Brother CS6000i Review
Pros: Excellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-up
Cons: Trouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutter
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|Pros||Excellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-up||Automatic thread cutter, tons of stitch options||Good sewing performance, easy to use, high value||Excellent straight stitching on cotton jersey, very easy to get stitches set up||Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types|
|Cons||Trouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutter||Big learning curve||A bit harder to set up||Lacks a needle up/down button, no presser foot lock, trouble with bottom strap of average zipper||Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim test|
|Bottom Line||Good for those starting out, but advanced users will get better performance out of other machines||An all-around great machine with more than enough stitches for even the pickiest sewer||A great machine for the price and a good bet for both beginning and seasoned users||Great machine for a beginning sewer, but lacking a few helpful computerized features||A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lighting|
|Rating Categories||Brother CS6000i||Singer 9960 Quantum...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS5055||Brother GX37|
|Ease of use (35%)|
|Specs||Brother CS6000i||Singer 9960 Quantum...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS5055||Brother GX37|
|# of Built-in Stitches||60||600||100||60||37|
|# of Buttonhole Styles||7||13||6||7||1|
|Measured Weight||9.4 lbs||19.7 lbs||14.6 lbs||10.8 lbs||12.5 lbs|
|Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute)||850||850||750||750||850|
|Buttonhole Sewing (number of steps)||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step|
|Maximum Stitch Width||7mm||7mm||6mm||7mm||7mm|
|Maximum Stitch Length||5mm||5mm||4.8mm||5mm||5mm|
|Automatic Bobbin Winder?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Twin Needle Capability?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Brother CS6000i delivered an average to above-average score in every single metric that we analyzed, performing exceptionally well in ease of use and in lighting.
The CS6000i scored well for stitching quality, earning an above-average score in our tests in this crucial metric. This is obviously a fundamental rating category, as sewing is why you would purchase one of these machines. We compared the sewing performance by analzying a few different stitches: straight, zigzag, blind hem, scallop, and attaching a zipper.
While this model consistently scored above average at the zigzag, blind hem, and straight stitches, it struggled a bit with zippers and scallop stitches. All the other stitches had very nice evenness and consistency, with the correct amount of tension. In our previous testing, we found that the CS6000i tended to have a much tighter long, straight stitch than other models, to the point where it was undesirable and caused the fabric to bunch up. Apparently, Brother cleaned that problem up, and the straight stitches we sewed on our different types of fabrics were clean and even.
We also ran into some difficulties when using the zipper-specific presser foot to attach a zipper, as the presser foot got hung up on the zipper stop, causing some uneven stitching in that area.
Ease of Use
The Brother CS6000i gave a great showing when we looked at ease of use. We look for machines with clear directions and other features that make them easier to use — things like a great work light or labeling that adds to overall convenience.
The CS6000i has straightforward and easy-to-understand labels printed on the machine, giving excellent directions on how to thread the machine and install and wind the bobbin. One feature that we particularly found useful, especially for novice users, is the recommendation that appears on the display for which presser foot to use when a stitch is selected. And the instruction manual — often an overlooked feature — is clean, clear, and very easy to use. The lighting is also excellent — it has little-to-no shadows and covers a very large area so that it is easy to see everything you are working on.
We found some drawbacks, though: it is necessary to consult the manual if there is an error since the screen only displays an error code with no description of the problem. The computer screen also lacks a backlight which would help with trying to see the printing there. Lacking an automatic thread cutter, the CS6000i does have a manual cutter tucked away on the side of the machine that is average, although you can cut from either side as long as you are cutting down. It also has an automatic needle stop, which means that you don't have to stop sewing, manually raise the needle to the top, and then remove your fabric.
We looked at how adept each machine is at creating a buttonhole, its quality, and how easy it is to create the buttonhole in the desired location. The CS6000i has a 1-step buttonhole, meaning that the entire process is automatic once set up correctly. The size of the buttonhole is determined by inserting the button into the buttonhole presser foot, and then it's ready to go. The finished result had even and consistent stitches, and we found that they were not prone to unraveling.
This machine gives a solid performance for its price and is a very good value. Though it is a great beginner sewing machine at a very affordable price, an experienced seamstress or tailor may want something with more options.
All in all, if your budget is small, the Brother CS6000i is a great introduction to the world of sewing for a beginner and one we recommend.
— Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer
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