Brother CS6000i Review – Why I Love Mine!

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The Brother CS6000i sewing machine holds a special place in my heart. I purchased the sewing machine years ago when I began sewing more seriously!

Thus, I speak from experience that this is a great, inexpensive sewing machine that’s easy to use, especially for beginners.

However, there are still some drawbacks to the Brother CS6000i, and I’ll let you know the things I wish I could change in my Brother CS6000i review! 

I hope you’ll pick up some tips on how to use the CS6000i sewing machine, as well as learn about some of the cool things you can sew and do with it!

brother cs6000i review

At a Glance Brother CS6000i Review of Features

FeatureSpecs
Dimensions11.4" Width x 6.7" Diameter x 16.1" Height
Weight13 pounds
Stitch Length and Width
5 mm x 7 mm (0.19 x 0.27 inches)
Maximum Sewing Speed850 stitches per min (spm)
Stitches60 built-in stitches
Sewing Feet9
UL/CSA Listed Voltage110V
Feed dogs6 points
LCD Display Size2” Width x .7” Height
Warranty25-year limited

What Does the Brother CS6000i Come With?

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i, 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Wide Table, Hard Cover, LCD Display and Auto Needle Threader

Here’s what you will find inside the box:

  • The CS6000i sewing machine unit with power cord and foot pedal
  • Oversized detachable wide table (great for larger projects such as quilts)
  • Hard carrying protective case
  • Accessory pouch including needles (one twin needle included), three bobbins, spool pin, cleaning brush, seam ripper, eyelet punch, and screwdriver
  • 9 presser feet
  • Operation manual in both English and Spanish

Everything you need to start as a beginning seamstress comes in the box except thread, fabric, and basic supplies.

I recommend purchasing additional bobbins to have extras threaded with your most popular colors. For reference, the Brother CS6000i uses Class 15 type bobbins, specifically SA156 bobbins, which are 7/16″.

I’ve also written a post about the best beginner sewing supplies I own, so check that out if you’re looking to start your sewing collection from scratch!


A Look at the Machine’s Front

CS6000i sewing machine

LCD Screen

There is an easy-to-view black-and-white LCD screen with buttons next to it to select the stitches and adjust stitch length and width.

Measuring roughly 2″ x .7,” it’s big enough to be read easily, but it does not take up too much space as a touchscreen would. 

The Buttons

There are also three buttons for essential sewing functions: start/stop, reverse stitch, and needle position up/down. 

While there is a foot pedal, you can use the buttons to sew foot-free instead.

The foot pedal isn’t too sensitive, so it’s easy to use. But, sometimes I like to sit like a monkey when sewing, and it’s nice that I can keep my feet in the chair with me and use buttons!

As a default, the machine also stops sewing with the needle down. The needle position can be reprogrammed using instructions in the operations manual to stop with the needle position up. 

The Slider

Thanks to the variable speed control slider, the machine goes from very slow to very fast, with a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute.

The beauty of this slider also is that as a beginner, you can start with a slow, careful speed as max and later increase the speed when your confidence and skill grow.  

While the markings make it look like there are just three speeds, it is actually a gradient to gradually adjust the speed.

Dials and Hand Wheels

On the top of the machine is a manual tension control, and the right side of the machine has a hand wheel to lift and lower the needle manually.

Sewing with the Brother CS6000i

Features like an automatic needle threader and easy bobbin winder make setting up easy.

And, since this machine is friendly for beginners, you can read the quick start instructions and start sewing almost immediately! 

However, if you are a beginner, I highly recommend reading the entire instruction manual! As a beginner, I dove right and ended up making preventable mistakes that caused a lot of frustration.

If you can’t understand the instruction manual or prefer a more visual how-to, I highly recommend the video below to set up the machine.

Brother CS6000i Review of Features

Now, let’s talk about some of the features and what this means for you as a sewist!

What can you do with the 60 built-in stitches of the CS6000i?

Brother CS6000i Stitch Guide

In all my time using the machine, I’ve still yet to use them all!

Options to choose from include straight stitches, zigzag and overcast stitches, 7 buttonhole stitches, basting stitches, blind hem stitches, triple stretch stitches, quilting stitches, and decorative stitches.  

You can even create fagoting, smocking, scallop stitching, shell tuck stitching, heirloom stitching, and more. 

Use the Stitches with the 9 Presser Feet

The feet are labeled with letters so you can quickly identify them.

  • Zigzag Foot – general-purpose foot for most sewing projects
  • Buttonhole Foot – making the buttonholes using one of the one-step 7 buttonhole stitches
  • Button Sewing Foot – sewing on the buttons
  • Monogramming Foot – used for certain decorative stitches, such as scalloping and heirloom stitches
  • Overcasting Foot – used with overcasting stitches to join together and finish seams
  • Walking Foot – feeds the top and bottom layers of fabric at the same rate, great for quilting bulky layers and stitching knit fabrics
  • Zipper Foot – sew on zippers
  • Blind Stitch Foot – making blind hems to finish project edges without visible stitching
  • Spring Action Quilting Foot – free-motion quilting and sewing

Switch presser feet by pushing down on the black lever on the back of the foot holder. The sewing foot will drop off, and another can be affixed.

If you intend to use the spring action quilting foot, walking foot, or another sewing foot that doesn’t require a presser foot holder, use the screwdriver to remove the foot holder first.

When replacing the feet, make sure the letter of the presser foot is where you can read it. 

This is also a low shank sewing machine, meaning generic presser feet made for low shank sewing machines will work with the Brother CS6000i. I picked up a set of 42 additional presser feet from Amazon, and I’ve been pleased with the expansion!

Threading the Brother CS6000i

threading the cs6000i

Threading this Brother sewing machine is easy with practice, and you’ll be a pro once you’ve practiced a few times! 

There is a small diagram on the machine showing instructions (you can also get them in your manual), and the parts of the machine where you pass the thread are also numbered.  

passing thread through guide

Getting the thread through the needle is accomplished the old-fashioned way or using the machine’s needle threader

The automatic needle threader only works with specific sizes and types of needles and thread combinations, and the needle has to be in the default up position.

To be honest, I’ve found the needle threader to be finicky and more hassle than it’s worth. In one particularly frustrating moment, I may have accidentally broken it. Thankfully, Amazon has replacement parts for cheap!

Winding the Bobbin

winding brother bobbin

The bobbin winding system is similar to most Brother sewing machine models where you wind it on the top of the machine. 

Between bobbin winding, installing the bobbin, and threading the needle, I think bobbin winding is the most challenging part of the machine setup.

There are two diagrams on the top of the machine to remind you of the steps, which is nice if you don’t remember between bobbin windings!

Brother CS6000i Sewing machine Bobbin Setup Instructions

Now, the bobbin is touted as jam-resistant, buuuuut I’ve definitely jammed it before.

However, it is a quick-set, top drop-in bobbin, which is easier for beginners. Quick-set means you can start sewing immediately without having to draw up the bobbin thread. 

I started sewing on a front-load bobbin sewing machine where I had to draw up the thread myself, and I love the quick-set bobbin so much more!

All you do to set the bobbin is slide open the clear cover, drop the bobbin in, and feed the thread through the slit as described by the very convenient diagram stuck to the side of the machine. Pulling the thread then cuts it so you don’t even need scissors!

Using the CS6000i for Quilting

This sewing machine can be used for quilting, and it’s pretty good considering the price point!

It’s not as great as a high-end quilting sewing machine, but you can still create beautiful projects with it. Piecing is a breeze, but the biggest drawback is the standard-sized throat space, which doesn’t cut it for finishing king-sized quilts or those using higher-loft batting.

Helpful features, however, include the oversized extension table, which helps hold quilt bulk.

A quilting guide (so you can sew equally spaced parallel stitches) is included and a walking foot and spring action quilting foot. A ¼ inch quilting foot is not included but can be purchased separately.

Additionally, the feed dogs are lowered by pressing a button on the back of the machine so you can do free-motion quilting. No need for a darning plate!

Is the light adequate?

Brother CS6000i sewing machine LED light example

The dual-LED light is nice when sewing darker fabrics or for those days when your eyes just aren’t working as well as they should be!

While some online Brother CS6000i reviews complain the light isn’t bright enough, I haven’t had any issues with it. Granted, I don’t usually have too many problems with my eyes. 

What can you do with a built-in free arm?

When the flatbed attachment, used to store the accessories, is removed, a built-in free arm remains. The beauty of this built-in free arm is the ability to sew cuffs, sleeves, and other tubular items. This is a standard feature on most of the Brother sewing machine models.

Thread Cutting

There is a thread cutter on the left side of the machine body, but there is no automatic thread cutter. If this is a deal-breaker, check out this list of sewing machines with automatic thread cutters

What is covered in the 25-Year limited warranty?

For parts, labor, and accessory items, the warranty period is 1 year.

Electronic components have a 2-year warranty, and the chassis (sewing machine body) is covered for 25 years. 

Proof of purchase must be kept for the warranty to be valid.

How Noisy Is the Brother CS6000i?

It makes a fairly soft, repetitive sewing sound while in use. 

I have no problems listening to music while sewing at a reasonable pace. And, my younger daughter would sleep in the baby wearer on me while I sewed!

When you first turn it on, there is a jerking sound when the needle gets into place, which is the loudest sound of all. 

And, as you change the stitch number or the stitch size, the machine beeps every time unless you reprogram the machine.

If you sew at the maximum speed while using, for instance, the overcasting foot and stitches, it does get a little noisy and will bounce around some.

What Fabrics Can The CS6000i Sew?

This machine can sew thin fabrics like satin or challis, medium fabrics such as broadcloth or flannel, and even some thick fabrics like denim or corduroy. 

With thin fabrics, you may need stabilizer, and stretchy fabrics benefit from a walking foot or hand basting.

Some Brother CS6000i reviews say that thick fabrics like leather or denim are sometimes challenging to sew. Of course, because this isn’t a heavy-duty sewing machine! For heavy-duty sewing, I recommend the Brother ST150HDH instead.

Infrequent thick fabric sewing is possible with a thicker thread, 90/14 or larger needle, and slow speed.

Is the Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine Also a Serger?

No, the CS6000i is not a serger since it cannot create a seam, finish fabric edges, and cut the fabric all a one time.

However, it does come with an overcasting presser foot to use with its overcasting stitches. This allows you to create a seam and finish fabric edges simultaneously. 

It will not cut off the extra fabric as it stitches, though. However, if you use the overcasting stitch right on the edge of the fabric, there is no extra fabric left to cut!

There is something called a Brother side cutter presser foot that you can purchase to trim fabric edges also as you stitch. This makes the Brother CS6000i more like a “faux serger.”  

I own this presser foot and like it, not love it. It performs very well on cotton but does not provide a professional enough appearance on knits. If you’re curious, check out my Brother side cutter presser foot review and tutorial post!

I really recommend purchasing an actual serger if you want to create garments needing those professional seams, though. (I have the Brother 1034DX and 1034D sergers.)

Does it monogram?

Even though a monogramming foot is included, the Brother CS6000i does not have a built-in monogramming font with alphanumeric stitches. 

If you need a sewing machine with a monogramming font, I recommend the Brother HC1850 or Brother XR9550prw instead.

Can You Embroider With the Brother CS6000i?

This also isn’t a computerized embroidery machine. You can’t load designs from your computer. 

But, if you’re creative and patient, you can learn to do free-motion embroidery with a wooden hoop. You will be limited, though, by the throat space of the sewing machine. 

Try checking out videos online where sewists teach you free-motion embroidery with this everyday sewing and quilting machine.

If you want a sewing and embroidery combination machine, check out the Brother SE600 (see: Brother SE600 review) or Brother SE625. I have the Brother SE625 that I also love! (I know, I’m a sewing hoarder!)

Advantages

  • Affordable sewing machine for what it offers
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Can use for sewing or quilting and even free-motion embroidery
  • It is SO easy to load the drop-in bobbin and thread the needle. There are also easy-to-follow diagrams on the side of the machine if you ever forget how.
  • The foot pedal is optional. I like sewing with the buttons and slider better myself and love how I’m given this option.

Is the Brother CS6000i suitable for a beginner?

This machine was straightforward to use as a beginning sewer. When I developed more confidence in my skills and wanted to venture out, this machine “grew” with me. The automatic features are very nice in assisting new users who are not as familiar with needle threading and more.

Also, because the machine is digital, it will output error messages to explain why it may not be working. 

As a beginner user, I had difficulty figuring out what I was doing wrong at first. (I can’t remember how many times I saw the E1 error telling me I forgot to put the presser foot down!)  These troubleshooting hints cut down on a lot of frustration when figuring out what’s just not working.

And best of all, when you select a stitch, the LCD screen tells you the letter of the presser foot you need to use. This is VERY helpful as a beginner sewer trying to navigate how to use sewing machine accessories.

Overall, the ease of use and simplicity of design make the Brother CS6000i sewing machine perfect for beginners. Remember to read the user manual before starting to sew, and consider picking out a sewing book to help you learn even more!

(I also bought the newest Brother CS7000X, the second generation replacement for the CS6000i, and recommend it as a good beginner sewing machine. Learn more in my Brother CS7000X review!)

Key Disadvantages

While this is a great sewing machine, there are some things I’m not in love with.

  • They say the bobbin is jam-resistant, but they never met me as a beginner seamstress. I could mess up anything!
  • Threading the needle with the automatic needle threader should be easy, but I found it a little finicky. It’s also pretty cheaply made.
  • Some of the plastic parts are cheaply made. However, this is a cheap sewing machine (compared to Janome, Bernina, etc.), so that’s something I’m willing to deal with!
  • Due to throat space constraints, this is more for sewing and occasional quilting than full-time quilting. 
  • There is no automatic thread trimmer.

Comparing the Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine

Comparing all the Brother sewing machines can be very overwhelming! 

So, check out this handy side-by-side comparison chart below of some of the most popular Brother sewing machines. As a note, all of the machines compared below have similar bobbin winding and the quick-set, top drop-in bobbin.

 CS6000iHC1850XR9550prwSQ9285CS5055prwCE7070prwXR3774CS7000i
Stitches6013011015050703770
Buttonhole styles78885717
Presser Feet9881067810
Computerized?YesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Monogramming?NoYesYesYesNoNoNoNo

Brother CS6000i vs. CS7000i

Brother CS7000i Computerized Sewing Machine with 70 Built in Stitches, White

Shop on Amazon!

When comparing Brother CS6000i vs. CS7000i, they are similar computerized sewing and quilting machines. 

However, the CS7000i features a light blue color compared to the navy blue of the CS6000i.

Setting up and using the machine are identical, and all the same computerized features remain. 

In terms of differences, the new Brother CS7000i features 70 stitches, and they’ve added one presser foot, a 1/4″ piecing foot

When I’m writing this Brother CS6000i review, the price of the Brother CS7000i is quite a bit higher.   

Brother CS6000i vs. HC1850

Brother HC1850 Sewing and Quilting Machine, 185 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, 8 Included Feet

Shop on Amazon!

The main difference between these two computerized sewing machines is that the HC1850 has more options

Compared to the 60 stitches, 7 buttonholes, and 9 presser feet of the CS6000i sewing machine, the HC1850 has 130 stitches, 8 buttonholes, and 8 presser feet. 

The Brother HC1850 also has 55 alphanumeric stitches allowing for basic monogramming. This is a one-size, one-style fits-all font.

The HC1850 also comes in at a higher price point, which was a deciding factor for me. 

Read my full Brother HC1850 sewing machine review for more information!

Brother CS6000i vs CS5055prw

Brother CS5055PRW Sewing Machine, Project Runway, 50 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, 7 Included Feet

Shop on Amazon!

Versus the 60 built-in stitches, 7 buttonholes, and 9 presser feet for the CS6000i, there are only 50 stitches, 5 automatic buttonholes, and 7 presser feet with the CS5055prw. 

It comes in at a much lower price point, though. 

Also, there is no button for the needle up or start/stop button. As such, the CS5055prw only has the option to sew with the foot pedal.

The CS5055prw also does not come with any quilting feet, nor does it feature the detachable wide table that is helpful for large projects, such as quilts.  

Find out more about this sewing machine with my CS5055prw review.

Brother CS6000i Review – Conclusion

If you are an advanced seamstress who needs hundreds of stitch options or a dedicated quilting machine, I recommend a more high-end sewing machine.

However, the Brother CS6000i sewing machine is an excellent choice for any beginner sewist or hobbyist, as you can see from my Brother CS6000i sewing machine review! 

Its automated features allow for ease of use, and the numerous presser feet and stitch options cover the bases for most projects you will try.

I thought it was just too good to pass up when purchasing myself. I don’t regret that decision at all!

13 Comments

  1. Thank you for an informative review. I’m a beginner and don’t get to sew often but would like to do simple projects. Looking for something to make the hard work like threading the needle easier since my eyes aren’t as great as they used to be. I have a mechanical simple Kenmore now and the Brother CS6000i looks like a good trooper for me. I’ve been looking on Amazon and Walmart and they both offer extra warranties. Would you suggest purchasing on top of 25 yr Manufacturer warranty? Thanks for your thoughts

    1. I’ve loved my CS6000i since day one, and the machine itself has held up great over the years! However, the auto needle threader was the one thing that stopped functioning after the warranty period ended. (There’s a little hook on the inside to hold the thread that just bent and then snapped off one day. Although, I was messing with it a little aggressively trying to get it to work so am fully responsible for the issue! Luckily, I don’t mind threading by hand.)  If that functionality is very important to you, it definitely seems as if the Walmart or Amazon added warranties will warranty it for longer than Brother if you have the same issue as me. Another thing about the Brother warranty is they’ll often have you find a Brother authorized repair center to have the services done at.  If you don’t have one local, that could be a reason to consider an added online warranty as well.  Hope this helps!

  2. Hello, Do you have any recommendations for a sewing machine of a fashion design college student? Would a brother CS6000i or XR9550PRW be good for college?

    1. Hi! I think both those machines are really good options. They have a nice selection of stitches and will allow you to make quite a variety of projects. With the exception of very heavyweight fabrics, I never had any issues with my cs6000i and never had to stop a project because of it! (I do prefer to use my serger for thin knit fabric seams and my coverstitch for knit hems, though.) If you have a larger budget, of course, there are “better” machines out there that have more stitches and more automated features (ex: automatic thread cutting, automatic reverse/reinforcement stitches at the beginning and end of sewing, knee lifter, etc.) Those are more conveniences rather than necessities in most cases, though, and do run up the cost of a machine quite a bit.

  3. Luli Furze says:

    Gracias por toda la información, fue de mucha ayuda !!

  4. I’m looking for a low shank ruler foot to fit this machine. Most of them available on Amazon have multiple reviews saying the foot lays on the fabric and makes it difficult to move. Do you have any suggestions for a brand that will definitely work?

    1. You might try the Brother SA160 foot; it’s a genuine Brother accessory, so I would hope it would be a great fit.

      My adjustable guide foot is a random generic that came in a huge package of presser feet, and while it lays on the fabric, I have no problem feeding the fabric. However, I know how inconsistent generic parts can be, so I have no doubt some of the generics are duds!

      1. The ruler foot is round and allows me to follow a path through a template evenly without worrying about hitting the template with the needle. I purchased one, but as the reviews on Amazon indicate, it lays on the fabric too closely and inhibits movement.
        I did check out the foot you suggested, and I SO appreciate you mentioning it! I have a 1/4” foot, but have wondered how I could get a different size sewn accurately. I put it on my wish list!

        1. Ah, ok different ruler foot! I just think of my round ruler one as my FMQ foot. I bought mine as a generic on Amazon with a package of plastic templates. I do have to rig it with a different screw so it sits higher up and gives more clearance under the foot, but it works great unless it’s a super-bulky quilt. I noticed when I attached it with the machine’s regular screw that it wasn’t as high as it could be on my Brother SE1900, so it might be worth seeing if your foot could also sit a little higher with a different screw, too.

          The biggest issue for me was the foot kept hitting the plastic template when making certain curves, though! It turned out the solution was purchasing the thinner 3mm templates, which are flimsier and more difficult to work with but don’t cause an issue with the foot at least.

          I still prefer to take my quilt tops to our local library to use their long arm to finish them rather than fiddling with my sewing machine, though. The library being unavailable for around 6 mo at the beginning of the pandemic inspired my foray into FMQ at home with a ruler, but I still prefer the long arm 10x over when I can get to it!

  5. Hello! I want to make dresses and clothes, and I’m a beginner. I’m stuck between the new model of the brother xr9550, and the cs6000i. Which one do you recommend?

    1. The XR9550 has a few more features and stitches, but the CS6000i has been around longer and has more online tutorials if you anticipate needing a lot of help. Either way, I think they’re both great starter machines for beginners!

  6. Judy Magrath says:

    Hi Ali, love all your reviews! I’m planning on buying my daughter either the CS6000i or the ST150HDH for her birthday. Although she may use it for many different projects, the one constant will be taking in the waist of pants, including denim. Which one would you recommend?

    Also, the CS6000i comes with needle set including twin needle on Amazon.ca. Can this be purchased separately and used with the ST150HDH. This peaked my daughter’s interest, and now it’s something she is interested in.

    1. If she plans to work a lot with denim, the heavy-duty machines (like the ST150HDH) will fare much better over time and be easier to use.

      And yes, even if the machine doesn’t come with a twin needle, you can purchase a compatible needle to use.

      Hope that helps!

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