Last update on 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The history of the is surprisingly long. When the was first introduced, the idea of creating a “ ” emerged. The first was introduced in 1871.
The initial design of the “ machines we see today. ” was modified by 1877, and was similar to the
Before we had electricity, users would have to use a hand crank to move the over fabric and rails.
While not exclusively a dedicated Brother definitely works as a sort of “bootleg” long arm station – giving you the ability to quilts and sew different projects much faster and more consistently than you would have been able to on your own. set up, this
With a 1500 stitches per minute rate of (significantly faster than traditional machines with 850 stitches per minute, for example), your production output should skyrocket almost as soon as you flip the switch and fire this unit up.
Four individual feed dog height adjustments allow you to make your workspace really feel like your own, and building need lifters let you raise and lower the so that your hands are always free to move fabric as necessary.
The oversized extension table, automatic thread cutter, convenient to use tension dial, and really slick all add to the overall experience of using this equipment.
This is the that a lot of people consider the best on the market today, especially for home and small business purposes where you don’t want to spend a small fortune on a .
Definitely a bit bigger than some of the other choices on this list, this strips down a lot of the extra features and bells and whistles other options include in favor of a more consistent and stable, and customizable platform.
For example, instead of having a huge library of stitches to pull from this unit only has one and one alone.
You’ll be able to configure the length and width of that (and have a lot more control over how each fits in your pattern and project), but other than that your sort of “running on rails”.
This decision allows the 1500 stitches per minute of this unit to be really even at the highest possible speeds, something most other units cannot say about themselves.
It also takes a lot of guesswork out of the actual process, helping a beginner hit the ground running while also allowing more novice quilters to play around with their own creativity rather than leaning on unique patterns.
Another really high quality from the folks at Juki this particular option isn’t quite as well reviewed as the one above – but that doesn’t mean that you want to sleep on it, either.
As far as machines go (especially those built to double as a ) there’s a lot to like here.
For starters, the 900 per minute count is top-tier even if it is considerably lower than 1500 count the other Juki on this list offers.
Obviously set up for home use in mind, you won’t have to spend a small fortune to get this unit in your home – and you’ll also have plenty of to set it up, too. This model is lightweight, compact, and still very stable (especially compared to some of the other oversized arm quilters you can buy today.
A box feed set up makes working with this really easy, and the dual LED lighting improves the accuracy of each , too.
255 different patterns are available to play with, and you’ll be able to configure their in the amount of stitches per inch you’re using without much trouble at all. Motion with this is very straightforward.
Those looking for a quality model that they won’t have to overpay for (especially for a lot of features they wouldn’t have used anyway, like new position finding options, extreme configurators, and overzealous systems) will appreciate all this Brother has to offer.
The reviews on this unit are very favorable, holding it up there with options from brands like Juki (legendary brands in the world). machines have long been thought as equipment that can’t compared to dedicated units, but this Brother blurs the lines quite a lot.
Lightweight, portable, very effortless to take advantage of, and simple enough to configure right out-of-the-box with a lot of versatility in this model all the same, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot more you go with this Brother.
The onboard library is good for 37 different options (including automatic one-step buttonholes), and a different presser feet are included as well – including dedicated presser feet, too.
The maximum of 800 SPM is a little bit on the slower side of things (nearly half of the high performers on this list), but it is still plenty fast enough to work on oversized projects without much issue.
This Brother model doesn’t have quite the throat space that other options include, and the reviews on its abilities in the options money can buy – especially if you are into . department are a little fuzzy, but this remains one of the best all around
The limited from space can be worked around thanks to the expandable table options and the swingarm on this model. The LCD screen (not a touchscreen, but still very clear and vibrant) lets you pick and choose from all kinds of configurations, including length and width options.
Nine individual presser feet (including a projects if you’re interested in that, too. ) allows you to get right down to business, but also provides you with plenty of versatility to tackle regular
Combine all of that with the legendary Brother warranty (25 years of coverage) and this is deserving of your full consideration.
There are a bunch of things you’ll want to consider when looking for the , and not all of them are obvious or apparent.
Sure, you’ll want to make verify that the workspace is large enough to handle bigger materials, the needle system ready to handle thicker materials, and the capabilities of the quickly customizable (in length, width, and design).
But you’re also going to need to make sure that the throat space of your is dialed in for the kinds of projects you expect to tackle, that the needle speed is high enough for the work output you are shooting for, and that the is capable of producing a simple, clean thread path with each that you dig into.
Here are just a few of the features you’re going to want to make sure that your new includes for sure!
The throat space of the that you end up choosing makes a huge impact on the kind of projects you decide to take on.
For example, a smaller throat size on a projects you can do. You just don’t have a lot of room to maneuver and manipulate between the with the needle in the actual arm of the itself. is inevitably going to restrict the kinds of
On the flip side, though, having a super long throat size – plenty of space between the and the can cause problems, too. If you have a lot of space and are working on smaller projects you’re going to find yourself “swimming” in the work area more often than not.
No, to dial things in and get the most easy to use and choose a throat size that works best for those kinds of applications. possible you’ll want to think about the kinds of projects you’re going to be working on most with your
A 30 inch is usually plenty large enough for most any you can think of, while still remaining small enough to be easily workable. You won’t get lost with this kind of work area, that’s for sure!
The needle speed of the machines you are considering should be new the top of your teacher priority list, too.
Needle speed (sometimes attributed as stitches per minute) will have an outsized impact on how quickly you are able to knock out different projects, too.
Most people can’t imagine going under 2400 stitches per minute with a , though others can’t even fathom moving that “slowly” – preferring a stitches per minute rating of 3500 or more on their .
At the end of the day, it’s really all going to come down to your comfort level and how quickly or methodically want to work.
The beautiful thing about jacking up the stitches per minute on the you do decide to purchase (going for a higher end 3500 stitches per minute or more) is that you can dial things back without losing consistency on .
The same can’t be said about exceeding the maximum output, though!
It’s important to try and keep your overall needle speed consistent throughout the project, regardless of how quickly or deliberately you are moving. The choices are going to track straight no matter how fast you are moving.
Any halfway decent will be capable of producing decent stitches when you are working on arched or curved lines.
The real test for machines with regulators, though, comes when you’re doing directional changes, zigzags, or hard right angles.
You have to be sure that the machines you are considering have a built-in responsive that’s going to give you the clean, sharp, well defined lines you’re after no matter how you want to put them into your quilted project.
This is far too often overlooked setting, one that some reviews don’t even mention, and that’s almost criminal.
If you want to be sure that your projects never come out amateur looking, never feel “slapped together”, and always have a professional fit and finish you absolutely must get your hands on choices that have a responsive you know you can trust.
You’ll also want one that has control buttons or a control knob that makes it easy to adjust the regulator on-the-fly.
Always – ALWAYS – run a test sample of how the regulator works before you start a new project, though. You’ll want to be sure that the settings on your are dialed in and you are ready to rock ‘n’ roll.
Regardless of whether or not you are looking for a for home use or to run it as part of a side hustle or small business, you’re going to want to be sure that your new includes a simplistic thread path that is clean and consistent.
Many of the best machines money can buy are modulated so that the thread path stays clean and consistent with every punch of the needle, all while recognizing that they (usually) have super long thread paths in general – sometimes moving through a needle 30 or 40 times before a is taken.
Without a hand than using a . At least that would be consistent! system (usually up front and center near the , but definitely within the throat space) better off
No, this kind of feature – a quality that you’re going to be using to do a little with. component – really has to be a focal point of any home
Combine that with an auto needle positioner, wider, and capabilities and you’re off to the races. But we’ll get a little deeper into those components in just a moment!
Frame size when it comes to your new is a little less important than the throat space or work area that we highlighted earlier, but you still want something relatively easy to move and manage and something that is at least halfway portable.
Yes, you have to make certain that your new is well-made and robust – which usually means a metal frame (or at least a metal internal frame). You also want to be able to move around without throwing your back out, don’t you?
Look for something that is relatively compact (though it should include an extension table or the ability to use an extension table), something that is easy to use, and something that can be stored without you having to dedicate an entire closet to it.
Cover those bases and you’ll be good to go!
While a lot manual only machines are a little limited, choices open up a world of extendibility and customization you’ll want to capitalize on.
Almost all of these computerized limited choices have ports in the back that allow you to connect different components – and some even allow you to connect to a computer or tablet for further extendibility, too.
If you have the option, consider taking advantage of laser measuring tools, ruler attachments, and anything else that makes life your computerized on little easier.
Yes, these kinds of machines are usually more expensive than a high quality “all manual” model. But the sheer amount of computerized options and accessories (and your ability to really make this your own) makes them a no-brainer if you have the budget.
LED workspace lighting makes using a sit down way easier, regardless of how well lit your workspace was in the first place.
LED lighting is usually implemented new the or (somewhere in the throat space of your setup), shining a light directly on where the is made so that you can see what you’re doing while you are doing it.
This tiny little upgrade improves accuracy considerably, especially when you are rocking and rolling through a bunch of projects all at once and are really getting into the rhythm of things. The best systems are always going to have LED lights to take advantage of.
An easy to use or , the kind of feature you’d expect from the best long arm systems – M1 definitely want to go without. is always a “must-have” feature on any
A quality built in allows you to load multiple bobbins all at once (most of the best machines can accommodate at least four at a time), helping you to move from one to the next as you complete your projects.
Computerized options are able to bounce quickly from each individual as well, making sure that only the right thread is run through the when you are or .
Top load, drop in systems are a whole lot easier to use than those that require a lot of fiddling with.
Feed dog settings on a are hugely important to get right, especially since they dictate how much of your project is “worked on” at any one particular point in time – and whether or not material gets bunched up while you are using your favorite machines, too.
This is a bit of a subjective setting, however. Different feed dog settings work better for different kinds of projects, and you’ll want a that allows you to dial in different options at different times to make sure that your project run smoothly.
Extension tables are ALWAYS much appreciated when you’re running a sit down long arm piece of equipment.
These easy use accessories open up a whole lot more of the workspace to you that wouldn’t have otherwise been available, helping to keep your fabric and your material easily accessible without falling all over the place or bunching up on the floor.
Even long arm quoting systems that allow for third-party or accessory tables if they don’t include them themselves should be considered moving forward. You just want to have extra workspace at hand when you need it.
Every understands just how important it is to have their needles in the right spot when they start to knock out a project, especially if you’re going to be using a long arm system that might have the threads passing through 20 or 30 times before a is gathered.
Incorrect positioning inevitably produces incorrect , throws off the whole look and feel of your project, and (depending how long you’ve been sitting at a ) can waste quite a lot of time and a whole lot of material.
Get this right for sure.
Finally, but no less important than any of the other features mentioned above, the best long arm equipment is always going to have a build quality that is top-notch (featuring great engineering and quality materials) as well as a pendulum warranty.
You’re also only ever want to consider quality machines for manufacturers you know you can trust. Look for options from “big brands” with a reputation for taking care of their customers, even years or decades after they purchased their .
Out of all of the machines you could go with, people seem to absolutely love the JUKI TL-2000Qi more than any other option – even though it is a little less “feature-rich” than some of the other contenders.
Most new buyers are on the hunt for machines with an endless amount of stitches, all different kinds of configurations, and a whole bunch of bells and whistles.
This takes the opposite approach.
Running only a single (and with a price tag that will make some people blush) at first glance you might think it’s impossible for this set up to have as many glowingly positive reviews as it does today.
Dig beneath the surface, though, and you’ll discover pretty quickly that this is a steady, solid performer capable of almost unbelievable output – all while maintaining the fit, finish ““, and consistency you’d expect from a professional level .
Capable of outputting 1500 stitches per minute (higher than the standard 850 states per minute speed most other units), the automatic threader keeps things cranking along.
The work area of 23 inches is pretty substantial, the quoting capabilities are top-tier, and the heavy duty nature of this make it a “must-have”.
You won’t go wrong with any of the options we mentioned throughout this guide, but really set yourself up for success going with the JUKI TL-2000Qi.
There are a couple of things you need to consider when purchasing a , including:
Really think long and hard about how you hope to use your new machines and you'll be much better prepared to sift through the myriad of options you find the market today.
On the plus side of things, you'll never be able to match the quoting output of even the slowest machines - reason enough for most people to snap one of these up the first chance they get.
Secondly, intricate designs becomes a whole lot easier when you have a to help you knock it out.
Combine that with the ability to roll your much more efficiently (and to get more consistent results as well) and becomes a little bit of a no-brainer.
On the flip side of things, though, machines are not without their disadvantages.
To begin with, a solid and frame is definitely going to set you back a decent chunk of change - at least $1000 (if not considerably more).
It also takes a little bit of time to become totally proficient with using this kind of equipment. Expect to spend at least a few hundred hours fooling around with your new set up before you feel like you really have a handle on things.
Lastly, full-size machines are going to take up a decent chunk of real estate in your home. It's not uncommon for these machines to take up an entire back bedroom and then some.
Make sure you have the space to run them.
Professional quilters (and hobbyist quilters that want to bump up their output) love these machines because of the fact that they can dramatically speed up their workflow.
Hand quilters know that they are going to be severely limited when it comes time to put a bunch of projects together and finish them.
Run those same projects on a , though, and you can output two or three times as many in the same amount of time it would have taken to hand and sew single one.
If you're even entertaining the idea of becoming a professional (even just as a side gig) a long arm set up is essential.
As the name suggests, these machines take advantage of a longer arm that has a capable of rolling both vertically and horizontally. This allows this equipment to sew your in place without a lot of headache and without a lot of hassle.
You can even take that to the next level with a computerized set up, essentially automating the quoting process completely and producing your own assembly-line of finished quilts one right after another!
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