Are computerized sewing machines better than manual ones in speed and efficiency?

Are Computerized Sewing Machines Better than Manual Sewing Machines: Which One is Best for You? In the world of sewing, the tools you use can make a big difference. One of the biggest tools? The sewing machine. It’s been around since the 19th century and has changed a lot over the years. Today, many people wonder if computerized sewing machines are better than manual ones when it comes to speed and efficiency.

People sewed everything by hand, which took a lot of time. The first sewing machines in the 1800s made things much faster. By the 20th century, we had electric machines that were even quicker and more consistent. Today, we have computerized sewing machines that combine sewing with digital tech.

Let’s go into details…

Comparison Table: Computerized vs Manual sewing machine

Here’s a table comparing computerized and manual sewing machines based on various factors:

Comparison CriteriaComputerized Sewing MachinesManual Sewing Machines
Brother 165 Sewing and Quilting Machine, Computerized
SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine
What’s It’s a sewing machine but with a computer inside! This means it can do things like store many stitch patterns, adjust settings with the touch of a button, and even guide users with on-screen help. It makes sewing easier, especially for complicated projects or if you’re new to sewing. read more What’s a Computerized Sewing Machine?Manual, or mechanical, sewing machines don’t have computer parts. Everything is adjusted by hand using knobs or dials. They’re straightforward and let you feel more connected to the sewing process. If you like hands-on work and simplicity, these machines are great.
SpeedOften faster and maintain a consistent speed.Speed depends on the user, generally not as fast.
Stitch ChoicesOffer many pre-set stitches.Limited options; stitches are changed manually.
Setting UpAutomatic setup features, e.g., automatic threading.More manual setup is required by the user.
ProjectsBest for complex tasks due to diverse stitch options.Ideal for simple projects.
Ease of UseFeature screens and buttons for guidance.Hands-on, direct approach without digital interfaces.
PriceTend to be pricier due to advanced tech.Generally more budget-friendly.
PortabilityOften heavier due to electronic components.Simpler, lighter, and easier to transport.
Power SourceRequire electricity or batteries; can’t operate during power outages.Operate without electronic power, ensuring no interruptions from outages.

When choosing a sewing machine, consider what you prioritize: speed, versatility, or perhaps a hands-on connection to the craft. Both computerized and manual machines have strengths and limitations. Reflect on your sewing goals, and pick the machine that aligns best with your needs. 

Are computerized sewing machines faster and more efficient than manual ones? Let's see!

1. Clothes Factories:

What’s Going On?: Imagine big factories making tons of clothes every day. They need things done fast and perfectly.

Computerized Machines: They are the go-to choice here. Why?

  • Speed: These machines can stitch super-fast without taking breaks.
  • Automatic Features: They can do cool stuff like cutting threads by themselves or changing stitch styles quickly.
  • Consistency: Every shirt or dress looks the same because the machine does everything uniformly.

Real Example: Big clothing brands, like Gap or Nike, often use computerized machines in their factories. This helps them make loads of clothes quickly and make sure each one looks just right.

2. Fancy Stitching Work:

What’s Going On?: Think about detailed designs on clothes, like a beautiful bird or flower pattern. Or maybe a quilt with a cool design that repeats all over.

Computerized Machines: They shine here, too!

  • Designs: You can tell the machine to repeat a design, and it’ll do it without mistakes.
  • Precision: If you’re doing something detailed, like putting a company logo on shirts, this machine makes sure each one looks the same.

Real Story: Let’s talk about a lady named Susan. She makes quilts for a living. She used to do everything by hand, but when she switched to a computerized machine, she started finishing her quilts way faster. Plus, all the designs looked perfect every time.

3. Learning to Sew:

What’s Going On?: When people learn to sew, they often start with the basics.

Manual Machines: These are like the old-school, classic machines.

  • Hands-On: When you use a manual machine, you can “feel” the sewing more. It’s like learning to drive with a stick-shift car. You really get how it works.
  • Simple: There aren’t fancy buttons or screens. It’s just you, the fabric, and the machine.

Real Example: Think about a place where people go to learn sewing, like a community college or a craft store class. Beginners often start with manual machines. It’s like learning to ride a bike with training wheels. Once they get the hang of it, some might move on to the fancier computerized ones.

So, which one is better?

Well, it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re making loads of clothes or doing detailed designs, computerized machines might be the way to go. But if you’re just starting out or you enjoy the old-school way of sewing, manual machines are great. It’s all about what works best for you!

Let’s see some examples of models…

If you’re making loads of clothes or doing detailed designs,

Computerized Machines:

Model: Brother SE1900

  • Why It’s Cool: This machine is like the Swiss army knife of sewing machines. It can do sewing, quilting, and even embroidery.
  • Features: It’s got 138 built-in embroidery designs, 240 built-in stitches, and a big color touchscreen to see and choose your designs.
  • Best For Those who are into both sewing and embroidery, especially if they’re running a small business from home.

Model: Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

  • Why It’s Cool: Singer is a well-known name in the sewing world, and this model packs a punch with speed and versatility.
  • Features: It offers 600 built-in stitches, an automatic thread cutter, and a bunch of automatic features that make sewing faster and easier.
  • Best For: Advanced sewers who want a lot of options without spending hours on setup.

If you’re starting out or like the classic feel of sewing:

Manual Machines:

Model: Singer Heavy Duty 4452

  • Why It’s Cool: As the name suggests, it’s a workhorse. Built tough, this machine is simple but powerful.
  • Features: It has 32 built-in stitches which is plenty for starters and even for some advanced projects. It’s also got a strong motor, so it sews faster than other beginner machines.
  • Best For: Beginners and those who want a reliable machine without too many confusing features.

Model: Janome HD3000

  • Why It’s Cool: Janome is known for making robust machines, and this one is a favorite among many who want a dependable manual machine.
  • Features: It offers 18 built-in stitches and a one-step buttonhole, and it’s built to handle thicker fabrics too.
  • Best For Those who like a mix of basic and advanced features in a sturdy, non-computerized machine.

In the end, it’s about what you need. Both types of machines have models that are excellent in their category. Computerized ones tend to have more features and automation, while manual ones give you that classic, hands-on sewing experience. Choose based on what feels right for your sewing journey!

Related: What is the Difference Between a Computerized and Mechanical Sewing Machine?

Comparing Speed and Efficiency

In the world of sewing, both speed and efficiency play pivotal roles in determining the success of a project. When considering manual vs computerized sewing machines, these factors become especially salient.


Computerized sewing machines typically hold the edge in terms of sheer speed. Designed with digital precision, they can maintain a consistent pace, sometimes stitching at a rate of over a thousand stitches per minute.

In contrast, manual machines‘ speed often depends on the user’s dexterity and the machine’s mechanics. While seasoned users might approach similar speeds on a well-maintained manual machine, it’s challenging to match the relentless pace of a computerized counterpart. For tasks requiring rapid stitch sequences or extensive fabric lengths, the computerized machine is often the winner.


In the sewing realm, efficiency implies maximizing output with minimal effort and time while maintaining quality. Computerized sewing machines, with their automated features, dramatically streamline the sewing process. Select a stitch pattern, adjust its length or width with a button press, and watch as the machine replicates it flawlessly across your fabric.

However, manual machines, in tasks demanding tactile feedback – like sewing thick fabrics or layers – might offer an edge in control and ‘feel’. Yet, on the whole, the array of automated features in computerized machines often translates to heightened efficiency.

Advantages of Computerized Sewing Machines

Preset Stitches and Patterns: One of the standout features of computerized sewing machines is the library of preset stitches and patterns. Users can seamlessly switch between intricate embroidery stitches to basic construction ones, offering versatility and creativity.

Automatic Settings: Gone are the days of manual threading or tension adjustments. Computerized machines frequently come equipped with automatic needle threaders, tension controls, and even bobbin winders, simplifying the preparatory steps of sewing.

Memory and Project Saving: Some advanced machines allow users to save particular stitch sequences or designs, perfect for repetitive projects or for maintaining consistency across different sewing sessions.

Consistency: With computerized precision, these machines promise uniformity. Whether it’s the stitch quality, size, or speed, users can expect a consistent output each time.

Advanced Features: The integration of LCD screens offers real-time feedback and easy adjustments. Some machines even allow connectivity to design software, opening doors to customized embroidery and design projects.

Read More

Advantages of Manual Sewing Machines

Durability: Manual sewing machines, built of solid metal components, often stand the test of time. With fewer electronic components, they’re less susceptible to certain kinds of wear and tear.

Tactile Experience: For many, sewing is as much about the ‘feel’ as it is about the final product. Manual machines offer an unparalleled tactile connection with the fabric, giving the user a sense of control.

Less Overhead: Without digital interfaces or software to learn, users can jump straight into sewing after understanding the machine’s basic mechanics.

Maintenance: With straightforward mechanical parts, manual or non-computerized machines can be easier to maintain and repair, especially in regions where advanced electronic parts might be hard to source.

Real-life Scenarios: Where Each Type Excels

Quick Projects: For quick fixes or straightforward projects, manual or non-computerized machines, with their direct setup, might be preferred. However, computerized machines can equally shine, especially if the stitch pattern is pre-set.

Complex Projects: When precision, a variety of stitches, and consistent quality are required, computerized machines often take the lead.

Bulk or Repetitive Tasks: The memory features of computerized machines make them ideal for repetitive tasks, ensuring consistency across the board.

Unique or One-off Projects: For projects where adaptability is key, both machine types have their strengths. While computerized machines offer design and stitch variety, manual machines provide tactile adaptability.

Are computerized sewing machines better than manual ones in speed and efficiency?


Revisiting our central query, “Are computerized sewing machines better than manual ones in speed and efficiency?”, it’s clear there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Computerized machines, with their array of features, often dominate in speed and modern efficiency.

Yet, the timeless manual machine still has its niche, especially for purists or specific project types. Ultimately, the ideal choice hinges on individual preferences, needs, and project specifics. As we’ve explored, both have unique strengths. The challenge (and joy) lies in identifying which aligns best with your sewing aspirations.

Photo: Amazon