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Brother XL2600i

4ThimblesRATING = 4 THIMBLES

The Brother XL2600i, also known as the “Sew Advanced, Sew Affordable” model, is indeed affordable. It can be purchased for $75 to $150, depending on the retailer. The “Advanced” part of its name is perhaps a stretch however and there are actually many sewing machines that probably deserve the title more – although they tend to be more expensive. However, it’s still a great little machine and is getting solid reviews and ratings from owners.

Consumer Ratings
The XL2600i has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which is based on more than 2,400 consumer ratings. Other retail and review websites consistently give it about 4.5 starts as well.

Consumer Insights
Despite it having some limitations, there are a lot of good things said about the Sew Advanced, Sew Affordable model. Consumers report that the machine is very easy to setup and that one can start using in after only a few minutes. They also tend to agree that the price is definitely affordable.

Common likes and dislikes include the following…

PROS
– It runs quietly.
– It is good for beginner sewing projects and teaching novices to sew.
– It comes with a good group of accessories.
– It is lightweight and easy to transport.

Essentially, this is a great machine for older children or adult beginners to start with. It’s perfect for making pillows and doing other small projects as well. It’s light weight of 11 lbs also means that it can even be taken to friends’ houses, classes, or other locations easily. However, there are some issues.

CONS
– Manual can be difficult to understand
– There are occasional problems with the lower thread looping.
– The machine is said to not handle thicker fabrics well.
– The thread spindle doesn’t hold larger spools.
– A small percentage of consumers claimed that their machines broke down after only a few projects

You can read more consumer reviews on Amazon if you want.

For those who are just starting out with this model, there are plenty of tutorials – such as the following – that can help.

Features
Following are some of the key features that you’ll find on the Brother XL2600i.

– 25 Built-In Stitches
– 59 Stitch Functions
– 5 Accessory Presser Feet
– Easy Stitch Selector
– Light Bulb for Working in Dimly lit Areas
– Built-In Accessory Storage
– Easy Threading System
– Free Arm
– Jam-Resistant Drop-In Bobbin
– 4mm Stitch Width
– 5mm Stitch Length
– Automatic Needle Threader
– Electronic Speed Control
– Dial Tension Control
– Quick Change Presser Feet
– Forward and Reverse Sewing
– Variable Needle Position
– Built-In Accessory Storage
– Built-In Handle

Brother XL2600I Stitches

25 stitches shown on the front panel of the sewing machine

There are several accessories that come with this sewing machine. These accessories include five presser feet – the button sewing foot, buttonhole foot, blind stitch foot, narrow hemmer foot, and zipper foot. It also comes with a darning plate, extra spool pin, needle pack, twin needle, bobbins, and a screwdriver. All of those are easily tucked away into the machine’s built-in storage area for easy access. More optional accessories are available for sale from Brother and other resellers.

Brother XL2600I Accessories

Accessories provided with the sewing machine

The 110v machine is both CSA and UL listed and it comes with free phone tech support for its lifetime. In addition, the manual that is provided with the unit is written in both Spanish and English.

The XL2600i carries a 25-year limited warranty. According to the Brother website the warranty covers the chassis casting for 25-years, while electronic components are covered for 2 years. Labor, parts, and accessories are covered for one year. All are based on the original date of purchase.

Summary
The XL2600i is a nice, lightweight sewing machine for the money. It has received glowing reviews from most beginner or novice sewists who want to do small projects. It’s a fun first machine for teens, but may not be suitable to more advanced users, or for projects that involve thicker fabrics. It’s light weight and small size make it a highly portable. It’s a nice machine for anyone taking sewing classes or wanting to complete small household sewing projects.

Sewing Machine Manual
The manual for this machine can be a bit difficult to follow. The difficulty may lie in the fact that each page features English paragraphs followed by Spanish paragraphs, as opposed to the full Spanish version being in a separate part of the manual from the full English version. See the Brother XL2600i manual.

The English Brother accessories catalog is also online, for those who want to get an idea of the accessories available for various models. You can find it here.

 

 

Brother CS6000i Review

4ThimblesRATING = 4 THIMBLES

The Brother CS6000i sewing machine comes with a host of stitches, is very easy to use, and is reasonably priced. Many owners feel it provides great value for the money and is an excellent machine for beginners. It is also quite capable on both thin and thick fabrics. The machine is fairly lightweight and this is in part due to the fact that there is a lot of plastic used in its construction. Overall, consumer ratings are very good with limited low scores.

Owner Ratings
Consumer ratings from a range of retail websites are very good – on the order of 4+ stars out 5. On Amazon the CS6000i scores 4.5 stars out of 5 and this is the result of over 5000 reviews.

Consumer Insights
A detailed review of comments across a host of retailers provides the following likes and dislikes:

Brother-CS6000i-Stitches

Brother-CS6000i-Stitches

 

PROS
– Very Easy to use
– Affordable
– Lots of stitch options
– Capable on both think and thin fabrics
– Manual is detailed and very good
– Comes with a great package of accessories
– Good for quilting

CONS
– Threading the bobbin can be tricky
– Overly sensitive foot pedal

Owners repeatedly highlight that they feel this sewing machine is an excellent buy and good bang for your buck. Most owners rate the CS6000i 5 stars out of 5 but there are some 1 star ratings. These tend to be related to the machine instantly failing upon first start up or something key breaking in the first few months. These 1 star ratings are fortunately well outnumbered by the machine’s higher ratings.

A number of people report taking the machine to classes as it is so light. Although when a machine is too light it sometimes has a tendency to move around when you are sewing.

A lot of people buy this for a younger family member who is just getting starting sewing. It is also popular for adults who are beginners. The machine is capable of handling light, thin fabric as well as heavy fabric like denim.

You can see more reviews on Amazon if you wish.

If you are just starting with this machine the following is a great video to help you get going:

Features
– 60 built-in stitches (selectable via LCD display). 20 Decorative, 20 Garment Construction, 7 Quilting, 6 Heirloom, 7 Automatic Buttonhole.
– LCD display panel
– Adjustable stitch length and width
– Stitch width = 7mm
– Stitch length = 5mm
– Start/stop button
– Variable speed control slider
– Drop in bobbin
– Detachable, oversize table (good for quilting)
– Automatic needle threader
– Built-in free arm
– LED lit work area
– Sewing speed is 850 stitches per minute
– Variable needle position
– Drop feed capable
– Quick change presser feet
– Adjustable tension control

The CS6000i comes with quite a few accessories including 9 presser feet: Walking foot, Spring action quilting foot, Blind stitch foot, Buttonhole foot, Monogramming foot, Button fitting foot, Overcasting foot, Zipper foot, and Zigzag foot. There is also a seam ripper, a cleaning brush, a needle set, spool caps, bobbins, a spool pin, an eyelet punch, and a screwdriver. In addition, you receive a power cord, a hard case, and a sewing machine manual (English & Spanish). The accessories store conveniently in the accessory storage compartment which is built into the arm of the machine.

The machine weighs a very lightweight 13 lbs and is both UL and CSA listed. It also carries a 25 year limited warranty, which means 25 years on the machine chassis, 2 years on electronic components, and 1 year for parts, labor and accessories.

Summary
This machine is a great buy for beginners and intermediate sewists. There are thousands of owner reviews of the Brother CS6000i and these are predominantly very good. It is also light weight which makes it portable and handy for classes. It comes with plenty of features including 60 stitch options, and no less than 9 presser feet are included in the accessory package. It may lack some of the features expected by a more experienced seamstress however, and due to the extent of plastic used in its construction likely does not have the longevity of some of the more expensive sewing machines on the market.

Manual
You can view the sewing machine manual here.

 

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