Best Leather Sewing Machines for Beginners

by Jesse Luginbuhl // updated on: February 23, 2023

Budding embroiderers and upholsterers will find a leather sewing machine very indispensable for developing and honing needlecraft and tapestry skills. As a beginner upholsterer without much sewing experience, you’ll find stitching on leather a tall order and remarkably demanding.  You cannot pin down leather as easily as say cotton or nylon, especially if you’re sewing with your hands.

However a good-quality and sturdy leather sewing machine renders the task of stitching thicker and tougher materials easier, letting you execute your projects comfortably and speedily. You’ll come across a variety of leather sewing machines designed by and large for use by beginners for home-based projects. A sewing machine with a walking foot tends to be perfectly suitable for beginners and novice upholsterers.

In this ‘best leather sewing machines for beginners’ we compare and contrast five quality products compatible for using both in domestic and commercial/industrial environments.   

Product Reviews

Singer Sew Mate 5400 Handy Sewing Machine

If you’re looking for a high-quality leather sewing machine for completing your upholstery and embroidery projects then you can bank on the Singer Sew Mate 5400. You’ll simply enjoy working on a wide range and variety of needlework projects, thanks to the 4 wholly automatic 1-step buttonholes, and 60 integrated stitches. On the other hand, you get good leeway in adjusting the needle’s position in accordance with the requirements of your projects.

The internal frame shaped out of solid hardwearing metal ensures stable sewing, relieving you from the worry of missing stitches. Additionally, the strong metal frame guarantees that this handy sewing machine from Singer will stay functional for years. The built-in ‘automatic reverse’ button at the sewing machine’s front   aids in stitching backward as well as helps strengthen stitches.

The ‘push button stitch selection’ feature together with the Stitch Guide in the owner’s manual allows you to select your preferred stitch with precision. A DVD illustrating how to make the most of the Singer Sew Mate 5400 also comes with the package enabling you to start work right away. The numerous in-built stitches that this sewing machine offers lets you handle various sewing projects such as quilting, fashion sewing, decorative sewing, and much more.


  • Automatic needle threader for effortless needle threading and preventing eye strain
  • Includes 60 distinct stitch patterns
  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • Free arm
  • Push button stitch selector
  • 25-year limited warranty


  • Includes an array of accessories and components such as zipper foot, all-purpose foot, spool pin, and more
  • Needle can be adjusted in 13 distinct positions
  • Stitch width up to 6.5mm
  • Automatic reverse mechanism for reverse stitching


  • Not quite suitable for sewing on multiple layers of moderate-to-heavy fabrics
  • Users have complained that the thread bunches leading to stitches turning into bird’s nest

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REX RX-607 Portable Walking Foot Sewing Machine

The REX RX-607 sewing machine with walking foot is one of the most affordable sewing machines that can effectively sew several layers of leather and canvas. At the same time you can use this portable sewing machine for stitching, hemming, seaming, and upholstering on softer fabrics. The RX-607 features a compact design which enables you to use and store the sewing machine in a small room.

If you’re looking for an industrial-grade sewing machine that can work effortlessly on heavier and tough materials but cannot afford an expensive model, then buy the REX RX-607. RX607 is a sewing machine cased in an all-metal frame offering durability and reliability. The portable sewing machine offers sturdiness and power with its 110-volt motor.

The RX607 comes encased in a full-metal frame that goes a long way in making this sewing machine handy, durable, and resilient. Integrated and reinforced with an 110V Servo motor, this sewing machine can effortlessly deal with any type of embroidery project. You can customize your stitching project thanks to the 30mm needle bar stroke and the maximum stitch width of 6mm.

The RX607 exploits a ‘skip stitch’ technology allowing you to impart up to 1200 stitches to the fabric, eventually letting you complete projects quickly. An integrated foot pedal control along with the powerful motor makes sure that you’re able to accomplish your sewing assignments without sacrificing quality.    


  • Vintage-quality mechanical sewing machine
  • Includes walking foot
  • Built-in robust 110/115V, 1/10HP 900 RPM motor
  • Durable cast iron frame


  • Ideal sewing machine for small embroidery firms, boat owners, and professional upholsterers
  • Produces both straight and zigzag stitches
  • bed size of 14.5” x 7” and underarm space of 7” x 4.5” makes for convenient storage  


  • Factory setting of this sewing machine leaves much to be desired
  • Weighing 34 pounds the machine is unduly heavy

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Reliable 4000SW Walking Foot Leather Sewing Machine

Another top-quality, affordable, and durable sewing machine that users can press into service for working on leather-based projects is the 4000SW from Reliable. You can use the 4000SW Walking Foot Leather Sewing Machine for creating straight stitches on medium-to-heavy materials such as canvas, upholstery, and leather. The elevated presser foot works in conjunction with the potent feeding mechanism and the wide stitch span, letting you complete your work speedily and easily. 

Even a beginner can comfortably use the versatile and user-friendly Reliable 4000SW leather sewing machine for executing a variety of projects. You do not need to be a professional upholsterer for modifying the stitch’s length using the dial regulator or achieving the impeccable back staple. Featuring a reverse lever system, the 4000SW makes the entire sewing or embroidery procedure amazingly simple and straightforward and also enjoyable.

This walking foot sewing machine by Reliable features a tabletop made from 100% pure plywood and hardwearing legs that keeps the unit steady while you’re working. You have it remarkably easy when it comes to adding a creative touch to your projects with the Reliable 4000SW.


  • 550W Servo motor
  • Reverse lever function for seamless backstitch
  • Stitch dial regulator allows stitch length’s adjustment in increments of 1mm up to 10mm
  • Comes with a powerful SMD LED light


  • Sewing machine with walking foot, thread stand, tool kit, drawer, and single row feed dog
  • Powerful motor performs silently
  • Perfect for embroidering on synthetic materials, canvas, upholstery fabrics, leather, and canvas
  • Durably designed and constructed


  • Not at all portable
  • If you want a speed-sewing machine look elsewhere
  • You’ve to lubricate the machine manually

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Techsew 2750 PRO Cylinder Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine

Being an industrial-grade sewing machine integrated with a walking foot, the Techsew 2750 Pro Cylinder can sew everything from leather jackets to boat sails. To put things in perspective, you can use this industrial sewing machine for stitching saddlebags, wallets, leather bags and belts, automobile covers, and much more. The Techsew 2750 PRO Cylinder industrial sewing machine will come to your aid if you’re planning to take up large-scale upholstery and hemming projects.

 The 2750 Pro Cylinder sewing machine can easily sew through a range of thick and heavy fabrics such as nylon webbing, canvas, denim, and leather. It comes with an automatic needle position motor to save your effort and time when sewing. The versatile roller guide facilitates turning the fabric with effortless ease as well as helps in achieving straight stitches with precision.


  • Long cylindrical arm (10”)
  • Reverse stitch function
  • Servo motor with adjustable speed
  • Assembled table


  • Compound walking foot with feeding function for sewing heavier and thicker fabrics
  • Compatible for both domestic and industrial use
  • Laser guided sewing mechanism


  • Users may have to make a few adjustments for stitching multiple layers

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Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Plus Sewing Machine

You bet you’ll warm up to the Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Plus Sewing Machine owing to the machine’s versatility and portability. You can make optimum use of this hardwearing sewing machine for upholstering automobile seats, crafting marine sails home décor sewing, and much more. You can use the resourceful Ultrafeed LSZ-1 sewing machine to create straight as well as zigzag stitches even on heavier and tougher fabrics.

Durably and robustly designed, this Sailrite sewing machine can function and perform efficiently even in the most hostile of environments. Highly skilled and experienced embroiderers and upholsterers have used the Ultrafeed Plus for sewing through 8 layers of Dacron sailcloth and 10 layers of heavyweight canvas.


  • Heavyweight leather sewing machine with walking foot
  • Includes an assortment of accessories such as elastic protector strap, Power Plus balance wheel, and robust carry case
  • Up to 600 stitches per minute
  • 2-year limited warranty


  • Durable sewing machine perfect for marine canvas work, automobile upholstery, and home-based projects
  • Produces both zigzag and straight stitches with perfection
  • Flex20 LED light for illuminating workspace


  • Using this sewing machine exclusively for leather upholstering might be impractical considering the unit’s cost
  • Many users have complained that the thread got stuck inside the bobbin casing more often

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Best Leather Sewing Machine: Buying Guide

Leather is a tough, slippery fabric that can be difficult to sew. However, with the right type of sewing machine, you’ll be able to make leather products with ease. If you are looking for such sewing machine, then this is the right place.

Sewing machines designed especially for stitching, embroidering, and hemming on leather, denim, canvas and other chunky fabrics tend to be more durable than standard sewing machines. This buying guide familiarizes you with different types of leather sewing machines and which category is suitable for which leather project. After going through this guide, you’ll also become familiar with the essential features of a quality sewing machine for leather.

Different Types of Leather Sewing Machines

While shopping for a leather sewing machine appropriate for your stitching projects you’ll come across different kinds each type designed uniquely, and having distinct features. Let’s take a close look at the different types of sewing machines for leather:-

Post Bed Sewing Units

Post Bed sewing units are used extensively for making leather items and knickknacks such as curios, trinkets, bags, wallets, and shoes. A post bed leather sewing machine enables you to execute perfect intricate and complex ornamental patterns on leather shoes and boots that cylindrical or flatbed machines cannot. Since post bed leather machines can deliver stitches very closely and with finesse, you can use this leather sewing machine type for creating any leather-based product.   

Cylindrical Sewing Machines

This leather sewing machine type gets its name from the cylinder-shaped arm having a straight and narrow profile. The cylindrical columnar-styled design of the machine’s arm facilitates movement of material around the arm and also underneath it. The ample room beneath the horizontal column allows you to easily stitch large projects as you can move the material around comfortably while sewing.

A cylindrical leather sewing machine is basically an industrial-grade machine which calls for positioning the needle to the right of the arm. At the same time this leather sewing unit uses stronger and heftier threads for imparting stitches to large handbags, saddles, and shoes. Many cylindrical sewing machine models come with a detachable flat table or plate for stable placement of the leather material.             

Flatbed Machines

You could mistake a flatbed leather sewing machine for a regular sewing machine owing to the similarity of their appearance. This leather sewing machine type is so called because its arm and needle go up to the perfectly flat base or bed. It won’t be out of place to mention that a flatbed sewing machine for leather is more of a standard sewing unit with a built-in flat base.

This type of leather sewing machine is most suitable for sewing particular projects such as handbags, clothes, belts, and wallets.

Basic Features of a Leather Sewing Machine

Durable Construction

It does not bear emphasis that you should choose a product made out of heavy-duty materials as you’ll use it for stitching on tough fabrics. At the same time make sure that the machine can be easily serviced and maintained. Also ensure that spare parts will be available just in case. 

Whisper-Quiet Performance

Since leather sewing machines are designed to use with hardwearing fabrics and materials, there’ll always be a level of noise while stitching. That said, you should choose a machine that is capable of functioning without getting too noisy.

Uses a Strong and Steady Power Source

This sewing machine type performs optimally when connected to a strong and steady source of AC power with minimal risks of outage or electrical surge. 


The premium brands of leather sewing machines offer extended warranty valid for several years.

Speed Control

 As a beginner you’ll need to work very methodically and carefully which implies that you’ll need to control the pace of your project. Inability to control the needle’s speed will inevitably lead to ruination of the project and could prove hazardous for you. So it does not need to be emphasized that you for a product that features speed control mechanism.


In this review, we explored the features of five top-quality leather sewing machines-one each from Singer, Sailrite, Techsew, Reliable, and Rex. As Techsew and Sailrite models are industrial-grade leather sewing machines, they’re compatible with using in large settings for stitching automobile seats and covers, full-size bags, and so on. Alternatively, Singer, Rex, and Reliable models are more apt for executing home-based and/or domestic projects.   

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