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Brother PC420PRW vs. Brother ST531HD Comparison

The Brother PC420PRW and the Brother ST531HD are two of the most popular affordable sewing machines we will compare today. In addition to being packed with features in an affordable price range, these two sewing machines produced excellent stitch quality.

What are the major differences between them? Here I will try to answer them as simply as possible.

Brother PC420PRW vs. Brother ST531HD: Comparison in Features

Sewing Machine Types

The Brother PC420PRW is a computerized sewing machine, while the Brother ST531HD is a mechanical sewing machine. Since the machine types decide they differ a lot in features, I won’t make a suggestion.

The decision has to be made on an individual level.

Brother PC420PRW vs. Brother ST531HD : Built-in Stitches

With Brother PC420PRW sewing machine, you get an attractive amount of stitches – 294 to be exact. The 294 stitches include standard stitches, decorative stitches, and buttonhole stitches. As for Brother ST531HD sewing machine, it contains 53. These stitches include standard and decorative stitches, which are similar to those found on the Brother PC420PRW.

Weight

The Brother PC420PRW sewing machine weighs approximately 17 lbs, while the Brother ST531HD comes with a weight of 14.3 lbs.

The extra weight can become cumbersome if you don’t have a set location in your home for your sewing machine.

Start/Stop Button

The Brother ST531HD doesn’t come with a start/stop button, while the Brother PC420PRW sewing machine does. A huge number of sewists don’t realize that using the start/stop button effectively can make sewing a whole lot easier. It is very useful for decorative stitches for example, as well as with free-motion quilting.

Speed Control Slider

The Brother PC420PRW sewing machine arrives with a speed control slider while the Brother ST531HD doesn’t. A speed control slide is a useful feature that allows you to set the maximum speed you are comfortable with.

Automatic Needle Threader

Many sewing machines sold today come with an automatic threader function. This is essentially a lever that will guide the thread through the eye of your sewing needle for you so that you don’t have to do it yourself. Many sewists prefer to thread their own needles, but if you have difficulty performing this task, then a machine with an automatic needle threader might be very useful for you. Fortunately, these two sewing machines both come with automatic needle threader, allowing you to thread the machine with ease.

Drop-in Bobbin

The advantage of easy drop-in, top load bobbins is that you can readily see how much thread is left on the bobbin through the window. You do not have to remove the bobbin case to insert a new bobbin, and you do not have to remove the accessory tray from the free arm to change bobbins. Both the Brother PC420PRW and the Brother ST531HD come with this user-friendly feature.

Programmable Needle Up/Down

Unlike the Brother PC420PRW, the Brother ST531HD isn’t equipped with a programmable needle up/down function. And using the needle-down function allows the needle to act as a third hand in holding the stitching position, such as when you want to stop and turn a corner or stitching a curve.

Drop Feed

The most common type of feeding mechanism in a home sewing machine (and some industrial machines) is the drop feed, also known as the regular feed system. Both Brother PC420PRW and Brother ST531HD come equipped with a drop feed system, which grabs the fabric and moves it along through the machine.

Free Arm

There is free arm on both the Brother PC420PRW and the Brother ST531HD. The free arm is a very useful feature to all sewing machines as it makes sewing one layer of fabric without catching another. This is because all of the workings around the bobbin race, feed dogs, and needles are housed there.

Automatic Thread Cutter

If you hate cutting your threads after a sewing process, then a sewing machine that comes with an automatic thread cutter can be a lifesaver. Know that the Brother ST531HD does not have this feature. The Brother PC420PRW, on the other hand, is equipped with an automatic thread cutter feature.

Knee Lifter

The knee Lift allows the sewist to keep their hands on the fabric being sewn while lifting the presser foot to change position or add more fabric pieces, as in chain piecing. Unfortunately, Brother ST531HD doesn’t come with this feature, but you can choose Brother PC420PRW if you prefer this feature.

Brother PC420PRW Brother ST531HD
Product Image
Sewing Machine Type Computerized Mechanical
Stitches 294 53
Buttonhole Styles 10 one-step 1 one-step
Start/Stop Button Yes No
Built-in Memory Yes No
Programmable Needle Up/Down Yes No
Monogramming Font Yes, 3 No
Drop Feed Yes Yes
Free Arm Yes Yes
Working Light Yes 2 LEDs Yes 1 LED
Speed Control Slider Yes No
Weight 17 lbs 14.3 lbs
Extra High Presser Foot Lifter
Snap-on Presser Foot Yes Yes
Automatic Thread Cutter Yes No
Automatic Needle Threader Yes Yes
Drop-in Bobbin Yes Yes
USB Connectivity No No
Stitch Selection LCD and Push Button Dial on Side
Adjustable Stitch Length/Width Yes Yes
Included Feet Buttonhole Foot, Overcasting Foot, Monogramming Foot, Zipper Foot, ZigZag Foot, Blind Stitch Foot, Button Fitting Foot, Walking Foot, Quilting Foot, Stitch Guide Foot, Adjustable zipper/piping foot, Non Stick Foot, Open Toe Foot Buttonhole foot, Button sewing foot, Spring action zigzag foot, Zipper foot, Non stick foot, Blind stitch foot.
Dedicated Locking Stitch Button No No
Tension Adjustable With Dial Adjustable With Dial
Knee Lifter Yes No
Warranty 25 Year Limited 25 Year Limited
Price Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

Brother PC420PRW Video Review

Brother ST531HD Video Review

The Verdict

Both machines are neck and neck when it comes to performance. The stitch quality is very similar between the two machines. They are capable of handling heavy and delicate fabrics with ease. It is the stitch quality of these two machines that differentiates them from other machines in their segment. Based on the features listed above, we believe you will be able to make a decision on your own. The final decision is yours.

Q. How do I thread a sewing machine?

To get started with your sewing project, you’ll need to first thread your sewing machine. While your machine’s manual should guide you in the specific sequence for your make and model, the basic process starts by placing the presser foot in the up position.

Next, put your thread spool on the spool holder and bring the thread across the top of the machine, through the thread guide. Insert the thread through the tension mechanism, sliding it between the metal disks before pulling it back upwards. Find the take-up lever and place the thread into the hole. Pull the thread towards the sewing machine needle, using available thread guides as you go.

Finally, bring the needle into an accessible position by adjusting the handwheel. Insert the thread. Your sewing machine should be threaded and ready to go, but it’s always a good idea to make a test run on a sample swatch to check your work.

However, if you sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader, that would save you lots of time.

Q. What should I know about manual vs. electric sewing machines?

A. Manual sewing machines were the mainstay of the crafting world, but in more recent years electric (also known as computerized) machines have been increasing in popularity for their easy operation and advanced functions, such as embroidery.

If you’re looking for a simple sewing experience without frills, a mechanical machine gives you straightforward functionality.

Without electronic components, some feel that these machines prove more reliable in the long term.

However, computerized machines may shorten the learning curve for some new sewers, since choosing stitches and settings only requires the push of a button.

Q. How much electricity does a sewing machine use

A. A typical home sewing machine may be in the 100-watt range. One estimate for portable sewing machines says that you are paying about 0.013 cents per hour every time. For the day you may be spending about 10 cents.

Q. Are sewing machines dangerous?

A. Like any machine, a sewing machine can be dangerous if not used correctly. Always follow the safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer when it comes to maintenance, and pay attention while sewing.

Q. Can i use serger thread in my sewing machine

A. Do not use serger thread in your sewing machine. These spools of thread are tempting to buy because they’re inexpensive, but they have a very rough texture on the thread. So if you put it in your regular sewing machine, it’s going to break and jam and you’ll be really frustrated.

Q. Can a normal sewing machine sew canvas?

A. Yes, canvas can be sewn on a regular sewing machine.