Singer 4452 Review – Heavy-Duty or Not?

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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.

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.

singer 4452 sewing machine

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Why You Might Need a Heavy-Duty Sewing Machien

Heavy-duty sewing machines are made of heavy-duty metal and have a significantly stronger motor than standard home sewing machines. 

They 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 frequently 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! Thus, even if you’re not a habitual sewist, the Singer heavy-duty 4452 can still be your only sewing machine.

What Came In My Box

what is in the singer 4452 box

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 can download a copy of their manual here if you’re not familiar with the model already.

Features to Know

Dimensions15.5 x 6.25 x 12 in
Weight14.6 lbs
Presser Feet6
Max Speed1100 spm
Max Stitch Length4mm
Max Stitch Width6mm
Bobbin SizeClass 15

There are 32 Built-In Stitches

This includes basic stitches, decorative stitches, stretch stitches, and one buttonhole stitch.  Below is a picture of the dial showing you the options.

32 stitches on singer 4452

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.

s1 and s2 on the stitch length dial

There Are 6 Presser Feet

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! The only difference is the inclusion of extra accessories with the Singer 4452.

All About These Extra Accessories

extra accessories that differentiate singer 4452 from singer 4423

Several extra accessories come with the Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine. I’ll review them one by one below.

Non-Stick Foot

nonstick accessory foot

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

quilting guide on the walking foot on singer 4452

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.

Clearance Plate

A pretty neat addition to this sewing machine, the clearance plate has two main uses.

clearance plate in action changing the needle

First, 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.

singer 4452 clearance plate in action on seams

Second, sewing thick seams on denim. If you insert the clearance plate underneath the presser foot right before the seam allowance, it levels out the presser foot so it doesn’t have to climb up the seam and risk breaking your needle. (The clearance plate has two sides, 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

adjusting 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

removing the flatbed attachment to access the free arm for small sewing on the 4452

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 on 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 is very handy. 

Changing the Needle Position and Adjusting Tension

threading the singer 4452 top view

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

twin needle setup on singer heavy-duty sewing machine

Sewing with a twin needle allows you to sew parallel lines of stitches using two spools of thread to mimic a coverstitch. 

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 set it up quickly by following the instructions provided in the manual and included quick-start guide. 

Below 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.)

YouTube video

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

using the singer heavy duty 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 still have to raise the bobbin thread yourself.  This is standard on most Singer home sewing machines.

Making Buttonholes

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 place the button in the back of the foot, and the sewing machine automatically sizes the buttonhole.

You also 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.

buttonhole settings for singer 4452

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

using the walking foot on 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 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.

It’s a Little Noisy

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 simply because it’s more powerful. 

The heavy-duty metal frame at least keeps it from bouncing all over the place!

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 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

sewing leather and denim with a heavy-duty sewing machine

I’ve had some time to experiment with sewing thick fabrics using my Singer 4452, and I’ve been fairly 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 out 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.

Singer 6380 vs. 4452

The Singer HD6390 and Singer 4452 have the same functions, features, and build.

Besides a few cosmetic differences, the two machines only differ in the included accessories. The Singer 6380 includes an extension table that the 4452 does not have as well as a blind hem foot, overcasting foot, and Sew Easy foot. In contrast, the Brother 4452 includes an even feed (walking) foot not found with the 6380.

Would I buy the Singer 4452 heavy-duty sewing machine again?

I bought the Singer 4452 in the first place because 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 heavy duty sewing machine review


  • 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


In 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!


  1. I purchased this machine from and the bobbin does not thread and the spool spindle does not work when pressing the foot pedal any suggestions thanks

    1. It’s very hard to diagnose a sewing machine problem without seeing the sewing machine, but you might want to check that you’ve moved the bobbin spindle from the left position to the right to signal to the machine that it needs to wind the bobbin. If this doesn’t work, I recommend watching videos or reading tutorials to make sure you’ve set up the sewing machine correctly and then contact for further steps if you aren’t able to fix the problem yourself.

  2. I bought the 4452 at I haven’t had much time to sew due to holidays and work. I’ve sewn may be an hour’ s worth (3 scrub hats). I went to change out the presser foot to a walking foot – the presser foot screw broke off in the shaft. What now? 90 days up!

    1. Oh gosh, that sounds awful! Have you tried contacting Singer? I’ve found most companies to be very accommodating due to the circumstances we’re all facing right now.

  3. Hello Aly
    I am trying to help a friend that got the 4452 for Christmas- She is NOT a sewer and I am an advanced sewer to this is like being back in Home Ec. 2 questions since you have the same machine. 1, the needle position changes when the width dial is changed- Why? Seems like it should be locked in position until you make the change with the needle position wheel. and second, on the bobbin insertion, the first catch is easy enough however the tread doesn’t seem to want to hold in place or catch on the second position- any suggestions? Thank you

  4. How thick of leather will it go through? Do you think I were to make a bag with 5-6 oz. leather, it would go through it? That would be anywhere between 4-5 mm in width when the two pieces are placed together.

    1. I’ve had good success so far with up to ~6mm of leather total, I’d say. It might take some troubleshooting to find the right needle, thread, stitch type, stitch settings, etc., but it’s definitely possible!

  5. Can you recommend a heavy duty binder foot for this machine? I have one I’ve used to make two canvas jeep tops with.

    So far, I’ve done all my binding by hand using 1″ poly webbing. At this point though, it has rotted off due to UV and weather and I need to replace it. I’m looking at Sunbrella’s marine binding or something similar.

    There are several places where the canvas is up to 5 or 6 layers thick that need to be bound – typically where I had to join two large pieces to make the roof itself.

    To everyone else:
    The work I’m doing with this machine is sometimes well outside its capabilities. I’ve damaged the needle plate and I’ve had to have it repaired once. I really should be using an industrial machine. That said, by hand-wheeling it through the thickest parts and being _very_ careful with feeding to keep the needle off the needle-plate, this machine can pull off some amazing stuff.

  6. I am surprised by no mention of the Singer Sewing Assitant app in this informative and fairly comprehensive article. This machine an some others are supported by this
    informative and extremely helpful app, put answers to common concerns at the sewedts fingertips.

  7. Hi! I have a Juki industrial that I use for bag making, and use 70 Tex thread. The only drawback with the machine is it’s not portable. I’ve wanted to participate in some classes, but can’t travel with the Juki. You’ve mentioned that the Singer 4452 sews through leather just fine, which is great! Could I still use a thicker thread with it?

    Nancy from North Carolina

    1. While I don’t have any of that type of thread around me right now to try, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work just fine.

      Now, if you’re used to an industrial sewing machine, the 4452 won’t be able to match that amount of power. However, Singer heavy duty machines are much better than standard houosehold machines at sewing the thicker fabrics!

  8. Hi, so my mom works as a seamstress but has only work with more affordable machines since she was younger, sadly this brings certain problems like overheating machines and not being able to sew thicker fabrics, i am now able to buy her one myself but i dont know enough about them, does anyone have any recommendations on a good sewing machine for work i can get her? thanks in advance and sorry for my bad grammar, english isnt my first language (:

  9. This is a really rough machine and it’s very noisy. I’ve only used it a few times but I keep going back to my reliable Jenone. It’s not worth the price but there’s no way Spotlight will take back a sewing machine, even to exchange for a better dearer model so I’m stuck with it.

  10. Aly – thank you so much for your very detailed review. I think the HD mechanical line is mostly the same machine except for accessories and amount of available stitches to select. Am a life-time Singer sewer – still using my hard-working Diana 860 that was a gift to me in 1981! It may be getting close to the time to think of a replacement and the HD line (leaning toward the 6380) is very appealing because of the more powerful motor and bigger feed dog system to handle heavier fabrics more easily. As a side note to the foot pedal – I use a folded piece of fabric between top and bottom of pedal to keep the pedal from fully depressing and thus controlling the sudden speed surge. Doesn’t take the place of a built-in slider control on the machine, but it works fairly well!

  11. Thank you for your time and effort. I’ll spare the details other than to mention that our daughter’s wedding is 1 month from today. When my wife’s Singer Simple 3337 went down this morning, my repair effort was granted sufficient time to rule out anything quick and easy before breaking out the magic wand. The HD 4452 was available nearby, reasonably priced, and seemed like a sensible choice in the interest of avoiding a steep learning curve. My wife is passed the novice level, but still in the thick of developing basic skills. She has nothing to do with our daughter’s dress but is quite capable to take care of altering dresses for the 3 young girls involved in ceremony. For me, finding your objective review with a favorable opinion was very settling. The way you walked through the capabilities and generously offered pointers is truly appreciated. I think she appreciates the feel of a more substantial machine as well. (Although it’s far lighter than I expected.) Thanks Again!

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