Comparing all kinds of fabric and materials, I think leather is considered to be a very thick one and hard to work with easily. It is of no exception if you are working with handbags, jackets or upholstery. The task can be for sewers, especially beginners or intermediate ones. They may be not skillful and strong enough to handle those thick materials let alone multiple layers. 

In the same way, not all sewing machines on the market are for sewing leather. Some machines are capable of sewing through light fabric or even denim, but it is impossible for them to work well with leather. So, in order to sew leather bags, the best choices are with heavy-duty machines. 

It may be easier for you to choose now; however, there are still a lot of heavy-duty models out there for you to choose from. So, that’s why in this article, from my experience as a sewer for years, I would like to recommend some models for you. 

With each model, I will list out some key features as well as the pros/cons and at the end you will find some suggestions on factors to consider before deciding. After reading the article, I hope that you can find best suitable handbag sewing machine for your own needs. 

Top 10 Best Suitable Handbag Sewing Machine

1. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine
Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine

Before I start to talk about some features of the machine, I need to tell you that it is of premium price. As a result, before you decide to purchase, it is important for you to fully know that you can take advantage of the machine for a long time. 

With a long arm, the machine is not also suitable for quilting but also a whole lot of other projects. With premium price and lots of advanced functions, this machine is absolutely not for beginners; this is more like a machine for professionals. 

It is so powerful, and more similar to an industrial sewing machine than a small, portable household machine. I can say that this is the best industrial sewing machine for handbags or your sewing business as it is able to sew up to 1500 stitches per minute. So fast and productive for users who are running their own sewing business.

Normally, when you use a powerful machine, it can be very shaking and hard to control. But with Juki tl 2010q, there is no need for you to worry about that. The machine is sturdily built, so it can work very well and stably at high sewing speed. 

Pros Cons
The arm and bed is durable because of being made from aluminum  Noisy bobbin winder
Automatic threading function  LED light is dim
Speed controlling function with suitable pace
Work well with different kinds of material


If your main demands are for quilting or working with complex projects, this machine is absolutely perfect for you. It is an expensive machine, but it is totally worth your money and investment. Leather will be of no difficulty for you with this machine because of its extreme power. 

2. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Now, we will come to the best heavy duty sewing machine for denim and leather. But as the Juki model I have mentioned earlier, this is not a cheap machine for you. 

With 18 built-in stitches, a durable exterior and enlargeable body, the machine is versatile for you to do anything you want with any materials you wish for. You can take on simple daily fixing clothes projects or more complex ones with heavy fabric, leather bags or canvas bags. 

Not just being able to handle various kinds of projects, the machine is able to give you high quality outcomes. Its 18 stitches are of high standard, and I believe 18 is more than enough for a heavy duty machine. 

Being a heavy duty machine, HD3000 is still able to operate in quietness. So, you will not have to worry about disturbing other people while working on your sewing projects

Pros Cons
Sturdy-built and able to handle heavy duty projects easily Its look may be not attractive to some buyers
Being able to operate in quietness
Being able to work with all kinds of fabrics, from light to heavy ones
18 preprogrammed stitches of high quality

This machine meets the demands of heavy duty projects with thick and heavy materials. So, if you are a beginner and have enough budget, you can buy one. But I must say in that case, you may need lots of time to get used to it, and some functions can be confusing to you, newbie. The machine is more like an advanced model for experienced sewers. 

3. SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine

SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine
SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine

The best thing about the machine is that it is equipped with a large number of stitch options of great quality and the machine is so durable for different kinds of materials to work with. The machine can work easily with vinyl and leather. 

Moreover, coming with the machine, you can find lots of different accessories for you to freely fulfill your creative dream. There are 600 built-in stitches in total, 13 of which are automatic one-step buttonholes. All the feet attached are labeled with numbers, so it is very easy for you to find the one that you need and change the machine. 

On the market at the moment, there are a lot of machines coming with LED lights. But with most of the machines, I find that they are not bright and illuminated enough. But with this model it is a real bright LED light, which can help you do your work anytime you want. 

However, I think the bad part is that you will not be able to save your favorite patterns on this machine for later use. One more thing is that the machine’s working area is a little bit small for complex projects, which can be inconvenient for you. 

Pros Cons
Functional to work with different kinds of projects Not suitable for beginners in sewing field
A large number of stitch with great quality The working area for quilting is limited and inconvenient
The sewing machine is bright enough to work in any circumstances Not for portability
Being able for users to adjust the sewing speed

With this machine, I would like to recommend advanced or experienced sewers in the field. However, if you’re a beginner and can afford, feel free to purchase it; but it is important for you to know and learn how to operate it effectively. There are many ways for you to do so, may be by reading the manual script or watching videos on Youtube. 

4. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

The interesting fact is that the model ST371HD we are about to discuss is the first heavy duty sewing machine produced by Brother. The company usually aims at machines for average working power but not really extremely powerful ones. 

But if you are searching for the best manual, household machine that is suitable for both simple sewing machines and complex ones with thick, heavy materials, this is the machine for you. 

The best part about the machine is the easy-to-use bobbin winder. There is also a transparent cover up the bobbin, so it’s very convenient for you to look inside to check when you will run out of thread on your machine. 

With the system of jam-resistance, you will never have to worry about getting distrubed while working on your project because of the jam. Moreover, if anything about this or the bobbin that are hard for you to adjust, you can easily check out the manual. 

Pros Cons
Perfect for carrying out heavy duty sewing projects The machine may not have much to offer for advanced sewers
Offering automatic needle threading function for users There are some missing functions such as speed and thread tension controlling
Selecting the stitches by easily using a dial 

Though the machine is not a modern, advanced machine, it is very reliable even when working with thick and heavy fabrics such as leather, denim. Not only heavy duty projects but also your daily sewing work can be done well by this machine. At a very reasonable price, this machine is a great choice for you to choose from. 

5. Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i
Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine, CS6000i

If you think that all sewing machines that are capable of handling heavy, thick materials are complex and hard to get used to, then you should look at this model from Brother. A sewing machine for beginners which can take on different kinds of projects. 

I believe that this machine is incredibly worth your investment based on the variety of functions that it offers. WIth 60 stitch options, it is sufficient for you to make usual clothes, sew some home decorative objects. 

Coming with the machine, there are a whole lot of accessories, so the machine aims at not only beginners but also people with experience in sewing so that they can have more things to work on. 

Even though the machine does not look durable to you, don’t worry. It can work well with leather, denim, and those kinds of thick fabrics. However, the problem is that the machine may not work well with too many layers at one time, so you may need to change the speed to slow down or be more careful when working with layers. 

Pros  Cons
An entry-level sewing machine but can also handle lots of complex projects with thick, heavy materials May have difficulty when handling many layers of clothes
Offering users with a variety of accessories The light is too dim for normal eyes, let alone old people
Automatic machine with needle threading function
Offering adjustable sewing speed
Being sold on the market at a reasonable price

So, this is totally not a heavy duty machine like the one you find in the workshop or industry. I believe at that reasonable price, the machine offers you with more functions than you can imagine. So, in conclusion, this is totally worth your money. 

6. SINGER | 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER | 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
SINGER | 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

This is a very impressive machine in terms of heavy duty lines. Now, I would like to summarize some of its interesting features for you to have an easy choice.

The machine has a durable metal exterior frame, a powerful engine, and an automatic needle threading function. However, the best thing is that the powerful power does not make the machine look like an industrial one, which is very big and bulky. It is still lightweight for portability. 

It is so powerful and see that it is able to sew through up to 8 layers of denim with no difficulty. But, anyway this is a mechanical machine; as a result, sometimes the function like sewing a buttonhole may be a bit difficult for users, especially beginners. 

The machine offers users with 4 presser foot which are all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot and zipper foot. They are all very easy to use, but the buttonhole foot which I use the most is not that durable in my opinion. 

Pros Cons
Very simple and easy to use and operate Coming with no protective case
Being equipped with a powerful and strong motor but lightweight-built It’s hard for users to manage the machine based on just the manual, especially beginners
Offering users with 23 different preprogrammed stitches as well as autosize buttonhole
Being able for users to adjust the sewing speed 

All in all, who is this machine made for? The answer is for buyers who are searching for a heavy-duty, strong machine but sold at a reasonable price. This one is totally suitable for denim, leather and more other thick fabrics.

7. Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Walking Foot Sewing Machine

Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Walking Foot Sewing Machine
Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Walking Foot Sewing Machine

Alright, so just by the look of the machine, you can imagine the power of it, right. It is different from other models which are made of plastic, so not durable enough. But this machine is made totally from steel and it comes with a walking foot for bag making which can guarantee its power when working with layers of thick materials like canvas, denim and leather. 

Sailrite may seem like an alien name for you, rather than some well-known ones like Brother, Janome. I think the brand aims at heavy-duty machines rather than simple, daily one. But the machine is quite great at offering help and support to customers, so feel free to reach them in case of any problems. 

This one is totally an advanced machine, not for people who just want to try it for fun, but for serious sewers as its price is not cheap. But with people in demand, this serves as the best heavy-duty sewing machine

The machine is so powerful, it can sew through layers of thick fabrics like denim, leather without breaking the needle or damaging the engine. However, this comes with a drawback relating to its weight. In order to function well with heavy fabrics, the machine needs to be durably built, which makes it very strong. As a result, it can be difficult to move the machine from place to place.

Pros Cons
The brand offers good customer support service A heavy-built machine
Very powerful machine, being able to sew through multiple layers of fabrics
Very durable because of being made from steel 

I think at that price range, the only disadvantage of the machine is its heaviness, which is about 35 pounds. But that’s because the machine is made from steel which makes it durable and stronger than any other machines on the market. Actually, the machine looks like the one from years ago, but apart from its old school design, I can guarantee you about its durability and power. 

8. Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

We will come back to a very popular name in the sewing machine industry. It would be a big mistake if I don’t include at least one model of this brand in this list. When talking about a machine for materials like canvas, leather or denim, I will always recommend to my readers this model from Janome, HD1000. 

Being made from aluminum both interior and exterior with 14 built-in stitches, I think the machine is great for its price range. In those 14 stitches, some of the favorite ones by users include zig-zag stitch, stretch stitch, buttonhole,….Because of not being made of plastics but aluminum, the machine can guarantee you with long-term use, maybe for years.  

WIth this machine, you can sew through many different kinds of fabrics, ranging from cotton, wool, satin, velvet to heavyweight ones like leather, denim, canvas. 

Pros Cons
Being able to sew with lots of different kinds of materials The automatic threading function does not work all the time
The metal frame makes the machine strong and durable for thick materials There are unlucky cases of faulty sometimes
Suitable for both beginners and advanced sewers

After looking through the good and bad parts of the model, I believe the machine is perfect for not only beginners but also interesting enough for advanced sewers to use. However, try to note the company contact number, as you may be unfortunate to probably receive a faulty model. But you can reach out to the company anytime due to the warranty. 

9. SINGER 5532 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Portable Sewing Machine

SINGER 5532 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Portable Sewing Machine
SINGER 5532 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Portable Sewing Machine

If you are looking for a machine with some automatic functions, as well as an advanced machine which can work at high speed, this Singer model is very suitable for you. I think the speed is the most noticeable feature of the machine. It is able to sew up to 1000 stitches per minute, which is an advanced speed. So, you can finish your project in a short time. 

Some automatic functions of the machine include needle threading, which takes you just seconds to do. You no longer struggle to do that with your own eyes and hands in a traditional way any more. 

Just by the name of it, you know the machine is mainly made for dealing with heavy-duty projects of tough and thick fabrics. I think the main reasons to make the machine suitable for those kinds of projects are due to its metal exterior frame, powerful motor and pressure foot control. 

Pros Cons
32 preprogrammed stitches, more than enough for you to fulfill your sewing dream The metal bobbin is not really great for users
Automatic needle threading function The dim lighting 
Easy-to-use bobbin system

Singer 5532 is quite a versatile and functional machine for you to work on a whole lot of different kinds of fabric as you wish. The point is it can work at very fast speed, so maybe you should consider buying this when you have gained yourself some special competence or it can be a waste for not being able to take full advantage of the machine. 

10. Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine

Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine
Janome 3160QDC Computerized Sewing Machine

With 60 stitch options in this model, you have everything you need for all of your creative artwork. Some basic stitches for you include straight, decorative or zigzag and a lot more for you to choose from. Moreover, there are six autosize buttonholes. 

This is a computerized model, so the bonus for you is an LCD screen, which will show all the information about your stitch choice, the length and width of the stitches.

Not only is it easy for users to set up but also for users to operate. As a result, if you are a beginner, you have just taken up sewing, don’t worry that this is too overwhelming and confusing for you. You can manage the machine just fine, believe me. 

Powerful as it is, the machine is just about 12.6 lbs, that’s the reason why you can carry it around easily, to your classes, to other rooms. 

Pros Cons
The setting up and operating step of the machine is so simple and easy The dim LED lights
A functional machine with lots of different interesting features May struggle to work with heavy fabrics
The lightweight design makes the machine convenient for portability
Durable construction and design 

All in all, I find the machine is great at its price range, with the features it offers. I would also recommend this machine for not only advanced sewers but also beginners as it is very easy to use and set up. 

Tips For Choosing The Best Sewing Machine For Leather Handbags

Nowadays, you can see that there are lots of different models on the market. This may make some users who are new to the area feel overwhelmed and find it hard to make the right decision. As a result, I would like to recommend some factors that you should consider before deciding which one to purchase, especially those who wish to make leather handbags. 

Speed adjusting 

It is very great for a sewing machine to run up to 1500 stitches per minute. But if you want to make a handbag, the speed does not need to be that high. With handbags, there are some curves at which you need to be careful and slow. As a result, it is important for a sewing machine to be equipped with the speed controlling function. Some machines may have a foot pedal for speed regulation. 

The engine 

When talking about sewing machines, there are two kinds of motors which are clutch and servo. With clutch, whenever the machine is turned on, the motor will run in the background. And the sound starts to increase when you begin to sew. I think this kind of engine is more suitable for advanced sewers as it helps to sew at high speed. The other kind of servo produces less noise and can be adjusted easily. I would suggest this to work with leather at home rather than the first kind of motor as it can also be more energy-saving. 

The strength of the needles

It goes without saying that leather requires a strong needle to sew through it. You should try to avoid machines with fragile needles if you wish to work with leather or other thick materials. But keep in mind that you can always purchase additional needles which are stronger and more durable when you are in need of making things with leather. 

Is It Possible To Sew Leather With A Household Machine?

On the market, customers can find domestic and industrial sewing machines. Industrial machines are big, bulky ones made for the factories, so they can easily sew through thick materials such as leather. But many may wonder about domestic machines for households? Are they capable of doing so? They are as powerful as industrial models, but you can sew through thin leather with them to make handbags or purses. The bad news is that doing it regularly can somehow shorten the life of the machine. 

What Makes The Best Sewing Machine For Leather?

To me, for a sewing machine to work well with leather, the powerful motor is of utmost importance. With a strong engine and a durable metal exterior frame, the machine can last long when working with leather or any other thick materials. Also, a simple and easy to use machine will do you good, because sewing leather may take longer time than others, so you won’t want to waste time on those other unnecessary parts. 


What kind of sewing machine is used for making handbags?

For making handbags, I would highly recommend you choose a heavy-duty machine. It may look like a normal sewing machine, but the speed and the power that it offers is what makes the machine perfect for making all kinds of handbags. Heavy-duty machines can be both mechanical and computerized models. 

How thick of leather can a sewing machine sew?

The answer for these questions surely depends on the engine strength of different models. But with my experience, I find that the maximum for a household model is about three layers, and that’s with a medium-thick kind of leather. I think that you can expect more than that with industrial models on the market because they usually come with much more powerful engine.

What is the average price of a leather sewing machine?

Compared to other sewing machines, the leather ones can have a higher price because they need to be built more durably with stronger motors. Another thing that contributes to the higher cost of leather sewing machines is the attached table, which helps support the machine as well as provide more working space for users. As far as I have researched, the price for a leather sewing machine is between $500 and $2000. There are a variety of models at different price ranges for you to choose from depending on your demand, preference and budget.


After mentioning to you about the pros and cons of each model as well as some other related information about choosing a sewing machine for leather bags, I will recommend Janome HD3000 for the task. To me, this is the best sewing machine for leather bags as it is the combination between industrial and domestic versions. The machine is equipped with a powerful motor that is often found in industrial models but has a compact design of a domestic one. Being sold at a very reasonable price when considering the features that it offers, I believe that you will not be disappointed when deciding to purchase the model. 

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