The best sewing machines for beginners are those which are basic, simple to understand and easy to operate. Avoid over-complicated equipment with extra features a beginner is unlikely to use. Look for features such as an automatic needle threader, a reverse lever and basic buttonhole features.
It is easy to become frustrated or intimidated by a sewing machine with dozens of extra features that are not needed for a beginner project. To avoid this, purchase a simple machine that provides only the necessary features. These include a horizontal spool pin to hold the thread, an automatic bobbin winder with a shut-off feature for when the bobbin is full, and an automatic needle threader.
Additional necessities include a reverse lever, snap-on presser feet and dials for adjusting stitch length and stitching patterns. These give the user a variety of available stitches and the ability to reinforce seams as needed. A buttonhole presser foot and buttonhole setting are other features many beginners find easy to operate. A removable accessory tray is also important as it provides a space to safely store the machine accessories and extra needles. The sewing machine should also have its own light to make it easier to view the stitches while the machine is in use.