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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 with you in this Singer 4423 review.
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 really needed one because I was able to use my Brother CS6000i sewing machine for most thick materials, and it got along fine. And if I took chances with it and burned out the motor, well, I could replace it pretty inexpensively. After a few close calls, though, I ultimately decided it might be a good idea to get a heavy-duty machine.
After I used my Singer 4423 for a while, I actually traded in my CS6000i! So now I’m down to a sewing and embroidery combination machine for everyday use and the Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine for when I need to go into beast mode on thick fabrics!
In this Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine review, I’ll go over key features of the machine, provide tips for using the Singer 4423, and finally present pros & cons.
First Impressions of the Singer 4423 Sewing Machine
I did an unboxing when I first got my Singer 4423, which is posted below. I’m not a great video-maker, so apologies!
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 a significantly stronger motor than regular 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 function as your only sewing machine.
Heavy-duty sewing machines also sew at a significantly faster speed than your regular run-of-the-mill sewing machine and feature stitches more commonly used in heavy-duty sewing.
What comes with the Singer 4423?
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 pool 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, obviously. It did have everything else that I needed to get started. Well, except the manual, so I downloaded it here.
Quick Singer 4423 Sewing Machine Review of Features
|Dimensions||15.5 x 6.25 x 12 in|
|Max Speed||1100 spm|
|Max Stitch Length||4mm|
|Max Stitch Width||6mm|
|Bobbin Size||Class 15|
Singer 4423 Stitches
There are 23 included stitches on the Singer 4423 You change them with the dial above. Overall, there are 6 basic stitches, 4 stretch stitches, one buttonhole stitch, and 12 decorative stitches. These 23 stitches include a straight stitch, stretch straight stitch, zigzag, triple-stitch zigzag, ric rack, blind hem, buttonhole, cross-stitch stitch, overcasting stitch, scallop stitch, and many more!
And if you want to access the blue stitches, all you have to do is select S1 on the stitch length dial.
How many presser feet are there?
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. This is a low-shank sewing machine, meaning other Singer or generic low-shank presser feet will also work with the Singer 4423. 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 of the Singer 4423
Changing Needle Position and Adjusting Tension
When applicable, there is a dial on the top of the machine that 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 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. It’s important to have an idea of average lengths and widths for each stitch to achieve the best results.
In general, heavier fabrics will 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, and then change as needed from there.
Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure and Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter
Thanks to adjustable presser foot pressure, you can sew even the lightest weight fabrics like chiffon and silk. You’ll adjust the presser foot pressure using a coin and turning 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 will return to its normal intermediate height, so this is a hands-on process.
When you remove the flat-bed attachment, you have a small free arm remaining. 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 a lot 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, there are always auxiliary sewing lamps you can purchase.
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
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.
How do you set 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 as well as what it sounds like once it starts sewing.
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
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 bit of 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 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 in using the orientation imprinted on the sewing machine workspace, then pull it around a slit and a notch, and you’re ready to go.
One other 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. This is something I’m not used to doing 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 to do, but it is an extra step.
How to Make Buttonholes in One-Step
Making buttonholes was 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 felt the need to use this feature yet.
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.
Can you quilt with the Singer 4423?
You can definitely quilt with this sewing machine. Here are some things to consider, though, when it comes to quilting.
- 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 through at the same time.
- 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.
- The feed dogs do drop with a flip of a button on the back of the machine. If you’re wanting to do free-motion quilting, you might also want to pick up a spring-action quilting foot.
- 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 with the 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’re also planning to sew denim and other heavyweight materials, make sure you’ve read up on picking the correct needles and threads. There’s a page in the Singer 4423 manual that 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
No issues here, either! I sewed three pieces of tooling leather together with ease. Ha, the picture above was staged, so don’t mind how the machine isn’t even threaded!
Getting Used to the Foot Pedal
This was my first time in YEARS using a foot pedal, so it took some definite adjustment for this girl who has been spoiled by computerized sewing machines. I had a hard time 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 really expected it to have more weight to it. I fixed this problem by making my own non-slip sewing foot pedal mat.
For your computerized sewing machine lovers, there’s a computerized Brother ST150HDH heavy-duty sewing machine that offers Brother’s computerized features. Fast-drop, quickset bobbin, and computerized sewing, meaning foot free. Just something to consider if you have a little higher budget and want more features.
How fast is 1100 stitches per minute?
I’m used to a max of 850 spm on my sewing machines, so to have a machine with this speed capability was enthralling for me! It can be a little dangerous at times, too, so make sure you aren’t sewing over pins and also don’t have your hands anywhere near the presser foot and needle clamp screw as it is moving up and down.
Luckily, the metal frame and heavier weight of the sewing machine keep it from bouncing around all over as it sews.
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 everything is covered by a 90-day warranty at Singer’s expense, a lot of things are covered for 2 years at your expense, and only the sewing machine head itself is covered for 25 years. Sounds not so great, but this is comparable to warranties of sewing machines by other manufacturers.
- 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
- Sensitive foot pedal for beginners or computerized users, like me
- Cheap buttonhole foot
- Needle threader only works when needle perfectly up
- I just need to mention it once more: the fingerprints and smudges I’m constantly getting on the steel plate drive me CRAZY.
Singer 4423 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine Review – Conclusion
Thus 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!