I'm looking for a sewing machine, so that I make my own clothes. But, in order to protect my ego as an almost-40 years old dude, I'd like it to look a bit manly.

I found the Singer Heavy Duty 4452, which is sort of manly due to the sharp edges, dark colour, no cute drawings, etc. But, before I buy it, I'd like to know if there is an even more manly looking sewing machine.

My sewing requirements:

  • Should be heavy duty (e.g. do layers of leather and jeans, also suitable for furniture and curtain).
  • Allow me to sew like a professional.
  • Look manly.

My questions are:

  • Is there a more manly-looking sewing machine than the Singer Heavy Duty 4452?

Note: Before you down-vote, note that this question is very serious. You may think that I'm trolling, but I'm not. I cannot work seriously on my clothing projects while seeing a girly sewing machine with cute drawings and round corners. I have defined manliness in a pretty objective manner, too. It is not perfectly objective, but I'm pretty sure you can get an idea of what I am looking for.


Definition: Sewing machine X is aid to look "more manly" than another sewing machine Y, if:

  • X has has less round parts (i.e. more sharp angles) than Y,
  • X has more metal parts than Y.
  • X has less drawings on it than Y.
  • X has more informative text written on it than Y.
  • X is darker than Y.
  • X is less shiny than Y.
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it is about "service and product recommendations", which is off-topic per our guidelines as described in the Help section.
    – Joachim
    May 9, 2021 at 20:47
  • To elaborate: you're asking 'what sewing machine is more manly than the Singer Heavy Duty 4452?', where the quality of 'manliness' within this context - although outlined - is still subjective (there is no objective answer), and apart from that not a quality that has anything to do with arts and crafts (a manlier sewing machine will not perform better or be better suited for a specific purpose).
    – Joachim
    May 9, 2021 at 20:53
  • 5
    @caveman I certainly understand not wanting to use a pink machine with flower print, I wouldn't want that as a woman either. But apart from that, your ego would greatly benefit from you saying "screw it all, I'm using this masterpiece of mechanical engineering to make useful, 3-dimensional clothing from flat fabric." Your manlyness is currently hindering you from achieving your goals and holding you back, not empowering you or having any positive effect. It's nothing but a social construct to confine your individualism in a small box of expected behaviors.
    – Elmy
    May 10, 2021 at 5:26
  • 2
    Can't you just spray it with some dark colors?-there are unlimited opinios we can make here, that's why we dont have an opinion-based thread here:........"Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than on facts, references, or specific expertise." - Stack Exchange...... However, there are places like reddit, twitter, facebook, and etc that you can still use, good luck.
    – Isaac750
    May 11, 2021 at 2:35
  • 2
    Manley, really? Quality, features, and ease of use, maintenance like any tool. Yes, that Singer is very "industrial" does that make it manley IDK? Will it do the things you describe, probably. My self, I have Singer machines "more manley" since they are still operational over 100 years after they were built. That's quality, they have a variety of accessories that put them in the same class as that gray machine. That may not be the only machine you need. Especially when trying to make/build professional quality garments, a single machine is not enough. Do you only have one power saw? May 11, 2021 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


The question asks for recommendations of sewing machines that have a certain type of appearance. I can't answer that directly, but maybe I can expand your options.

If you were sewing your own sails, tents, or outdoor canopies, or upholstering furniture, the appearance of the sewing machine probably wouldn't be that important to you. It would just be the available tool. Consider whether the significance of the sewing machine's appearance is related to the fact that you want to use it to make clothes.

There's some cultural stereotyping that sewing clothes is a "feminine" thing, but most tailors of men's clothes are men and they don't view their work as "feminine". I suspect that among tailors, you would find roughly the same distribution of characteristics we associate with "manliness" as for the population as a whole. It generally doesn't require the physical strength of, say, construction work, but neither does a job like computer repair, and we don't think of that as "feminine".

You've defined "manly" characteristics for a sewing machine in good, objective terms. But many of these seem like conflations; some are design characteristics that are merely practical.

  • Rounding is a safety and ergonomic characteristic. It is more comfortable to handle a smooth surface than an angular one.
  • Metal rather than plastic relates to cost and age. In "olden times", the plastics available today didn't exist; everything was made out of metal. If there were plastic parts, they were something like Bakelite. For sewing machines manufactured now, metal is used on high-end, professional equipment that is designed to last a very long time under heavy, continuous use. Machines made for the consumer market are generally plastic, which is partly how they control cost. If you want metal, it will put you in a different class of machine and you will pay more for it.
  • Drawings and information are a user-interface thing, generally targeted at amateur vs. professional users.
  • Color is a matter of personal preference. Manufacturers try to appeal to a broad range of customers by giving people a color choice (just like car and appliance manufacturers). There's also a little usability benefit for some colors (e.g., better contrast with thread, the amount of reflected light that can be easier on your eyes depending on lighting). If a manufacturer offered a machine in a color like pink, I might suspect that was targeted at a feminine audience. But basic white or black is genderless.
  • Not sure why shininess would be associated with feminine or masculine. A shiny surface is typically easier to clean and maintain, but can also create glare from reflected light. A slightly matte surface is the best compromise. This kind of finish might be easier to find on a higher-end machine than a low-cost consumer-grade machine.

Rather than trying to define or attribute appearance characteristics as masculine vs. feminine, you might find it more useful to contrast "consumer" vs. "professional". You'll pay a lot more for professional-grade, but it will also hold up much longer and be more serviceable if you use it a lot. Professional-grade machines will generally look more heavy-duty and utilitarian. They will also be designed to do their core tasks well and are less likely to include endless "features" you will never use (which also goes to the markings on the machine.

A sewing machine is basically just a tool. There may be some machines targeted at a feminine or masculine audience, but that would be marketing gimmicks, designed to appeal to people for whom appearance is more important than function. Professional-grade machines are not designed to appeal to gender, they're designed to do the job well for any user. How their appearance is perceived (manly vs. feminine) is all in the eye of the beholder. Consider a high-performance automobile. Whether it has smooth curves or sharp lines, and regardless of color, it is attractive regardless of gender. To the extent it looks feminine or masculine, that is something artificial that individuals project onto it.

If you're going to invest in a machine, spend your money on performance and quality. No professional-grade, heavy-duty machine is really going to look non-manly.

  • Rounding is good to some degree to avoid injuries (e.g. Singer 4452), but I see excessive roundiness that's not practical. Drawings, like flowers, waves, etc, are pointless (only informative labels should be there). Darker colours make it easier to find needles. Shineness is bad as you agreed already, so no comments here. Some have a big label "CHILD LOCK", pointless too. Really? Should my power drill come with child locks too? Only explanation is that "CHILD LOCK" one is made for female housewives. As a dude, I see needless things that don't give me any utility, and this is wasteful.\
    – caveman
    May 10, 2021 at 9:09

The machine you have found seems like a good choice out of the machines available new.

But it is not a problem to work on a different kind of machine which is less masculine on the outside as you do look at you work when you are working and you can tidy your machine away when you are done.

If you can not find a new machine you like, talk with a sewing machine shop owner that does trade in second hand machines and see if an older one can do the job for you.
I am at the moment anticipating the arrival of my mothers Singer, bought 65 years back. Looks masculine and I have used it for a lot of 'strange' jobs. Alas no guaranty you will find an old machine like that in good condition.

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