The matter of looking for drop in bobbin sewing machines can be both beautifully simple and frustratingly complex.
Yeah, I bet that doesn’t sound weird at all. So let me explain why I’m starting my article with that statement.
The thing is that a lot of sewing machines will have a drop-in bobbin. Front load bobbins are not as popular.
So, finding top-loading sewing machines can be simple because there’s a high chance that a lot of models that you’ll check out will have drop-in bobbin among their many features.
I wrote articles reviewing the best sewing machines under $50 and the best sewing machines under $100. If you’re looking at models that are really cheap and cost less than $100, then you’ll come across machines that work with a drop-in bobbin.
The same applies if you’re looking for models that cost $200, $300, $500, $1,000, $2,000 or more.
Thus, the frustratingly complex part of looking for the best drop-in bobbin sewing machines is that we have all these models to choose from and they will match a variety of budgets.
That means that we have a lot of options to choose from, which can be a bit overwhelming for some people, especially beginners.
Whether we’re looking for sewing machines, heavy duty sewing machines, embroidery machines, sewing and embroidery machines, sewing and quilting machines, then you’ll easily come across sewing machines with drop in bobbin.
To easily tell if a model comes with drop in bobbin or not is to look if the components also include a bobbin case. Or to look where the bobbin is inserted.
Drop-In Bobbin Sewing Machines Reviews
Since there are so many wonderful models to choose from if you’re looking for sewing machines with drop in bobbin, my recommendation would be to have a budget in mind.
If you strictly want to spend under $200, there are some wonderful machines from both Brother and Singer that I will recommend.
If you want a heavy duty model that will last for years to come and can be one of the best sewing machines for leather, denim, making clothes of all types, easy to use even for beginners, reliable, sturdy, then we have the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 for a price around $200.
Sewing and quilting machines, like the Janome MC6650, which almost costs $2,000 are absolutely amazing but they can also be very expensive. You can find more recommendations in my article on large throat sewing machines for quilting.
Sewing and embroidery machines can also be quite expensive but they’re equally amazing. One of my favorites is Brother SE1900, which comes close to costing almost $1,000.
Thus, having an approximate budget in mind and knowing which type of model would work best for your projects can help you greatly when looking for drop in bobbin sewing machines. And you can check out sewing books if you need more inspiration.
In this article, I’ll try to cover a wide area of prices. I’ll recommend a variety of drop in bobbin sewing machines so I hope you can find what you’re looking for or the direction you need to take.
Also, check out my recommendations for the best thread for sewing machine if you need help in that area.
1. Singer Heavy Duty 4423: One of my Favorite Drop In Bobbin Sewing Machines
I recommended the Heavy Duty 4423 for working with leather. I also mentioned that is one of my top recommendations for people who want to make clothes, to mend whatever they want. And it’s also a top pick for sewing wigs.
It works for different projects from denim to canvas to leather to making clothes.
Basically, there’s not much that this Singer can’t do.
It’s just so solid and it actually screams heavy duty by just looking at it. Plus, heavy duty sewing machines are some of my favorites, including when we’re talking about the best drop in bobbin sewing machines.
It’s also one of my favorites as the best sewing machine for denim.
97 stitch applications
You’ll definitely find everything type of stitch you might need among these 97 stitch applications.
These also include one-step buttonhole.
With 1,100 stitches per minute, the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 is a very powerful machine.
We get adjustable pressure foot pressure to sew very lightweight sheers. Besides heavyweight fabrics, we can also sew lightweight ones.
We can also drop the feed dogs for free motion sewing or quilting. I would say that the Heavy Duty 4423 can work nicely for quilting.
The 6.25 inches sewing space and 4.25 inches height can be good enough for decent quilting and other bigger projects.
We can adjust the position of the needle thanks to the three needle position dial.
We have dials for: stitches, stitch width dial, stitch length dial, and thread tension dial. I love that it’s easy to use. I think even beginners could adapt easily to using this Singer 4423.
The working space is illuminated by LED light.
Of course, we also get automatic needle threader. What it lacks is an automatic thread cutter but I don’t see it as a big loss.
The sewing feet that come with the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 are: general purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, edge/quilting guide.
We also get the following accessories: needles, bobbins, spool caps, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt, screwdriver, seam ripper, soft dust cover.
We also get foot speed control. This pedal allows us to adjust the speed. Most buyers find that the pedal reacts well to the pressure of our foot so it’s easy to regulate the speed at which we’re sewing.
However, I will admit that it might take some time until you adjust to the sensitivity of the pedal. It can get the feed dogs and needle from barely moving to flying at a very high speed.
If you are a beginner and you’re not entirely certain that you can control the speed from the foot controller as well as you’d like, I recommend checking out a sewing machine with speed control. One of the most affordable ones with speed control is the Brother CS6000i that I will review just below.
The user manual will come with instructions about winding and inserting the bobbin. This is a drop-in bobbin so the process will go faster than for a front load bobbin.
However, if you have problems following instructions from the user manual, I totally recommend searching for tutorials on YouTube. This applies to any model because there’s a high chance that you’ll find some useful tutorials no matter which machine you end up buying, whether it’s Singer, Brother, Janome, Juki, etc.
Where to Buy?
2. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
And the CS6000i has the advantage of being a model under $200, it’s really quite cheap.
Also, for such an affordable price, you will discover that this Brother has a lot to offer, including speed control, which is not such a common feature among cheap, drop-in bobbin sewing machines.
We get more than enough stitches for whatever type of project we want to take on, including quilting, making or mending clothes.
Among the 60 stitches, we’ll also find decorative stitches and 7 styles of auto-size buttonholes.
The drop-in bobbin is very easy to wind and insert. If you are not satisfied with the instructions in the user manual, you can find YouTube tutorials. It’s easy finding tutorials because the Brother CS6000i is a very popular model, among the most popular at the moment.
We get an LCD display with easy-to-use stitch selector.
The electronic variable speed control button that is placed right under the screen is an amazing feature to see in such an affordable model. We just have to slide the controller to adjust the sewing speed, no more pressing of a pedal with our foot.
We can select the speed from this button and then we don’t have to worry about pressing the foot controller with a certain pressure and to maintain that exact pressure in order to maintain the low, medium or high speed we need. It’s a helpful feature, especially for those who are just starting to sew on a sewing machine.
Of course, we get automatic needle threader.
There’s also a built-in free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
And a brightly lit LED work area.
On top of all those amazing features, a wide table for larger projects and quilts is also added.
The drop feed is automatic in case you want to do free-motion sewing and quilting.
Overall, the Brother CS6000i is the type of machine that I could recommend for beginners and for more experienced sewers. It can be a good fit for everyone, especially for people who are looking to spend under $200 on one.
The sewing feet for the CS6000i are: buttonhole foot, zipper foot, overcasting foot, blindstitch foot, monogramming foot, zigzag foot, quilting foot, walking foot, quilt guide, button sewing foot.
Even from these accessories we can easily tell that the CS6000i is designed with both sewing and quilting in mind.
The other included accessories are: seam ripper, bobbins, needle set, cleaning brush, screwdriver, extra spool pin, and foot controller.
It also only weighs 13 pounds so we can easily call it a portable sewing machine.
Where to Buy?
3. Brother SE19000: Sewing & Embroidery Machine with Drop In Bobbin
You can watch this YouTube video if you want to see how the drop-in bobbin for the SE1900 is winded and how it’s inserted directly into the machine.
If you are looking for one of the best drop-in bobbin sewing machines that is also an amazing embroidery machine at the moment, then the Brother SE19000 can be an awesome choice.
On the other hand, if you want a cheaper model that can also do beautiful embroidery but in smaller designs, then I recommend the Brother SE600.
5 x 7 inches embroidery field
Whenever we review an embroidery machine, we’re always interested to know the size of the hoop.
The SE1900, since it’s not exactly a cheap model, has a 5 x 7 inch hoop, which is great.
While the 138 embroidery designs can be nice, we’re mostly interested in whatever images we can import via USB.
We can basically import whatever designs we want as long as the images don’t exceed the 5 x 7 inches size of the embroidery field. It’s a good size. Smaller hoops measure 4 x 4 inches.
There also are 11 font styles and 10 frame designs.
Yes, we get a whole lot of stitches that also include 10 buttonhole styles.
The My Custom Stitch feature lets sewers design their own sewing stitches.
There is the usual: automatic needle threader, adjustable presser foot pressure, LED light, etc.
There’s also an automatic thread cutter included. It is easily identified by the scissor icon on the button. Once sewing is done, when we press the thread cutter button, the needle and bobbin threads are cut automatically by the machine. It’s a nice feature to have although it’s certainly not essential for high quality sewing and embroidery projects.
We also have a 3.7 inches color touch LCD screen to visualize our designs and to see whatever changes we make.
The SE1900 also comes with an electronic variable speed control button. Slide the button and select whatever sewing speed you want, which is great for those who don’t enjoy controlling sewing speed from the foot controller.
There are 8 sewing feet: buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, stitch guide foot, adjustable zipper/piping foot, non-stick foot, open toe foot, embroidery foot, blindstitch foot.
The non-stick foot can be used for projects with leather, suede and vinyl. It’s certainly a highly versatile model that can handle a variety of fabrics of different weights. It’s also very fast and it’s easy to work with.
It also comes with a knee lifter.
Where to Buy?
4. Janome MC6650: Sewing and Quilting Machine with Drop In Bobbin
It can be an absolute dream for quilters. However, it also comes with a few negative reviews so not everything is perfect.
Plus, the price around $2,000 can certainly act as a deterrent for a lot of people.
It has a lot of stitches and 2 alphabets.
Previously, I reviewed the Janome MC6650 as an amazing large throat sewing machine for quilting.
The throat space measures 10 x 4.7 inches. It’s certainly impressive and it’s amazing for big quilting projects. But that’s not all that’s impressive about it.
The 1,000 stitches per minute are quite amazing and it can handle a lot of different fabrics.
Plus, the speed control slider is also a very nice touch.
Since this is such an expensive model, it only makes sense that, besides an automatic needle threader, it also features an automatic thread cutter.
Automatic thread cutters are certainly not as popular as needle threaders.
Janome mentions a top loading full rotary hook bobbin. In other words, a drop-in bobbin is included.
It’s easy to wind, easy to insert, easy to check out for how much thread is still left on the bobbin. It allows us to easily see when we need to add a new full bobbin.
It also comes with foot pressure adjustment dial for switching seamlessly between lightweight fabrics and multiple layers of thick fabrics.
Of course, we can lower the feed dogs if we want to engage in free motion sewing and quilting.
There are 6 LEDs in 3 different locations for an amazingly illuminated work area.
The MC6650 comes with the following feet: automatic buttonhole foot, darning foot, free motion quilting closed toe foot, free motion quilting open toe foot, free motion quilting zig-zag foot, satin stitch foot, zig-zag foot, blind hem foot, overcast foot, zipper foot, rolled hem foot, clear view foot.
Other accessories are: foot control, quilting guide bar, spool holder large (2), spool holder small (2), spool rest (2), net (2), seam ripper, lint brush, buttonhole stabilizer plate, straight stitch needle plate, bobbins (5), screwdriver, stitch reference chart, dust cover, instruction book.
There’s no knee lift.
Where to Buy?
5. Janome New Home 49360: Best Value for Money
The Janome New Home 49360 is amazing for people with a budget around $500-$600.
It’s an incredibly model with a lot of exciting features. Overall, I love it a lot and it’s one of my favorite recommendations for drop-in bobbin sewing machines.
We get enough stitches for whatever sewing, mending, and quilting projects we want to sew.
The 60 stitches include stitches for basic sewing and for decorative stitching.
We will also find 6 one-step buttonholes: square, round-end, fine fabric, stretch, antique, keyhole, and welted buttonhole.
The user manual for the Janome New Home 49360 also includes a table with columns for: fabric, thread, and needle sizes. It allows us to see just how versatile a model is.
Light fabrics: lawn, georgette, tricot, wool, polyester.
Medium: cotton, polyester, fine jersey, wool.
Heavy: denim, jersey, coating, quilting.
We can say that this Janome 49360 is not a heavy-duty model but it still handles a variety of fabrics and it can sew through numerous layers. It’s pretty great.
The Janome 49360 is the kind of machine that has quite a lot of amazing features.
Of course, it comes with a top loading full rotary hook bobbin. That is another name for drop-in bobbin.
Let’s see what other interesting features we get.
There’s an automatic needle threader that might take some time getting used to.
We also get an automatic thread cutter in the form of a button with a scissor icon on it. It automatically cuts the upper and bottom thread when we press it and the sewing is done.
Janome’s Exclusive Superior Plus Feed System is also included for even, stable feeding of any fabric.
The speed control slider that lets us set the sewing speed from a slider. There’s no need to control the sewing speed from the foot controller if we use the speed control slider.
It also has a free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs, for mending knees, cuffs or areas of wear in children’s clothes, and for darning socks.
And there’s LED lighting.
The sewing feet for the Janome New Home 49360 are: custom crafted zigzag foot, automatic buttonhole foot, zipper foot, overedge foot, satin stitch foot open toe, blind hem foot, ¼” seam foot.
The other accessories included are: bobbin (3), spool pin felt, needle set, additional spoon pin, seam ripper, screwdriver, lint brush, small spool holder, large spool holder, spool stand, foot control, hard cover for transportation.
The Janome New Home 49360 only weighs 12 pounds. It’s a portable sewing machine.
Where to Buy?
Drop-In Bobbin vs Front Load Bobbin
No matter the type, a bobbin is a small spool of thread that holds the lower/bottom thread.
They can be made of plastic or metal. Class 15 bobbins are the most popular, they might be used in over 75% of all home sewing machines.
The only machines that don’t use one are sergers, overlock, and chainstitch machines.
As I’ve mentioned, figuring out which models fall into the category of drop-in bobbin sewing machines is very easy to check out because this is the kind of information that manufacturers mention among their top features or in their user manuals.
You don’t have to dig deep to see what system we get for our bottom thread. A sewing machine can’t work without bobbin thread, which is also called the bottom thread.
The top thread comes from the top spool and these two threads form the stitch. Without either, we can’t form stitches. They’re a team. Of course, you have to learn to load a bobbin properly to get proper stitches and a machine that sews like butter.
Two bobbin types
There are two main types:
- drop-in bobbin or top loading bobbin
- front load bobbin (this is the one that also comes with a bobbin case)
For example, if you check out the Janome MC6650, which is an amazing sewing & quilting machine, then you’ll notice immediately that it comes with a top loading full rotary hook bobbin. The same goes for the Janome New Home 49360.
I have these examples because I wanted to talk about the two different types of bobbin systems.
And because a top loading full rotary hook bobbin is a drop in bobbin called a bit differently.
So I chose those examples to demonstrate that some brands might use the name of loading full rotary hook bobbin, which also means a drop in bobbin, which is the type of machine we’re here looking for.
The second type we might come across is front load bobbin. Let’s see what sets them apart.
What Is a Drop In Bobbin?
A drop-in bobbin can also be called a top-loading bobbin. They’re the same thing.
The one that is different is a front load bobbin.
On top-loading machines the bobbin is dropped directly into the machine just in front of the needle plate, it is inserted from the top.
The major difference between the two types is that a drop-in doesn’t come with a bobbin case, which can make things easier for some people.
We remove the plate in front of the presser foot and we basically drop in the bobbin, hence the names of both top-loading and drop-in.
The bobbin doesn’t have a case. It’s inserted directly into the machine.
The machine can have a plastic cover that slides to the left to reveal the space into which we put the bobbin. Others will have a metal cover.
The advantage of a plastic cover for top-loading machines is that we can easily see when the spool on the bobbin comes close to running out. We won’t run out of bottom thread by simply glancing at our bobbin as we sew.
That is certainly an advantage over front load bobbins. These are hidden inside a metal case that we must check out from time to time to see if we need to insert a new one full of thread.
You can check out this video if you want to see how it looks. The video is made by using the Singer Heavy Duty 4423 as an example, which is great because it’s also my top recommendation.
Overall, drop-in bobbin sewing machines are certainly more prevalent nowadays.
What is a Front Load Bobbin?
Front-loading machines have one major difference: we have the bobbin and we have a bobbin case in which to fit in the bobbin.
We hold the case in one hand and the bobbin in the other and we push the bobbin into the case. Then the thread is passed through the slit into the case.
These are made of metal.
And then we insert the bobbin case that houses the bobbin with its small spool of thread into the bobbin driver. It is inserted from the front.
The bobbin driver is found under the needle plate at the front of the machine. A tiny door conceals the place where a front load bobbin goes and the process is relatively easy.
You can watch this YouTube video if you want to see how a front load bobbin is used and how it works with its case and all.
The Singer MX231 is a perfect example of an affordable and amazing model with front load bobbin.
Singer is a brand that will have quite a few front-loading machines so make sure to pay attention when you’re checking out models from Singer.
Brother is very well known for its top-loading (drop-in bobbin) machines.
Personally, I was mostly used to front-loading machines but I can also totally see the appeal of drop-in bobbin sewing machines, for me both types are easy to use but drop-in bobbins can be generally easier to load, to monitor, and to use.