Finding a versatile and high-quality sewing machine for at-home use is essential for folks serious about their sewing. It is also challenging to find a sewing machine that does it all without spending a lot of money. We looked at one of the most popular, well-rounded machines to see if it is up to all the hype. The Singer 9960 has been a favorite for serious at-home sewists for a while, and after having a good look at it, we are won over.
What Is the Singer 9960 Sewing Machine?
The Singer 9960 is a portable, computerized, 100-volt sewing machine with a multitude of features to make any project easier. It is meant for home, not industrial, use; but it sure has us fooled. This sewing machine can handle the most delicate projects of silk, hem your jeans, or sew layers of leather upholstery. It can handle free motion quilting, embroidery, and applique alike. This Singer has so many automatic features that you will be left thinking only about your project while the machine does the rest.
This little machine runs at adjustable speeds, with the ability to move at up to 850 stitches per minute. It has a built-in auto threader to thread a needle to a bobbin in no time. The needle rest’s up or down feature is great for free motion quilting, corners, and applique. The speed control lets you set the right pace for the project at hand. The top side drop-in bobbin is easy to see and to use. The thread trimmer cuts top and bottom thread for you at the push of a button.
With an internal skeleton of heavy-duty metal, the Singer 9960 is a study machine meant for pros at an affordable price. It features two bright LED work area lights, an automatic locking stitch function, horizontal threading, direct select stitch selection buttons, built-in reverse, extra-high presser foot lift, automatic presser foot pressure control, automatic tension settings,7-segment feeding system, automatic bobbin winding clutch, and a center zigzag taper.
Over 600 built-in stitches and five alphanumeric fonts are just the beginning with this sewing machine. Also, 13 single step buttonholes can be used with the included foot and plate. Stitch selection is natural thanks to the large print LCD push-button display on the front panel, with the most common eight stitches upfront.
Stitches can be mirrored and elongated for more options. There are dedicated basic stitches you will use every day, decorative stitches for the individual projects and knit stitches. Mixing lettering and stitches give you an almost endless number of options for your projects. The electronic twin needle settings adjust the stitches’ width for double needle sewing with fancy stitches.
The Singer 9960 includes 18 different presser feet stored right under the free arm: all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot with underplate, button sewing foot, zipper foot, blind hem foot, satin stitch foot, open toe foot, darning and embroidery foot, overcasting foot, rolled hem foot, straight stitch and quilting foot, even feed or walking foot, narrow hem foot, cording foot, welt cording foot, braiding foot, clear piping foot, stitch in the ditch foot fancy trim foot, and adjustable bias binder foot.
As if 18 presser feet were not sufficient, the Singer 9960 comes with plenty of other accessories. An included extension table gives you enough space for large projects. Needles, class 15 bobbins, a seam ripper, lint brush, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, two screwdrivers, two-spool caps, a seam guide, and a quilting bar. A clearance plat and shank for the presser feet are also included.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar sewing machines available on the market to see how they compare.
- Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine
- Brother ST150HDH Strong and Tough Computerized Sewing Machine
- Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine
Ease of Use
The automatic features, user-friendly display, and clear instructions make this machine very easy to use.
This sewing making covers all of your sewing needs from lacework to quilting.
The Singer 9960 has an all-metal frame, high-quality motor design, and intelligently integrated automatic features.
You get a limited 25-year warranty on the sewing machine head, a limited 5-year warranty on the motors, light assembly, switches, wiring, electronics, and speed control; and a limited one-year warranty on repairs for adjustments, rings, belts, attachments, and bulbs.
- Everything included
- Works for all kinds of projects
- Smart automatic features
- Great warranty
- Easy to use
- Beginner and pro friendly
- Weight is 20 pounds
Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine
The Bernette 35 is a mechanical sewing machine for beginners. It uses traditional knobs for stitch selection and tension, has 23 stitches and a one-step buttonhole function is included. It has a manual needle threader, and the manual thread cutter runs at 860 stitches per minute. The Bernette 35 comes with a few accessories, including bobbins, seam ripper, screwdriver, needles, and seven presser feet.
Ease of Use
The Bernette 35 works well for what it does, but it lacks the auto features we love in the Singer 9960.
The Bernette 35 is a primary machine that will work well for simple at-home sewing. It will not tackle complicated projects.
Bernette maintains quality in all of its products.
The warranty on the Bernette 35 Swiss Design Sewing Machine is a 25-year limited warranty backed by a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- Works well on thick fabrics
- Manual functions are simple to use
- High-quality brand
- Sometimes difficult to thread
- Too simple for more than beginning sewists
Brother ST150HDH Strong and Tough Computerized Sewing Machine
The Brother ST150HDH is a computerized sewing machine comparable to the Singer 9960 we reviewed here. It doesn’t have the hundreds of stitches the Singer does, but it does have dozens of built-in stitches and will sew multiple layers of fabrics of different types. It has a large LCD back-lit display, a large workspace. It has a variety of accessories which include needles, bobbin sets, and nine sewing feet. Brother also has many of the same automatic features as the Singer we reviewed, and it is comparable in price.
Ease of Use
A little more complicated than other computerized machines, but excellent customer support is there to help you learn.
This is a well-rounded machine that functions for a variety of projects.
We were impressed with the design quality, which is what you’d expect from this well-known brand.
Brother offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for the entire sewing machine, five years for the circuit boards, and 25 years warranty on the motor.
- Works for all fabric types and thicknesses
- Abundance of stitches
- Great accessories
- Variable speed and power
- Adaptable for pros
- Complicated for newbies
Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine
Another primary multi-function machine, the Janome Sewist 500 is made for beginners. It has 25 built-in stitches, an auto needle threader, a free arm, adjustable presser feet, a hard case for storage, and all the accessories you need to get started. The Sewist 500 relies on simple dials for adjustments but does have conveniences like top-loading bobbins. Costing more than the Singer 9960, but including far less, this machine doesn’t steal our spot for favorite.
Ease of Use
It is easy to use but lacks auto features that make modern machines a dream.
This machine functions well for basic sewing needs at home.
Janome, usually a quality brand, disappointed us with a model that often requires return or repair.
Like many other machines, this one has a 25-year warranty on the parts that matter.
- Decent basic machine
- Noisy gears grind upon starting up
- Not as durable as we expected
Singer has been making sewing machines since sewing machines existed. Their quality and experience show in the SInger 9960. This is an affordable, reliable machine that is easy to use and will work for almost any home project you can dream up. We give it 5 out of 5 stars.