Are you buying a new sewing machine? Here’s some advice that can help you get the best one for your needs and situation.

First, think about the budget. What can you afford? If your budget is limited, you shouldn’t look at high-end machines you can never afford. At the same time, be sure to buy the best that you can afford.

You also need to know the number of stitches you require. Successful sewing begins with straight stitches and zigzags. These two are the basics. If the machine allows other types, that’s great, but they aren’t necessary. Only in rare instances will find yourself needing them regularly.

Check if you can adjust the stitch. Width and length adjustments can be invaluable. Some projects require shorter stitches, while others need them longer.

What attachments are you getting out of the deal? If you’re getting a machine to make clothing, you’ll want one that comes with a buttonhole foot built in. A zipper foot and blind hem foot should also be standard. If you’re making quilts, you’ll need a walking foot instead. Know your needs.

Know the size of the motor. A heavier motor means a stronger machine. This means you’ll have an easier time with thick and heavy fabrics, like the ones used in upholstery. Heavier engines mean metal devices, as plastic can’t withstand the forces involved.

The brand makes a difference. Some brands, like Singer and Janome, are more hobby machines than ones for serious work. On the other hand, manufacturers like Juki, Bernina, and Pfaff are high-end ones that start of pricier but are designed for heavy-duty sewing.

In general, the low-end of a good brand or product line is better than the high-end of a bad brand. This is as true for sewing machines as it is for computer processors.

Noise is going to be a concern. If you only sew in the evenings, a loud machine is going to be a bad choice because it sounds like a high-powered drill. Be sure to test the device, preferably in a space that is quiet so you can get a better idea of how much sound it makes.

Do you want it strictly mechanical, or are you okay with computer elements? Touchscreens and programmable sequences are part of modern sewing machines now. Mechanical units are tougher and can handle abuse better. Computerized ones have greater power behind them and have more even lines.