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90.4 This is the 3rd Project Runway sewing machine we have looked at and it is the most affordable of the bunch.  Owner reviews are largely positive and a number of consumers consider this machine very good “bang for your buck”.  The CS5055PRW is not too heavy and it is popular for those who like to take their machine to classes.  It has 50 built in stitches, an LCD display screen and is very easy to use.

Consumer Ratings
A little digging produced the following consumer ratings for the CS5055PRW from 8 different retail sites.

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.6 stars out of 5  97
 Walmart  4.4 stars out of 5  140
 Overstock  4.7 stars out of 5  45
 Joann  4.8 stars out of 5  8
 J&R  4.5 stars out of 5  4
 Sewing Machines Plus  5.0 stars out of 5  2
 JCPenney  4.5 stars out of 5  2
 QVC  3.0 stars out of 5  1

Ratings for this machine, when averaged, generate a score of 90.4 out of 100 which is remarkably close to the scores for two other Project Runway machines - the XR9500PRW and the PC-210 (the PC-420 scored a very high 96.1).  A score of 90+ is quite respectable and the large sample size of 299 consumer ratings in this case is enough to give us confidence in the score. 

This is a popular sewing machine and is widely available.  Prices range from over $200 to the low $100’s. 

Consumer Insights
A review of owner comments provides the following common likes and dislikes:

PROS
- Easy to setup and use
- Reasonably priced
- Manual is well written and easy to understand
- Able to sew through thick fabrics
- Quite a few stitch options
- Not too loud
- Not too large or heavy
- Easy to load bobbin

CONS
- LED light is not bright enough
- Lots of plastic parts in machine construction
- Small storage compartment

One of the most common statements about this machine is that it is remarkably easy to setup and use.  Even beginners appear to be up and sewing very quickly.  The machine is good for beginners as well as intermediate level sewers, however there are some comments from more experienced seamstresses indicating that they would prefer a more advanced machine.  Also some very heavy users feel that it may not stand up to a punishing sewing schedule.

Most owners like the fact that the CS5055PRW is lightweight.  The machine is easily transported and is a good fit for those that like to take sewing classes.  The needle threader does cause problems for some users however.  A few folks report really having a hard time threading the needle despite the fact that the unit is supposed to have an “advanced needle threading system”.

The machine also includes an LED light that illuminates the sewing area.  This light is advertised as "super bright" but there are several comments indicating that the light is, unfortunately, too dim. 

You can read more customer reviews for the Brother CS5055PRW on Amazon if you wish.  

Key Sewing Machine Features
- 50 built in stitches (utility, decorative, quilting, heirloom)
- 5 automatic buttonholes
- LCD display screen
- Built in stretch stitches (for stretchy fabrics)
- Fast bobbin winding system
- Automatic needle threader
- LED light to illuminate sewing area
- 87 stitch functions
- Free arm
- 7 point feed dogs
- Drop feed capable
- Built-in carry handle
- Top drop-in bobbin
- Vertical spool pin for consistent thread feeding
- Max stitch length 5mm, max stitch width 7mm
- Adjustable stitch width and length
- Foot controller
- Adjustable thread tension control
- Twin needle capable
- Variable needle positions
- Maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute
- One touch reverse

Note: this machine does not have a start/stop button or presser foot pressure adjustment

A stitch panel (illustrated stitches and codes) is printed on the front of this machine providing easy reference.  There are push button stitch selectors below the LCD display where one can quickly enter the desired stitch.  The LCD display will show the stitch selected, the length and width of the stitch and the proper foot to use.  The 50 stitches can be seen in the illustration below.

 

Stitches for the CS5055PRW
50 stitches on the CS5055PRW

 

A number of accessories are provided including: 6 sewing feet (overcasting foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, blind stitch foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot), and bobbins, needles (including twin needle and ball point needle), seam ripper, screwdriver, cleaning brush, an extra spool pin, and large/medium/small spool caps.  There is built in accessory storage although it has limited capacity.

As mentioned, this is a fairly lightweight machine and it weighs in at 10.65 lbs.  It also comes with a soft cover (good for keeping the dust off but this is not a carry case) and a manual that is both in English and Spanish.  This is a good manual and has been written by someone who understands sewing.

The CS5055PRW carries a 25 year warranty and you can view the Brother standard warranty here.  Bear in mind that many sewing machines report a 25 year warranty but this is only partly true.  In the case of this machine the so-called “25-year warranty” breaks down as follows:  1-year on parts, labor and accessories, 2-years on electronic components and circuit boards, and 25-years for the chassis casting.  The 25 years can be a bit misleading but this practice is common with sewing machines.

The machine is both UL and CSA listed. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories and they have been around for over 100 years.  They are an independent safety science company that undertakes product safety testing and certification. CSA is similar and it tests and certifies products to ensure they meet certain US and Canadian standards.
 
Manual
Meijer publish the manual for this machine and you can see it here.  You can also view a Spanish version of the manual here.



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