Brother GX37 Review
Pros: Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types
Cons: Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim test
Compare to Similar Products
$179.99 at Amazon
$431.80 at Amazon
$229.99 at Amazon
$209.99 at Amazon
$159.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types||Automatic thread cutter, tons of stitch options||Good sewing performance, easy to use, high value||Excellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-up||Excellent straight stitching on cotton jersey, very easy to get stitches set up|
|Cons||Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim test||Big learning curve||A bit harder to set up||Trouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutter||Lacks a needle up/down button, no presser foot lock, trouble with bottom strap of average zipper|
|Bottom Line||A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lighting||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||Good for those starting out, but advanced users will get better performance out of other machines||Great machine for a beginning sewer, but lacking a few helpful computerized features|
|Rating Categories||Brother GX37||Singer 9960 Quantum...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055|
|Ease of use (35%)|
|Specs||Brother GX37||Singer 9960 Quantum...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055|
|# of Built-in Stitches||37||600||100||60||60|
|# of Buttonhole Styles||1||13||6||7||7|
|Measured Weight||12.5 lbs||19.7 lbs||14.6 lbs||9.4 lbs||10.8 lbs|
|Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute)||850||850||750||850||750|
|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 GX37 has a lot of nice features for the money and some rather clunky ones too. One of those features that our testers liked best is how things are labeled. The labels for threading the machine and bobbin are very clear, and the printing for the stitches and stitch selection wheel are as well. Once you can find the directions on how to get to the SS ("stretch stitch," used for knits) stitches, those are clear too. But the only way you can see them is to look down on the machine — you can't see them from sitting in front of it, which is puzzling, to say the least. Of course, once you get to know any machine, much of this will become easy and automatic.
The GX37 did a very nice job in the stitching tests we put it through. In fact, it scored highest of all the machines we tested on the zig-zag and scallop stitches, and it also scored very high on the blind hem.
This machine didn't do so well with the multi-layer denim test, though. It got through all the layers just fine but looked like someone had adjusted the stitch length in the middle of sewing. It also had the same kind of trouble as the other Brother machines in that it just couldn't sew over the bottom strap of a zipper — we had to lift up the zipper foot and guide the needle through before getting to the other side.
Ease of Use
The Brother GX37 had THE easiest bobbin to wind and load out of all the machines we tested, and the wind was consistently excellent and even. However, the stitch setup was a little tricky until we learned the dials, and the lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.
Things kind of went downhill from there, though. The thread cutter is adequate with the blade facing up, and you can cut from either side, which is good. But there is no needle stop, so you have to manually turn the wheel to get the needle to the highest position before lifting the presser foot up and removing the fabric. Neither of these things are deal-breakers, but they are something to be aware of.
Selecting the stitches themselves uses a simple knob, with the upper row being the regular stitches and the bottom row being the SS stitches. A little oddity about the stitch selector knob for the Brother GX37 is that, though there are 19 different stitches, you have to go counterclockwise from 1 to 19 and then onward. You cannot go clockwise for some reason.
The bobbin is top-loading, which we like best, and there is clear labeling for that and for threading the machine, which is consistent with the other Brother sewing machines we tested. The thread cutter faces up, and you can cut the thread from either side as long as you are cutting from the top.
A couple of negatives for the Brother GX37 are that with the position of the lighting, you can't see behind the needle, and it has no automatic needle stop, which means you have to manually move the needle to the top position before lifting the presser foot and removing the fabric. The instruction manual also feels cluttered and is difficult to read due to how the pages are laid out. That said, it has very good information on how to do things, including pictures right under the written instructions, and an instructional DVD that is also very clear.
The buttonhole test really did the Brother GX37 in. It scored lowest on our buttonhole test of all the machines we rated. The setup involves multiple steps and took a lot of trial and error to get the right size hole for our button. The sides were not symmetrical at all, with the left side uneven and grainy in each test we tried.
Despite having to play around with the buttonhole foot and little problems with the zipper, we think this is a good value for the money, especially for a beginner sewer. The little oddities can be overcome, and the sewing machine should serve you well for a long time.
The Brother GX37 had low scores in some areas, but overall, it is a good beginner sewing machine at a very approachable price point.
— Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More