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.
Brother XM2701 Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to set up
Cons: Buttonholes could be better, stitch quality isn’t amazing
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to set up||Large library of stitches, tied for best sewing performance||Great sewing performance, easy to use||Great value, excellent buttonholes, easy to use||Economical, easy to use|
|Cons||Buttonholes could be better, stitch quality isn’t amazing||Intimidating for new users, can be expensive if not on sale||A bit harder to set up||Stitches are slightly inferior to the top models, built-in light could be better||Average sewing performance|
|Bottom Line||If you are shopping on a tight budget for a bare-bones sewing machine, the XM2701 is an alright option||The best of the best, but it might be too much machine for those just starting out||A fantastic machine for the price and a good bet for the serious user||If you want a solid budget model for starting out or a super easy to use model, then this is your best bet||A great machine for a beginner, but a more advanced user may require better sewing performance|
|Rating Categories||Brother XM2701||Singer 9960...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother XR9550PRW||Brother CS6000i|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (20%)|
|Specs||Brother XM2701||Singer 9960...||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother XR9550PRW||Brother CS6000i|
|Built in Stitches||27||600||100||110||60|
|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|
|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.
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 thread cutter on the side isn't the best but it's perfectly acceptable most of the time.
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.
This sewing machine is also quite easy to set up to wind a bobbin and wound one very consistently.
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 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.
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.
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.
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