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What is the Difference Between Domestic and Industrial Sewing Machines?


It’s incredible how many times we are asked what the differences are between domestic and industrial sewing machines, and it’s not just from users who are new to the sewing world; even embroidery and sewing veterans can be unsure.

As we specialise in industrial machines such as Durkopp Adler rather than domestic ones, we know our stuff when it comes to being able to tell the difference. So, if you are wondering whether you should invest in a domestic machine, or feel like you are ready to take the step up to an industrial model, read on as we explain the differences between these two classifications of sewing machine.

Are There Any Differences?

Believe it or not, there are various differences between the machines. Although domestic and industrial sewing machines may share similar components, such as a motor which powers a needle, the use and methods are very different.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important differences to note:


Material Use

Domestic machines are created to be able to handle most materials that a housewife would need. This makes them incredibly flexible to deal with most light materials which may need repairing or adapting within the home.

Industrial machines work on a much bigger scale, often working with thicker, heavy-duty materials, repetitively throughout the day in an industrial environment. Often, people who own an industrial machine will be focusing on sewing a few specific things which require a more powerful, durable machine.

Differences in Purpose

Domestic machines are designed to be used for a couple of hours at a time, and the user is able to stop and start a project easily. This stop-and-go way of working reflects on the way domestic sewing is carried out; constantly adjusting the material, the need to remove pins etc.

Industrial machines are designed for a more heavy-duty workload; being able to run for longer hours and deal with more intense projects than a domestic machine. If you are serious about your sewing projects and will be needing to use your sewing machine constantly, you’d be better suited to an industrial model.


Differences in Components

Because industrial machines need to withstand hours upon hours of running, it’s no wonder that they contain some pretty hefty components in them.

From the motor to the rods and mechanical parts that make the machine work, all do the same thing in both machines, but the difference is easy to see.

It’s easy to tell an industrial machine from a domestic one by simply looking at the motor. Industrials will have huge motors attached to them to be able to power the machine through hours of work, whereas the domestic machines will have smaller, more compact motors, capable of pushing the machine through shorter tasks. This also makes them smaller, lighter, and perfect for storing away when you aren’t using it; something that isn’t usually associated with an industrial strength machine.

Another reason for differences in components is that industrial machines typically cost a lot more than domestic machines. This is because a business is more willing to pay for machines that make efficiency their priority. In the sewing industry, machines that can perform quicker with less problems will mean more money for the business and is therefore worth the investment. In the domestic household where sewing is a hobby, the speed and efficiency of an industrial machine would be a luxury but may not be financially viable.

Both machine types have their advantages and it all comes down to what the user requires from their sewing machine to determine which is best. If you require a machine that can handle a lot of work which you will be completing throughout the day, an industrial machine is probably what you are looking for. If you work domestically but want to upgrade your machine to something a little more professional, then you might be interested in our used industrial sewing machines. Alternatively, we recommend you contact us with you needs and interests so we can recommend the perfect machine for you.