If you (or someone on your gift list) is feeling inspired by Project Runway, a beginner sewing machine might be on your holiday shortlist. So far, we've only seen one sewing machine included in the leaked Black Friday ads posted on BFads.com and other sites. Sears is featuring the Kenmore 18221 for $150, down from a regular price of $180. And while owner reviews for this basic mechanical sewing machine are great, we've identified another starter machine that's even better.
The Kenmore 18221 gets great user reviews from about 70 owners posting comments to Sears.com. That in itself is remarkable among basic sewing machines, which are often dinged in reviews for finicky tension, troublesome bobbin winding and poor durability. So the Kenmore 18221 certainly wouldn't be a bad choice -- it's just that for $20 more than the Black Friday price (and $10 less than today's price), you could do even better with the Brother CS6000i, a $170 electronic sewing machine that gets almost fanatical support in more than 1,000 owner-written reviews at Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Here's a rundown of how the two compare:
|Kenmore 18221||Brother CS6000i|
|Price||$180, but $150 on Black Friday||$170|
|Contols||Dials and sliding levers||Push button|
|Number of stitches||21||60|
|Number of buttonhole types||1||7|
|Included accessory feet||7||9|
|Case||Carrying handle, no case||Hard case included|
|Warranty||90 days||Head: 25 years; electrical: 2 years; parts/labor: 1 year|
Just considering warranty, the Brother machine has the easy advantage. But the Brother sewing machine also has seven types of buttonholes (including three types of keyhole buttonholes) and dozens more decorative stitches. All in all, those features are worth an extra $20 over the Kenmore machine's sale price. That said, if you find yourself in Sears on Black Friday, the Kenmore 18221 isn't a bad choice; owners are very happy with it.