My Review of the Brother LS14

Review of the Brother LS14

Alexandra's Quick Notes

The Brother LS14 is a very popular machine, which is excellent value for money at its current price.

It is an entry-level machine, which means that it has a fairly limited selection of stitches, but this makes it a great choice for beginners and for simple projects.

The Pros

  • Good for beginners
  • Unbeatable price
  • Zipper foot included

The Cons

  • Limited built-in stitches
  • Fixed stitch lengths and widths
  • Average motor power
 

Brother LS14 Overview

First released in January 2011, the LS14 is one of the most popular entry-level sewing machines available in the UK. It is a relatively small machine which really is excellent for beginners as it is easy to use.

In fact it is so easy to use that I often recommend it for children! But it is great for adults too! It is also one of the cheapest machines out there, and is really good value for money.

How Does it Compare?

I have compared the features of the Brother LS14 to some other sewing machines in the same price range in the table below.

ModelBrother LS14 Sewing Machine
Brother LS14
John Lewis JL110 Sewing Machine
John Lewis JL110
Singer Promise 1409 Sewing Machine
Singer Promise 1409
Singer Model 1507 Sewing Machine
Singer Model 1507
Tesco Ej09 Sewing Machine
Tesco Ej09
Price Check Price
on Amazon.co.uk
Check Price
at JohnLewis.com
Check Price
on Amazon.co.uk
Check Price
on Amazon.co.uk
-
Stitches 14 14 9 8 19
Buttonhole 4-step 4-step 4 Step 4-step 4-step
Dimensions
(H x W x D)
37 x 44 x 19 cm 33 x 44 x 22 cm 32 x 40 x 18 cm 35 x 44 x 22 cm 33 x 38 x 17 cm
Bobbin Type Top Load Front Load Front Load Front Load Top Load
Weight 6.0 kg 6.0 kg 4.9 kg 7.5 kg 6.1 kg
Motor Power 50 W 85 W 70 W 85 W -
Presser Feet Included All Purpose Foot
Buttonhole Foot
Zipper Foot
All Purpose Foot
Buttonhole Foot
All Purpose Foot
Buttonhole Foot
Zipper Foot
Button Sewing Foot
All Purpose Foot
Buttonhole Foot
Zipper Foot
Button Sewing Foot
All Purpose Foot
Buttonhole Foot
Zipper Foot
Button Sewing Foot
Other Accessories Included - Seam Ripper
Darning Plate
Seam Ripper
Edge/Quilting Guide
Darning Plate
Seam Ripper
Seam Guide
Darning Plate
Seam Ripper
Seam Guide
Darning Plate

One drawback of the Brother LS14 is that it does not have dials for controlling stitch length and width, which can only be adjusted by selecting the appropriate stitches which are pre-set to fixed values. This results in a rather poor selection of stitches, as all but 2 of the 14 stitches are for straight or zig zag stitches with different widths and lengths. As you begin working on more varied projects you are likely to feel limited by what the machine offers. The different stitches this machine offers are discussed further down this page.

Brother LS14
The Brother LS14 in action

The Details

Bobbin System and Needle Plate

The bobbin system is top-loading, which sets it apart from most other beginner machines which are usually front-loading, although it is usually a matter of personal preference as to which system to go for. I prefer a top-loading bobbin system as it means I can keep an eye on the bobbin at all times!

The needle plate is shown in the picture below.

Brother LS14 Bobbin and Needle Plate
The Brother LS14 drop-in bobbin system and needle plate

The Motor

The machine has a 50W motor, which is on the low side compared to some other beginner sewing machines I have reviewed. This means that it is likely to struggle with sewing thicker fabrics or multiple layers of fabric, and is unlikely to be suitable for upholstery projects. If you do decide the take on some heavier fabrics, make sure you are using the most suitable needle type!

Freehand Stitching?

Unfortunately the feed dogs on the Brother LS14 cannot be lowered and as such a darning plate must be purchased separately in order to do any freehand stitching. You will also need a suitable presser foot.

Similar Models

Brother have released a number of models which are very similar to the Brother LS14, such as the confusingly named L14S and L14 models! These are very similar to the LS14, and really only differ in the design of the chassis. You can read more about them in a post about the differences between the Brother LS14, L14 and L14S Models.

Accessories

In addition to needles and bobbins, the Brother LS14 comes with the following accessories:

  • All Purpose Foot
  • Buttonhole Foot
  • Zipper Foot

It is a shame that a darning plate is not included as a standard accessory and must be purchased separately.

Stitches

The following stitches are available with the Brother LS14:

Brother LS14 Stitches
The 14 stitches available with the Brother LS14

Because stitch length and width cannot be controlled using dials on the LS14, the large number of the 14 available stitches are variations of basic straight stitches with different stitch lengths and needle positions, or zigzag stitches with different widths. As well as those are a blind hem stitch, an elastic stitch and a stretch blind hem stitch. For comparison the Tesco Ej09 sewing machine in the same price range offers a much wider range of stitches.

The following straight stitch lengths are available: 1.6mm, 1.8mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm and 4.0mm. The length of reverse stitches is also fixed at 2.0mm.

Similar Sewing Machines

Singer Promise 1409
Singer Promise 1409
Singer Model 1507
Singer Model 1507
Janome 525S
Janome 525S

17 thoughts on “My Review of the Brother LS14

  1. I am interested in buying a machine to sew Textiline for sunbeds. It seems a terrible waste to throw away sunbeds when the only thing wrong is the material, the frames are as good as new, I can buy Textiline OK, and I’ve had the mats made up for me in the past and they have been just fine. But now I want to sew the mats myself. I’ve no interest in making up clothes. I use a heavy duty thread that is UV proof, and obviously the thread has to be strong to support the weight of people sitting on the sunbeds. Would this machine be suitable?

  2. Hi Alexandra,

    Thanks for the review, it very useful! I just started doll collecting as a hobby and I’d like to create clothes for them, so fairly small. I have no background in sewing, so I’d be starting from scratch. I live in a fairly small space so I don’t want a big or heavy machine. Do you recommend this one of have any models you think would be more appropriate? Thanks !

  3. My OH just bought me the LS14S. I am having terrible trouble putting the bobbin in the right place. When I put it in and take it through the ‘hook’ , is the thread supposed to be seen over the top of the bobbin? I am a total beginner and very lost !!

  4. Hi, I wanted to purchase this machine to make guinea pig bedding. Is it capable of stitching 3 layers of polar fleece together?

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