86.7 The Singer S18 is a high-end computerized quilting and sewing machine It is generally well-liked by owners and it comes with an incredible number of features including over 400 built-in stitches and a sewing speed of 1000 stitches per minute. In addition, a large number of accessories are provided with this sewing machine, including 14 presser feet. This is a solid, well built sewing machine with intuitive controls, and it has one more particularly interesting characteristic - it is manufactured by Janome!
Janome is a manufacturing contractor to several sewing brands and the S18 is modeled on the Janome 6500P. It is essentially the same machine with a Singer skin/case on it. It is even more interesting to note that when the prices of the two machines are compared (on Amazon for example) we find the following:
Janome 1600P: $1400 (approx)
Singer S18: $950 (approx)
So, on Amazon at least, the S18 is a full $450 cheaper. You should find similar price differentials elsewhere as well.
The S18 is for sale on several different websites but owner ratings are not quite as easy to find. We only found ratings on two sites and these are recorded in the table below. When averaged these create an overall score of 87 out of 100. This is a respectable score and you can compare it to that of other machines in our sewing machine ratings table.
|Amazon||4.3 stars out of 5||107|
|Joann||5 stars out of 5||6|
A thorough review of S18 owner comments provided the following common likes and dislikes:
- Heavy, solid, well built
- Very easy to use with intuitive controls
- Excellent for quilting
- Capable of sewing through multiple layers of thick fabric
- Includes a good manual
- Has a tremendous number of features
- Includes many accessories
- Fast sewing speed
- Even, precise stitches
- Has spacious throat
- Comes with large extension table
- Many, many built-in stitches
- No free arm
- Some folks report issues with the machine software
- No start/stop button
There is quite a bit written by owners about the S18. Following we try to highlight the most common and important areas of discussion.
Most owners are very pleased with the S18 and we’ve seen many comments like: “I love my machine”, “well worth the price”, “the best sewing machine I have ever used”, “great machine”, “awesome machine”, “this is a workhorse”, etc.
Most folks feel that threading the machine and the bobbins is very easy. Also, in general, the S18 is considered easy to use and the controls/interface are intuitive and obvious.
It is a powerful unit and it has no trouble sewing through thick fabrics or multiple layers of fabrics. In addition, many people highlight that the throat area of the S18 is very spacious and that the table that comes with it is also quite large. These features are great for quilting and for large sewing projects.
The manual is detailed and well-written and the stitches are high quality. Also, owners are very pleased with the many accessories that are included with the S18. These come in their own accessory box.
Probably the most contentious thing about the S18 is the machine’s software. Some owners have indicated that the software sometimes hangs and that the machine has to be turned off and then on again to get things working. Not everyone experiences this (most folks do not) however this was commented upon by a number of different owners.
Another thing that most consumers lament is the lack of a free arm. Without a free arm sewing items like trouser legs, cuffs, sleeves, etc. is more difficult. Also, a few folks have indicated that the lighting of the sewing area is a bit dim.
The fact that the machine is very heavy is both a pro and a con. A heavy machine is not particularly portable so the S18 is not a good fit for taking to classes or on trips. But part of the reason the machine is heavy is that it is well-built and durable. It also stays put when you are sewing.
Finally, the S18 is so feature rich that it is time consuming to learn how to use all the features and some you may never use at all.
You can read more owner comments on Amazon if you want.
The following video from Singer is very good at showing and describing some of the many features of this machine. It is definitely worth watching if you are considering this unit.
- Extension table (23" x 15")
- 9" x 6" bed space (to the right of the needle)
- Knee lifter (for hands-free raising & lowering of presser feet)
- 408 stitches (10 direct selection, 80 quilting, 60 utility, 258 alphanumeric)
- 7 automatic buttonholes
- Max stitch width = 7mm
- Block & script alphabets (letters and numbers)
- Can store 50 stitch pattern combinations (can be recalled at the touch of a button)
- Pattern elongation (stitches can be made 2 to 5 times longer with no loss in stitch density)
- Pattern mirror imaging
- Drop feed with box feed motion
- Need up/down (programmable)
- Electronic automatic thread trimmer
- Automatic needle threader
- Top drop-in bobbin with clear cover
- Independent bobbin winding system with dual spool pins and retractable guide – allows you to keep sewing while the bobbin is being filled
- Presser foot sensor
- Automatic stitch length & width with override
- Back-lit LCD control panel (with 10 language options and adjustable brightness)
- Speed control lever
- 15 needle positions
- Stainless steel needle plate
- Extra-high presser foot lifter
- Twin needle capable
- Locking stitch button
- Maximum sewing speed of 1000 stitches per minute
- Adjustable thread tension
- Stitch reference chart on upper lid of machine (see image below)
- Electronic foot controller with retractable cord
It should be noted that the block & script letters and numbers are provided in both 5mm and 7mm sizes, and in both upper and lower case. These letters and numbers are good for adding monograms and text, although some consumers report that the alphanumeric font quality is only average and that an embroidery machine will do a better job.
As mentioned, the S18 comes with a host of accessories and these are provided in their own plastic accessory storage box (see image below) which is actually kind of nice. 14 presser feet are included: All-Purpose Foot, Darning/Freehand Foot, Button Sewing Foot, Overedge Foot, Narrow Rolled Hem Foot, Zipper Foot, Cording Foot, Overcasting Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Quarter Inch Foot, Even-Feed/Walking Foot, Open Toe Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, and Blind Hem Foot. There is also an adjustable seam guide, a seam ripper, a lint brush, a knee lifter, needles, bobbins, quilting bars, spool caps, and screwdrivers. In addition, one will find an operating manual, a quick start guide, and a power cord.
The S18 weighs a hefty 26 lbs and it also carries Singer’s warranty which breaks down as follows:
- Sewing machine head: 25 years
- Motors, light assembly, stitches, wiring, speed control and electronic components: 2 years
- Belts, rings, bulbs, attachments and adjustments: 90 days
Sewing Machine Manual
The manual for the S18 is 75 pages long and detailed. You can find quite a bit of information regarding features, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc. Check it out here: Singer S18 Sewing Machine Manual.