Looking to buy a sewing machine? Getting a little overwhelmed with all the choices available? That’s totally understandable. Buying a sewing machine can be an intimidating, daunting task, no matter if you are new to sewing or even an experienced sewist. Hopefully, our SINGER 4423 review will put you straight on this machine at least!
Quite a few years ago – okay, about two decades ago – I was in the same boat as you’re in now and ended up buying a machine that wasn’t a good fit for me. I hadn’t done any research, I didn’t know what features I wanted, and was pushed into an appliance I was never really happy with until a handful of years ago when I came to appreciate its quirks.
So yes, I understand the plight, and I’m often asked the million-dollar question…what’s a good machine that fits basic sewing needs and gives one the most bang for their buck?
For many people, the SINGER Heavy Duty 4423 sewing machine fits the bill.
SINGER 4423 review: The machine at a glance
There’s no question that most people are familiar with the brand SINGER. From the company’s beginning, SINGER sewing machines have been known for their ease of use and dependability, and the Heavy-Duty 4423 lives up the reputation of its name.
The 4423 is designed with a powerful motor and the following features, making quick work of sewing projects while consistently providing exceptional, professional-looking results.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the SINGER 4423, include:
- General Purpose Foot
- Zipper Foot
- Buttonhole Foot
- Button Sewing Foot
- Edge / Quilting Guide
- Pack of Needles
- Spool Caps
- Auxiliary Spool Pin
- Spool Pin Felt
- Seam Ripper / Lint Brush
- Soft Dust Cover
|5||STITCHES PER MINUTE (SPM)||1100|
|13||BOBBIN TYPE||Top Drop-In|
|16||DIMENSIONS||15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches|
|18||WARRANTY||Limited 24 / 2 / 90|
Why do I recommend the SINGER Heavy-Duty 4423 sewing machine?
The SINGER 4423 is a powerful machine packed with features that make it perfectly suited for a wide range of users. It meets the sewing needs of someone just starting out, experienced sewists who have plenty of stitches under their belts, and even the on-the-go stitcher looking for a lighter-weight machine they can travel with.
Detailed Review of the SINGER 4423
Now let’s talk details so I can explain why the aforementioned features support my positive review of this machine!
One thing to keep in mind…this is a manual sewing machine, so it doesn’t have many bells and whistles. While this can limit some functionality, I also believe there are many benefits to simple, manual machines. Chief among which would be ease of use.
Sewing machines are designed to sew one single stitch at a minimum: the traditional straight stitch. This and a zig-zag stitch can tackle almost all sewing projects. If you sew garments or do mending, it’s useful to have a machine with more built-in options: stretch stitch(es) for sewing knits, buttonhole stitch, and a blind hem stitch are prime examples.
The 4423 comes with 23 built-in stitches, providing you the basics while also giving you a handful of creative or fun stitches to use when the need arises. This includes:
- 6 basic stitches
- 4 stretch stitches for use on knit fabrics
- 12 decorative stitches
- 1 fully-automatic buttonhole stitch
Adjustable dials allow you to easily customize stitch length and width to fit your project needs. Check out the video below for more information on the SINGER 4423’s stitch library:
Both the speed and the power of the motor affect a sewing machine’s performance. The SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty is a good combination of both, resulting in equipment that sews quickly while working with heavy or numerous layers of fabric.
Similar machines typically sew in the range of 850 stitches per minute. This workhorse can stitch upwards of 1,100 stitches putting it far ahead of its competition.
Its motor is touted to be 60% stronger than standard sewing machines (this is quoted from SINGER, not a figure I made up) to power through heavy fabrics like denim, canvas, and leather. This doesn’t compare to the capabilities of an industrial machine, but the 4423 performs well at a much more affordable price point.
An automatic needle threader makes threading the needle a breeze. A hook pulls a thread loop through the eye of the needle; simply release the hook lever and pull the loop completely through the eye to finish threading.
This feature cuts down on time trying to get the thread through the needle’s eye and significantly reduces your own eye strain in the process.
Adjustable needle position is a feature many sewists appreciate once they try it. The needle position can be moved from the center to either the left or the right. Some machines have stops in between offering more flexibility; the SINGER 4423, however, has just these three simple positions.
This is a really handy feature if you are topstitching frequently or inserting zippers. A quick push of a button or switch allows you to adjust the seam allowance without using a different sewing guide on your needle plate or changing the presser foot.
Bobbin systems are either drop-in or front-load, depending on their location on the machine. A drop-in bobbin system is accessed from the top of the throat area. It is easier to see, making bobbin threading quick and simple.
Another positive feature of this machine is both the bobbin and bobbin cover are transparent. While you’re sewing you can instantaneously see your thread supply, making sure you don’t unknowingly run out of bobbin thread.
The needle plate on a sewing machine is the removable plate above the bobbin area. As the needle moves up and down to create stitches, it passes through holes in the needle plate to create locking stitches.
Stainless steel construction of the 4423’s needle plate means fabric glides smoothly over it as it is pulled through the feed dogs. During the manufacturing process, the metal plate is also etched to include standard seam markers, taking the guesswork out of aligning your fabric as you sew.
Presser foot lift
The presser foot moves up and down to position fabric under the needle. This isn’t easy with layers and layers of fabric. A high-lift presser foot has greater clearance when it is lifted, making it considerably easier to position thick or numerous layers of fabric.
Free arm sewing is when the sewing area that holds the bobbin, shuttle, and feed dog opens up to a long, narrow space allowing you to work on curved or tubular pieces such as collars, cuffs, and pant hems.
On the SINGER 4423, there is an accessory box molded to fit around the free arm; it pulls out and away from the machine to expose the free arm. An added bonus is the accessory box houses the goodies included when you buy your machine.
Feed dogs are those metal teeth located under the presser foot of the sewing machine; they rotate front to back, moving fabric under the needle as you sew. A lever on the back of the machine lowers the feed dogs to disengage them. Drop feed is useful when sewing buttons and free-motion quilting.
The inner frame of the 4423 is constructed of heavy-duty metal, providing rigid support and increased durability. Compared to models made of plastic, this is built for years of extended use.
A common complaint with lightweight machines is they vibrate at high stitching speeds and don’t stay in place. Increased weight from the metal means your machine won’t dance its way across the table and the metal components dampen noise from the motor, making the 4423 quieter than comparable models.
The warranty on this sewing machine is similar to most others on the market, but it’s important you understand it is a limited warranty. Not everything is covered for 25-years.
- Sewing machine head: 25 years, but no replacement for general wear and tear.
- Motor, wiring components, and stitches: 2 years
- Manufacturing defects, bulbs, belts, and attachments: 90 days
Some downfalls of the SINGER 4423
To be completely transparent in this sewing machine review, I felt it important to also mention the downfalls of this machine.
Since the SINGER Heavy-Duty 4423 is a manual sewing machine, you are not going to have the same automation functions that are “standard” or readily available on a computerized machine.
No variable speed control
Variable speed control allows you to adjust the speed at which the machine sews. I think this is a needed feature whether you’re a beginner sewist or someone experienced. It’s helpful to throttle the stitch speed down when you’re learning, and also when working on intricate projects or specialty fabrics.
Lacks the ability to set the needle stop position
Computerized machines give you the option to dictate where the sewing needle is positioned when you stop sewing. This is either in the “up” position where the needle is at its highest point in the gear rotation, or the “down” position where the needle is at its lowest in the bobbin case.
I use this feature on my machines often. When I’m quilting or top-stitching I like the ability to stop sewing with the needle down so I can easily lift the presser foot and pivot material to keep the stitches even.
No presser foot guidance
One benefit of computerized machines is they often show what presser foot to use for a specific stitch on their display screen, making the learning process easier for beginners. Manual machines don’t have this capability. When you start out you’ll need to double-check you’re using the correct foot when changing stitches.
I’ll admit, I’m a hands-on type of learner and I appreciate a well-written instruction manual. The manual available for the SINGER 4423 leaves a little to be desired. I understand they want to keep the manual concise, but it needs some more information on the following aspects:
- The machine comes oiled from the factory, but the instruction manual doesn’t include instructions on maintenance lubrication over time.
- The stitch selector knob is not intuitive upon first glance when switching between basic and stretch stitches and the manual doesn’t clearly explain how to switch back and forth.
Thankfully we can quickly look up information online when we have questions. SINGER even has a Sewing Assistant app for your smartphone or tablet to help with FAQs and tutorials. There are also a lot of informative videos available, as well. Here’s an example from SINGER themselves:
Fixable, minor inconveniences
These might seem irrelevant to some people but, again, I think they are worth mentioning:
Light isn’t very bright
I like LOTS of light when I sew, so this feature is lacking in my opinion. Sewing machines all come with a built-in light that illuminates the needle plate, reducing cumbersome shadows and making it easier to see the needle.
If the included light isn’t bright enough, you can purchase an after-market light to use.
Comes with a soft cover
One of the benefits of the SINGER 4423 is it weighs just under 15 pounds, making it great to take to classes, quilt guild meetings, or do on-site alterations. But, it only comes with a soft-sided cover meant to keep dust out. If you plan on transporting it, purchase a hard-sided case to keep it from getting damaged on the move.
Lastly, let’s touch on the common negative reviews found online.
When I was reading through the reviews, I noticed many complaints are common struggles when you first start off sewing or are adjusting to a new machine. As you get accustomed to the SINGER 4423, and to sewing in general, they may decrease.
- The drop-in bobbin can be finicky to thread correctly.
- “Bird nesting” occurs under the needle plate.
- Upper tension can be “tricky” to dial in.
While these issues shouldn’t be ignored altogether, I honestly believe they are no reason to dismiss the SINGER 4423. The overwhelming majority of consumers love their purchase, and there’s no reason why you won’t join them if you opt for this heavy duty machine.
SINGER 4423 Alternatives
If you’re still unsure about the SINGER 4423 and want a few alternatives to consider, the sewing machines listed below are well worth a look:
Similar to the 4423 in that the Janome HD1000 is also a budget heavy duty machine aimed at home sewers, this model is almost a direct competitor. Personally, I’d stick with the 4423, but the HD1000 has a pretty loyal following, too.
The Brother ST150HDH hasn’t been around anywhere near as long as the other sewing machines listed here, but it’s certainly added something to this end of the market since its arrival back in April 2019. I like this little beauty a lot.
The bigger brother of the 4423, SINGER’s 4432 has nine more stitches to play around with. So, if the 4423’s limited stitch library was your only cause for concern, then upgrading to the 4432 might be the answer.
SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Review: My final thoughts
In my opinion, the SINGER 4423 is a great manual sewing machine that is very well priced. This heavy-duty machine is perfect for light sewing projects or everyday use and is also adequately equipped to take on more extensive, complicated projects that call for heavier fabrics when the need arises.
Here’s a brief summary of what you get with the SINGER 4423:
- 23 built-in stitches
- Maximum speed of 1100 stitches per minute
- Automatic needle threader
- Adjustable needle position
- Top drop-in bobbin system with transparent view cover
- Stainless steel needle plate
- Extra-high presser foot lifter
- Free arm
- Droppable feed dogs
- Heavy-duty metal frame
- 25-year limited warranty
If you’re in the market for a new manual machine that can power through a range of projects, I highly recommend the SINGER 4423 — this machine receives my stamp of approval!