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7 Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machines For Sewing Leather, Denim And More

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Last Updated: January 2021

It is becoming important to think about your waste and recycling. The scope of these thoughts are vast (we don’t mean to get too deep here) and extend to your clothing. Gone are the days where we would buy high-quality clothes and patch them up as needed. Here are the days of our disposable culture where clothing can be cheap and easily replaced. But, coming again are the days of looking for high-quality clothing and saving yourself some money.

“Saving myself some money,” I hear you exclaim! But, how? With the addition of a sewing machine. It is becoming more and more fashionable to buy high-quality clothing and fix it when needed rather than throwing it away. Doing this will actually save you money in the long run and allow you to hold onto those favorite items from your wardrobe.

Of course, having a sewing machine in your home allows you to do a lot more than just mend clothing.

Our Top Picks

Here are some of the best heavy-duty sewing machines on the market.

1. Juki TL-2010Q Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 25.4 lb.
  • Stitches: 1, straight stitch only
  • Speed: 200 to 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 5 years mechanical / 2 years electrical

This sewing machine is perfect for all types of projects and can be taken with you anywhere. With advanced features and industrial-quality systems, this is a sewing machine that will get the job done.

There is a lot of adjustment available at your fingertips when it comes to the stitch speed, and you can move from 200 stitches per minute to 1,500 at the touch of a button. Those stitches also flow freely and easily thanks to the microcomputer control. Even at extremely low speed, you will find consistency and accuracy. When you are done, the heavy-duty machine will make use of the automatic thread trimmer to cut the end of the needle and bobbin threads.

The presser foot on Juki TL-2010Q can be adjusted to allow for different thicknesses of fabrics to pass through. You also have a reliable and even feed that really helps when you are working with difficult to feed fabrics. This is especially apparent when you are working on quilts.

The bobbin is nice and easy to replace, and you have needle up/down control, a built-in LED light, knee lift lever, automatic needle threader, and more. This is a machine that is packed with features that will only make sewing easier.

2. Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine

  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 12 lb.
  • Stitches: 60
  • Speed: up to 820 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

If you sew professionally or even just all-day as an amateur, the work can get repetitive. What better way is there to take away some of that mindlessness than with a computerized sewing machine that handles it for you?

On this machine you have a selection of 60 built-in stitch patterns as well as 6 buttonhole patterns. There are also easy-to-use thread cutting and reverse stitch functions. All of this is controllable through this sewing machine’s core aspect: its computer.

The computerized sewing controls automate many tedious features and simplifies them to a simple button push. You can let the computer do the work of finishing a selected stitch or quickly jump between stitches with an easily navigable LCD control panel.

This machine also has a number of quality-of-life features to look for in a sewing machine. These include an automatic needle threader, a jam-proof bobbin loader, and a portably light weight at only 12 lbs. When you need a versatile and robust sewing machine for heavy-duty work, look to this option from Janome.

3. Janome HD-1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

$339.00 $399.00


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 16.8 lb.
  • Stitches: 14
  • Speed: 840 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

With a sturdy and durable build, this machine hides some advanced electronics that help you with the toughest of projects. Lots of control for lots of fun.

We all need a variety of stitches to tackle all kinds of sewing projects, and this comes with them. They are printed onto the front of the machine, with the control knob right next to them for easy selection. There are main utility stitches, stretch stitches, and a 4-step buttonhole.

The cast aluminum frame has the strength of original sewing machines but leaves them all behind with features and accessories. You get extra bobbins, felt, needles, screwdrivers, seam rippers, extra feet, a hem guide, and a soft cover to protect it when it is in storage. Add in a free arm for sewing pants (even jeans), drop feed for darning, and free motion applications, and you have a lot of added versatility.

Of course, it comes with an automatic needle threader to save you countless minutes of agony as you try to get your project started. An easy to use machine with everything you need for your heavy-duty projects.

4. Janome HD-3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

$449.00 $499.99


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 18.8 lb.
  • Stitches: 21
  • Speed: 860 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 25-year limited warranty

This sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader. That is the one thing which we always look for, and Janome delivers. The sewing machine also comes with a top-loading bobbin system which is jam proof. Not only is it easy to set up but you will also have fewer problems than a cheaper machine. You will love how easy it is to get set up and working.

You have 18 built-in stitches, and they are easy to choose from. Turn the dial on the machine and select your stitch; you are ready to go. The stitches are all drawn onto the side of the machine so you can see what you need at a glance and choose it even quicker. You also have adjustable presser foot pressure, controlled with the turn of a dial. This is great for switching between light and heavy fabrics or moving onto multiple layers. The machine is also great for those tricky projects such as cuffs, pant legs, sleeves, and more.

Where this machine sets itself apart from others is in the included accessories. You get a case, multiple feet, leather needles, bobbins, lint brush, seam ripper, spool pin, quilter bar, foot control, instruction manual, and much, much more.

A heavy-duty sewing machine for almost any project.

5. Singer 4452 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 14.6 lb.
  • Stitches: 32
  • Speed: 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 2 year parts & labor, 5 years electronics, 25 year chassis

A heavy-duty sewing machine that offers you something a little different in the look, but all of the standard features that you expect from a machine that is going to stitch through the thickest and more durable fabrics.

With a grey casing (instead of the standard white or cream) and flourishes of color, this machine will help you create style and fashion while looking stylish itself. Within the elegant exterior, you have a load of features to keep even the most verdant sewers happy. There are 32 built-in stitches—6 basic, 7 stretch, 18 decorative, and a buttonhole stitch. To get started, you also have the much-needed automatic needle threader.

This is a high-speed machine, and you can get up to 1,100 stitches per minute. The strong motor also keeps the needle moving through layers or tough fabrics such as leather and denim.

Included with the sewing machine, you have a variety of feet, multiple needles, and a clearance plate for thicker fabrics. A seam ripper and lint brush are included for convenience, along with extra bobbins, a screwdriver, spool pin, dust cover, quilting guide, and an accessory tray to store everything in.

Singer has a reputation for creating high-quality sewing machines, and that goes back years. This is another in a long line of durable machines, and one that will help you with all of your sewing projects.

6. Singer Quantum Stylist 9985 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 20 lb.
  • Stitches: 960
  • Speed: 850 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 2 year parts & labor, 5 years electronics, 25 year chassis

This sewing machine can almost do it all. There is a large selection of stitches, including basic, stretch, decorative, quilting, crafting, fonts, and more. The best thing about this sewing machine is that you can navigate through the stitches and select the one you want via the LCD screen on the side of the machine. The screen is small and compact enough to not get in the way, yet large enough to be easily read. A couple of button presses and you have the stitch that you want. When you do choose the stitch you want, you can stitch at up to 850 stitches per minute.

We mentioned an automatic needle threader, and this sewing machine comes with just that. Place the thread in the sewing machine, hit a button, and let this heavy-duty sewing machine do the rest — no more frustrating start to your sewing project.

What else do you get with this machine? You get multiple presser feet for all of your sewing projects: all-purpose, zipper, buttonhole, underplate, blind hem, satin, and more.

Another great thing about this sewing machine is the ability to personalize your projects with letters and numbers. There are six lettering styles at your disposal to add that personal touch.

A wonderful sewing machine that, if treated right, will last you forever.

7. Brother PQ1500SL Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine


  • Suitable for sewing heavy fabrics
  • Portable
  • Weight: 33.6 lb.
  • Stitches: 1, straight stitch only
  • Speed: 1,500 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 2 year parts & labor, 6 years electronics, 25 year chassis

If you are interested in quilting, then this sewing and quilting machine is perfect. The device has been created to be solid and tough from the inside out, and is as stable a sewing machine as you will find, which is particularly important when you are handling large quilting projects.

This machine can stitch at up to 1,500 stitches per minute. When you are handling those large-scale quilting projects, you will be able to get through them with ease. You also have an automatic needle threader and a time-saving thread cutter to further speed up your projects. The pin-fed system has been developed exclusively by Brother to improve the management of the fabric as it goes through the machine. This is one of the easiest machines you will use for large-scale projects.

The extension table is perfect for those large projects and can be removed to save space and convert back to a sewing machine. When you are sewing, the knee-lifter enables you to lift the presser foot without taking your hands off of the project.

A great sewing machine which benefits from being both durable and easy to use.

The Benefits Of Owning A Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Regular sewing machines are great for many sewing jobs, including mending, making, and altering clothes. However, if you plan to use your sewing machine extensively and work with heavy fabrics in multiple layers, you’ll need a heavy-duty sewing machine.

These machines are made for professionals and serious hobbyists. They can handle extended daily use and can efficiently deal with heavy fabrics like leather and denim. Because they are created for frequent heavy jobs, they are also built to last, meaning that durability and dependability come as standard.


They also have a more extensive range of options when it comes to speed control, available stitches, presser foot lifts, etc.

An extended warranty is another benefit of owning a heavy-duty machine. Some manufacturers will offer as much as 25 years of limited warranty. Because of the sturdy build of these machines, they also require less maintenance, saving you time and money. With a little luck, a heavy-duty sewing machine will be a “buy it for life” purchase.

What To Know Before Buying a Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

There are so many heavy-duty sewing machines on the market, that it can be hard to choose the one that is right for you. Here are some things to think about before you buy.


Heavy-duty sewing machines come in a variety of types, and the one you choose will depend on what you need to do with it.

  • A mechanical sewing machine has the most basic settings and is used manually by the operator.
  • Electronic sewing machines have more features than a manual machine and have motorized functions.
  • Computerized machines benefit from being able to connect to the internet to download and use patterns. They generally have the most functionality.
  • Embroidery machines are used to embroider fabric (you can often find embroidery and sewing machine combos).
  • Sergers are used to hem the edges of the fabric.

Stitching Speed

Variable speed control will enable you to work at your own pace, and not having to readjust the fabric constantly will allow you to sew more smoothly.

While many people like high-speed stitching, a single-speed machine won’t work well with all fabrics. Denim, leather, and delicate fabrics will require lower speeds, so having the ability to vary your speed is essential. Using a slow speed with thick materials will reduce needle wear, help to save the motor, and you won’t make as many mistakes when lining up the stitches.

Built-in Stitches

What would a sewing machine be without the stitches? The more stitches you have at your disposal, the more flexible your sewing machine will be. Of course, if you have lots of stitches which you do not use, then you are going to be paying for that redundancy.

You want to have regular stitches for your day to day needs, but it is also nice to have decorative stitches, buttonhole stitches, and monogramming options. Most high-end sewing machines have a lot of stitches for you to choose from.

Presser Foot Lift

When you are using a heavy-duty sewing machine, you are often doing so because you are using heavy-duty fabrics. You want the fabric to be fed evenly through the presser foot so that the fabric is tight and the stitches are even.

A presser foot lift will work with the feeding mechanism to hold down the fabric. This is great if you are working with thicker fabrics or multiple layers of fabric. If you do need to work with heavy fabrics, we recommend looking for a presser foot, and one which is spring loaded for ease of use.

Learn about the different kinds of presser feet

What Extra Features Should You Look For?

Most sewing machine features come down to personal choice but we always, always recommend looking for a sewing machine with an automatic needle threader. This is almost a must-have feature on a sewing machine, and, thankfully, most newer sewing machines come with them. We cannot count the number of times we have had trouble threading a needle. An automatic threader will get your projects started with ease.

A light to illuminate your work can also be handy for low-light situations or for when you have detail work to do and are hunched over your sewing machine. Look for LED lamps. Not only are they long-lasting and bright but they are also cool to touch too (and not in the way that it is trendy to touch them; they do not get hot like traditional bulbs, which can burn you).

If you benefit from an automatic needle-threader, then you will also benefit from a drop-in bobbin. When you are setting up the sewing machine, especially when you do not have a lot of hands-on experience, it is helpful to automate the setup process. A drop-in bobbin will do just that.

We also recommend a sewing machine where you can see the bobbin after it has been dropped into place. This helps you to monitor the thread levels and ensure that you never run out during a project. It also means that you can spot any problems before they develop into bigger problems.

Price And Warranty

You want anything that you buy to last, and finding a product with a lengthy warranty is generally a great way of doing that.

Heavy-duty sewing machines are built to last, and cost a little more than regular sewing machines, but there is still a chance that something can go wrong. A heavy-duty sewing machine can last you a lifetime, and an extended warranty can help you to get there.

Expect to pay around $300 for a decent heavy-duty machine and anywhere over $1,000 for a top-end one. Don’t hesitate to pay a little more to get a better warranty, and expect to have at least 2 years for electrical parts, 5 years on mechanicals, and 10 years or more for the outer frame.

Sewing Heavy Fabrics (Leather, Denim, Canvas, Linen)

One of the main reasons to buy a heavy-duty sewing machine is to sew those thicker, heavier, and stronger fabrics. With an industrial-strength machine, you can breeze through tougher fabrics such as denim, leather, and canvas, along with stitching multiple layers at the same time.

With more resistance to wear and tear and less need for maintenance, you can fly through large volumes and massive stitching projects.

When it comes to heavier fabrics, the machine is key, but extra features are going to help too. Look out for:

  • Adjustable feet and feet heights
  • Adjustable thread tension
  • Stable and sturdy base
  • Variable speed and stitch length

These features are handy to have for regular sewing projects, but become essential when you move up to those tougher and thicker fabrics. Look for these additional features and make your sewing projects easy and effortless.