Best Industrial Sewing Machine of 2021 Reviewed and Compared

Industrial machines are hard working, durable and extremely fast. They’ll tackle almost any project, no matter how thick the material is.

They’re powerful pieces of machinery and may even seem overwhelming to a hobbyist or home sewer.

There are lots of reasons to graduate to an industrial machine, but where to start?

I’ve done some research for this buying guide in hopes to help you find the best industrial sewing machine available on the market today.

Which industrial sewing machine is right for me?

Before we proceed to the whole lineup, I’ve condensed this review down, giving recommendations based on materials you might sew with and my overall top pick to make your decision easier.

Top Pick

Juki DDL-5550N

A time-efficient and user-friendly machine that comes with handy features.

Juki DDL-5550N

My top pick out of the industrial sewing machines is the Juki DDL550N. I love the invisible features on this, some that are not visible to the naked eye. These include the bobbin thread sensor and the fabric sensor.

It makes working on the Juki DDL550N time efficient and user friendly for sure.

Finger Guard

The finger guard is an important feature for me, having nearly taken my finger off during sewing numerous times! A knee lift is another of my favorite features, along with the reverse lock stitch control.

Bobbin Winder

The on board bobbin winder with a separate motor saves more time, meaning you don’t have to unthread before each thread changes.

Total winner to me! I’ve chosen this over the Juki 8700 purely for the speed control slider, so rest assured that your skills could really evolve with this machine.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Home Use

Brother PQ1500SL

A reliable unit with lots of modern automatic features.

Brother PQ1500SL

The best industrial sewing machine for home use is the Brother PQ1500Sl.

It’s utterly brilliant, with fantastic modern features.

Features

The throat space and work space are generous for a sewing tool of a smaller build.

It has lots of modern automatic features, such as a customizable needle function, where the needle can be pre programmed to lock into the up/down position when you stop sewing.

Accessories

The Brother accessory bundle comes with 7 different feet for an array of sewing, plus Brother’s reliable 25 year limited warranty.

In the world of industrial sewing machines, this little Brother can be an affordable choice for a sewist starting out in the world of sewing.

Even better if you want to try out industrial style sewing from the comfort of your home!

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 1,500
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: 12.6 x 7.9 x 19.3”
  • Stitch length: 5mm

Pros

  • 4 feed dog height adjustments.
  • Extra large extension table.
  • Automatic needle threader.

Cons

  • Must manually adjust thread tension despite having other automatic features.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine for Upholstery

Consew 206RB 5

Designed to handle more challenging tasks such as tents, tarpaulins, upholstery, camping, and sports equipment.

Consew 206RB 5

Among the industrial sewing machines reviewed here, the best for sewing upholstery is the Consew 206R-5 due to its larger and heavier build.

Therefore, it’s been designed to handle more challenging tasks such as tents, tarpaulins, upholstery, camping and sports equipment but can also be used to sew apparel and coats.

Bobbin

The details to the bobbin features mean less frequent bobbin changes due to the XL bobbin size – you can wind a bobbin while sewing.

And, you can store it in the bobbin tray next to you to ensure you have everything you need to finish the task at hand.

Affordable

It’s affordably priced and could be an excellent choice for any busy workspace due to its quiet servo motors.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Leather

Yamata FY5318

A user-friendly machine with an engine powerful enough to sew through tough fabrics.

Yamata FY5318

The Yamata is my top pick of the industrial sewing machines for sewing leather.

Leather can be an unforgiving fabric to work with, so the top speed of 1,350 stitches per minute is very fast and might help projects go more smoothly.

Power

The engine is powerful enough to sew thick materials of 5/16” thick, so it’ll easily glide through all your heavy duty projects.

Assembly

While it must be assembled either yourself or by a professional, it’s a totally user friendly and simplistic machine.

The machine offers a table and a bright LED lamp and can be used to sew almost anything!

Top Industrial Sewing Machines

Here are the full reviews of all the items in the lineup…

Juki DDL 8700

An energy saving piece of equipment. It features all metal gears and parts, making it long lasting and durable.

Juki DDL 8700

This Juki DDL 8700 is popular in factories and with home sewists.

It can sew through multiple layers of fabrics from medium weight cotton to thick canvas, due to the variety of plates and feed dogs.

The foot is easy to change out depending on the operation, and extra pieces of the machine are affordable if needed.

Build

The Juki DDL 8700 is a sizable machine, sitting on a table 22” x 47” in size to hold things straight and steady during high production sewing.

The throat space of the Juki DDL 8700 is 10.5”, suitable for thicker and larger projects, while the bed is 19” in length.

Presser Foot

The presser foot lift can be raised ½ inch either with the knee lifter or by hand.

Locking your work is easy with a reverse sew lever to the right of the machine.

The mechanical dial on the Juki DDL 8700 will allow the user to select either 1mm – 5 mm length of their straight stitch.

Motor

It has a silent servo motor, for which you can manually adjust the speed.

It’s an energy saving piece of equipment. It features all metal gears and parts, making it long lasting and durable.

And, it will deliver high results of a fast caliber when you get comfortable with the lightning speed of 5,500 stitches per minute.

Specs

  • Speed: 5500 spm
  • Stitch selection: 1 straight stitch
  • Unit dimensions: 48 x 20 x 48”
  • Maximum stitch length: 5 mm

Pros

  • Low vibration when in use.
  • Quiet motor.
  • Rare reports of break down or needing repairs.

Cons

  • A large work area is needed to accommodate the 47” x 22” table.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine for Upholstery

Consew 206RB 5

Designed to handle more challenging tasks such as tents, tarpaulins, upholstery, camping, and sports equipment.

Consew 206RB 5

The Consew 206RB5 is a high production, heavy duty sewing machine.

The stitches have a maximum length of 10mm which means shorter sewing times spent on your sewing projects.

Features

The machine will sew up to 3,300 spm through a variety of different fabrics.

The dual cone thread stand is built to hold two thread spools simultaneously to prevent less thread changes during high production sewing.

Whilst it only boasts one stitch, it holds an extra large bobbin for minimal disruptions. Routine maintenance is quick with an automatic lubrication system.

Needle Plate

The needle plate and feed dog can be changed easily or lowered for free motion sewing. Along the needle plate is a ruler to ensure that you’re sewing perfectly straight every time!

The machine is somewhat simple to thread, if you are fairly experienced.

It has a servo motor, advantageous in high production or in a busy workroom, as it’s a bit quieter.

Bobbin

It has a heavy-duty walking foot, and an extra large bobbin makes it easier to work for longer without having to change threads.

The bobbin storage tray plus a separate bobbin motor mean you can wind bobbins while you’re sewing.

This provides a backlog of bobbins ready to use to finish the task!

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 3,330
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: 50 x 45 x 20”
  • Stitch length: 10mm

Pros

  • Good for multiple layers of fabrics.
  • Bobbin storage.
  • Servo motor.

Cons

  • Larger than other industrial sewing machines.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Home Use

Brother PQ1500SL

A reliable unit with lots of modern automatic features.

Brother PQ1500SL

The Brother PQ1500SL is a home sewing machine of industrial standard.

It hosts only one straight stitch, and it will sew up to 1,500 stitches per minute with a maximum stitch length of 5mm.

The machine comes with 4 feed dog height adjustments, an extra large sewing table of 11 x 21.5” and a throat space of 5.7 x 8.6” for sewing projects of all sizes.

Features

It has features you would expect to see on any modern regular sewing machine, such as the automatic needle threader and automatic thread cutter.

The machine comes with a manually adjustable tension dial so you can make sure you’ve got the tension set accurately.

Pin Feed

A pin feed mechanism allows you to exchange the use of the feed dogs for a single pin that cleanly extends from beneath the machine.

This will move all layers of fabrics together in items like quilts.

Or, it can be used for fine and delicate materials such as velvet without leaving horrible feed dogs marks in the material.

Settings

You can adjust the thread length, and the dual cone holder keeps your workspace tidy.

The length is adjustable and a reinforcement stitch lever is easily accessible at the front of the machine.

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 1,500
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: 12.6 x 7.9 x 19.3”
  • Stitch length: 5mm

Pros

  • 4 feed dog height adjustments.
  • Extra large extension table.
  • Automatic needle threader.

Cons

  • Must manually adjust thread tension despite having other automatic features.

Janome 1600P-QC

Hosts lots of features that you’d expect to see on a modern sewing machine of industrial standard.

Janome 1600P-QC

The Janome 1600P-QC is a high speed controlled industrial style sewing machine.

It hosts lots of features that you’d expect to see on a modern sewing machine of industrial standard.

Build

It has a variable speed control (three settings) and it can achieve speeds of 1600 spm.

The machine head is nearly all metal and it’s heavier than a regular table top machine, 38.8lbs.

A heavy-duty frame in the machine means it will stay stationary during even the highest and fastest output production.

Features

Users have plenty of space with the extra wide work area and throat space of 9×6” afforded by Janome.

They’ve installed a knee lifter, an automatic needle threader and automatic thread cutter to help save you time during your sewing projects.

Bobbin

Like other machines of a similar standard; the Janome is equipped with a separate engine for winding the bobbin.

This means you can load bobbins while you are sewing, still focusing on the project at hand. Threading the machine is as easy as following the steps printed on the needle plate and front of the machine for ease of use purposes.

LED

The machine has two LED lights built in to illuminate the large workspace, a side loading industrial rotary hook.

There’s at least 11lbs of pressure coming from the presser foot, meaning it will hold secure even the toughest of materials!

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 1600
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: 16 x 26 x 18”
  • Stitch length: 5mm

Pros

  • Ergonomic design.
  • Handles thick weight fabrics well.
  • Simplistic.

Cons

  • Side load in bobbin.

Reliable Barracuda 200ZW

Designed for boat owners and people who work away.

Reliable Barracuda 200ZW

The Reliable Barracuda 200ZW sewing machine has two stitches: zig-zag and a straight stitch.

This means you can use this machine for appliqueing as well as high power heavy-duty sewing.

The portable sewing machine can slide away neatly into a transport case for travel or taking to and from a workspace.

Build

It’s been designed for boat owners and people who work away.

Users say that even sewing up to 8 layers of sun umbrella materials outputs a smooth, yet sleek stitch quality with even stitches.

The machine has a clearance of 10mm on the presser foot lift.

Speed Reducer

The machine offers a built in speed reducer, so the machine will naturally slow down without you having to worry about the thread jamming or needle snapping during high production, heavy work.

Portability

A heavy duty carrying handle ensures easy portability while it comes with a strong reverse lever you can press down to reinforce a stitch.

This machine is heavy duty only, with the manufacturers specifying not to use this machine with light and medium fabrics, such as gowns or masks. 

Quality

They say they go through a 10-point check with a master technician to ensure the machine meets their quality guidelines!

This machine has been on my radar during my time as a sewist, and frankly – I’m a big fan.

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 800
  • Stitch selection: 2
  • Unit dimensions: 14 x 7 x 12”
  • Stitch length: 5mm

Pros

  • Suitable for heavy weight materials.
  • Designed to be used on the go.
  • Machine head engineered entirely from metal providing durability.

Cons

  • Not suitable for thinner or lightweight fabrics such as masks or gowns.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Leather

Yamata FY5318

A user-friendly machine with an engine powerful enough to sew through tough fabrics.

Yamata FY5318

I think the Yamata FY5318 is the best industrial sewing machine for leather at the moment. The Japanese device comes unassembled, but is easy to put together with either instructional videos online or the user manual.

Build

The single needle machine is suited to sewing leather items and will sew through the heaviest of materials up to 5/16 thick.

It will sew relatively long, even stitches of 8mm in length. The presser foot will lift ¼” by hand or by knee with the built in lifter.

Features

The feed dogs are strong as you’d expect, and will guide through difficult materials easily.

The machine lubricates itself with a return oil device, meaning you don’t have to.

It’s a popular machine choice in the realm of industrial sewing machines.

The commercial motor powers the device well, and the machine itself should last a lifetime with a body made of almost entirely metal.

Accessories

Janome are generous with the accessory bundle included in this machine of a thread stand, bobbin winder, knee lifter, bobbins, needles and tools to help assemble and maintain your sewing machine.

It’s a professional grade machine with a quiet servo clutch motor, meaning there will be minimal noise when the machine is in use in a busy workroom.

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 1350
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: Workspace is 10”.
  • Stitch length: 8mm

Pros

  • Metal body.
  • Good with rugged thick fabrics.
  • Suitable for heavy-duty items.

Cons

  • Have to assemble the machine yourself.

Top Pick

Juki DDL-5550N

A time-efficient and user-friendly machine that comes with handy features.

Juki DDL-5550N

The Juki DDL5550N is a downsize from the Juki DDL 8700, but will also sew at a maximum sewing speed of 5,500 stitches per minute.

You can easily keep this machine at a low sewing speed until your confidence builds, and then progress to a high speed as you develop your sewing skills further.

Features

It comes with a 30” ruler along the front of the machine, and seam guides have been etched onto the needle plate.

A bright lamp illuminates the huge workspace.

A finger guard prevents any damage to your fingers during high speed sewing, and a knee lift will raise and lower the presser foot, keeping your work hands free.

Thread Trimmer

A thread trimmer is hidden in the needle plate along with a fabric edge sensor, which will automatically stop the machine and trim the thread when the needle runs off the edge of the material.

The bobbin thread sensor will even buzz when the bobbin thread is running low – wowza!

Power

It is able to sew through rubber, plastic and other materials and is a good choice for producing apparel in stores or for a home business.

The single needle machinery is loaded with all the features anyone who uses an industrial sewing machine might need!

Specs

  • Stitch per minute: 5500 stitches per minute
  • Stitch selection: 1
  • Unit dimensions: 48 x 20 x 48”
  • Stitch length: 5mm

Pros

  • Bobbin thread and fabric sensor.
  • All metal construction.
  • Ideal for medium weight to heavy weight fabrics.

Cons

  • Only one straight stitch.

What is an industrial sewing machine?

Industrial Sewing Machine
Industrial Sewing Machine

An industrial sewing machine has been built specifically for high production heavy duty work.

They’re industrial versions of a home machine, typically used in the clothing, upholstery or textile industries.

Function

Typical industrial machinery can sew 2,000+ stitches per minute.

Most commercial sewing processes in industrial environments are assembly line based, so these industrial sewing machines are generally designed to perform just one function – most commonly, the straight stitch.

What’s the difference between an industrial standard sewing machine and a regular home sewing machine?

The difference between industrial and home sewing machines is the motor.

The small clutch motor in a home machine is too delicate for high production work, and so industrial sewing machines are built with clutch motors or a large servo motor.

Power

A more powerful motor means heavy sewing volume is accessible, and an industrial machine can sew through multiple layers of tough fabrics such as canvas, leather and denim.

Stitches Per Minute

The stitches per minute are generally much faster in an industrial sewing machine with a servo or clutch motor.

These can sew up to 5,500 stitches per minute, compared to an average of 850 for domestic machines.

See an industrial sewing machine in the video below

Juki DDL-5550N sewing on fleece and wool.

Should I buy an industrial sewing machine?

If you sew on average for around 5+ hours every day, or want to use it for sewing and quilting or thicker sewing projects, an industrial machine could be the next purchase for you.

They’re often simple machines with minimal bells and whistles, built with a metal frame for durability.

Build

An industrial machine is a high powered sewing machine that provides professional looking stitches.

If you work with different fabrics such as leather, denim, or canvas (or like to use multiple layers of fabric at a time), an industrial sewing machine could make your sewing experience so much better.

TIP

If you use the machine to create products for a business, you could even make back the initial money spent through items you create and sell!

What should I look for in an industrial sewing machine?

Tailor Sewing Inside a Shop
Tailor Sewing Inside a Shop

There are lots of things to consider when buying industrial sewing machines.

First, set yourself a budget, as sewing machinery of industrial standard can cost $2000+. And unless you have an infinite amount of money, you’ll probably have to budget.

TIP

Make a list of features you want from a sewing machine, including the stitch per minute count. Ultimately, this will filter out which industrial machinery would be suitable for you.

To help you further, I’ve made a list of things to consider when shopping around for your dream machine…

Things to consider

Purpose

Industrial sewing machines have been designed for high output; heavy duty sewing, usually in an assembly line of textile production.

Fabric

Consider what type of fabrics you will sew with your machine, as industrial isn’t a total match for certain ones.

Some are better for upholstery or leather, and some might not work with delicate fabrics at all due to high pressure from the presser foot.

Research

If you are considering using the machine for a variety of fabrics, do through research and ensure that it will sew these fabrics well.

There are plenty of domestic sewing machines with industrial features that will sew a variety of fabrics, and will produce high volumes to equal standards.

Brand

Every sewist has their favorite brand of sewing machine, but in the industrial sewing world there are a few that stand out.

Juki, for example, is one of my favorite brands and is without doubt one of the most well respected and reliable brands in the industrial sewing world.

All of the sewing machines in this review are high quality, coming from trusted brands in the field.

Price

An industrial sewing machine should be more expensive than a regular home sewing machine, but in the long run you could end up saving money or making your money back through producing and selling wares.

While there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer, I believe an industrial sewing machine is totally worth it if you’re using it regularly.

Warranty

Sewing Black Strap Material
Sewing Black Strap Material

Because an industrial sewing machine is so much more expensive than a domestic sewing machine, it’s imperative to get good warranty cover in case of malfunctions.

It’s a big investment, so you want to make sure you’re backed for anything that could go wrong.

Quality

A warranty can reflect how confident the manufacturer is in their sewing machine. In general, most companies will offer a 25 year limited warranty, and I wouldn’t invest in a machine that offers anything less.

NOTE

Make sure you read the warranty thoroughly and that you understand exactly what you are covered for before you purchase.

Motor

The motor of industrial machines determines how fast the machine can run. Most machines will sew between 1000 – 6000 spm.

You should consider how fast you want the machine to run, but remember it takes practice.

Until you’ve got experience sewing at high speeds, it is better to sew at slower speeds to prevent damage to your fabrics and sewing projects.

  • Servo motors will allow the user to change speeds easily and are typically quiet when in use.
  • Clutch motors (typically seen in older sewing machines) are loud, and it can be difficult to select a different high speed, if it’s even adjustable at all.

Features

One of my favorite features on industrial sewing machines is that you can wind a bobbin while working on the machine.

Most industrial sewing machines come with spool thread stands and a separate winding bobbin mechanism so there’s no disengaging with the sewing machine.

Stitch Options

Different-Stitches on Black Fabric
Different-Stitches on Black Fabric

Stitch options are also important when selecting an industrial sewing machine that’s right for you.

Most industrial grade sewing machines will only do one thing, e.g. buttonholes or straight / zig-zag stitch.

If decorative stitches are important to your work, there are many industrial style sewing machines that offer multi-stitch functions.

NOTE

Make sure to research up on stitch consistency, as the purpose of investing in an industrial sewing machine is to maximize the efficiency of your work.

Maintenance

An industrial sewing machine is designed for long hours of high sewing speed, heavy work, so they will need to be cleaned and oiled more regularly than a domestic sewing machine.

You should make sure to clean out your machine after every use or at the end of every work day and oil it based upon the manufacturer’s recommendations, as an industrial sewing machine may have an automatic lubrication system.

FAQs

How much do the best industrial sewing machines cost?

Industrial sewing machines vary from around $500 for a second hand model or a domestic sewing machine with industrial features, all the way up to around $4000+.

They’re definitely a big investment!

Can I learn to sew on an industrial sewing machine?

Absolutely.

Don’t be intimidated by its top speeds. 

Ensure that the machine you buy has a speed control and goes slow to begin with.

Mistakes can be easily made when sewing at 5,000 stitches per minute!

Conclusion

I know a lot of sewers are intimidated with the thought of owning an industrial sewing machine because they sew so quickly, but most machines these days will come with a speed control for the user to get used to.

Top Pick

Just to recap, my top pick out of the best industrial sewing machines is Juki DDL550N. With all of the invisible sensory features this is a clear winner for me.

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Home Use

The Brother PQ1500Sl, is the one of the best industrial sewing machines to sew at home with. It has plenty of modern features and is an industrial grade sewing machine for home use. It comes with a generous accessory bundle and 25 limited warranty.

Best industrial sewing machine for upholstery

Best Industrial Sewing Machine for upholstery

The best industrial sewing machine for upholstery is Consew 206R-5, a machine that can handle high production!

Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Leather

The top commercial sewing machine for leather is the Yamata, a walking foot industrial sewing machine for very thick materials and one of the best commercial sewing machines on the market today.

The beauty of owning a walking foot industrial sewing machine is once you get to grips with it, they typically are faster and better than domestic machines.

Best of luck shopping for industrial machines! I hope you find the perfect heavy duty sewing machine for your next project.

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Kris Daub
Kris Daub
[email protected] byCurated I'm a maker at heart! I love to create and tech others to create. I particularly sewing and hand crafts like ebroidery. I also love larger home decorating projects. ✂️ 🧵