Singer 4423 Review (Pros, Cons, & Comparisons)

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I recently added the Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine to my sewing room, and I want to share my experiences.

I own (and have owned) a TON of sewing machines, but this was my first experience with a heavy-duty sewing machine. I never thought I needed one because I could use my Brother CS6000i sewing machine for most thick materials.

After a few close calls, though, I decided it might be worth getting a heavy-duty machine. I’m so glad I did!

Want to learn more? In this Singer 4423 review, I’ll go over key features of the machine, provide tips for using it, and finally present the pros & cons.

singer 4423 sewing machine review

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First Impressions of the Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

I did an unboxing when I first got my Singer 4423, posted below. I’m not a great video maker, so my apologies!

YouTube video

My biggest first impression of the Singer 4423 was it was SO much heavier than my Brother CS6000i. 

It also drove me crazy that even before I touched it, there were already smudges on the steel plate in the sewing space. To this day, the steel plate continues to drive the perfectionist in me crazy, as every little fingerprint shows up on it!

Why might you need a heavy-duty sewing machine?

Heavy-duty sewing machines have significantly stronger motors than standard sewing machines and are well-equipped to sew thick fabrics such as denim, leather, and canvas. They’re also great for sewing multiple layers in bulky quilts.

While regular sewing machines can sew some thick fabrics, it’s better to use a heavy-duty machine on multiple layers of thick fabrics. Of course, heavy-duty sewing machines also work well with thin fabrics. As such, a heavy-duty sewing machine can be your only sewing machine.

Heavy-duty sewing machines also sew significantly faster than your regular run-of-the-mill sewing machine and feature stitches more commonly used in heavy-duty sewing.

Heavy-Duty vs. Industrial Machine

It would also be unfair to say the Singer 4423 is the “best” machine you can buy for heavy-duty sewing…because it’s not. Industrial sewing machines are stronger and more efficient, and they’re what you’ll find in factories mass-producing heavy-duty items like bags, auto interiors, and upholstery. 

However, home sewing machines like the Singer 4423 are more versatile, cost less, weigh less, take up less space, require less maintenance, and are easier to learn and use. 

So, unless you plan to sew commercially on a production line for 8+ hours a day and need that industrial machine, you should still be fine with a home heavy-duty machine like the Singer 4423. 

What Came In My Box

what comes with the singer 4423 sewng machine

Here’s what came in the box with my Singer 4423 sewing machine:

  • Singer 4423 sewing machine with foot pedal and power cord
  • 4 presser feet
  • Accessories case including quilting guide, needles, bobbins, spool caps, spool pin felt, auxiliary spool pin, screwdriver, and combo seam ripper and lint brush
  • Gray dust cover
  • Quick-start guide, warranty information, and a few other miscellaneous papers

It did not have any thread spools, nor did it come with fabric. It did have everything else that I needed to get started except for the manual, so I downloaded it here.

Quick Feature Update

FeatureSpecs
Dimensions15.5 x 6.25 x 12 in
Weight14.6 lbs
Presser Feet4
Stitches23
Max Speed1100 spm
Max Stitch Length4mm
Max Stitch Width6mm
Bobbin SizeClass 15

Singer 4423 Stitches

stitches on the singer 4423

There are 23 included stitches on the Singer 4423, and they’re selected with a dial, as shown above. 

Overall, there are 6 basic stitches, 4 stretch stitches, one buttonhole stitch, and 12 decorative stitches. Specific examples include a straight stitch, stretch straight stitch, zigzag, triple-stitch zigzag, ric rack, blind hem, buttonhole, cross-stitch stitch, overcasting stitch, scallop stitch, and more!

And if you want to access the blue stitches, all you have to do is select S1 on the stitch length dial.

s1 on the singer heavy duty dial

4 Presser Feet Included

included presser feet with singer 4423

There were four presser feet included in the box. 

  • General-purpose foot: use this with most stitches, such as zigzag and straight, and for most projects
  • Buttonhole foot: sew a buttonhole that is auto-sized and automatically done in one step
  • Button sewing foot: hold the button in place as you zigzag it on with your machine
  • Zipper foot: sew in a zipper

You can swap the presser feet by pressing a lever on the back of the presser foot holder. 

Now, this is a low-shank sewing machine, meaning other Singer or generic low-shank presser feet will also work. A few other fun presser feet to have around are a satin stitch foot, blind hem foot, overcasting foot, walking (or even feed) foot, cording foot, and a gathering foot.

Cool Features Worth Noting

Changing Needle Position and Adjusting Tension

dials on the singer 4423

When applicable, a dial on the top of the machine lets you change the needle position. This is very helpful! Pick from left, right, or center needle. 

Just make sure NOT to change the needle position when your needle is down in your fabric. Been there, seen that, done that, and won’t do it again!

There is also a tension dial on the top of the machine so you can set the tension for specific fabrics. When in doubt, start with value 4. 

If you are having problems with the integrity of your stitches, I have an entire guide on how to adjust sewing machine tension.

Changing the Length and Width of Stitches

For many stitches, you can also change the length (up to 4mm) and width (up to 6mm) of the stitches by using the two dials on the machine. Knowing each stitch’s average lengths and widths is important to achieve the best results.

In general, heavier fabrics require a longer stitch length and lighter fabrics a shorter. 

When in doubt, start your straight stitches around a 2-3 length for sewing a seam and set it to 4 when doing a basting stitch. Set zigzags at around a 3 to start with, then change as needed.

Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure and Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter

adjusting presser foot pressure

Thanks to adjustable presser foot pressure, you can sew even the lightest weight fabrics like chiffon and silk. 

Adjust the presser foot pressure with a coin or other small object that’s used to turn the small screw on the top of the machine. (It’s pictured above with arrows and the plus and minus signs.) 

Loosening the presser foot pressure by turning the screw counterclockwise accommodates thinner fabrics while turning clockwise tightens the screw for thicker fabrics.

And, if you’re sewing very thick fabrics, you can use the presser foot lifter lever on the back of the machine to lift the foot even higher than average to allow you to squeeze those many layers underneath. Once you release the lever, though, the presser foot returns to its normal intermediate height, so this is a hands-on process.

Free arm

free arm after removing extension table

When you remove the flat-bed attachment, you have a small free arm. This makes it easier to hem jeans and sew small circular items like sleeve cuffs.

The LED Light

The LED light is so bright, in fact, it ruined many of the pictures I took for this Singer 4423 review! 

I think it’s more than adequate to allow you to see your sewing workspace, even in a dimly lit room. If it’s not, you can purchase an auxiliary sewing lamp.

Stainless Steel Bedplate

The base of the sewing machine workspace is stainless steel and is nice and smooth. As such, it helps fabrics glide smoothly while stitching. 

I didn’t notice a huge difference in fabric movement compared to my other sewing machines, and as I mentioned before, oh my goodness, the fingerprints drive me crazy.

Twin Needle Sewing

twin needle set up on singer heavy duty sewing machine

While my machine didn’t come with an actual twin needle, it did come with an extra spool pin to set up twin-needle sewing. 

As you can see in the above picture, your primary thread goes on the horizontal thread spool, and your second thread goes on the vertical thread spool that snaps right into a hole on the top of the machine. Don’t mind my awkward-sized spool cap in the above picture. 

If you’re wondering why this is important, twin needle sewing provides a parallel line of stitches and is useful in garment construction, for instance.

Setting Up The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

I also made a YouTube video of how to thread a Singer heavy-duty sewing machine using my Singer 4423. My husband recorded it, so disregard him zooming all over the place. It should give you an idea of how to thread the machine and what it sounds like once it starts sewing.

YouTube video

Threading the Upper Thread

There are numbered instructions on the machine body itself that guide you in threading the upper thread. Make sure you’re threading with the presser foot up to avoid having tension problems!

Automatic Needle Threader

auto needle threader on the singer 4423 sewing machine

One convenient feature of the Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is the automatic needle threader, making this a self-threading sewing machine

With the press of a lever and a little thread wrapping, a small hook draws the thread right through the eye of the needle.

This is a delicate part of this Singer heavy duty sewing machine, and it will break easily if misused. For it to work, you have to make sure your needle is up and in the center needle position. Otherwise, it won’t be aligned with the eye of the needle, and you’re looking at frustration!

I have several Brother sewing machines, and the Singer threader tops the Brother needle threader in terms of durability and ease of use. Still, treat it like a delicate flower.

Winding and Inserting the Bobbin

Top-drop bobbins are SO much better than front-load bobbins. My daughter’s Singer 1304 sewing machine has a front-load bobbin, and it’s a pain in the rear.

With a top-drop bobbin, you don’t have to worry about removing the bobbin case itself and then trying to remember how to reinsert it. You simply drop the bobbin using the orientation imprinted on the sewing machine workspace, pull it around a slit and a notch, and you’re ready to go.

Another plus of having a clear case is you can monitor how much bobbin thread is left so you can replace it before starting a big project…rather than right in the middle of a line of stitches when it runs out!

Having to Raise the Lower Thread

Before you start sewing, you have to raise the lower thread. I’m not used to doing this on my Brother sewing machine because it features a quick-set bobbin. 

However, I’m used to doing it with my daughter’s Singer Start 1304 sewing machine. It doesn’t take more than 5 seconds, but it is an extra step.

How to Make Buttonholes in One-Step

making a buttonhole with a singer heavy duty sewing machine

Making buttonholes is easy with the one-step automatic buttonhole. There’s a white plastic buttonhole foot (which is, unfortunately, cheaply made) that you place your button in the back of. The machine and foot then work together to auto-size your buttonhole.

I did have to read the instructions a few times before I realized you have to pull down the buttonhole lever AND push it back to start the buttonhole process. 

You should also set the stitch length between 0 and 1, set the width to 6, and then set the stitch to the buttonhole image to get things working well.

If you want to change the stitch density on the sides of the buttonhole, there is a small dial on the side of the machine you can turn. My buttonholes have turned out just fine, so I haven’t needed to use this feature yet.

how to change buttonhole stitch density

And while the Singer 4423 technically makes the buttonhole for you, you do still need to remove your foot from the foot pedal to make it stop stitching the bottom of the buttonhole. 

With a computerized sewing machine, the machine stops by itself, but you have to stop the mechanical Singer heavy duty sewing machine yourself.

You Can Quilt With the 4423, Yay!

Here are some things to consider, though, when it comes to quilting.

  1. There is no included walking foot or even feed foot. You can purchase one separately, and some of the other Singer heavy-duty models (like the Singer 4452) have a walking foot included. Walking feet are great for feeding several layers of fabric simultaneously.
  2. It does come with a quilt guide, which is helpful. It doesn’t have a 1/4″ piecing foot, but this can be purchased separately.
  3. The feed dogs drop with a button flip on the back of the machine. If you want to do free-motion quilting, you might also want to pick up a spring-action quilting foot.
  4. I’ve also gotten spoiled by the extendable wide table of my Brother CS6000i, so that’s one thing I miss a little bit here. This oversized table extension holds large costumes and other items to the left of the sewing machine. Not a dealbreaker, but just a little sad that it’s not an option here.

Hemming Jeans and Sewing Denim

sewing denim with singer 4423

I sewed up to 5 layers of denim to see if I could, and it worked. I probably could have sewed more, but I couldn’t think of any circumstance where I’d ever have to sew more layers of denim. So I decided not to press it!

The motor is 60% stronger than a regular sewing machine motor, and you can tell it when sewing these bulky fabrics.

If you plan to sew denim and other heavyweight materials, ensure you’ve read up on picking the correct needles and threads. A page in the Singer 4423 manual lists needle size and corresponding fabric. For denim, use at least a 90/14 needle with a sharp point. 

Sewing Leather with the Singer 4423

sewing leather with singer 4423

No issues here, either! I sewed three pieces of tooling leather together with ease. 

Getting Used to the Foot Pedal

singer heavy duty foot pedal

The foot pedal took some adjustment for this girl whose computerized sewing machines have spoiled her. I had difficulty mastering “very slow,” but I eventually got the hang of it.

The foot pedal is also not very heavy and kept on moving around the floor while hanging from the cord. I fixed this problem by making my own non-slip sewing foot pedal mat.

For your computerized sewing machine lovers, the computerized Brother ST150HDH heavy-duty sewing machine offers Brother’s computerized features. Fast-drop, quickset bobbin, and computerized sewing, meaning foot free.

How fast is 1100 stitches per minute really?

I’m used to a max of 850 spm on my sewing machines, so having a machine with this speed capability was enthralling! It can be a little dangerous at times, too, so make sure you aren’t sewing over pins and don’t have your hands anywhere near the presser foot and needle clamp screw as it moves up and down.

Luckily, the metal frame and heavier weight of the sewing machine keep it from bouncing around as it sews.

Singer Warranty

In good news, I haven’t had to use the Singer warranty for this sewing machine yet! However, if you do have issues with the sewing machine, you are covered by their typical 90/2/25 warranty. 

This means a 90-day warranty covers everything at Singer’s expense. Then, many things are covered for 2 years at your expense, and only the sewing machine head is covered for 25 years. Sounds not so great, but this is comparable to warranties of sewing machines by other manufacturers.

Pros

  • Lightning fast
  • Top-load bobbin easier than front-load bobbin of other Singer sewing machines
  • Can change presser foot pressure
  • Rocks at sewing both thin and thick fabric

Cons

  • Sensitive foot pedal for beginners or computerized users, like me
  • Cheap buttonhole foot
  • Needle threader only works when the needle is perfectly up
  • I just need to mention it again: the fingerprints and smudges I’m constantly putting on the steel plate drive me CRAZY.

 

So far, I’ve been impressed with the sewing quality and features of the Singer 4423! It’s served its purpose as the bearer of my thick sewing projects, leaving my more delicate embroidery machine to do less of the heavy lifting. 

24 Comments

    1. I bought a 4423 several years ago after a string of other brands that worked for a short time, then I could never get them to sew heavier fabrics. This machine eats them up like nothing- I love everything about this machine and after a break from sewing – I’m back and no problems at all – considering buying a 4452 as a back up since I am also considering doing some sewing for profit. I find that ppl with computerized machines often have finicky machines that they are always complaining about – this is a very simple machine and the best one I’ve owned yet! I did watch your video and I did learn about one of my settings – of course when you get something all you want to do is play – for all other things there’s You Tube, lol! Much happy sewing! Thank you!

  1. My mom is 🤔 my about buying this machine. She would like to know if the needle automatically comes up when you stop the machine?

    1. When you stop sewing, the needle stays in the position it stopped in. If you want the needle to come up, you can use the handwheel on the side or push down gently on the foot pedal to raise it. If you’re looking for the needle up/down programmable function, consider checking out a computerized machine, which will have much more customization available to users.

  2. Hi, will the Singer take a size 18 needle? I need to sew layers of waterproof canvass and need to use 16 thread. Thanks.

  3. Hi there, I have this machine as well and purchased it a few years back when I was first learning and was taking an online quilting course that said to raise the presser foot. However, since then I’ve never been able to get back to the ‘default’ presser foot setting. Constantly fiddling with it. Do you have any advice on how to sort this? Thanks!

  4. I recently bought this machine, and I’ve been quite happy with it for a couple weeks. But it’s recently started just… breaking needles. Many needles in a couple sizes. Over and over. To the point I can’t sew. Anyone else had this problem? Suggestions for what I’m doing wrong?

    1. Buy good “Singer” needles – I tried off brands and they don’t work so well – had problems

  5. I recently bought the 4423. After watching several tutorials I am able to do basic straight stitching. However when I turn the dial for a different stitch it still does the straight stitch. Any steps I’m missing?

  6. Hello! Do you know if would hold up sewing layers of paper? I do junk journaling , and I have trouble seeing to thread my current machine. So the “self threading” option looks appealing. Thank you!

  7. Does anyone have a problem with Schmetz needles? I bought denim needles because I plan to make some jeans. My fabric is a thinner denim- not too heavy but when I went to manually try the needle it hit the bobbin case- I tried to shove the needle up further to see if that made a difference? I’m scared to try other Schmetz although I have ordered 4 different kinds. Does anyone have any help for me? Would really appreciate some help Cheryl Brown

    1. Have you tried any other brands of needles to see if they also hit the bobbin case? In which case, it might be an issue with needle insertion.

      I almost exclusively use Schmetz’s standard home sewing machine needles (occasionally Organ or Singer) with my heavy-duty and have not had a problem with them.

  8. I just have to comment: I am a sewing teacher, we have this machine in my classroom. I have 32 of these machines and have been using them for the last 3 years with about 240 different students using them throughout those last 3 years. I have one remark— with that many students LEARNING how to use a sewing machine, I do think this one is a bit sensitive. If the students forget to put the presser foot down when sewing or if they turn the hand wheel the wrong way (away from them) the bobbin case moves– preventing ANY use of the machine and potentially breaking the needle. This machine is more sensitive than other machines I have used in the past. I know most people that are buying a sewing machine have some idea and are maybe more patient then my high schoolers. But that is the one flaw with this machine I have to comment on. Other than that it does hold up pretty well! 🙂

    1. Yes, machine embroidery thread will work on this Singer machine. I wouldn’t use it for heavy-duty sewing or any seams that will see wear and tear, though, as it isn’t as strong.

  9. I was in the machine shop a few months ago & asked the guy who owns & services the Singer machines about The Schmetz needles. He said they should work on my 4423, He said to make sure I unscrewed the screw more than I was doing. Since, I have tried & they work fine.

  10. Thank you very much – that was very helpful and the video was great too! Greetings from Germany and a soon to be owner of a Singer 4423! Best wishes for 2024!

  11. Can I install the Singer 4423 into my sewing machine cabinet? (does it have the two holes in the back of the sewing machine base for the cabinet screws?). Your insight will be appreciated.

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