Singer has earned its reputation as one of the best sewing machine manufactures over the years producing the highest qualities machines at fantastic prices. The highly computerized Singer 9960 is no different and one of the best sewing machines of 2017. It is a high end machine packed with features and unparalleled performance. I have spent many hours with this machine and love how it makes difficult stitching a breeze.
For the more experience seamstresses you will realise how important it is to be efficient. I often work on large projects with intricate stitches and the 9960 is fantastic at dealing at this type of work quickly without comprising on quality.
To bring this all together the 9960 is simple to use and will not leave you confused. Often higher end machines assume lots of background knowledge and can make even experience seamstresses feel overwhelmed. If you are looking to upgrade your current machine I couldn’t recommend the Singer 9960 more. Read the rest of my review to see why I love it so much.
- 600 on-board stitches. With so many stitches available you never run out of options
- LCD Screen. Fantastic display that tells you everything you need to know.
- Highly Computerized.
- Auto needle threading and Thread Cutter.
- Top loaded Bobbin. Super easy to change the bobbin saving you time.
- Automated Stitch Length and Width.
- 18 Presser Feet. With so many presser feet this machine is incredibly versatile.
- 13 Buttonhole Styles.
- Interior Metal Frame.
The Singer 9960 have included a total of 600 on-board stitches. Don’t less figure intimidate you, singer have done a great job in helping you keep track of them all to ensure that you don’t waste your time. They have included a handy diagram on the top lid that gives you an idea of what each stitch looks like and helps you in selecting the best one for your needs.
To make this all even easier the 9960 comes with its ‘digital information advisor’ this is an LCD screen that give you lots of great information. From the here you will be to see which stitch you have selected, the width and length of your stitch and best of all which presser foot you should be using for your selected stitch. Shipped with a massive haul of 18 presser feet, being told which to use and when is super helpful. Even with all my experience I found myself referring back to the LCD screen just to make sure that I was using the correct presser foot.
Since it is a highly computerized machine there are a lot of buttons and different functions available. It can at first seem a little daunting when you first down with the 9960 but don’t fear. Singer’s guide booklet is detailed and will walk you through all the available features and how they work. The screen is well sized and really clear. Singer have obviously spent a lot of time making sure that the information is easy to read and that it is intuitive to use.
600 on-board stitches
With so many stitch functions the 9960 may seem a bit overwhelming so let’s breakdown the available stitch functions:
- Buttonholes – 13
- Sewing stitches – 103
- Decorative patterns – 34
- Lettering and characters – 450
In terms of lettering and characters there are 90 on board upper case, lower case, characters and numbers. All of which are available in 5 different fonts. This gives you great versatility for embroidering your projects to give your designs that personal touch. Not only is there a great range of lettering there are also 34 decorative stitches, with so many there is something for everyone no matter the occasion. I have used this machine to make a baby blanket for one of nephews, I loved using the car and plane decorative stitches. To make it super easy and quick to apply your own unique combinations of patterns the 9960 has an auto locking stitch.
With all these stitch functions there is many possibilities with the singer 9960, however, with the level of customization available the possibilities really are endless. The singer 9960 allows you to combine decorative stitches, which includes lettering, to make you own unique patterns. Along with this you can elongate or shorten a pattern as well as mirror the design.
The ability to elongate or shorten a stitch can be used to give you some really funky boarders and finishes. What I love to do on this machine is to combine the decorative stitches and lettering to have boarders around whatever I am writing. On the baby blanket I mentioned earlier I was able to combine cars and planes into one stitch and create a boarder around his name. What makes this ten times easier is the mirroring feature. I was able to just mirror the design rather than have to turn my fabric.
For those of you that quilt, the ability to mirror is priceless. No longer will you need to bunch up you material and feed it through the machine. This is often a problem if you want two parallel stitches that are facing the opposite way. With the ability to mirror this will no longer be an issue and the results will look far more professional.
The 9960 can hold patterns up to 60 stitches in length and is incredibly easy to alter. So if want to change or insert a new stitch you will not have a problem. Just move to the correct place on the screen and make whatever changes you wish. Keep in mind that the memory is wiped after use. This can be frustrating if you have a stitch you like that you want to use again. It can be laborious to start again, particularly if they are long, so what I like to do is plan out projects that will use the same designs and get it all out the way at once.
I cannot talk about the singer 9960 without discussing the buttonhole features. Making buttonholes is often an intimidating task for many seamstresses – especially beginners. The Quantum Stylist auto-sizes the buttonholes so whatever button you use it will choose the correct length and width to suit. It does this by allowing you to place your button in the buttonhole presser foot then the machine does its magic! If you want to use bigger buttons or those with a unique shape don’t worry; the quantum stylist will guide you through how to do this.
The quality of your buttonholes really determine how professional you projects turnout. The amount of great sewing project I have ruined because I couldn’t get the buttonholes quite right is huge. If only I had all the features of this machine then!
One striking feature of the Singer 9960 is the amount of presser feet that it comes with. With a total of 18 there is a good chance that you will never need to buy one separately. Since they snap in place they are incredible easy to attach.
To attach there are only two steps. Firstly you must place the foot under the presser foot mount. Finally, you pull down the presser foot lever and it will click into place now problem! You may need to adjust the position to get it lined up correctly but after a couple of goes you will get it right every time. Once you have the position worked out it will only take you a moment to change between feet, which is great considering how many you have to play with!
As you will have seen while doing you research on sewing machines many machines come with a limited amount of presser feet. This not limits your range of stitching and projects, it also can become costly as you buy more. With each foot costing up to $40 you really want to limit how many you will need to buy. With the singer 9960 you will get 13 of the most common feet as well as 5 more specialist feet that are for attaching a variety of different trims.
The included 13 common feet are:
- Buttonhole foot ( comes with underplate)
- Button sewing foot
- All-purpose foot
- Blind hem foot
- Narrow hem foot
- Overcasting foot
- Cording foot
- Embroidering foot
- Zipper foot
- Open toe foot Overcasting foot
- Satin sewing foot
- Even feed foot
- Quarter inch foot
The 5 other feet for adding trim are (including added tools):
- Adjustable bias binder foot
- Braiding foot
- Braiding guide
- Fancy trim foot
- Clearance foot
- Clear stitch in the ditch foot
Single welt cording foot.
Automation and Control
Since the singer 9960 is so computerized you will not be surprised to see the level of automation in this machine. When first getting setup you will have automated needle threading and auto bobbin winder, which straight away takes a lot of the messing around out of the equation. Not only that but when you are sewing you have the automatic trimmer and automatic tension. I love the automatic trimmer feature as it means you will not need to keep reaching for your scissors and give you a clean cut every time. The automatic tension works really great but can be adjusted manually for you needs. If you do adjust it manually you can quickly go back to the original tension with a quick press of a button.
As you can see there a lot of buttons on the singer 9960 which may be a little scary for some but I promise you that you will have no problem navigating you way round. I thought it would take me a year to remember what they all did but by the end of my first week with the 9960 it felt very natural. Before I go through what some of the buttons I just want to note how well sized they are. I am the type of person who struggle to send text on a modern phone because the letters appear so small, so having such big buttons really helps me.
First you need to decide how you want to operate the machine, whether with a foot pedal or with the start/stop button. . This will then decide how you control the speed of your machine. If you opt for the foot pedal then you can adjust the speed using the speed slider. Moving it to the left will slow you sewing speed down while moving it to the right will increase you sewing speed up to a maximum of 850 stitches per minute. For the more traditional there is a detachable foot pedal which can be used to control the speed by varying the amount of pressure. On great feature for more control with the foot pedal, particularly handy for beginners, is the ability to limit the max speed with the speed slider. All you need to do is move the slider to the speed that you want to be you limit with the foot pedal attached.
Replacing the hand wheel on the side is a needle up and down button. What is great is that you can program the machine to leave the needle in the up position or down position depending on what you are working on. If you are going to be sewing lots of angles it is really useful to be able to have the machine stop in the down position allowing you move your fabric and continue in one continuous stitch.
A feature I really like are the buttons that select the most common stitches. It is really nice to not have to type the number for basic stitches I use all the times. There is also an auto lock stitch button and button for selecting twin needle stitching. The LCD display is scrolled through using a five buttons directly underneath it. With these you can move through the available stitch, where five appear on screen at once. The stitches with their own hard buttons do not appear on screen.
Just looking at the amount of stitch functions, price and features of the Singer 9960 it may seem like a machine only for the more experienced seamstresses. While it is a great machine for experienced users it is also a fantastic option for a complete beginner. It is very to use for such a computerized machine and has much of the automation many beginners like.
While this is more expensive than most machines I have recommended for beginners, you get so much for you money and this could potentially see you through your whole sewing career. A definite downside of many sewing machines that are suited for beginners is that it is inevitable that your skills will outgrow your machine. Forcing you to upgrade – sometimes within a year. If you are just starting out then I definitely recommend considering the 9960 as it has so many features you will not need to replace it. If you are new to sewing and want to see my picks for best sewing machines for beginners then click the link.
The Singer 9960 offers so much but there are a couple of downsides. The biggest of which is that your customized patterns do not save when you switch the machine off. This can be a massive pain and require you to either plan your work carefully or keep the machine on (not recommended) if you want to avoid the recreating you pattern. The only other issue I found is that the lettering height is limited to ¼”. While not a problem for most if you are a quilter this does limit your possibilities.
Pros and Cons
- Fantastic value for money.
- 600 on-board stitches!
- Loads of accessories including 18 presser feet.
- Auto needle threader
- Top loaded bobbin
- Font height limited to 14”
- Patterns are not saved once the machine is turned off
It is hard to find someone I would not recommend the Singer 9960 to. Packed with features and accessorise it has enough versatility for almost every project. This must be one of the most cost effective machines on the market. Whether you are a sewing newbie or experienced seamstress this machine has something for you.
It perfectly balances usability with being highly computerized giving you a machine that is capable of so much without requiring you to be a computer programmer to get the most out of it. Singer are known for their quality and even amongst their fleet of great machines this stands out as one of the best. If the Signer 9960 quantum stylist is for you then click below to get it on amazon. If you have prime you can have it tomorrow!
I’m a true sewing enthusiast and have spent almost the entirety of my adult life practicing this age old art. Sewing genuinely has a special place in my heart and I’m glad to be able to share all of my experiences with each of you.