Brother XM2701 Review – Pros, Cons, and Comparisons

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This Brother XM2701 sewing machine is a great beginner sewing machine with enough features to get you started sewing hassle-free. And, as your skill level increases over time, there are enough intermediate features that you don’t need to toss it immediately for a more advanced model. 

Thanks to the automated features and affordable price point, I recommend this sewing machine for a beginner sewer or a child learning to sew. I also recommend it for users who need a second sewing machine (either to take on the road or to class or use in conjunction with an embroidery-only machine).

However, as a primary sewing machine for an experienced sewist or someone with a significantly higher budget, the Brother XM2701 may not be the best choice. Many other sewing machines (from Brother, Janome, Bernina, and more) can do and sew more things. 

So should you buy the Brother XM2701 for yourself?  Read my Brother XM2701 review to learn more!

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

For a new sewist, I recommend a high-quality beginner sewing machine that will make sewing fun rather than stressful. You don’t want to spend time fighting with a poor-quality machine when you could be creating beautiful projects instead! That said, if you’re not sure sewing will be your “thing,” don’t go all out and buy the snazziest, most expensive sewing machine you can find either. 

Overview of Dimensions and Other Specs

Dimensions5.9 x 15.3 x 12.1 Inches
Weight12.6 pounds
Stitches27 built-in stitches, including one automatic buttonhole
Stitch Length and Width4 mm x 5 mm
Sewing Feet6
Feed dogs6
Maximum Sewing Speed800 stitches per minute
UL/CSA Listed Voltage110 V
Warranty25 year limited warranty

What’s In the Box

The following items are included:

  • Sewing machine unit with power cord and foot controller
  • 6 presser feet
  • 3 piece needle set and 1 twin needle
  • Extra spool pin
  • Three bobbins
  • Darning plate
  • Oval screwdriver
  • Instructional DVD and operation manual in English and Spanish (Check out the XM2701 manual and quick reference guide.)

Do You Need to Purchase Additional Accessories?

If you want a carrying case, you can purchase a Brother universal hard case or sew your own fabric cover. And, if you need additional bobbins, this machine uses Class 15 bobbins (SA156). I recommend the Brother brand bobbins over generic bobbins. (Learn from my mistakes!)

The only other technically “required” sewing supplies to get started are thread, fabric, and good fabric scissors. 

Parts of the Brother XM2701 Explained + Basic Use

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

Machine Dials and Stitch Selection

  • Stitch selection is done by turning a dial on the machine’s right
  • There are also three dials on the top of the machine where you can manually adjust tension, stitch length, and stitch width.
  • The front reverse lever allows the sewer to change sewing directions when starting or stopping sewing. I love how it’s on top of the sewing area for easy access. 
  • The left side of the machine has a manual thread cutter. This machine does NOT have an automatic thread cutter. 

Getting Started on the Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Since this machine is beginner-friendly, you should be able to start sewing almost immediately! While you can read the quick-start guide and get things set up in no time, I highly recommend reading the manual from front to back. This will save you a lot of time and heartache later on. 

As a beginner, I made many silly mistakes that could have been prevented if I had just taken the time to learn more about my machine!

Features to Love

Now, the features of this sewing machine for the price point make it so great.

27 Stitches

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

The 27 stitches (and 63 stitch functions) included in this machine cover a range of zigzag, decorative, quilting, blind hem, and other stitches.

There is also one style of automatic one-step buttonhole stitches that can be used on all types of fabrics.

6 Presser Feet

Below are the included feet, although you can purchase extras as long as they’re genuine Brother accessories or low-shank generic presser feet. 

  • Zigzag Foot – general everyday sewing foot for straight and zigzag stitches
  • Buttonhole Foot – create automatic buttonholes; the same size every time!
  • Button Sewing Foot – sew on a button
  • Zipper Foot – sew a zipper
  • Narrow Hem Foot – create a professional-looking narrow, flat hem
  • Blind Stitch Foot – creating an almost invisible hem.

Swapping feet is easily done with a lever.

Automatic Features

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

This machine’s automatic features are what make it more beginner and kid-friendly than other budget machines. 

Bobbin winding is done easily on the top of the machine, and the top-drop, quick-set bobbin removes the difficulty of figuring out how to set up a front-load bobbin.

While Brother says the bobbin is jam-resistant, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to jam.  As a beginner sewer, I unfortunately jammed by Brother bobbin a few times. (This is why I recommend you read the instruction manual before starting to sew. Learn from my mistakes!)

The bobbin case is also clear, which allows you to see how much thread you have left.  No one likes running out of thread mid-project.

Brother Sewing Machine, XM2701, Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches, 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholer, 6 Sewing Feet, Free Arm and Instructional DVD

When threading this Brother sewing machine, simply follow the instructions you received with your purchase. 

However, little ordered numbers are imprinted on the machine to help if you forget. A lever also threads the needle for you so you don’t have to do it manually.  I found mine to be unreliable, and the threader ultimately broke after a year of me constantly fiddling with it.

Picking up the bobbin thread is automatically done by the machine once you start sewing.  This is a win in my books!

The Light is Adequate

The XM2701 features an LED light to light the workspace for those of us who are near-vision challenged or who have difficulty seeing stitches on dark fabric. 

While some Brother XM2701 sewing machine reviews complain the light isn’t bright enough, most people sing its praises.  I’ve never had an issue with the light on my own Brother machine, and you can easily purchase an auxiliary light for more illumination. 

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

The free arm remains when you remove the accessories compartment from the front of the machine. This helps you easily sew cuffs, sleeves, and other cylindrical items and is a pretty standard Brother sewing machine feature.

The Warrant Explained

This product comes with a 25-year limited warranty and phone tech support for the life of the product.  

This sounds great, but it really is a very “limited” warranty.  If you read the fine print, the warranty period for parts, labor, and accessory items is only 1 year, and the electronic component warranty is 2 years.  The chassis, or frame of the sewing machine, is what’s covered for 25 years.

Furthermore, if you plan to take advantage of this warranty, you must keep proof of purchase.

Quilting with the Brother XM2701

In many cases, you can create beautiful quilts with the Brother XM2701 sewing machine.

A few things to keep in mind though.

  • First, The XM2701 sewing machine does not come with a quilting foot or walking foot to assist you.  However, these can be purchased separately.
  • It also has a small throat space. Piecing big quilts is no big deal, but once you get to free-motion quilting bulky quilt sandwiches, you can’t stuff those king-size quilts into the small harp area. 
  • Something else helpful for quilting that’s available on some of the pricier Brother sewing machine models (but not this one) is the detachable wide table, which helps hold larger projects.  While not a deal-breaker, it is a nice perk if you plan to spend extensive time sewing larger projects. 

Key Advantages

  • Beginner-friendly: easy to use for new sewers but also adequate for more advanced seamstresses
  • 27 stitches and 6 presser feet – most everything you need for basic projects
  • Automated features make getting started easy
  • An inexpensive sewing machine that will perform better than many other sewing machines of comparable price
  • Use for sewing or basic quilting projects
  • Lightweight with a carrying handle allowing for good portability

Key Disadvantages

  • Foot pedal takes getting used to as a beginner.  I like sewing with a computerized machine that’s button-controlled.
  • A hard case is not included with the purchase.  If you want one, this adds an extra cost.  
  • Brother XM2701 reviews say, at times, layers of thick fabric like leather or denim are difficult to sew.  If you want to sew denim frequently, I recommend a heavy-duty sewing machine (Check out my Singer 4423 review!).  If you plan to do occasional denim or leather sewing, this machine will work fine if you choose the correct needle and thread and take your time.
  • The jam-resistant bobbin can be finicky sometimes, causing uneven stitches.  Also, the needle threader component of my machine broke right after the 1-year warranty.  

In conclusion: The XM2701 is a high-quality machine with a lot to offer sewers of various skill levels. There’s a reason it’s a bestseller!

While I’d recommend the Brother CS7000X if you are looking for a digital, computerized sewing machine, I think the Brother XM2701 is the best Brother sewing machine for beginners. Its several automatic features allow for ease of use, and the numerous presser feet and stitch options cover the bases for most projects you will attempt.

The price point for how many features really is incredible. This machine will scale with your needs unless you do very advanced sewing. However, if you are an advanced seamstress who needs hundreds of stitch options or a dedicated quilting machine, you know (and I know) that you need a more high-end sewing machine.


  1. Hi, I’m dropping a note here to say I ended up buying this through your affiliate link because your reviews are the most comprehensive. I felt confident with this purchase based on your depth of information on the product. I’m new to this, and am relying heavily on expert opinion. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I hope you learn to love sewing also! The initial learning curve may seem steep at first, but there’s something so exciting about completing those first few projects!

  2. wonderful review. I’ve purchased this machine and love it so far. I am trying to find a compatable wide table to purchase and i’m having a little trouble. does anyone know where i can purchase a wide table for this specific machine?

  3. Hi Ali,
    Thanks for the review. I am a not a sewier but need to fix a canvas boat cover with a small 6″ by 6″ repair. Will this machine sew through two pieces of canvas? If not, can you recommend a reasonable priced machine I can consider.

    1. The XM2701 could work with thinner canvas, but I think you might be better off getting a heavy duty machine. The Singer 4411, 4423, 4432, and several others are reasonably priced but have a stronger motor for those thick fabrics.

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