61.3 The Singer M3500 is an affordable, compact mechanical sewing machine. It is lightweight and comes with 32 stitches. Some owners have reported that it is quite easy to use and that it is a good fit for the beginning sewist. However there are also a host of complaints - from bobbins jamming, to skipped stitches, to issues with the needle threader. Many owners have found one problem or another with this particular machine and as a result we’d probably give it a miss.
Owner ratings for the M3500 are actually a little hard to come by at this time and we only managed to find a total of 19. See table below . When these ratings were averaged they resulted in a very weak score of 61.3 out of 100. This places the M3500 near the bottom end of the sewing machines we’ve reviewed over the years. Please see our comprehensive list of sewing machine ratings.
|Source||Consumer Ratings||# Ratings|
|Amazon.com||2.6 stars out of 5||13|
|Amazon.ca||3.5 stars out of 5||2|
|Home Depot||4.3 stars out of 5||4|
Don’t Be Fooled!
If you view this machine on Amazon.com you may notice the score 4.2 out of 5 stars (on the date this article was published). This star rating isn’t actually accurate for the M3500. Amazon has lumped together scores for the Singer M1500, the Singer M3300, and the Singer M3500. When we separated out the M3500 scores and averaged them we found an overall score of 2.6 out of 5 stars – a far cry from 4.2.
You can see M3500 comments and owner ratings here. Now scroll a little down the page and read the reviews under the “search customer reviews” search box.
We’ve seen this kind of thing before and sometimes Amazon merges reviews for different models if they are part of a series of similar machines. It can be a little confusing if you don’t know how they generated the star rating for the machine.
PROS & CONS
Pros and cons for the Singer M3500 have been determined from an analysis of comments at several popular online retail outlets.
- Small footprint
- Respectable number of stitches
- Some say it is easy to use
- Not a good machine for working with heavy fabrics
- Sometimes things seems to be missing from box
- Some folks find the needle won’t thread
- Some people find the bobbin jams frequently
- There are reports of needles jamming/breaking
- Manual not provided (need to download it)
- Many instances of malfunctions reported
What Are Owners Saying?
This is a basic mechanical sewing machine and some call it “entry level”. Indeed several owners report that this is a good machine for the budding seamstress. However there are a significant number of people who report problems with the M3500 and as a result they feel that it would be a problematic machine for beginners.
Those who like their M3500 point to the respectable number of stitches (32) and the ease of use. They also like that it is lightweight and therefore a good candidate for taking to classes or sewing gatherings.
However, there is no getting around the number of owners who have run into problems - sometimes immediately upon start-up and sometimes weeks after they start using the M3500. Issues include the bobbin continually jamming, not being able to thread the needle, the unit sometimes skipping stitches, and the needle jamming and sometimes breaking. We have also read that in some instances there are things missing from the package (manual, warranty papers, etc.).
The percentage of problematic reviews and comments are significant – thus the poor score of 61.3 out of 100. At the end of the day there are sufficient examples of the M3500 malfunctioning to lead us to say that you may not want to bother with this one. There are more highly rated Singer machines out there.
TIP - Better Singer Sewing Machines
If Singer is your brand of choice you may want to consider some of the higher scoring Singer machines. Following is a list of the top 5 scoring Singer sewing machines on our website.
You also may want to consider avoiding some of the lower rated Singer machines on our site. These include:
- Singer QuickFix
- Singer 6699 Starlet
- Singer 2932
- Singer 6199 Brilliance
- Singer 3116 Simple
- Singer 5400 Sew Mate
- Singer CG-590
- Singer C5200
Key M3500 Specifications
- 32 stitches (basic, decorative, stretch)
- Stitch selection dial
- One step buttonhole
- Automatic needle threader
- Free arm (slide off removable storage compartment)
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Front loading bobbin (class 15 transparent)
- Reverse lever
- Extra high presser foot lifter
- Snap-on presser feet
- Stitch speed = 750 stitches per minute
See the stitch types in the image below. To learn how to choose these please see pages 12 & 13 in the sewing machine manual which is available at the bottom of the review.
Online Instruction Videos
We found five videos produced by the Singer Sewing Company. They provide an introduction to the M3500, information on threading the machine, how to select a stitch, buttonholes, and changing a needle. You can find these on YouTube here.
Other Features & Characteristics
Note that Singer often refers to this machine as having 110 stitch applications. This does not mean it has 110 different stitch types - the M3500 actually only has 32 stitch types. A stitch application, according to Singer, is a sewing technique that you can do using a particular stitch.
This machine has a metal frame and weighs in the neighborhood of 13 lbs. It is a 120V machine so you don’t want to get this if you live in a country that uses 220V.
The M3500 is also a UL listed machine. UL stands for Underwriters’ Laboratories, a group who certifies that products meet specific safety standards. This is an independent group that has been in operation for over 100 years. If a product has been UL listed then it has met their safety standards.
The package includes four presser feet: all-purpose foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, zipper foot. You also get bobbins (class 15 transparent), needles, a seam ripper / lint brush, a screwdriver, a thread spool cap, a quilting guide, a darning plate, an auxiliary spool pin, and a soft dust cover.
The Singer M3500 carries a 25-year warranty. Be aware that this is not a 25-year warranty on the entire sewing machine. Rather, it breaks down as follows:
- Limited 25-year warranty on the sewing machine head.
- Limited 2- year warranty on electric parts such as motors, lighting assembly, wiring, speed control, switches, and electronic components.
- Limited 90-day warranty on attachments, belts, bulbs, rings, and adjustments.
Sewing Machine Manual
The manual (English only) is reasonably detailed and has plenty of illustrations. It covers machine basics, threading the machine, sewing (walks through many of the features), and other general information. You will also find material on maintaining the sewing machine and on troubleshooting problems. See the manual here: Singer M3500 manual