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Brother XM2701 Review

If you are shopping on a tight budget for a bare-bones sewing machine, the XM2701 is an alright option
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Price:   $100 List | $85 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to set up
Cons:  Buttonholes could be better, stitch quality isn’t amazing
Manufacturer:   Brother
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Oct 17, 2019
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46
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Sewing - 40% 3
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 5
  • Ease Of Set-Up - 20% 8
  • Buttonholes - 10% 3

Our Verdict

Finishing close to the back of the group, the Brother XM2701 is not one of the top sewing machine models we have seen so far. This mediocre machine produced stitches that were uneven and far from the most visually appealing but it will get the job done. It's easy to use and set up, though the quality of the buttonholes it made was also lacking in our test. It's a relatively inexpensive sewing machine that will work for projects and mending clothes if you aren't overly concerned with how they look, but you can get a much better machine for just a bit more money.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Brother XM2701
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $100 List
$85.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$299.00 at Amazon
$200 List
$172.76 at Amazon
$220 List
$175.00 at Amazon
$190 List
$149.00 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Inexpensive, easy to set upLarge library of stitches, tied for best sewing performanceGreat sewing performance, easy to useGreat value, excellent buttonholes, easy to useEconomical, easy to use
Cons Buttonholes could be better, stitch quality isn’t amazingIntimidating for new users, can be expensive if not on saleA bit harder to set upStitches are slightly inferior to the top models, built-in light could be betterAverage sewing performance
Bottom Line If you are shopping on a tight budget for a bare-bones sewing machine, the XM2701 is an alright optionThe best of the best, but it might be too much machine for those just starting outA fantastic machine for the price and a good bet for the serious userIf you want a solid budget model for starting out or a super easy to use model, then this is your best betA great machine for a beginner, but a more advanced user may require better sewing performance
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Rating Categories Brother XM2701 Singer 9960... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother XR9550PRW Brother CS6000i
Sewing (40%)
10
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10
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7
10
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7
10
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6
10
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5
Ease Of Use (30%)
10
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5
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8
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7
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8
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8
Ease Of Set Up (20%)
10
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8
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6
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6
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7
10
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6
Buttonholes (10%)
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3
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6
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7
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6
Specs Brother XM2701 Singer 9960... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother XR9550PRW Brother CS6000i
Sewing Speed 800 850 750 800 850
Built in Stitches 27 600 100 110 60
Buttonhole Styles 1 13 7 8 7
Buttonhole Sewing (how many steps) 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step
Maximum Stitch Width 5mm 7mm 6.5mm 7mm 7mm
Maximum Stitch Length 4mm 5mm 4.8mm 5mm 5mm
Thread Cutter Built-in Automatic/Built-in Built-in Built-in Built-in
Automatic Bobbin Winder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Twin Needle Capability Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weight 12.7 lbs. 19.7 lbs. 14.8 lbs. 10.3 lbs. 9.4 lbs.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The XM2701 is a cheaper sewing machine that is a great example of getting what you pay for. We used the recommended settings for this machine and got somewhat disappointing stitches in return but you probably could spend some dialing it in perfectly and improve your results. It's a good option if you need a sewing machine for projects that don't have to be aesthetically perfect and want to spend the absolute bare minimum.

Performance Comparison



The XM2701 is a budget machine that didn't score all that well in our tests.
The XM2701 is a budget machine that didn't score all that well in our tests.

Likes


The Brother XM2701 is decently easy and convenient to use. It has plenty of directions right on the machine itself — either printed, stickers, or molded into the case — and there are only a few things that aren't immediately clear. Its built-in light provides more than enough illumination without any pesky shadows covering where you are stitching.

The XM2701 does provide a decent amount of light.
The XM2701 does provide a decent amount of light.

The thread cutter on the side isn't the best but it's perfectly acceptable most of the time.

This machine is very straightforward and easy to use for the most part.
This machine is very straightforward and easy to use for the most part.

The XM2701 is fairly straightforward to thread whenever you are getting ready to sew, with an automatic needle threader that is highly effective. The bobbin is super quick to install and very easy to thread as well.

The XM2701 wound some high-quality bobbins.
The XM2701 wound some high-quality bobbins.

This sewing machine is also quite easy to set up to wind a bobbin and wound one very consistently.

Overall  we found the stitching quality of the XM2701 to be subpar.
Overall, we found the stitching quality of the XM2701 to be subpar.

Dislikes


Unfortunately, our list of complaints about the XM2701 is rather extensive. This sewing machine performed below average in every single one of our stitching tests. The long straight stitches tended to be loose and uneven, with only the stitches on satin and polyester charmeuse coming out alright.

The longer stitches tended to come out very uneven.
The longer stitches tended to come out very uneven.

The zig-zag stitches tended to have uneven tension and bunch up the fabric on all but the satin. It did alright with the silk and chiffon but still bunched them up slightly with this stitch. Finally, the XM2701's scallop stitch was subpar across the board in our test. The tension was uneven and the shape of the scallops varied wildly.

Zigzag and scallop stitches also proved to be difficult for this XM2701.
Zigzag and scallop stitches also proved to be difficult for this XM2701.

The buttonhole produced by the Brother XM2701 was also quite disappointing. It wasn't horrible to line up the position of the buttonhole foot or get it set up to use but the quality of the buttonhole was lacking with all the fabrics we tried. The sides of the buttonhole are really thin and close together and the bar tacks just didn't look great.

The bar tacks for the buttonholes seemed fine but the side stitching was a bit of a mess in our evaluation.
The bar tacks for the buttonholes seemed fine but the side stitching was a bit of a mess in our evaluation.

Value


Overall, the Brother XM2701 isn't a particularly amazing value. It is one of the least expensive products overall but you could spend just a bit more and get a far better machine, which in our minds is a much better bang for the buck.

Conclusion


The XM2701's staggeringly mediocre performance in our various tests makes it one of the least likely sewing machines we would recommend to a friend. It's fine and will sew fabric together or help patch your clothes but the stitch quality was inconsistent in our test and isn't very good looking. It's an option if you absolutely can't spend more on one of the better machines but you very well may be disappointed in its performance.


Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman