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I’ve had my Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine for over a year now, so take a peek into my experiences in my Singer 4452 review.
Long story, but I owned the Singer 4423 heavy-duty sewing machine before this and then ended up with Singer 4452, too. I didn’t need two heavy-duty sewing machines, so I traded in the Singer 4423 and kept the slightly more fully-featured Singer 4452.
My Singer 4423 review features more information about my thoughts on having a mechanical heavy-duty sewing machine for the first time, which was a change for me as a user of mostly computerized sewing and embroidery machines!
In this Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine review, though, I’ll describe its features, show you how it works and what it can do, and then discuss some things I love and don’t love so much. Overall, I think it’s a great heavy-duty sewing machine and is a rock star at sewing thick fabrics, but I still prefer my snazzier computerized machines for everyday sewing of thinner fabrics.
Why do you need a heavy-duty sewing machine?
Heavy-duty sewing machines are made of heavy-duty metal and have a significantly stronger motor than standard home sewing machines, sew faster, and come equipped with features, built-in stitches, and accessories that make sewing very thick fabrics much simpler.
When I say thick fabrics, that includes denim, vinyl, leather, canvas, and even terry cloth, for instance. While you can sew these fabrics (up to around 6mm) with a home sewing machine, doing so on a frequent basis can burn out your sewing machine motor and cause other issues.
The good thing about heavy-duty sewing machines, though, is that they’re not just for thick fabrics. They work perfectly on thin, delicate fabrics as well! If you’re not a habitual sewist, the Singer heavy-duty 4452 can still function as your only sewing machine.
What comes with the Singer 4452 sewing machine?
Here’s what was in the box when I opened my Singer 4452.
- Singer 4452 sewing machine with foot controller and power cord
- 6 presser feet
- Accessories case including clearance plate, quilting guide, needles and extra heavy-duty needles, bobbins, spool caps, spool pin felt, auxiliary pool pin, screwdriver, and combo seam ripper and lint brush
- Gray soft dust cover
- Quick-start guide, warranty information, and a few other miscellaneous papers
Singer has gone mostly paperless, so you’ll likely want to download a copy of their manual here if you’re not familiar with the model already.
Brief Singer 4452 Heavy Duty 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|
What stitches are on the Singer 4452?
There are 32 built-in stitches with the Singer 4452. This includes basic stitches, decorative stitches, stretch stitches, and one buttonhole stitch. Here’s a picture of the dial showing you the options.
As you can see from the dial, each turn reveals a black, blue, and red stitch. If you look at the stitch length dial, which is located above, you’ll see notations for S1 and S2. You access the blue or red stretch stitches by turning the dial to either S1 or S2, respectively.
What are the included presser feet?
There are 6 total presser feet included with the Singer 4452 sewing machine. This is more than most of the other Singer heavy-duty sewing machines. Here’s a quick list, and I’ll give you some more details later on.
- All-purpose foot
- Zipper foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Button sewing foot
- Even feed walking foot
- Nonstick foot
Singer 4432 vs Singer 4452: What’s the Difference?
Comparing all the Singer sewing machines can be confusing. They all have the same look and largely the same features. In fact, the Singer 4432 heavy-duty sewing machine and Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine are the exact same sewing machines! Identical. The only difference is the inclusion of extra accessories with the Singer 4452.
All About These Extra Accessories
There are several extra accessories that come with the Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine. I’ll review them one by one below.
The first extra accessory is this white non-stick foot. It glides along fabrics like vinyl and leather without sticking, unlike your standard zigzag presser foot. Functionally, it is used just like the zigzag foot.
Walking Foot or Even Feed Foot
When sewing multiple layers of fabric or matching plaids or stripes, the even feed or walking foot keeps the top and bottom layers of fabric from shifting while sewing. If you attach the quilt guide, it can help you sew perfectly straight, parallel lines of stitches.
Attaching the even feed food involves removing the presser foot holder and may take some extra effort for a beginner to learn to set up correctly.
A pretty neat addition to this sewing machine, the clearance plate has two main uses.
1. It helps the user change the sewing machine needle. I have no problems replacing my needle by hand, but this is a nice apparatus if you have thick fingers or difficulty grasping the small needle.
2. Sewing thick seams on denim. If you insert the clearance plate underneath the presser foot right before the seam allowance, it will level out the presser foot so it doesn’t have to climb up the seam and risk breaking your needle. There are two different sides to the clearance plate, which are two different sizes to best match your seam dimensions.
Extra Heavyweight Needles
There is also one package of 5 heavyweight needles, size 100/14, that comes with the Singer 4452. This size of needle works well for very thick, woven fabrics.
Other Singer 4452 Helpful Features
Extra-High Presser Foot Lifter and Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
To allow the Singer 4452 to best sew fabrics of all weights, you can easily adjust the presser foot pressure. There’s a small screw on the top of the machine that you turn with a coin to adjust pressure. Turning towards the plus, or clockwise, increases presser foot pressure for sewing heavy fabrics. Turning towards the minus, or counterclockwise, decreases presser foot pressure, allowing you to sew thinner fabrics like silk.
Built-In Free Arm
After removing the accessories compartment of the Singer 4452, you’ll be left with the free arm. While most sewing machines have a built-in free arm, I use this feature more on my heavy-duty sewing machine than my standard sewing machine. A free arm facilitates the sewing of small, circular items such as sleeves and cuffs. You wrap your project around the arm and then don’t have to worry about accidentally sewing the two sides together! Since I hem jeans frequently for my daughters, this feature comes in very handy!
Changing the Needle Position and Adjusting Tension
For stitches that allow for different needle positions, you can adjust to left, center, or right needle position using a dial on the top of the sewing machine. Just remember to NOT change the needle position while your needle is still in the fabric. The same goes for changing stitches while your needle is in the fabric.
For very thick fabrics that don’t fit easily under the presser foot, there is a lever on the back of the machine to lift the presser foot above its resting up position. It feels spring-loaded, so once you’re no longer holding the lever up, the foot will return back to its standard “up” position.
Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
A knob on the front of the sewing machine allows you to adjust the stitch length from 0 to 4mm. A dial on the top of the machine allows stitch width adjustment from 0 to 6mm, when applicable.
If you’re a beginner, make a cheat sheet for yourself of average settings for the stitches you use often. This will save you a lot of trial and error when you get started on your first project.
For instance, I recommend starting with a 2-3mm length straight stitch for sewing a seam and a 4mm straight stitch when basting fabrics together. In general, thicker fabrics need a longer stitch length; lighter fabrics will be fine with a shorter length. So, adjust accordingly.
LED Workspace Light
There’s a bright LED light over the sewing workspace that adequately illuminates the stitching area. It’s brighter than the light on my Brother machines, and it allows me to sew with dimmer room lights if I want.
Stainless Steel Bedplate
Instead of a plastic bedplate like most home sewing machines, the Singer 4452 boasts a stainless steel bedplate. It’s smooth and nonstick, so theoretically fabrics of all types glide more easily over without catching. I haven’t noticed a difference between the Singer 4452 and my Brother SE1900, so either the SE1900 is particularly smooth also, or I haven’t compared them using an appropriate fabric yet.
The one thing I HATE about the bedplate, though, is it is a smudge and fingerprint magnet. It drives me so crazy that I end up sewing with an eyeglass cleaning cloth next to the machine so I can clean it whenever a particularly egregious fingerprint pops us.
Twin Needle Sewing
Sewing with a twin needle allows you to sew parallel lines of stitches using two spools of thread. I like to make professional-looking hems with my sewing machine without having to purchase an expensive coverstitch machine.
Setting up the extra spool of thread is very easy, and the Singer 4452 includes an extra spool pin amongst its included accessories. You will have to purchase a twin needle separately. When sewing with a twin needle, make sure to use only compatible stitches (for example, a straight or zigzag stitch), and test to make sure your needle won’t hit the presser foot by advancing the needle using the handwheel first.
Setting up the Singer 4452 Sewing Machine
As soon as you take your machine out of the box, you can get it set up in no time following instructions provided in the manual and included quick-start guide. Here is an incredibly sub-par video of me threading my Singer 4423 sewing machine to show you how it’s done, and I’ve also written an entire post for how to thread a Singer heavy-duty sewing machine. The Singer 4452 is threaded identically to the 4423.
When you go to thread the upper thread, you’ll notice numbers on the machine to help you out in threading. The only thing you thus really need to commit to memory is to always thread with the presser foot UP.
Using the Automatic Needle Threader
One thing that differentiates the Singer 4423 from some of the most basic Singer heavy-duty sewing machines is the inclusion of an automatic needle threader. Most Singer 4452 reviews sing its praises! It takes some time to learn to set up and get the hang of, but it’s a convenient feature. By pulling down the apparatus and rotating it towards you, a small hook will pass inside the eye of the needle. You’ll wrap the thread around this hook and then pull it back through the needle.
While the automatic needle threader on this sewing machine is better than that on many Brother sewing machines, it’s still a delicate piece that can break. If your needle isn’t in the center needle position or raised to its perfect highest point, you may have trouble getting the hook through the eye and thus bend the device. And when getting your needle to its highest point, make sure you are NEVER turning the handwheel away from you. This may break your sewing machine.
All About the Bobbin
My daughter has a Singer Start 1304, which features a front-load bobbin and requires much more intuition to set up than this Singer 4452.
Top-drop bobbins, like those found on Singer heavy-duty sewing machines, require simply dropping the bobbin in and following the imprinted directions on how to pull the thread through the bobbin case correctly. Much easier!
The bobbin case is also clear, which helps you visually monitor the amount of thread left on your bobbin so you don’t run out in the middle of a project.
Because this bobbin isn’t quick-set, though, you’ll still have to raise the bobbin thread yourself. This is standard on most Singer home sewing machines.
Making buttonholes with the Singer 4452 is fairly easy. It features an automatic one-step buttonhole using the included buttonhole foot.
The buttonhole foot itself is plastic and a lot more cheaply made than the foot for my 40-year-old Singer sewing machine, but it functions well enough.
You’ll place the button in the back of the foot, and the sewing machine will automatically size the buttonhole. You need to set the stitch length between 0 and 1, crank up the stitch width to 6, and set the stitch itself to the buttonhole. You also have to pull down the buttonhole lever AND push it back for it to make buttonholes correctly.
It’s important to note that while the four sides of the buttonhole are made automatically, this isn’t a computerized sewing machine (like the Brother ST150HDH heavy-duty sewing machine.) Thus, you will have to keep an eye on the mechanical sewing machine and remove your foot from the pedal once it’s finished. If you don’t, it will keep zigzagging on the bottom and you’ll have a big thread build-up.
Some Brother 4452 reviews complain about the buttonhole function, and I do understand. However, placing a layer of stabilizer underneath the fabric while sewing the buttonhole will keep your stitches straighter and make things a little more professional. Also, if you want to change the stitch density of your buttonholes to alter the appearance, use the small dial on the side of the sewing machine to alter that parameter.
Quilting with the Singer 4452
The Singer 4452 is a great sewing machine for sewing bulky quilts! Here are a couple of perks.
- It includes an even feed (walking) foot and a quilt guide.
- The feed dogs drop with the switch of a slider on the back of the machine, allowing for easy setup for free-motion sewing and quilting.
What else would make it better?
- If wanting to free-motion quilt or embroider, you will need to purchase a quilting foot separately.
- The same goes with a 1/4″ piecing foot, which is nice for making those scant 1/4″ seam allowances when quilting.
- As far as I know, there’s no compatible wide table to attach, so you won’t have that extra space to hold large items. Unless, of course, you have a dedicated sewing table set up.
How noisy is the Singer 4452?
Unfortunately, once you get yourself sewing at the top speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, this bad boy gets loud. While it’s nothing compared to an industrial or commercial-grade sewing machine, it is significantly louder than my other home sewing machines. I wouldn’t recommend bringing this machine to your college dorm room, for instance, and sewing at night while your roommates are sleeping. That being said, almost all heavy-duty sewing machines are louder than standard sewing machines simply because they are much more powerful! The heavy-duty metal frame keeps it from bouncing all over the place, though!
Using the Foot Pedal
The foot pedal of the Singer 4452 takes some time to get used to if you’ve never used one before. I had no problems sewing at 1,100 stitches per minute, but getting that perfect, consistent slow and steady sewing speed took some time to master in my muscle memory.
You’ll also likely benefit if you purchase or make a foot pedal pad to keep the pedal from moving around. My sewing corner has hardwood floors, so the lightweight pedal kept slipping until I made my nonstick pad.
Sewing Denim, Leather, and Canvas with the Singer 4452 Sewing Machine
I’ve had some time to experiment with sewing thick fabrics using my Singer 4452, and I’ve been mostly impressed.
So far, I’ve had no problems hemming jeans or sewing over seams on denim. I’ve even sewn several leather projects, the most recent being a small wallet I made out of scrap leather remnants from Hobby Lobby. I made a canvas bag recently to embroider my daughter’s initials on, and again, success!
For beginners who have never used a heavy-duty sewing machine, it is important that you know how to use it for heavy fabrics. Make sure to pick a needle and thread that are compatible with each other and with your fabric. For instance, stretchy knits require a ballpoint needle for best results, and denim needs a sharp needle of at least 90/14 size. Check the back of your manual for guidelines from Singer for how to choose a needle and thread based upon your fabric type, and I promise you’ll have fewer issues than flying blindly! (Or, read how to choose the best sewing machine needle and best thread types for a Singer sewing machine.)
Singer 4452 for Beginners: A Few Safety Tips
The Singer 4452 is a great beginner heavy-duty sewing machine. It’s easy to set up and easy to use, but with great power comes great responsibility. Because it is stronger and faster than other home sewing machines, you need to be careful when sewing.
Make sure you’re always choosing the correct needle for your fabric type, and if you’re sewing something tricky with a stitch you’ve never used before, always check to make sure your needle is going to clear the presser foot by using the handwheel or you may end up with a breaking, flying needle.
Keep your hands away from the needle and presser foot holder while sewing. The needle clamp screw moves up and down very fast and very powerfully, which may cause an injury!
Turn off your sewing machine before changing the needle or fiddling with anything in the sewing space. The last thing you want is a dog or child touching the foot pedal while you have your hands near the needle.
Be careful to not sew over pins. When I first learned to sew, I decided to cut corners and boldly sew over pins, taking my chances. It was a bad, dangerous idea, and I learned my lesson fast!
The Singer Warranty
If for some reason your machine doesn’t function perfectly after you purchase it, you can take advantage of Singer’s 90/2/25 warranty. Everything is covered 100% for 90 days at Singer’s expense for labor, many things are covered for 2 years at your expense for labor, and the sewing machine body itself is covered for 25 years. Since this isn’t the most stellar warranty, make sure to take your sewing machine out of the box soon after purchase and try it our before the 90-day warranty period is over!
Most stores or sites you can buy the Singer 4452 from also offer an optional extended warranty if you want to purchase that for added security.
Would I buy the Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine again?
The reason I bought the Singer 4452 in the first place was I got a deal I couldn’t pass up and was able to sell my Singer 4423 for more than I paid for the 4452. That being said, when it came time to purchase my first heavy-duty sewing machine, I did pick the Singer 4423 first.
A lot of the decision came down to price. I already owned an even-feed foot and nonstick foot from my Brother sewing machines, and a clearance plate and size 100/14 needles are inexpensive to purchase separately.
As a secondary machine, the extra 8 stitches on the 4452 were not as necessary for me to complete projects. Thus, if I hadn’t snagged the 4452 on a deal, I would still be happily trucking along with my 4423.
I still love my Singer 4452, though, and I don’t plan to trade it in anytime soon! However, if I were still choosing my first heavy-duty machine, I’m not sure the extra features of the 4452 would have been worth the extra money for me.
Singer 4452 Pros
- Fast and powerful for all fabric types
- Adjustable presser foot pressure to fine-tune sewing for all fabrics
- Included accessories make sewing thicker fabrics even easier!
- Easy to use and set up
- Buttonhole foot is cheap, and buttonhole stitch doesn’t stop automatically
- Needle threader requires perfect situations to work: ie center needle and needle up
- Smudges on the bedplate: SO annoying
Singer 4452 Review – Conclusion
This sewing machine has been a great addition to my sewing room. It’s sewn through all fabrics without a fuss, and I’ve yet to experience any significant issues.
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend it to you!