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Brother GX37 Review

A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lighting
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Brother GX37 Review (The Brother GX37 wasn't our top machine, but still performed impressively in some areas, including winding the bobbin.)
The Brother GX37 wasn't our top machine, but still performed impressively in some areas, including winding the bobbin.
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $130 List
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Manufacturer:   Brother
By Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer  ⋅  Jun 12, 2023
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Sewing - 45% 6.8
  • Ease of use - 35% 6.8
  • Buttonholes - 20% 4.8

Our Verdict

Though scoring on the lower end of the sewing machines we tested, the Brother GX37 gave a solid showing in the scallop, blind hem, and zig-zag stitches. Its bobbin setup and use are particularly nice, and the stitch setup and selection are clear. The diamond stitch, basting stitch, and basic straight stitch also scored well, reinforcing our thinking that this would be a decent sewing machine for a beginner. Much like the other Brother sewing machines we tested, we found the GX37 to be a solid, simple machine to use and one that had a lot of features for a minimal price.
REASONS TO BUY
Bobbin quality and winding
Simple
Great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types
REASONS TO AVOID
Not computerized
Trouble with our 8-layer denim test

Compare to Similar Products

 
brother gx37
This Product
Brother GX37
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $130 List
$139.99 at Amazon
$260 List$240 List$230 List
$252.25 at Amazon
$150 List
$149.99 at Amazon
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Bottom Line Simple and solid, this non-computerized sewing machine has many good qualities and some not-so-good onesA simple to use option with lots of stitches, an excellent screen, and an affordable price, but isn't the cleanest buttonhole makerA user-friendly model that works well on all the basics except for buttonholes, and comes at an affordable priceAn inexpensive, easy-to-use sewing machine that provides consistent sewing but has some trouble with buttonholes and winding the bobbinA beginner would really like this machine since it's easy-to-use and inexpensive
Rating Categories Brother GX37 Brother HC1850 Brother CS7000X Brother XR9550 Brother CS5055
Sewing (45%)
6.8
7.8
7.4
7.4
6.8
Ease of use (35%)
6.8
9.3
9.2
8.9
8.0
Buttonholes (20%)
4.8
5.6
4.8
4.8
6.8
Specs Brother GX37 Brother HC1850 Brother CS7000X Brother XR9550 Brother CS5055
# of Built-in Stitches 37 185 70 165 60
# of Buttonhole Styles 1 8 7 8 7
Computerized? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Weight 12.5 lbs 10.5 lbs 10.4 lbs 12.1 Ibs 10.8 lbs
Manufacturer Stated 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 7mm 7mm 7mm
Maximum Stitch Length 5mm 5mm 5mm 5mm 5mm
Thread Cutter Built-in Built-in Built-in Built-in Built-in
Automatic Bobbin Winder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cover Soft No Hard Hard No
Free Arm 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.

Performance Comparison


brother gx37 - you have to go counter-clockwise to select your stitch.
You have to go counter-clockwise to select your stitch.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sewing


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.

brother gx37 - the zig-zag, scallop, and blind hem stitches all scored highly on...
The zig-zag, scallop, and blind hem stitches all scored highly on this machine.
Credit: Laura Casner

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.

brother gx37 - while not the best or the fanciest sewing machine out there, this...
While not the best or the fanciest sewing machine out there, this would be just fine for a beginner.
Credit: Laura Casner

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.

brother gx37 - the lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.
The lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.
Credit: Laura Casner

Buttonholes


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.

brother gx37 - the machine did very well in the sewing tests, but lacked in the...
The machine did very well in the sewing tests, but lacked in the zipper and buttonhole processes.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Brother GX37?


Despite having to play around with the buttonhole foot and little problems with the zipper, we think this is a solid 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.

brother gx37 - we had to manually lift the presser foot in order to get over the...
We had to manually lift the presser foot in order to get over the bottom strap of a zipper.
Credit: Laura Casner

What Other Sewing Machines Should You Consider?


The Brother GX37 had low scores in some areas, but overall, it is a good beginner sewing machine at a very approachable price point. However, the Brother CS5055 outperformed the GX37 in ease of use and buttonhole making and tied with its sewing performance. It also costs a bit less, making it the better deal. If you know you're going to use your machine a lot, consider the moderately pricier Brother HC1850. It's just as easy to figure out and use, but it makes better quality stitches and is one of our favorite sewing machines for any project.

Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer