Field Guide to Sewing Machines

Purchasing the ideal sewing machine may be based on factors such as: cost, functionality, versatility, power, speed and portability. Whether you're looking to buy or just browsing, it helps to know what you're looking at ... whether you're at the department store or on the Internet. That's why we've put together this Field Guide to Sewing Machines.

Below, we help you identify Types and Brands of sewing machines and related equipment:


Blind Hemmers

Embroidery Machines

Domestic / Common


Quilting Machine

Serger / Overlock

Embellisher / Felting Machine

Cover hems Machine
Mechanical machines have cam-stack stitch selection rather than electronic stitch selection. Computer sewing machine stitch selection is made by the main pc board stitch memory and stepping motors which control the stitch configuration, including preset length and width. Mechanical sewing machines have one motor which drives the main shaft with belt(s), and a variable speed electronic foot control.
"Mechanical" Sewing Mach.
Metal-gear sewing machines greatly reduce expensive gear replacements of plastic-gear machines. Plastic gears wear faster, lose teeth and come out of time. Metal gears are much more durable when sewing heavier fabrics. Metal gears may be a bit noiser, but make the machine last much longer.
Metal Gears Mechanical


Basic/Beginner Straight Stitch and Zigzag

Child's "Toy" sewing machine

Sewing Cases / Bags

All Sewing Machine Types