Singer Futura XL-400 Review

Singer is a well-known company, even outside the sewing/embroidery industry. Their name is practically synonymous with sewing and they have, over the years, produced tons of sewing and embroidery machines, so it would be a shame if we didn’t review one of their newer models.

We have recently gotten our hands on one of their 2 in 1 (sewing and embroidery) devices – the Futura XL-400 and here’s our review.

Last update on 2019-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info

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Design and Functionality

The extra-large hoop size, with the dimensions of 10 x 6 inches is what instantly stands out about the XL-400. This allows a lot of maneuver space, which is always a great thing.

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The second thing that stands out about the XL-400 is the lack of LCD display. This is pretty unusual, since LCD displays are expected nowadays and most embroidery machines have them. The lack of LCD display has, unfortunately, impacted the overall ease of use.

This means that the machine has to be hooked to a computer, the whole time while in use. Obviously, most of us own computers and laptops, but the fact that the only way to control the machine is via the computer (through designated software), instead of via the machine itself, is a huge let down and an inherently flawed concept.

This is definitely not something you’d expect from an established and world-famous brand such as Singer. A step backwards.

Once you connect the machine to your computer, you can customize built-in designs or import your own, whether you download them off the internet or design them yourself. A USB cable is included and computer requirements are pretty minimal (1 GB RAM, Windows XP or newer, 1GHz processor), so even aged devices should be able to work with the XL-400.

The XL-400 does look nice and modern and it is not too large of a machine either. Weighing only 23 pounds it’s fairly lightweight too, but aesthetics don’t really mean much if other things aren’t up to the standard.

 

For some of you, such as the nice British lady in the video, this lack of ease of use might not be too big of a problem. Especially if the primary thing you’re looking for in a 2 in 1 machine is hoop size and multiple useful features. However, it’s still a huge con and definitely something to take into consideration if you’re thinking of buying the XL-400.

When it comes to other features and functionality, the XL-400 does not disappoint. LED lights illuminate the working surface, making it easy to view your work, while the large number of included embroidery designs (there’s 125) is certainly another significant pro.

The so called “Drop and Sew Bobbin System” is another good thing about the XL-400. Thanks to this feature, there is no need to pull up the bobbin thread manually. All you have to do is insert the bobbin and then place the thread in the channel.

All in all, when it comes to design and functionality, Singer’s XL-400 is a decent machine, but the computer requirement and computer-only controls are a let-down and certainly something many potential buyers will mind.image-separator

Performance

The extra-large hoop size allows you to embroider designs up to 18 ½ x 11 inches, therefore the hoop size remains the machine’s strongest feature, even when it comes to performance. The multi-hoop capability really does add another dimension to the XL-400.

When it comes to sewing, the extra-large sewing space (the arm length to the right of the needle is about 8 inches) gives a lot of working space and 30 included stitches (6 basic stitches, 4 stretch stitches, 17 decorative stitches and 2 buttonhole stitches) do make the sewing process semi-automatic.

With that being said, most models nowadays have a lot more than just 30 built-in stitches, so this is another obvious flaw of this model. It is also important to note that sewing speed can be controlled, which means you can adjust the speed, depending on what type of fabric you’re working on – obviously, more sensitive fabrics would benefit from lowered stitching speed and this would protect these fabrics from damage.

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The automatic needle threader is another nice addition and it works quite well, while the needle itself is programmable, which means you can stop it up or down for easy pivoting, appliqué and higher stitch precision.

In general, the XL-400 performs very well with what it has, but the lack of integrated controls (no display) and the additional device requirement still drag the machine down making it, all in all, an underwhelming, barely adequate model that does not cost too much.image-separator

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22 x 9.5 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Number of built-in designs: 125
  • Number of sewing stiches: 30
  • Number of fonts: 5
  • Embroidery area dimensions: 10 x 6 inchesimage-separator

Pros

  1. Hoop size
  2. Decent number of useful additions and features
  3. Well-lit working surface
  4. Aesthetically pleasing model
  5. Speed control
  6. Price

Cons

  1. Needs to be connected to a computer all the time
  2. Small number of included stitches
  3. Difficult to use

Our rating: 6/10image-separator

Final Verdict: A Flawed 2 in 1 Machine

The Singer XL-400 had some potential – if only it had a LCD display, it would have been a much better machine. The computer requirement drags the XL-400 down into the below-average category, ultimately turning it into a disappointment.

There are some good things about this device, but they’re completely overshadowed by illogical design flaws. Perhaps one of the best things about it is the low price, but one can’t help but wonder if it’s really worth the money.

It features on our list of the best embroidery machines for beginners.

Sale
SINGER Futura XL400 Portable Sewing and125 Embroidery Design Machine including 30 BuiltIn Stitches,...
440 Ratings
SINGER Futura XL400 Portable Sewing and125 Embroidery Design Machine including 30 BuiltIn Stitches,...
  • SINGER EMBROIDERY SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Futura XL-400 sewing and embroidery machine has 30 popular built-in sewing stitches with two...
  • SEWING MACHINE WITH LED OPTIONS: Fills the sewing surface with light, making it easier to view your work and eliminating eye strain. Watts...
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER: Simply guide the thread directly from the spool to the needle area through a single groove and thread the needle...

Last update on 2019-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / More info