Updated at: 04-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Sewing machines with free arms feature a housing extension that extends beyond the sewing area. This extension has space beneath it so that the fabric can move freely around it while stitching along the circumference of the expanded piece.

What Is A Free Arm Sewing Machine?

If you haven’t heard of a free arm sewing machine, I’d like to explain it briefly before we go into the distinctions between it and other types of sewing machines.

Sewing was a new hobby for me at the time, and there was very little material available online. I had to learn on my own. Thank goodness for that!

A home sewing machine’s “free arm” refers to a specific element of the machine. You can store your bobbins and other sewing necessities in a removable accessory tray found on many sewing machines. The free arm is exposed if you remove that piece.

There is an open gap under the machine’s free arm that only links to the machine’s main body in one place (at the motor area of the machine).

Because you may pass objects like sleeves and pants over the free arm to stitch, the free arm’s purpose is to deal with tubes of cloth. It’s a great way to stitch pieces of your project without having to worry about the cloth becoming tangled up or being sewn shut by mistake.

You can still accomplish some of these tasks if your machine doesn’t have a free arm, but the free arm makes them much easier.

Any time you see the term “free arm sewing machine,” you may be perplexed as to what it refers to. Because of the term’s strange connotation, I had no idea what the machine meant at first.

However, what it’s truly doing is discriminating between earlier computers that don’t have a free arm and later ones that do.

Let me first demonstrate how to use the free arm.

To use the free arm, remove the flatbed attachment.

Place the fabric tube on the free arm of the sewing machine. Check for folds and creases and that the cloth feeds correctly.

Begin stitching, moving the fabric around your free arm as needed.

The free arm of a sewing machine is most commonly employed in this manner.

Advantages of Free Arm Sewing Machine

Using a free arm sewing machine makes it much easier to sew in tight spaces. Hard-to-sew areas are those in which a straight stitch or stitching around the fabric is difficult.

When stitching around the armpit, collar, handcuff, or the end of a piece of pants, a free-arm sewing machine is preferable since the fabric needs to be surrounded by sewing.

A pipe-stitched seam on one side of the fabric is preferable to no seam at all. Suing on small cylindrical stitched fabrics may not be possible at this time. The hole should be at least twice as wide as the circumference of the arm being used.

Cuffs, collars, and other small places that need to be sewed around work can benefit from free arm sewing machines.

Straight stitching cannot be accomplished with a free arm sewing machine. When stitching around tubular clothing, a sewing machine with free arm characteristics will have a smaller work area to accommodate it.

A snap off type plate is included with the majority of free arm sewing machines, so you can customize how you use them.

The plates may be snapped on while straight stitching, allowing you to work in a larger area and straight stitch more simply.

Similarly, if you need to perform a tubular stitch around your work, you can remove the snap plates.

Free arm alternatives are in handy when stitching the bottom or end of the pant’s sleeve. Sewing with an extended arm is as simple as pushing a sleeve-like tube of cloth onto the arm.

Better results, acceptable stitching practice, and an improved end garment shape are all advantages of this method. Free arm stitching is highly useful if you frequently sew in hard-to-reach places..”

Doing challenging area stitching can be done even if you don’t have a free arm sewing machine. If your sewing machine does not have a free arm, you’ll have to wrap the fabric tightly around the shank to keep it in place.

The shank of the machine will be covered by the fabric, thus stitching should be precise. People had to make do with difficult stitching before the invention of the free arm sewing machine.

The free arm sewing machine, like all other portable sewing machines, is easy to transport and keep in storage. You don’t need to devote a specific area to the machine’s storage. You can keep the machine in a closet or a corner of the room by simply covering it.

Disadvantages of Free Arm Sewing Machine

With a free arm sewing machine, the most significant disadvantage comes from a small working space.

A small work area was necessary since the sewing portion’s housing was designed to leave space beneath it, allowing the cloth to move around the housing and making use of the cylindrical stitch more convenient.

If you want to do straight stitches, you’ll need a larger work surface, so you’ll need to use an extendable plate.

How To Choose A Free Arm Sewing Machine?

In addition to the sewing machine’s extended stitch housing, where the bobbin and other components like the needle, feed dog, and shuttle are located, you must also take care of other components.

For example, you can choose the number of built-in stitches and needle position as well as other features like the thread cutter, winder, placement of the bobbin and auto-rewinder.

When it comes to sewing machines, there are a variety of options to choose from. The free arm sewing machine doesn’t care about any of these aspects.

Choosing a free arm sewing machine with the shortest housing extension is best if you want to use it.

A maximum length, minimum width, and minimum height are required for the extended housing. In order to accept cylindrically sewn textiles, which are often tiny in size, the enlarged housing is needed. Quilting is a good fit for long extended housing.

Make sure the plates can be removed. This plate can be used to extend the working table when you don’t have any free arm stitching projects. Similarly, you can remove the plates and prepare a project for circular stitching while using cylindrical stitching around it.

The accessory tray may be fitted with the enlarged housing in some machines. To use the sewing machine’s stitch-around capabilities on a project, simply remove the accessory tray.

Free arm sewing machines from SINGER and Brother are going to be introduced in the next article.

Top Singer Free Arm Sewing Machine Models

No.1 SINGER 7256 Fashion Mate 70 Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine

Free arm sewing machine SINGER 7256 has 70 built-in stitches, making it the most flexible option. The machine is equipped with a computer and a free arm. The sewing machine is a great tool for fashionistas, especially those who are just getting started.

Many features are included in the machine such as LED work area lights, a convenient push-button stitch selector, top drop-in bobbin feeder with automatic needle cutter, and so on.

With its automatic stitch length and width modification options, the machine allows the user to experiment with new designs. With the built-in stitch, you can easily create a buttonhole for your clothing in just one step.

The free arm of the sewing machine comes with an accessory box, which you may use to store all of the sewing machine’s accessories.

The accessory tray can be snapped out of the way to make room for the free arm when working on a project. A darning plate, needle pack, and a variety of presser foot are just some of the various items included with the set’s accessories.


  • 70 built-in stitch patterns
  • An unrestricted arm
  • Six totally automatic buttonholes with a single stage of operation
  • Top-loading bobbin.
  • Bodkin covers that are clear
  • Cutting machine for threads
  • Automatic adjustment of both length and width
  • Automated power management.
  • Computerized
  • LCD work area light

LCD work area light

  • Work area lighting for LCD monitors
  • When the machine is stopped, the needle should be lowered to the bottom of the machine.

No.2 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine

Are you looking for a sewing machine with a robust metal frame that won’t vibrate and won’t skip stitches throughout the project? Then, the SINGER 4423 is the perfect choice for you..

The sewing machine has 23 pre-programmed stitches and can sew 1,100 stitches per minute. The stitch dialer knob, located on the right-side frame of the machine, makes it simple to change the stitch type. Six basic stitch possibilities combine with four stretch stitches to create a total of 12 decorative stitches. A completely automatic one-step buttonhole maker is also included.

Designed to fulfill the needs of a professional seamstress, this heavy-duty sewing machine incorporates free arm sewing. The heavy motor is 60 percent stronger than the basic motor features and is included for heavy duty assistance. It’s an excellent sewing machine for everyday use because you can sew everything that comes your way.


  • Sewing with one’s hands
  • There are 26 pre-programmed stitches that you can choose from.
  • button hole punch, totally automated
  • Bed plate made of stainless steel
  • a stitch every one hundredth of a second
  • Drop-in bobbin on the top
  • Bodkin covers that are clear
  • Needle Threading Machine
  • Disposable accessory set


  • Poor illumination in the workplace
  • Noisy

No.3 SINGER 1304 Start Free Arm Sewing Machine

One of the most economical free arm sewing machines on the market, SINGER 1304 is built to last with a sturdy metal frame. The machine meets nearly all of the needs of a hobbyist or a novice.

Six pre-programmed stitches, including a 4-step automatic buttonhole maker, are included with the sewing machine. The choosing action is simple. Using a single dialer knob choice, you may choose from a variety of stitch patterns on the machine.

A detachable accessory kit covers the enlarged housing box of the free arm unit, allowing it to be used as an additional work space. This sewing machine is a free arm sewing machine. Using the free arm, the operator is able to sew cylindrical stitches without any issues because the enlarged housing provides ample clearance.

Automatic bobbin winder and quick threading are just a few of the many features that make sewing with this machine a breeze.


  • A removable accessory box on a free arm.
  • Stitches that can be pre-programmed in advance
  • An automatic buttonhole maker with a 4-step process
  • a stitch rate of 750 per minute
  • Tension is automatically regulated.
  • Workspace lighting with LEDs
  • Stitch selection in a flash
  • Bobbin winding machine
  • A darning plate that makes free-motion embroidery a breeze


  • This type of bobbin requires expertise to operate.
  • Non-automated

Top Brother Free Arm Sewing Machine Models

No.1 Brother cs6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine

The Brother cs6000i free arm sewing machine is a great deal. In addition to quilting, the machine may be used for a variety of sewing applications.

A single touch is all it takes to change the stitch type and length or width, and the adjustments are immediately displayed on the LCD screen. Because it’s so easy to use, it helps you make your decision quickly.

When stitching around the cloth or in a tough region, such as a collar, cuff, or cylindrical object, you can remove the accessory box from the machine’s extended free arm housing and use it instead.

The housing section of the free arm has enough clearance to allow the fabric to be moved freely around the housing case. Straight stitches can be done while attaching the accessory box to the free arm, which provides more working space.

Using the machine’s 60 built-in stitches, which include 7 different styles of one-step automatic buttonholes, you can experiment with your stitching creativity.


  • A removable accessory box on a free arm.
  • a total of 60 pre-set stitches
  • One-step automatic buttonhole maker in seven different styles.
  • a stitch rate of about 850 per minute
  • The presser feet have a total of nine.
  • LCD
  • Stitch width and soft-touch stitch selection
  • a bobbin that can be dropped into another spool
  • Bodkin covers that are clear
  • Cutting machine for threads
  • Controlled by electronic means
  • Needle Threading Machine
  • Work space that is well-lit.


  • Control of tension by hand
  • a system for changing the amount of pressure placed on the foot called No Pressure

No.2 Brother 25 stitch free arm sewing machine XL2600i

The Brother XL2600i sewing machine is a multi-purpose tool that can handle a wide range of household sewing tasks.

As a result, the sewing machine’s free arm features are highlighted and the accessory box is constructed in such a way. The accessory box can be removed for use in difficult-to-sew areas because it is detachable.

You can select a stitch by turning a huge rotary knob with switch graphics on the front right side of the sewing machine, which has 25 pre-programmed stitch possibilities. It comes with a one-step completely automatic buttonhole maker that is simple for a novice to use.

As part of the machine, you’ll get four basic presser feet that may be used for everything from ordinary sewing to stitching buttons and zippers.

3 bobbins, a twin needle, darning plate, 3 HAX130 needles, and a screwdriver complete the accessories set.

When stitching, the thread will pass through the needle and into the bobbin, making bobbin loading a breeze. Allows you to see where the threads are located on the bobbin.


  • Attaching an accessory box to a free arm
  • Stitch count: 25
  • A single completely automatic four-step buttonhole machine
  • a bobbin that can be dropped into another spool
  • With a see-through top,
  • a stitch every 800th of a second
  • The apparatus includes five presser feet.
  • Automatic threading and cutting of sewing needles


  • Managing the tension adjuster might be difficult.
  • There is no adjustment for the pressure of the presser foot.

No.3 Brother xl2610 free arm sewing machine

Beginners and experienced sewers alike will find the Brother XL2610 free arm sewing machine a fascinating experience. Built-in thread cutters, automatic needle threading, and automatic buttonholes are included in the package.

Using the free arm of this machine, a sewer can quickly perform sewing jobs that demand special attention or are difficult to complete.

To sew short tubular regions like collars, cuffs, and thin ends of pants, you’ll need to remove the attached accessory box, which slims down the arm portion of the sewing port.

The machine includes 25 pre-programmed stitches and 59 stitching actions, including an automatic 4-step one buttonhole maker. Stitch patterns can be easily selected by turning a dialer knob to the desired one. The dialer has a tension regulator that is simple to operate.


  • Accessory attachment for the free arm
  • 25 pre-programmed stitches among the 59 stitch options.
  • Needle Threading Machine
  • a stitch every 800th of a second
  • Tension regulator for dialer knobs
  • A four-step buttonhole machine
  • With a built-in thread snipper
  • a bobbin that can be dropped into another spool
  • Winding machine for bobbins
  • Work space that is well-lit.


  • There is no speed limiter.
  • There is no LCD display.

The Best Free Arm Sewing Machines On Amazon

That stated, here is a list of Amazon’s highest-rated sewing machines! The prices are reasonable, and they’re all dependable and high-quality, so they’ll fit into any budget.

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine XR3774

This model comes with a free arm that can be used in a variety of ways.

  • A large table
  • The machine is protected by a cover.
  • There are 37 stitch patterns already pre-programmed into the machine.
  • Stitching Feet: 8
  • A DVD with instructional material.

It’s a terrific deal, and the more than 2000 positive customer reviews confirm that it’s a wise purchase.

Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine CS6000i

It’s no surprise that the Brother CS6000i is a high-quality, low-cost machine. a free arm, an extension table, and all the necessary accessories

  • A large table
  • a strong, sturdy container
  • Included in the needle set are two sets of twin needles
  • Ten feet of stitching
  • bobbins of 3
  • Display on an LCD
  • Limited warranty for 25 years.

It has over 15,000 five-star reviews and is inexpensive enough to appeal to a wide range of consumers.

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Affordable, well regarded, and portable, this free arm sewing machine ticks all the boxes. It includes:

  • There are a total of 37 built-in stitches.
  • Needle-threading machine with an integrated top-bobbin drop-in
  • a total of six different stitching feet
  • A DVD with instructional material.
  • Limited warranty for 25 years.

SINGER Heavy Duty 4432

Singer is yet another name in the industry whose products I fully trust! This heavy-duty free arm machine features a metal frame. It includes:

  • 4 feet for stitching
  • Stitch count: 32

In terms of cost, it’s comparable to the other products I’ve described so far, and it has over 4,000 positive customer ratings.

SINGER Tradition 2277 Sewing Machine

One other metal-framed Singer sewing machine with a free arm in the same price range as the others I’ve featured is here. numerous positive reviews, as well as:

  • 3 feet for stitching
  • needle threader with auto-threading

Janome 2212 Free Arm Sewing Machine

This entry-level free arm sewing machine offers excellent value for money. A great choice for a first-time user because it’s small and simple to operate! It includes:

  • There are 12 stitch patterns pre-installed.
  • Buttonholes with four steps
  • Stitching feet

Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9850

Here’s how having a larger budget may make a big difference. Free arm sewing machines are more expensive, but they’re worth the money because they include:

  • Stitches pre-installed in 200 different patterns
  • A total of six unique one-step buttonholes are provided.
  • Thread tension is automatically applied.
  • Intricately memorized needle movement
  • Conversion of needle plates in a single step
  • A seven-piece dog food
  • USB-based design exchange
  • Functions for editing
  • LCD touch screen in full color

SINGER ProFinish 14CG754

In the event that you’re looking for a serger with a free arm, this Singer model is an excellent, reasonably priced alternative to consider. It includes:

  • 4 rolled hems that are already built in
  • The versatile foot
  • Set the needle
  • A sprinkling device (for 2 thread stitches)
  • Guide for sewing

When to use a free arm sewing machine?

  • The repair of trousers, which have a tube-like structure and slip easily over the free arm
  • Sewing little crafts like baby clothes
  • Hemming and attaching the sleeve ends
  • Pants hemming and cuffing
  • Sewing the collars together

How Do You Sew A Free Arm?

  1. Remove the flatbed attachment from your sewing machine in order to access the free arm of the machine.
  2. A pant leg can be slipped over the free arm.
  3. It’s time to get started stitching and directing the fabric so it doesn’t fold over itself.
  4. To increase your workspace on a free arm sewing machine when sewing straight stitches, just attach the snap-on plate.
  5. When working on tubular stitches, remove the snap plates.

Free arm sewing machine vs flatbed sewing machine

Because the accessory tray is removed from a free arm sewing machine, the workspace is smaller. The majority of sewers also believe that a free arm sewing machine isn’t necessary for most projects because a flatbed sewing machine can handle them just as well. However, if you want to sew with your free arm, there is an option as well.

Free arm sewing machine vs long arm sewing machine

A long arm sewing machine is much larger in comparison to a free arm sewing machine. Tubular textiles benefit most from this sewing machine’s smaller size and shorter length. Quilting and other large-scale crafts benefit greatly from the extra workspace provided by a long arm sewing machine.

What Is A Free Arm Overlocker?

Free-arm devices aren’t limited to sewing machines. It is possible to hem and finish difficult items like pant legs, dresses, and sleeves with free arm overlockers. When purchasing a serger, be sure that it is a free-arm model.

You may learn more about serger sewing machines by reading about overlockers. You can also find out if a separate serger is worth the investment in that post.

Who Invented The Free Arm Sewing Machine?

A Spanish engineer, Dr. Ramon Casas Robert, is credited with the invention of the first free-arm needle-free sewing machine. Seeing industrial sewing machines with cylindrical parts and how the housewife might profit from this design motivated him to create the first modern household sewing machine with a free arm. When the first free-arm sewing machine prototype was completed in 1934, one of its sides was carved out to accommodate the stitching area’s expansion.

What Is Free Arm Sewing?

Sewing with a free-arm sewing machine is referred to as “free arm” sewing. In this case, the tubular fabric is wrapped around the machine’s extended armature. There should be an add-on plate that allows you to expand the workspace if you’re working on a larger project.


All of the machines listed above are excellent free arm sewing machines that can be used by both professionals and novices.

In order to deliver the greatest and most affordable sewing machine with free arm characteristics, we have made a purposeful effort.

The free arm of a sewing machine is a crucial consideration, especially when dealing with problematic areas like as cuffs, collars, and tube stitching, which necessitate extra attention.

Your budget and expectations will be met by one of the aforementioned free arm sewing machines.