Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use and set up
Cons: Slightly below average sewing performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Marketed as Heavy Duty, this robust sewing machine advertises a metal interior frame, stainless steel bed plate, and a stronger motor. While being touted as heavy duty, the 4423 doesn't come close to the strength and power of an industrial machine, but it did make it through the heavier fabrics we tested with ease. This model earned an average score of 50 out of 100, but had the lowest price out of any models we tested.
The 4423 received a 4 out of 10 in the most important metric — a somewhat paltry score. This category makes up 40% of the total score, with scores being determined by comparing the machine's long straight, zigzag, and scallop stitch, as well as their aptitude at attaching a zipper. The first stitch that we tested on this machine, the long straight stitch, was plagued by persistent tension issues across our range of test fabrics. It wavered from too loose, to so tight that the bobbin thread was pulled through.
The 4423's zigzag stitch was fine, with higher quality and consistency on the easier to sew fabrics, and dropped on the more difficult ones — like satin.
It seemed to struggle a little with the scallop stitches, producing ones that were slightly subpar. It did an acceptable job at attaching the zipper, with no bunches or aberrant stitches around the end stop of the zipper, a problem other machines seemed to have.
Ease of Use
To assess the ease of use for each machine, we looked at how clear and easy to understand the directions printed on the machine are, the amount of light provided, type of thread cutter and the presence (or absence!) of features like automatic sewing or needle stop position adjustability. The 4423 performed above average, earning a 6 out of 10 in this metric.
Every feature on this machine is very clearly labeled, except the stitch selection. The stitch selection wheel has pairs of stitches, one in blue and one in red, with a separate knob that selects between the blue and the red stitches. While simple, this method is not immediately apparent, and briefly stymied us when we first went to use the machine.
This machine does not have any recommendations for which presser foot to use with each stitch, making it a little more intimidating for beginners. This machine does have a decent work light, enough where you could get away without supplemental lighting. The 4423 does lack automatic sewing, and consistent needle stopping position — something to be expected on such a basic mechanical sewing machine.
Ease of Setup
The 4423 is a basic machine, and is about average to set up, earning a slightly above average score of 6 out of 10. While the threading directions on this machine are similar to others, this machine has a much darker body, making the instructions higher contrast and easier to read. This is especially true of threading the bobbin cover, where it possible to actually see the directions compared to comparable machines.
The needle threader works well on this model, but it does require a decent amount of dexterity to operate, and occasionally may feel that it was designed for someone with an extra hand.
The Singer 4423 struggles a little when it came to making buttonholes, lacking some of the nicer features that other computerized machines offered. This performance netted it a subpar 4 out of 10. This machine does not stop automatically when sewing a buttonhole, requiring a little more care and attention than some of the other machines to not ball up the thread at the end.
We also noticed that this buttonhole does not seem to lock as well as the other ones, and were more prone to unraveling, and that it was substantially more difficult to line up the buttonhole in the correct spot.
Looking at our price-value chart, you will notice that while this model is low on the price axis, it is also low on the performance one. This fails to fulfill our criteria for making it a good value.
The Singer 4423 is an economical, basic mechanical sewing machine. While there were no terrible drawbacks on this product, you get what you pay for and the performance of this model fails to impress. We feel that there were other models that offered much better performance for only slightly more cost, and are worth saving up the extra penny.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer