewing machine can excellently handle materials such as natural fibers/ or cotton-linen-wool, leather/suede, knits (Medium to heavyweight only), synthetic fabrics or blends-rayon-polyester. Others are Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet, Upholstery, fur, and extra thick fabrics with multiple layers are fabric Janome HD1000 can easily handle. 

HD100 is made with cast aluminum which provides stability and prevents it from wobbling and falling. It is also equipped with 14 stitches with a regular and utility stretch which is useful for you. There is also a free arm, so you can sew pants, collars, and cuffs easily and promptly.

Tell Me More!

The machine is also designed with a drop feed for each attachment of buttons, stippling, and darning. Without getting your eyes or neck strained, the automatic needle threader fixes the thread without an elaborate human effort.

Heavy enough to get difficult jobs done but also light at 20.1 pounds to give you the versatility you need. 

The Bad!!

It is not ideal for lightweight materials. Aside this, threading the bobbin may come with a bit of difficulty.

Janome HD1000 is designed to handle a broad range of fabrics; it is equipped with top of the line features expected of a heavy duty sewing machine. It is built to handle fur, upholstery, and even polyester, but never use on lightweight materials. 

Features Recap:

  • 14 Utility Stitches
  • 860 Stitches Per Minute
  • 1 Four-Step Buttonhole
  • Free Arm
  • Built-in Needle Threader and Cutter
  • Drop Feed
  • 3-Piece Feed Dog

Check Details of Janome HD1000 on Amazon

5, Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine

If you are a serious quilter in need of an industrial grade sewing and quilting machine, you would wish you had known about Brother PQ1500SL earlier than now.

Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine
Brother PQ1500SL Sewing and Quilting Machine

The Bad!!

The observable shortcoming will be the absence of an indicator on the bobbin. You might not know you are out of thread while still sewing..

This is definitely an excellent machine for expert and advanced users. That’s only if you can handle the supersonic speed, and you need a straight stitch machine that can deliver all year round. Just don’t forget to look through the bobbin at intervals. 

Features Recap:

  • 1,500 Stitches Per Minute
  • Retractable Drop Feed
  • Knee Lever
  • Auto Thread Trimmers
  • Automatic Needle Positioner
  • LED Working Light
  • 7 by 8.6 Inches Working Space

Check Details of Brother PQ1500SL on Amazon


After reviewing all these machines, they are the best heavy duty machines available at the moment.

 Finally here is our overall best – Janome HD3000. It is also suitable for industrial purposes as it a rugged heavy duty machine which can sew almost any material feed into it.

If you are really on a budget or need a cheap heavy duty sewing machine, nothing beats the Singer 4423 in value.

Brother PQ1500SL will function effectively as a heavy duty sewing and quilting machine.

Here’s our thoughts, let’s know yours through the comment box.

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