Singer and Brother are both famous names in the sewing industry. They have been around for decades now, providing consumers with easy-to-use machines that can help them sew, quilt, or embroider just about anything they want.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sewer, both companies offer machines that are powerful, durable, versatile, and feature-packed. While both have a long history of selling high-quality and reliable machines, depending on your needs and skill level, you may enjoy one brand more than the other.
So, Brother vs Singer sewing machines, what’s the difference? Both Brother and Singer are high-quality sewing machine brands, but there are a few differences to consider if you’re deciding between them. Brother sewing machines are lightweight, compact, and have many stitch options, while Singer sewing machines have heavy duty metal frames and less stitch options.
There are a few other important differences to go over, so keep reading for a clearer picture of these two brands and what they have to offer!
Singer Sewing Machines
Isaac Singer, an American entrepreneur, first introduced the Singer sewing machine in 1851. Since then, Singer’s sewing machines have been at the forefront of the industry: they are known for being highly functional and reliable.
By 1890, Singer machines had a 90% global market share, manufacturing and selling sewing machines around the world.
During its peak, the company’s Scotland production site was producing over 13,000 machines per week, effectively performing as the world’s sewing machine factory at the time.
The Singer 15 model was so successful that other manufacturers started adopting its design, including Class 15 bobbins and systems. Because of this, most sewing machines sold today feature similar designs.
After the huge success with manufacturing sewing machines, Singer started branching out to sell a variety of sewing supplies, guides, and equipment. This includes guidebooks, notions, bobbins, and sewing tools.
The popularity of Singer sewing machines did take a nosedive during the 1970s due to issues with quality and management. However, the company has since started regaining its reputation and market share. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 and the Singer 4452HD are among the company’s best performers.
Brother Sewing Machines
Brother is originally a Japanese brand, founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 1908. When the company was founded, Yasui and his sons mainly serviced and repaired sewing machines.
After Yasui’s passing in 1925, it became Yasui Sewing Machine Co. and, in 1932, introduced the first sewing machines made entirely in Japan.
Brother International Corporation started to export various products worldwide in 1954. By the 50s, the company had already established offices in several countries.
As we know today, Brother is one of the most popular sewing machine brands in the world, and they have also branched out to sell other equipment such as office printers, typewriters, and fax machines.
They even have embroidery machines with built-in designs!
Of course, their expertise has helped them create many world-renowned sewing and embroidery machines with innovative designs and reliable performance.
Singer vs. Brother: Similarities And Differences
Of course, the biggest difference between the two companies is their range of products. While Brother has since evolved into a tech company that sells many different electronics, Singer is still a company that specializes in sewing machines and sewing equipment but has maintained its leadership position in the sewing machine industry for over a century.
When it comes to their products, there are many differences in terms of functionality, price, quality, and durability. Here are some quick observations about the differences between Singer and Brother sewing machines:
|Size||Can be bulky, depending on the model||Compact size designed for home use|
|Weight||Heavy, metal frame||Lightweight, sometimes plastic|
|Stitches||Fewer stitch options||More stitch options|
|Price||Can be expensive, depending on the model||Can be expensive, depending on the model|
|Warranty||Two-year warranty||Three-year warranty|
Let’s take a look at some of the specific factors that can help you choose between a Singer and a Brother sewing machine.
1. Features And Functionality
Brother and Singer sewing machines actually have very similar designs, features, and functions. Depending on the model, you can expect to find drop-in bobbin designs, needle threaders, and speed controls.
The range of stitches also depends on the model you buy, but you can expect both Singer and Brother sewing machines to offer stitch options ranging from basic to decorative stitches, as well as functional stitches such as the buttonhole stitch.
For both Singer and Brother, basic machines come with 30+ stitch options, and some fancy embroidery/sewing machines have upwards of 200 stitch options that allow you to freely create with your sewing machine.
However, if we compare Singer and Brother sewing machines at the same price point, Brother sewing machines usually offer more advanced and convenient stitches compared to Singer.
2. Ease of Use
Both Brother and Singer have a wide range of sewing machine models that cater to the varying skill levels of their customers, so whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can expect to find sewing machines that suit your needs.
However, some beginners have reported having issues while familiarizing themselves with Brother sewing machines. This is because, as a technology company, Brother machines often have innovative and complex designs that may or may not be friendly to beginners.
Brother’s complicated menu and computerized systems can be a little confusing, especially if you have never worked with a sewing machine before.
Singer sewing machines are known for their ease of use, and they are also built with durability and reliability in mind. For beginners, a Singer sewing machine can seem more simple and straightforward, and these machines are versatile enough to create some incredible things.
Of course, there are always a ton of online tutorials and local classes that you can attend to help you learn how to work with your sewing machine and take advantage of all the features that it offers. If ease of use is a concern for you, you can take a look at some of those options to learn the basics of sewing first before buying a machine of your own.
Singer has been making machines for over 170 years. They are known for their reliability and have built a reputation over the years. As you can expect, Singer sewing machines can be a little bit on the expensive side because of their experience.
For those on a tight budget, Brother sewing machines can offer more features and functions that make them more useful and worth the amount you’re paying. Even with an inexpensive model, Brother can still offer a lot of useful features.
Of course, both Brother and Singer offer a variety of budget models, and these may not be as durable as the more expensive models. However, Brother’s budget models tend to be made from plastic, which, as you can expect, may not last you very long.
Singer’s sewing machines are always made with a sturdy metal frame, which is why they are so heavy. Although this makes them a little bit more expensive, they tend to be sturdier and last longer than Brother’s more affordable models.
Sewing machines used to be made from cast iron, which is why they could last for generations. Some Singer sewing machines made in the early 1900s employed this material, which is why some of them are still functional today.
Of course, cast iron isn’t favored by sewing machine manufacturers anymore. Many sewing machines have a metal or plastic frame, but the machine’s body is mostly made from plastic. Depending on the material of the sewing machine you purchase, you can expect them to last anywhere from 5-10 years, but the cheaper models may not last as long.
As long-standing sewing machine brands, both Brother and Singer have performed exceptionally well in terms of quality. Their quality is the reason they have become the most beloved sewing machine brands in the world today.
5. Mechanical Vs Computerized
Sewing machines have definitely become more sophisticated now, with the new invention of computerized sewing machines that give you more customization options.
Brother is known for its mastery in computerized technology, innovative designs, and product automation, so you can expect that a computerized sewing machine is a top-notch option.
On the other hand, Singer is the maker of the best mechanical sewing machines, known for being durable and highly functional. They may have fewer features compared to a Brother computerized sewing machine, but they make up for it with long-lasting quality and reliable performance.
Because of their sturdy construction and metal frame, Singers are more durable than Brothers. Both budget and fancy Singer machines can last you quite a long time.
On the other hand, Brother is a lot less consistent. While expensive Brother models do come with metal frames that are comparable to the Singer brand, cheaper Brother machines, those with plastic bodies, are definitely not as powerful and durable as you may expect.
While the budget Brother machines may offer more features, they may not last you as long as a Singer machine in a similar price range.
7. Quilting Machine
Of course, both Brother and Singer also sell quilting machines, which are basically sewing machines that can handle heavy-duty jobs with multiple layers of fabric and batting, as well as stitches and functionalities that allow you to create beautiful decorative designs on your quilt.
Some of the factors to consider when choosing a quilting machine are the speed, the number of stitches, and the size of the workspace. With these factors in mind, Brother quilting machines actually have more favorable features that can make a quilting project more exciting.
8. Embroidery Machine
There are also combination sewing/embroidery machines that allow you to create beautiful, customizable designs with your stitches in mere minutes.
There are obviously more things to consider if you want to embroider with your machines, but you should get one that has built-in patterns as well as simple ways for you to add patterns of your own via a USB port or WiFi. An LCD display is common with sewing/embroidery machines since you will need easy ways to customize your designs.
As we’ve mentioned, Brother is the expert in including the newest technology and innovations in their machines. While both Brother and Singer sell sewing/embroidery machines, a Brother machine actually has more features when it comes to embroidery, allowing you to do more with your designs.
A serger is a specialized machine that allows you to seal off frayed edges, create rolled hems, and achieve other advanced sewing techniques. A serger is loved by many because they make complicated techniques a lot easier and quicker.
A serger (also known as an overlocker) is a complicated and generally expensive machine, so you will need to carefully consider all the features, functionalities, and quality of the machine before buying one. Threading issues, available features, and the machine’s material are all the things you will need to consider before buying.
Both Singer and Brother actually have comparable serger models, so you can choose a machine depending on your preference.
Which Sewing Machine Is Better For Beginners?
If you are looking to buy your very first sewing machine in order to learn how to sew, then you are probably looking for a sewing machine that is the most beginner-friendly and has good value for money.
- Automatic threading: Threading a sewing machine is always really daunting since there are so many loops and knobs that you have to thread before being able to use your machine. A sewing machine with automatic threading can make this process a lot easier and error-free.
- Drop-in bobbin: Newer sewing machine models often have a drop-in bobbin system and a clear cover, so you can always tell when your bobbin is running out of thread. This makes changing the bobbin easy, and your sewing will look neater.
- Stitch options: You will want basic stitches such as the straight stitch (used in most sewing projects), zigzag stitch and stretch stitch (to sew with stretchy materials), and more decorative stitch options.
- One-step buttonhole stitch: Older sewing machines allow you to sew buttonhole stitches with 3 or 4 steps, but if you want the process to be pain-free, you should go for a sewing machine that allows you to accomplish this task with one step.
- LCD screen: You often see LCD screens available in new computerized sewing machines, and it makes customizing your stitches a lot easier without having to go through trial and error to get the best look for your stitches.
With that in mind, it’s clear that a Brother sewing machine is a superior option for beginners. Brother sewing machines have the technology to offer these easy-to-use features, which make them a lot easier for beginners. Brother sewing machines tend to offer more features at a more affordable price range compared to Singer sewing machines.
If you find the machine a bit confusing to learn how to use, you can look up classes from your local sewing shops and consult the machine’s guide, which will help you master all the included features.
When you buy a Brother sewing machine, make sure to check out the machine’s body to see if it has a metal frame, which can add sturdy support to help the machine last longer. This may make the machine a bit more expensive, but you will have more bang for your buck in the long term.
If you’re not familiar with the basics of sewing, then a heavy-duty Singer would be a better choice. It is more reliable in terms of performance, and it can work with heavier fabrics such as denim and suede, so it will give you more options to explore different kinds of materials.