To get through tough materials, you are going to need a tough machine but the options aren’t always plentiful. This is why a lot of people find it difficult when looking for a leather sewing machine. Brands making the strong heavy-duty machines capable of punching through such materials are hard to come by, but when you know what to look for, the task becomes a lot easier.
This is why we have created the following list of the best leather sewing machines. Each one is a worthy purchase, built to last even when put up to the task of getting through thick materials and fabrics. Read on to see which products made the cut.
- Editor’s Choice
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Janome
Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Easy To Use
Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches (Amazon) – Review
- Great All Rounder
Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
With 600 built-in stitches and a heavy-duty frame, this is the best sewing machine for leather. In fact, it is one of the best sewing machines available, full stop. There is so much to like about it, not only is it portable and provides smooth stitches, but it is easy to move from storage to the craft table, and it packs a punch. Adjusting the needle, thread, and settings can make it capable of getting through tough materials with no problem.
It is also remarkably fast. Capable of punching 850 stitches per minute, it has enough speed to keep up with an experienced sewer. Other features include an automatic needle threader to help et each project off the ground, stretch and decorative stitches for sewing fashionable pieces, and an easy to use LCD screen. included are numerous accessories such as multiple presser feet, 13 built-in 1 step buttonholes, and all at a reasonable price.
- Heavy-duty metal frame
- 850 stitches per minute
- Great value
- Automatic needle threader
- 600 built-in stitches
Best Janome: Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
The words you always want to hear when looking for a leather sewing machine are heavy-duty and that’s what we’re getting with the Janome HD3000. The 18 built-in stitches might not be as generous as others, but the machine itself packs a punch. Strong enough to get through leather with ease, it allows the user to make the most of the other features.
As standard with reputable machines, there is a built-in needle threader and snap-on presser feet included. The foot pressure adjustment feels good to use and is the right level of responsiveness for ramping up those 860 stitches per minute. what makes it so good with leather is that it features metal gears to help it get through thick materials with no problem.
- Metal gears
- 860 stitches per minute
- Built-in needle threader
- Hard case included
- Only 18 built-in stitches
Best Value: Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough
An incredibly strong option, hence the name making it a fine leather sewing machine. Carrying the reputable Brother brand name, it may only have 50 built-in stitches to offer, but power is the name of the game here. Capable of getting through multiple layers of denim, it gives a clear indication as to how strong this machine is.
There are 5 built-in buttonholes, and set up is easy thanks to the automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin. There is a set of heavy-weight sewing needles included to help get through those tough materials and 9 sewing feet to put t different uses. The LCD screen allows the user to adjust the stitches and the size, also recommending the best sewing foot. The feed dogs are longer, for better feeding of the fabric, topping off what is an excellent sewing machine for thick materials.
- Can get through multiple layers of denim
- Heavy-weight sewing needles included
- 9 sewing feet
- Excellent value
- Only 50 built-in stitches
Best Affordable: SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
It’s impossible to write a list of the best leather sewing machines without including the 4423 from Singer. A well-known product because of the value and high capability it can achieve thanks to the heavy-duty frame that can get through tough materials like leather.
There are 23 built-in stitches included and an automatic needle threader. amazingly, it can push out 1,100 stitches per minute making it one of the fastest options available. Its powerful motor can be put to go work on thick materials and there are plenty of accessories included. This means everything from multiple presser feet, quilting guide, spools, to the softcover used to keep dust away. There is no LCD display but the large dials make it easy to switch between stitches and other settings.
- 1,100 stitches per minute
- Heavy-duty frame
- Lots of accessories
- Incredible value
- No LCD display
Easy To Use : Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches
The HD1000 is another great option from Janone, and another with a sturdy heavy-duty cast aluminum body capable of sewing leather. Often referred to as an industrial-grade machine, there are 14 built-in stitches, and it offers a free arm capability for sewing cuffs, collars, and pants comfortably. With a drop feed for darning or other free motion needs, it is a well thought out and sturdily made sewing machine for leather and other thick materials.
There is a built-in needle threader and top drop-in bobbin and can push out 860 stitches per minute. It doesn’t come with the needles required to stitch leather or a nonstick sewing foot but these are easy to pick up to make the most out of this machine. The dials are easy to use which also means there is no LCD screen but this makes it a good option for beginners who want a strong sewing machine.
- 860 stitches per minute
- Cast aluminum body
- Free arm capability
- Easy to use
- No LCD screen
Great All Rounder: Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch
Often used for quilting and a variety of other sewing projects, this is another industrial-grade sewing machine. The strong mechanism can be put through its paces and should have enough to get through the likes of denim and leather with the right needle, thread, and accessories used.
There is an automatic thread trimmer for quilting projects and a die-cast aluminum arm and bed giving it added strength. The presser foot can be raised up to 12mm and a thread tension scale. There’s no LCD screen but the dial is simple and with regular oiling, this can be a machine that lasts a long time.
- Die-cast aluminum arm and body
- Industrial grade
- Doesn’t skip stitches
- Automatic thread trimmer
- Inconvenient bobbin location
Strength is the name of the game when it comes to quality leather sewing machines. An ordinary product won’t cut it here, and trying to use a machine that doesn’t have the strength or correct needle and accessories in place can end up in a broken machine. Although many of them come with a lengthy warranty, it is better to do the research. This way, you can be sure the machine is going to get through thick materials with ease.
We have compiled the following buyer’s guide to help make this purchase easier. By the end of it, you’ll know exactly how to find the best leather sewing machine for your needs.
Of course, to push that needle through thick materials, the body needs to have the strength behind it. This is where a heavy-duty frame comes in handy. Many of the machines we recommend have it as part of their description and some are made with cast aluminum. This will ensure they can not only get through the material but do so consistently without skipping stitches.
Stitches Per Minute
Combine power with speed and you have a chance of finding a good machine. The stitch per minute is a good indication and anything below 700 might not be up to the job when it comes to thick materials. Look for between 800 – 1,200 where possible. This means it can also keep up with you as you gain experience and confidence in your sewing projects.
To accommodate thick materials, the needle needs to be able to make room for it. The better products will say whether they have this as an option. Make sure the sewing machine for leather that you have your eye on can do this or it might have the power but lack the space for leather and denim.
This might not be so important if the machine is only going to be used on leather as there is a limit as to how many can be used. Still, most machines are used for multiple projects, working on a variety of materials and designs so built-in stitches can be useful. Having hundreds isn’t always the sign of a better machine, but it can be.
Being able to use the sewing machine accurately at night relies upon having an LED light. Trying to get by on the light of a lamp or from a lightbulb can only help with accuracy so much.
Adjustable Pressure Foot Adjuster
As important as the stronger needles, this will ensure the needle can provide added pressure when needed. When you need to get through leather and multiple layers of denim, this is the sort of feature to look out for.
Because the intended use involves heavy materials, even a heavy-duty machine can have trouble sometimes. When this is the case, it is always a good idea to invest in a product with a warranty. A lot of reputable brands include lengthy warranties which can help to protect a purchase, some even up to 25 years.
Automatic Needle Threader
Anything that helps to make set up easier when it comes to new projects is welcome. This includes making threading easier without having to strain the eyes and a top drop-in bobbin.
A lot will depend on the spec of the machine in question. Does it include the above features necessary for getting through leather and thick materials? Without a heavy-duty frame and space to accommodate leather the machine cannot be used. It is important to change to the right needles, strong enough to be used with thick material, as well as the correct thread and presser foot.
The power is all-important. It is always a good idea to look up the model and see if others have had success with trying the same machine with thick materials.
Only with the right features can you be sure that any machine is going to work. A lot of the time, the brand will say if their product can sew multiple layers, and the signs of a heavy-duty body are going to help.
Not every home sewing machine is strong enough, but an industrial-grade machine is more likely to have the ability to open up more options as to what can be penetrated by the needle without breaking the machine.
Much like any sewing machine,k those made to get through thick materials need regular maintenance to ensure the working parts can move smoothly. Any product that is left to collect dust will not last as long. This is why a protective cover is always good when putting it into storage.
When being used regularly, the machine will require oiling and clean any visible dust that can be reached.
Because most have a heavy-duty frame, the machine should not move around so much when in use. Of course, there is going to be a level of movement as the machine works its way through hundreds of stitches per minute but it shouldn’t vibrate excessively to the point it gets uncomfortable to use.
Placing a matt under the machine can help to prevent any movement.
The good news is that some excellent products start at under $200 such as the 4423 from Brother. It still doesn’t cost a lot for a higher spec. So, anyone with a budget of around $500 will find there are plenty of excellent options.
The best sewing machines for leather should be able to hold a variety of needle sizes. However, a lot of the time they will need to be purchased separately. A spear-shaped 110/18 leather needle is the best.