• Kaine

Sewing 102 - What type of Sewing Machine should I get?

Updated: Jan 30

What type of sewing machine should you get as beginner? You need to ask yourself the following questions in order to decide

  1. What are you going to be sewing? garments, leather, upholstery, quilts etc.

  2. Are you sewing for personal and commercial purposes?

  3. What is your budget?

There are Four main types you can get, depending on your budget and your needs.

Vintage style Mechanical/Treadle Machine with/without external motor

This is the classic sewing machine with no frills and thrills. Cost - from N34000 to N50000


  • One solid metal outer body

  • All mechanical parts inside

  • Bobbin winder

  • Stitch length regulator

  • Reverse sewing

  • Straight stitch only

  • Has a side loading bobbin

  • Table with pedal

  • Long and high throat space


  • Does not need electricity

  • Versatile, can use foot pedal/motor/handcrank

  • Can sew for long hours

  • Large working surface

  • Changeable presser feet

  • Accessories are easy to find

  • Low cost

  • Durable

  • Easy to maintain and repair

  • Very quiet


  • NO automatic features

  • Tension must be set manually

  • Heavy, not very portable

  • Lamp and motor must be bought separately * (Sometimes)

Electrical/Mechanical/Table top Machine with internal motor

This is a light weight portable electrical machine with mechanical parts, Cost - from N34000 to N44000


  • Plastic outer body with metal interior frame

  • Mechanical and electrical parts inside

  • Internal motor

  • Bobbin winder

  • Stitch length /width regulator

  • Straight /zigzag stitches only

  • May have a side loading bobbin or a top loading bobbin

  • Free arm

  • Small working surface


  • Light and portable

  • Tension settings change at the turn of a dial

  • Changeable presser feet

  • Accessories are easy to find

  • Easy to maintain and service

  • Low power consumption


  • May struggle with thick fabrics

  • Limited speed

  • Can not sew for long hours

Singer 9960 sewing machine
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

Electronic / Computerised Sewing Machine

This is the modern digital version the sewing machine. Cost from N120000 - N350000