SINGER One Review: Is this computerized sewing machine a contender?

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Looking at a lot of the sewing machines aimed at beginners, you might think that basic means boring. But the SINGER One’s stylish design is a good reminder that fun is the most important part of any new hobby. Is the beauty of this vintage-inspired computerized sewing machine more than just skin deep? Our SINGER One sewing machine review will give you the facts.

The SINGER One Sewing Machine: Review and Analysis

Singer One

SINGER has been America’s sewing machine company since 1851. Many sewists’ first sewing machine was a SINGER, whether it was a family sewing machine or the school machine they used in Home Ec class.

SINGER’s history is one of firsts, in fact. The company’s founder, Isaac Merritt SINGER invented the first practical home sewing machine in 1850. Five years later, the SINGER brand won first place at the Paris World’s fair. And three years after that, SINGER brought the world’s first lightweight home sewing machine to market.

Other firsts include:

  • First electric sewing machine (1889)
  • The first zigzag machine (1952)
  • First electronic machine (1975)
  • The first computerized sewing machine (1978)
  • First sewing assistant app (2017)

About the SINGER One easy to use computerized sewing machine

singer one carrying handle

The design of the SINGER One — the vintage flourishes and ‘S’ symbol, the swooping lines of the chassis, and the metal trim on the balance wheel — is a nod to the company’s nineteenth-century roots: Under the hood, though, this is a powerful and modern all-purpose sewing machine.

Just like the SINGER machines of old, the SINGER One has a heavy-duty metal frame. Unlike SINGER’s mechanical heavy duty machines, the One has the extras that make sewing fun. These include:

  • 24 decorative and functional stitches
  • Two one-step buttonholes
  • One-touch threading
  • And more

Who will enjoy the SINGER One computerized sewing machine?

singer one sewing machine top drop in bobbin

Judging from the One’s user-friendly design, one might be tempted to think of it as only a learner’s machine. But sewists of all levels will find something to love, whether it’s the metal construction that lends itself to heavy work, or the free arm that makes mending and garment-making a snap.

You could think of this machine as basic plus. It has everything you need for general purpose sewing, not much that you don’t, and enough extras for a beginner to grow a bit in their chosen craft.

The SINGER One would make a terrific first sewing machine that a learner wouldn’t outgrow right away. It would also be an excellent home machine for general purpose sewing like mending and housewares. Crafters will also enjoy the One. Quilters especially will like the extra-high presser foot lift that accommodates thicker fabrics and multiple layers.

What’s in the box? 

Accessories that come with the SINGER One, include:

  • Your SINGER One easy-to-use computerized sewing machine
  • A SINGER One sewing machine manual
  • Soft plastic SINGER One sewing machine case 
  • Zipper foot
  • Buttonhole foot with underplate
  • Blind hem foot
  • Satin stitch foot
  • SINGER One sewing machine needles
  • Class 15J bobbins
  • Thread spool caps
  • Extra spool pin with felt
  • Screwdriver
  • Seam ripper/lint brush

Technical Specifications

singer one accessories

Pros and cons

As with almost every appliance on the market, there are things we like about the SINGER One and a few other points where we feel there’s room for improvement:

LIKES
  • Stylish, vintage-inspired design
  • Tough metal chassis
  • Nice selection of decorative and functional stitches
  • Two one-step buttonholes
  • Self-adjusting thread tension
  • Double needle capacity
  • Very decent accessory pack
DISLIKES
  • Lacks speed control
  • No start/stop button
  • Somewhat poky stitch speed
  • No hard shell case

So, You Want To Buy a Computerized Sewing Machine

Mechanical sewing machines have knobs, dials, and sliders for controls. Computerized machines have an onboard computer that users control with either buttons or an LCD touchscreen. 

The SINGER One is a middle-of-the-road computerized sewing machine. Users choose pre-programmed stitches and stitch parameters with the touch of a button. It’s not as fancy as a touchscreen, and there’s no stitch memory. But it combines some of the features of a more advanced sewing machine with a simpler machine’s user-friendliness.

So, which features should you look for in a computerized sewing machine?

Stitch options

One of the main advantages of a computerized sewing machine is the number of available stitches. Many mechanical models have a handful of functional stitches plus a buttonhole. An onboard computer means that the number of available stitches isn’t limited by the size of the selection knob. The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 has 600 designs, for example.

More sophisticated machines may include embroidery patterns alongside functional and decorative stitches. A computerized machine may allow you to import designs via USB or WiFi. Some even allow users to edit stitches, combine them into patterns, and save the patterns for later.

The SINGER One is a simpler computerized model. It has 24 push-button stitch designs, and buttons for selecting stitch height and width. It has neither connectivity nor stitch memory, but what it lacks in customizability it makes up for in ease of use.

LED or LCD?

Computerized sewing machines have an electronic display. This may be a simple LED screen that represents stitch numbers and error codes as numbers and letters. It could also be a sophisticated LCD touchscreen.

The SINGER One has an alphanumeric display that allows you to make clear stitch selections from the pre-programmed stitch library.

Sensors and automatic adjustments

If a problem occurs with a mechanical sewing machine, it’s up to the user to diagnose and address it. Computerized sewing machines have helpful sensors that detect various problems, and they alert you to problems by displaying error messages. [1]

Some computerized sewing machines also make automatic adjustments of different types, for example thread tension. Improper thread tension can result in skipped stitches, thread nesting, broken thread, and more. The SINGER One has automatic thread tension adjustment, which saves time and removes the guesswork.

Is a computerized sewing machine right for you?

It would be easy to think that the more advanced a sewing machine is, the better it is for all users. It would also be a mistake.

The best sewing machine is the one that has the features that you use the most, in a format that you’re comfortable using.

Fans of mechanical sewing machines enjoy the simplicity of their design. Also, manual controls allow you to fine-tune parameters like stitch size and thread tension in a way that you just can’t replicate with pre-programmed settings.

On the other hand, computerized sewing machines generally have a greater number of options, including decorative stitches and a larger selection of buttonhole designs. Computerized machines also often have different automatic features like an automatic thread cutter, auto tension, auto lock stitch, and so on.

A computerized sewing machine might be a good fit if you:

  • Use a lot of decorative stitches
  • Want a sewing machine that will grow with you in your craft
  • Don’t want the guesswork of making your own adjustments
  • Want the convenience of automatic features

The SINGER One: Features and Benefits

We’ve already discussed some of the SINGER One’s features in a general sense. But here are some specific things that you might enjoy.

Auto tension

Getting the thread tension right is difficult, and getting it wrong can be disastrous for your project. The SINGER One’s auto tension feature automatically adjusts your tension for the type of sewing you’re doing, so you never have to worry about it.

Auto threading

If you’ve ever squinted at a sewing machine needle while trying to thread it with your fingers, you know what I’m talking about. The SINGER One has a one-step auto-threading feature that makes threading your sewing machine needle super easy.

singer one sewing machine needle threader

24-stitch library

24 stitches isn’t excessive, but it’s enough to give you some design versatility. The SINGER One has all of the stitches that home sewists use most — straight stitch, zigzag stitch, blind hem stitch — plus many more. 

Double needle

Did you ever wonder how garment makers create those neat double rows of identical stitches? They use a double needle. Not every sewing machine can accommodate a double needle, but the SINGER One can. 

You can use a double needle to sew tidy seams on sheer fabric. It also comes in handy if you want to attach ribbon trim in one go. A double needle is excellent for pintucks, decorative sewing, and more.

One-step buttonhole

Simpler sewing machines have a four-step buttonhole function. It works, but it’s fiddly and difficult to make your buttonholes consistent.

A one-step automatic buttonhole gives you the same results every time, with minimal fuss and adjustment. For us, a one-step buttonhole is a dealbreaker.

Free arm

singer one free arm

Not every sewing machine has a free-arm, but the SINGER One does. A free arm is absolutely necessary for small, circular work such as shirt cuffs, collars, and trouser legs. 

A few things we wish the SINGER One had

No machine is perfect, of course. There are a few things missing from the SINGER One that we think would make it even better. 

A start/stop button is an important accessibility function for people who are unable to use a foot pedal. It also comes in handy when you’re making one-step automatic buttonholes. Many computerized sewing machines have them, so we’re surprised and disappointed that the SINGER One does not.

Speed control allows you to set a maximum speed for stitching. This can save your bacon if your foot slips on the pedal. It can also save your project.

Speaking of speed, 750 stitches per minute is a bit below par for a home sewing machine. The average stitch speed of a domestic machine is 860 stitches per minute. This may not make a difference to you, but if you’re sewing a lot of long, straight rows, it might.

Finally, a hard protective case will protect your machine from scratches, dents, and bumps in storage and in transit. And it’s disappointing that the SINGER One does not come with one.

For many people, these are minor inconveniences rather than deal breakers. What do you think?

The Competition

There are a dizzying number of computerized sewing machines on the market. It’s important to consider your alternatives before making your final decision. Here are a few models that we think are worthy competition for the SINGER One.

Brother FS100WT

Brother FS100WT

If you like the SINGER One’s push-button control and automatic adjustments, but want more options, the Brother FS100WT Free Motion Embroidery and Quilting Machine might be a good fit for you.

The FS100WT has 100 built-in stitch selections, including functional stitches, stretch stitches, and many, many decorative stitches. Length and width adjustments come with the press of a button.

Why does Brother advertise it as an embroidery and quilting machine? Well, it comes with a wide extension table, which is an excellent feature for free-motion quilting. Also, it has an astounding array of embroidery stitches, and a monogram font, too.

Buyers who want a bit more functionality from a simpler model of computerized sewing machine might find a match with the Brother FS100WT.

SINGER 7470 Confidence

The SINGER 7470 Confidence  is a lot of machine hiding behind a deceptively simple interface. It would make an excellent choice for an advanced-beginner or intermediate sewist who wants to explore different crafts. Some of its features include:

  • 225 stitch designs
  • Alphabet stitch capabilities
  • 7 one-step buttonholes
  • 20-stitch memory

If you’re interested in experimenting with stitch designs and combinations, you could have a lot of fun with this model.

Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q

Among our competing sewing machine models, the Husqvarna Viking H Class 100Q is probably the closest to the SINGER One in function and capability. This is a computerized sewing machine with 20 stitch designs, two one-step buttonholes, and several automatic adjustments.

Why did we include it? Well, the Viking H Class 100Q, while being very similar to the SINGER One, has a few of the features we wish the SINGER One had. These include a start/stop button, a speed control slider, and a hard case.

They’re both excellent machines, but if any of those are essential features in your book, the Husquvarna might be a better choice for you.

The Long and Short of It

singer one sewing machine rear view

The SINGER One is a powerful, versatile, easy-to-use sewing machine. It’s suitable for a wide variety of users and purposes. And we love its fun, vintage-inspired design.

If you’re looking for a first sewing machine, or a reliable sewing machine for general purpose use, the SINGER One is definitely one to consider.

review singer one sewing machine

Check out our other sewing machine reviews

Just like the SINGER One, we’ve reviewed and researched countless other sewing machines in order to give you a true insight into what you’ll get when you lay down your hard-earned cash.

If the SINGER One isn’t for you, or you feel as though you need to check out some other devices before making your final decision, head over to our sewing machine reviews page here.

REFERENCES

  1. Manuals Lib | Helpful Messages, System Error – Singer One Instruction Manual | https://www.manualslib.com/manual/461355/Singer-One.html?page=58#manual

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