This Singer sewing machine can add pizzazz to any of your projects. There are 200 stitch patterns to choose from, so it’s going to be a long time before you get bored. Along with your typical straight stitch, edging options and stitches for stretchy fabric, you can use this machine to add little swirls, flowers, leaves and geometric shapes to any piece of fabric. There are also alphanumeric stitches you can save into the machine’s memory. This means you can select and save each letter, hit the start/stop button and watch the machine sew an entire phrase or sentence, something our reviewers thought was cool. Although one reviewer did experience a little snagging while working with satin, this sewing machine earned an A+ for sewing accuracy.
You navigate this sewing machine via a small LCD screen on the front. All the stitches have preconfigured settings, so all you have to do to start sewing is plug in the number for the stitch you want. There are some small icons on the screen, but we had to look them up in the manual to figure out what they meant: a bobbin winding indicator, mode indicator, presser foot indicator and buttonhole lever indicator. You can also manually change a stitch’s width and length on the screen, but it’s really clear which is which thanks to small illustrations on the corresponding buttons. We enjoyed using all these features, so the Confidence 7640 received an A for ease of use from our reviewers.
Some things about this machine aren’t perfect. Winding the bobbin took twice as long as with most of the sewing machines we tested. Even with the pedal pressed all the way to the ground, the winding process took a little more than two minutes while most other machines took a minute or less. The built-in thread cutter on the left side is also incredibly dull. We had to pull the thread against it several times to get it to work, and then when it finally did, the thread would fray. This was particularly annoying when we were trying to put that thread through the eye of the needle. The stitch patterns are also located on a separate cardboard stitch key rather than on the machine. You can affix the stitch key to the sewing machine with a little piece of plastic, which is included, but it’s just not as convenient as having it permanently on the sewing machine.
Like all the sewing machines we tested, this one comes with a bunch of accessories, including a soft cover, second spool pin, seam ripper and quilting guide. There is also an extension table you can snap on for extra-large sewing projects. It also comes with nine extra feet, the most of any machine we tested, including a cording foot, zipper foot, Sew Easy foot, blind hem foot, even feed/walking foot and open toe foot. An even feed or walking foot can cost as much as $20, so that inclusion alone saves you enough money to buy yourself a nice lunch, or maybe even a couple extra yards of that beautiful fabric you’ve been eying.
Other cool features include an LED light right over the needle, an automatic needle threader and integrated speed control. The speed control allows you to slow the machine way down for tricky sections or for teaching someone to sew. Even working at its fastest this machine can only do 750 stitches per minute, which is generally fine but nowhere near the 1,110 stitches per minute the Singer 4423 Heavy Duty can do. Even with its slower speed, the Confidence 7640 is rather loud. It reached 69.3 decibels in our tests, making it the fourth-loudest one we tested.
We also noticed this machine starts each stitch with a couple slower needle movements before going up to whatever speed you’ve set. This feature makes for particularly accurate lines while you’re making a row of stitches. For all of this, the sewing machine is moderately priced, which is another reason it’s our best overall pick.