Are old sewing machines better than new ones in 2023? No, but why?

Are old sewing machines better than new ones

A sewing machine is an extremely handy home appliance, but what if you don’t know which one to pick, old or new? 

Therefore, I have come across a common question, are old sewing machines better than new ones? To comprehend this, I have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both old and new sewing machines. 

This way, you can easily understand which one is right for you. But let me tell you I like New Sewing Machines because they are packed with the latest features and are too fast. 

Difference Between Old/Vintage and New Sewing Machines

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Old / Vintage sewing machine
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New / Modern sewing machine
  • Vintage Sewing Machines: they are made before 1950 and are also known as OLD sewing machines. 
  • An old sewing machine doesn’t mean it is faulty; rather, it shows how far back manufacturers made it. 
  • Old sewing machines lack all the modern features like LCD screens, stitch options, embroidery capabilities, etc. 
  • New Sewing Machines: they were first developed after 1970 with new features, speed, performance, and accessories that shaped the sewing world. 
  • New sewing machines always have seen progress in their specifications from the beginning. 
  • Therefore, now we have sewing machines for embroidery, quilting, all-purpose, etc. 

Let’s compare both in detail to know which wins and which loses.

Advantages of New Sewing machines

They are fast

Engineers developed sewing machines to complete a whole sewing project for a dress within an hour. 

Domestic sewing machines usually have a speed of 650 to 1000 stitches per minute; that means they can make ten stitches per minute, which is impossible with old-fashioned machines. Industrial sewing machines can now have 1600 SPM or more for mass production.

They are packed with features

Modern sewing machines have many helpful features that make them the first priority for buyers. 

New sewing machines have basic and advanced features like; 

  • LCD screen.
  • Computerised abilities.
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connection (in most high-end models)
  • Buttonhole features.
  • Needle threader and trimmer.
  • On/off switch.
  • Automatic stitch length and width regulator.
  • Presser foot pressure adjustment.
  • Quilting system.
  • Embroidery capabilities.
  • And much more…

Plenty of stitch options

Sewers want their sewing machines to have plenty of stitch options; luckily, new sewing machines offer a wide range of options. 

A typical beginner or intermediate sewing machine has at least 60 stitches, which is fantastic. However, advanced sewing machines can have as many as 1000. 

You will get lots of accessories

Unlike old sewing machines, when you buy the latest new machines, you will get plenty of useful accessories that will make your work easier. 

You will now get accessories like;

They are versatile

With new sewing machines, you can do more than just regular sewing. You can use them for embroidery, quilting, sewing multiple layers of fabrics, automotive industries, and much more. 

They are powerful

Unlike old sewing machines, modern sewing machines are powered by electric motors and operated by foot pedals. 

Therefore, the more influential the motor, the more powerful your sewing machine. 

Sewing machines operated by hand could exhaust people, but sewing machines that use motors can last a long time. 

They are computer-controlled

In mega industries, there are plenty of sewing machines controlled by computers. The machine will perform according to the settings you select on a computer. 

Disadvantages of new sewing machines

They are expensive

Prices of new sewing machines are high compared to old models. The average price may range from 100 USD for entry-level models to 25000 USD for high-end models. 

In most cases, the cost of a new sewing machine may be higher than that of a new car. 

They are big 

Due to their all-metal bodies, old sewing machines were compact but heavy. Nowadays, sewing machines are too big, and their size may make it difficult for homeowners to store them in their rooms. Due to the size of sewing machines, finding the best sewing machine tables can also take time and effort. 

They are fabrics-specific

New sewing machines are relatively fabric-specific, which means they can sew specific fabrics. 

Here’s an example. If you want to buy a sewing machine for fashion designing, it will work better for it and, in a few cases, can be used for other works. 

They need regular maintenance

New sewing machines are made of metal, plastic, and aluminum with plenty of wires and other internal parts which need frequent maintenance. 

You need your sewing machine to be serviced once a year. That may cost you almost $100 depending on what type of machine you have and where you get it serviced. 

Advantages of old/vintage sewing machines

They are cost-effective

The first plus point of old/vintage sewing machines is their price. YES, they are comparatively more cost-effective than the new best sewing machines. 

Well, it depends on the type and brand of sewing machines, but on average, you can find them for $50 to $500. However, the price may reach thousands of dollars if the machine is unique or extremely rare.

They are made of tougher materials

Vintage sewing machines are made of pure metal without mixing any impurities, so they are sturdy and will last for years. They are designed with premium metal, superior wood cabinets, rigid needles, presser feet, shafts, cranks, and other internal and external elements.

Furthermore, as they are not electronic and operated by hand, they will not require special maintenance such as fixing wires, connecting to electricity, motor problems, etc.; they are too straightforward, which is why they will last a long time. 

They are easy to use

As I said, vintage or old sewing machines were made 50 years ago, and engineers used to manufacture sewing machines pretty straightforwardly without adding fancy add-ons like screens, USB ports, stitch options, buttons, etc. 

They can sew tougher fabrics

All modern sewing machines cannot sew tough fabrics except industrial and heavy-duty sewing machines. However, old sewing machines can sew tough fabrics easily. 

Because no one has the luxury of having several types of sewing machines, they added all the features to a single piece as best as possible.

Disadvantages of old/vintage sewing machines

They offer limited stitch options

Nowadays, fabrics and dress designs have evolved, and people prefer different dresses. The sewing machine should have at least 60 stitch options to make different designs. 

But vintage sewing machines only have straight, stretch, or sometimes zigzag stitches, which are limited. As a result, they are not versatile. 

They are only suitable for some fabrics

As I mentioned in the advantages section, old sewing machines can sew more rigid fabrics, but this does not mean they can embroider, quilt, do double stitches, or create other designs. 

Unlike modern sewing machines, old sewing machines cannot sew different fabrics professionally due to their lack of features and limited stitch options. 

They sew at a slower pace

Due to the manual operation of old sewing machines, completing a project on time can take a lot of work. Due to the fast pace of today’s world, old sewing machines with low speed are not preferred. 

They are not feature-rich

Features can make sewing more accessible, but old sewing machines don’t have many features that today’s sewers or fabrics need. 

Therefore, nowadays, most sewers, especially those whose work is too intensive, don’t prefer old sewing machines due to their lack of automatic features such as needle threading, quick bobbin winder, thread trimming, LCD screen, embroidery and quilting capabilities, advanced stitch length and width adjusters, etc. 

They are only found in some places

Nowadays, it is hard to find old sewing machines except in a few retail shops or on online platforms like eBay or Etsy

Except for a few models, old sewing machines are unavailable on Amazon. You must do plenty of research to find the best vintage sewing machines. 

So which one is the best, Old or New?

Are old sewing machines better than new ones?

After telling you the advantages and disadvantages of both machines, you can now easily say which is the best. 

This is what I say….. 

I will say New Sewing Machines are better than old ones and can easily be the winner here. Because they are versatile, feature-rich, durable, stylish, and have more stitch options, etc. 

However, Vintage Sewing Machines are more durable and will last longer than new ones. 


Are old sewing machines better than new ones? The new ones. Because they have more specifications and provide users with more options, old sewing machines are durable and can withstand wear and tear. Further, it is up to you. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Are old sewing machines more feature-rich than new ones?

Unlike old sewing machines, new machines have more features, such as Stith options, LCD screens, smooth dials, thread tension regulators, automatic needle threaders, etc.

Can I sew different fabrics with old sewing machines?

It is impossible to sew all fabrics with old sewing machines because they only have a few features.

Which sewing machine should I buy, old or new?

A new sewing machine is a worthwhile investment if you plan to sew professionally for a long time. The older models can, however, be used for part-time sewing if you are sewing for fun.

Are new sewing machines more durable than old ones?

Because old sewing machines are made of all metal, with durable parts such as needles, presser feet, bobbin, etc., they will last much longer than new ones.