93.9 The Brother XR9550PRW (the PRW stands for Project Runway – the television show) is a computerized sewing machine that is getting very good ratings from owners. It has many stitches, sews smoothly and comes with a host of accessories. It is also very easy to use and is a good choice for the beginning sewist. It does have some downsides however, and some owners experience thread jamming, tension and bobbin issues, and there are even situations where the machine simply stops working altogether. Fortunately the positive reports far outweigh the negative.
We found over 1300 consumer ratings online for the XR9550PRW and you can see these in the table below. When averaged these ratings result in an overall score of 93.9 out of 100. This is a very good score and it places the unit in the top 5 Brother sewing machines that we’ve scored on the site. You can also compare this score to that of all other sewing machines on the site in our sewing machine ratings table.
|Amazon||4.7 stars out of 5||1343|
|Home Depot||4.5 stars out of 5||30|
|Walmart||5 stars out of 5||6|
|Sewing Machines Plus||4 stars out of 5||4|
XR9550PRW or XR9550?
You may run into the Brother XR9550 and wonder how it is different from the XR9550PRW. From what we can tell these are basically the same machine. One is just branded with the PRW for Project Runway and the other is not.
Pros & Cons
A thorough review of owner comments has provided the following XR9550PRW likes and dislikes:
- Most features are very easy to use
- Good choice for beginning sewists
- Not too expensive
- Many features for the price
- Includes lots of accessories
- Very good manual
- Includes helpful instruction DVD
- Not too loud
- Sews smoothly
- Sewing light is too dim
- Automatic needle threader is difficult to use
- If does need repairs they are often not easy to fix
- Some say the machine doesn’t last long
What Are Owners Saying?
One of the most frequent comments regarding the XR9550PRW is how easy it is to use. Owners find the unit simple and intuitive. There is a detailed, well-written manual and a helpful DVD. Instructions are effective and easy to follow. As a result many beginners like the machine and it is often recommended for the budding seamstress.
Folks like that you get quite a bit for your money with the XR9550PRW. It doesn’t have lots of really fancy features but it is a computerized sewing machine (which at this price point isn’t particularly common), it has a large number of stitches (including alphanumeric), and it comes with lots of accessories (including 8 presser feet).
Some people like that there is a sewing speed slider on the machine so you do not always have to use the foot pedal. Others are pleased that the machine is not too loud, that it sews smoothly, that a wide extension table is included, and that you can drop the feed dogs to do free motion quilting
The XR9550PRW is very lightweight which makes it quite portable. Many like it for taking to classes. In addition, it comes with a hard case.
On the downside, quite a few folks are frustrated with the automatic needle threader. Some say it is hard to use and others say it is virtually impossible to use. Many seem to revert to simply threading the needle manually.
We also notice that while the majority of owner ratings are very good, there are some that are not good at all. The poor ratings seem to be associated to folks experiencing features that do not work properly, things breaking, thread jamming, or tension and bobbin problems. These are not always easy to fix and we have read, in some cases, that repair shops simply say they cannot be fixed.
Also, on some occasions owners have stated that their XR9550PRW just stopped working. This typically has happened after several months or, in some cases, just after a year or so. Fortunately these kinds of reports are not in the majority.
You can read more XR9550PRW owner comments on Amazon.
- 110 built-in stitches (utility, decorative, heirloom, buttonholes)
- 8 one-step buttonholes
- 55 alphanumeric stitches
- Stitch length and width adjustment
- Top drop-in bobbin (jam resistant)
- Automatic needle threader
- LCD control panel (push button stitch selection)
- Free arm capable
- Feed dogs can be dropped
- LED light for work area illumination
- Needle up/down
- Start/stop button
- Speed control slider
- Reverse sewing button
- Manual tension dial
- Automatic bobbin winding
- Thread cutter
Following is a chart showing the stitches built into the XR9550PRW.
Also, you can see all the stitches with associated stitch information (like stitch name, pattern image, associated presser foot, application, stitch width, stitch length, twin needle yes/no, etc.) starting on page 52 of the manual which is provided at bottom of this article.
Despite having a metal frame, the sewing machine weighs in at a very lightweight 10.14 lbs. This makes it a solid candidate for taking to classes or other sewing functions. The unit’s high score and light weight have placed it in our list of best portable sewing machines.
The LCD control panel on the XR9550PRW allows you to select a stitch at the click of a button and it will also display the recommended stitch length and stitch width. In addition, each presser foot has a letter stamped on it and the display will show a letter for each selected stitch (essentially telling you what foot to use with the stitch). The display also shows an error code should you run into a problem. A table in the manual indicates what each error code means.
The machine comes with a host of easy to change presser feet including: Overcasting, Button Sewing, Blind Hem Stitch, Buttonhole, Zigzag, Quilting, Zipper, and Monogramming.
You will also get spool caps, an additional spool pin, bobbins (class 15), a seam ripper, a needle set, a twin needle, a ball point needle, a cleaning brush and an eyelet punch. These can be stored in the provided accessory pouch. In addition, there is a wide extension table, a hard case (that covers the machine), a foot pedal, a power cord, an instructional DVD and an operating manual.
The Brother XR9550PRW carries what Brother calls a 1/2/25 year limited warranty. You will sometimes see this referred to as simply a 25-year warranty but it isn’t really. Breaking down this 1/2/25 warranty we find:
- 1-year on parts, labor and accessories
- 2-years on electronic components and circuit boards (doesn’t include replacement labor)
- 25-years on chassis casting
The timing of the warranty starts from the date of your original purchase as shown on the original receipt (so make sure you keep it).
Sewing Machine Manual
The manual for this machine is well written, has many illustrations, and is quite detailed. It covers such information as machine features, machine setup, sewing basics, how to use all the different stitches, stitch settings, maintenance, troubleshooting, error messages (the LCD panel will provided error message codes to highlight possible issues). You can see a copy of the manual here: Brother XR9550PRW Manual