Hands-on Gear Review

Singer 4452 Heavy Duty Review

Singer 4452
Price:   $300 List | $187.92 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use
Cons:  Sub par buttonholes
Bottom line:  A robust, mechanical machine, but can be a bit expensive for its features and performance
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
Sewing Speed:  1,100
Built in Stitches:  32
Buttonhole Styles:  1
Manufacturer:   Singer

Our Verdict

The Singer 4452 is ostensibly an identical clone of its younger cousin, the Singer 4423 with the addition of 9 extra stitches. This model is a simplistic mechanical sewing machine, with a handful of extra stitches that sets it apart. However, we feel that this model is a little too expensive for its performance.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 25, 2016

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While one of the higher-end models of the Singer Heavy Duty line, the 4452 felt a little overpriced relative to its performance. Only scoring two points above average, this lackluster performance does not merit its $300 list price, and even though it can usually be found at a discounted price, it still felt like a stretch to justify its cost.

Performance Comparison


The Singer 4452 is a basic mechanical machine with a few decorative stitches.
The Singer 4452 is a basic mechanical machine with a few decorative stitches.

Sewing


Scoring a 6 out of 10, the Singer 4452 did not deliver a standout performance in our sewing rating metric. We compared each product's performance at a handful of different stitches on a wide spread of fabrics. We found the results of the long straight stitch, zigzag stitch, scallop stitch, and attaching a zipper were the most telling, and based our scores of those results.

The machine performed well on the long straight stitch, except that is had a tendency to bunch up on our cotton test swatch.

This product struggled much more on the zigzag stitch, producing some of the lowest qualities stitches out of all the competition. This problem appeared to be rooted in the top thread tension being inconsistent, alternating between too loose or too tight and bunching up the fabric.

The scallop and zipper attachment stitch quality were alright, excelling at easier to sew fabrics and struggling at harder ones.

Ease of Use


The Singer 4452 is a relatively simple machine, and thus, score alright in this category. This machine earned a 6 out of 10, so an alright score, but this is largely by virtue of not having that many features to confuse you.

The 4452 doesn't have many features  but has the features that count.
The 4452 doesn't have many features, but has the features that count.

The directions on this machine are simple enough, but the mechanical selection stitch selection system is initially confusing enough to give you a quick pause.

The stitch selection dials on the 4452 by Singer.
The stitch selection dials on the 4452 by Singer.

This machine also lacks recommendations for which presser foot is the most effective for different stitches. Everything else on the machine is clearly labeled, identical to the markings on its twin, the Singer 4423.

Ease of Setup


Surprisingly scoring lower than its twin, the Singer 4452 earned a 5 out of 10 on ease of set up. This machine performed alright at both threading the machine, as well as setting up and installing the bobbin. We particularly liked the instructions for threading the bobbin being printed in a higher-contrast color scheme.

We liked that it was easy to read the bobbin installation directions.
We liked that it was easy to read the bobbin installation directions.

However, the automatic needle threader on the model we tested seemed to be much less effective than comparable ones, even causing us to question if it was broken or had a manufacturing defect. We could see no visible evidence of either scenario, and we just seemed to struggle with threading the needle on this model. The bobbin winder also tended to wind unevenly, making a bottom-heavy bobbin.

Button Work


The 4452 earned a 4 out of 10 when it came to setting up the sewing machine to make a buttonhole, lining up the buttonhole in the correct location and actually making it.

The buttonhole presser foot on one of the Singer Heavy Duty machines.
The buttonhole presser foot on one of the Singer Heavy Duty machines.

As this is a mechanical machine, it requires slightly more setup than the others, requiring you to drop a lever down and set it to act as a stop. This machine also does not shut off automatically, which can cause the thread to ball up on the final bar tack of the buttonhole, if the sewer has a momentary lapse of attention.

The Singer Heavy-Duty machines do not stop automatically upon completion  resulting in errors like this if you aren't paying attention.
The Singer Heavy-Duty machines do not stop automatically upon completion, resulting in errors like this if you aren't paying attention.

It was also exceptionally difficult to line up the buttonhole in the correct locations, and the finished project seemed prone to unraveling.

Value


We felt that the Singer 4452 was not a good value, based on the results of our tests. It has a high list price, with a performance filled with mediocrity.

Conclusion


While the addition of extra stitches is nice, it certainly does not justify the large price increase from the Singer 4423. While that model may have had some merit as being extremely economical, this model lost that redeeming quality. We don't feel that we can recommend purchasing this one, as there are other model we reviewed that substantially outperformed it at a lower price.

David Wise and Austin Palmer

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