Alexandra's Quick NotesThe Singer Heavy Duty 4411 is a strong sewing machine, capable of taking on leather, denim and other heavy fabrics where other sewing machines would struggle. Although it has a few minor drawbacks, I recommend it for those who need a bit of extra power. And best of all it is reasonably priced!
Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Overview
With its powerful motor and fast stitch speed, the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 is aimed less at those interested in embroidery or dressmaking and more at those whose projects involve thicker materials, such as denim, leather and upholstery fabrics, or those who want a workhorse which can handle almost anything they throw at it.
I have found that there are limited options on the UK market for heavy duty household sewing machines, so the 4411 is understandably a popular product, bridging the gap between the standard household machine and industrial machines. Launched in early 2012, I can see the 4411 being a go-to affordable heavy duty machine for some time to come.
I would like to point out straight away that machines from Bernina, Husqvarna and Janome are generally of significantly better quality than Singer machines. But they also tend to be a fair bit pricier. So whilst such machines are likely to be be better suited for those with big budgets, the 4411 is great for those with smaller pockets!
I have put together the table below comparing the 4411 with other heavy duty machines, but keep reading for my full review!
Singer Heavy Duty 4411
Singer Heavy Duty 4432
Toyota Super Jeans 34
Janome Memory Craft 6600P
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||40 x 16 x 30.5 cm||47 x 23 x 36 cm||41 x 30 x - cm||49 x 22 x 30 cm|
|Sewing Speed (spm)||1100||1100||-||1000|
|Weight||6.4 kg||6.4 kg||4.9 kg||12.5 kg|
In many ways the motor is the star of the Singer 4411. It is a 105 W motor, which is a fair bit more powerful than other machines in the same price range. Entry level machines typically have a 60 W motor. This means that the 4411 will be able to sew through multiple layers of thick materials such as denim, leather and upholstery fabrics. It is still no match for an industrial machine, but having one of those in your home is not always a practical option! As always, make sure you are using the correct needle for the job!The heavy duty motor also means that the machine is less likely to overheat on long sewing sessions!
Stitch Quality and Speed
In addition to power, the 4411 sets itself apart with its good speed. Capable of up to 1,100 stitches per minute, I have found that even at top speed the machine is very stable and is able to maintain very good stitch quality. Speed control is also fairly good with the foot pedal.
Threading, Bobbin System and Needle Plate
The bobbin system is drop-in/top-loading. This is handy as with the clear plastic cover you can keep an eye on how your bobbin is doing at all times. It is pretty quick the get the machine ready to go once you've had a bit of practice threading the needle and raising the bobbin thread. If you prefer a machine with an auto needle threader, but don't want to sacrifice power, consider the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 or 4432 machines. I have done the work for you and compared the differences between these three machines on this page!
The presser feet are of the snap-on type, and so can be switched easily. Although Singer claims the machine has an "extra-high presser foot lifter" which allows for more space for fabric under the presser foot, the maximum clearance isn't quite as much as I would expect it to be - "extra-high" seems like a bit of an exaggeration..!
The needle plate has standard markings so you can measure out your seam allowance, but they can be a bit hard to make out in low light.
The 4411 allows you to drop the feed dogs using a switch hidden behind the removable accessories storage container. I must admit the first time I used the machine once I had lowered them I struggled to get them back up, and thought I had broken the machine! I am still not sure whether this was my own mistake or a design flaw, but make sure you don't force anything too hard when trying to get the feed dogs back up! Let me know in the comments below if you've had the same issue.
The single LED light is quite small and although it lights up a small area around the needle quite well, the lighting doesn't extend very far. You will probably need additional lighting if you don't get much natural light in your working area.
With it's blocky grey look, the design of the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 announces from first sight that it means business. I really like the design of the machine, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of build.
With regards to physical appearance, the combination of three different shades of grey is appealing and contrasts nicely with the red of the Singer logo. It is not a machine to be immediately hidden away out of sight.
The build quality of the machine is also pretty good. It feels stable, and there are few flimsy or cheap looking parts. Minor details like how the accessories storage container clicks when slid into place are quite satisfying. I particularly like the very sleek stainless steel bed plate. The Singer marketing guff says it is supposed to help with sliding fabric across the machine arm. I am not sure if I buy that, but it certainly gives the machine arm a nice finish! Better than cheap plastic any day.
There are a couple of drawbacks to the design of the machine. I find it a shame that the lever to lift the presser foot is made from cheap white plastic. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and the overall look of the machine would be improved with a metal or chrome-painted lever.
As is so often the case, the quality of the foot pedal is also at odds with the design and quality of the sewing machine. It is made of a plastic which looks and feels rather flimsy and cheap.
All in all though these are only minor grievances for what otherwise I consider to be a well designed machine.
In addition to needles and bobbins, the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 comes with the following accessories:
- All Purpose Foot
- Buttonhole Foot
- Zipper Foot
- Button Sewing Foot
- Dust Cover
This is a reasonably good selection of presser feet, but for a machine in this price range I might expect one or two more.There isn't too much room for anything other than the provided accessories in the storage container, but you should be able to squeeze a few small additional bits and bobs in. As for the dust cover which comes with the machine, it will do the job of keeping dust out of your machine, but not much more than that, as it feels rather fragile and cheap!
The 11 stitches available with the Singer 4411 consist of 6 basic stitches, 4 decorative stitches, and one 4-step buttonhole, as shown in the picture below.
The maximum stitch length is 4mm and the maximum stitch width is 6mm.
If you're after a wider range of stitches, again you may want to consider the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 or Singer Heavy Duty 4432 machines. Kim from Curtain Queen Creates has written a great review of the Singer 44S and Singer 4423 machines.
In recent years Singer have been getting a bit of a reputation for resting on their laurels, bringing average products to the market and relying on the strength and heritage of the brand to sell them.
It is worth noting that the internal components are likely to be less durable than those in equivalent models from Janome, Bernina or Brother. Machines from these brands may be of better quality, but they also come with a steeper price tag!
So there you have it! The Singer 4411 is a solid and generally well designed machine. If you are after something with a bit of power to tackle tough sewing jobs, or a bit of an all rounder, the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 will be perfect for you. If you are interested in a machine with a wide range of stitches, or something which is portable, then it's probably not your cup of tea!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!