Expandable work surface
600 decorative scripts
Includes five fonts
Includes hard protective case
Expensive for a home sewing machine
Not great for portability
We purchased Singer's Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Leaps in technology enter our homes through new refrigerators, doorbells, and even sewing machines. High-tech sewing machines with computer displays, menus of stitch options, and automated settings are complicated but promise exceptional results for your next project. While these machines are not the best choice for beginners, if you are an experienced sewer who wants many options, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine might be right for you. We tested it; read on to see what we thought.
Performance: Good for custom designs
One of the most significant selling points of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine is its stitch menu. There are 600 stitch options, putting it on par with many professional machines. There are many decorative options in addition to basic functional stitches, including fonts to personalize your items. In the 20 years that we have been using home sewing machines for craft projects, we never saw a machine with this many options. Once we learned the menu selection computer display, adding these decorative touches was as easy as pressing down on the foot pedal and letting the sewing machine work on the embellishment.
The selection of five fonts was our favorite feature. We tried each font and were happy with the results. Everything is automatic, so once we programmed our choices, we pressed the foot pedal, and the machine did the rest. Of the sewing machines we have tested, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine was the most customizable. If you want to personalize items with fonts, we think that this feature alone would make this machine the best choice for you.
You can also mix fonts with other decorative stitches and change the length of decorative stitches. These stitch options can make designing new projects a lot of fun. This ability to customize every aspect of your stitches would be especially great for a home crafter who wants to start a business selling their wares. It’s not the best choice for those just starting, since having so much control can make it challenging to practice and master the basics.
We personalized canvas aprons for our two children with their names using the font selection. The needles were sufficient for the thicker fabric. Still, if we had used anything heavier than a lightweight canvas, we would have wanted to purchase specialized needles to ensure that the sewing machine performed well. We are most comfortable sewing with cotton fabric, which we used to practice stitches, try out the stitch sequencing function with decorative stitches, and make cafe curtains for our kitchen.
If you want to personalize items with fonts, we think that this feature alone would make this machine the best choice for you.
This simple sewing project is excellent for testing sewing machines, as it only requires a basic straight stitch. This stitch is the most common, so if we aren’t comfortable using a sewing machine for this simple project, we wouldn’t like it on more complicated ones. We were happy with the foot pedal’s sensitivity, ease of moving and controlling the fabric as we worked, and tension of the machine’s stitches.
Some automatic features that beginners and advanced sewers could appreciate were the automatic needle-threader and 13 buttonhole options. These features can save time and effort. Another nice feature was the built-in thread cutter to cut off your thread when done. It cut the thread closer than we typically do, cutting down on the waste.
The option to end stitch sequences with the needle in the up or down position is helpful when working on embroidery or corners that require you to pivot the material without stopping your line of stitches. Singer makes other machines that are better suited for embroidery. Still, if you plan to do occasional embroidery work, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is a less expensive option than a specialized embroidery machine.
Design: Great features but not portable
Although Singer advertises the Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine as a portable machine, we thought that it was too big and bulky to use on-the-go routinely. Its included hard protective case allows you to use the handle. Still, if we were continually dragging this machine around to sewing meet-ups or classes, it’s too hefty and cumbersome.
Once we set up the sewing machine in our home office/craft space, we were reluctant to move it even around our own house. We knew that it would not be a machine we wanted to use for its portability.
If you want to use the included extension workspace, you may need to move the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 to a table or workbench. We initially set it up on a standard-sized desk, which was adequate for most projects using the sewing machine in its standard configuration. We liked the option to have a larger space to arrange our fabric, but it was challenging to change the standard-sized base with the expandable one on our desk. Once we moved it to a larger table, it was a simple switch.
Having the extension table is a great feature, especially if you plan to use the sewing machine for large items like blankets or curtains. As we sewed kitchen curtains, we loved that the extension table helped them lay flat as we worked. We have stitched similar items on a smaller sewing machine and were frustrated with the fabric bunching up. The extension table is not a must-have for bulkier projects but is handy to have if you plan to work with large fabric pieces often.
The additional accessories included with this model are 18 additional presser feet, extra bobbins, needles, seam ripper, lint brush, screwdrivers, spool caps, auxiliary spool, pin and felt, a seam guide, quilting bar, clearance plate, and shank for the presser feet. Fortunately, all of these extras fit inside the accessory drawer. If you use the extension table routinely, you will need to find another place to keep the accessory drawer.
Storing the machine is easy, although all of the included extras need to be stored as well. We put all of the smaller accessories in the accessory drawer and put the hard protective case over the machine. We kept the foot pedal, power cord, and extension table next to the sewing machine. We would prefer to keep these items up high and out of reach, but this sewing machine’s heavier weight and bulkiness made that problematic. Instead, we kept it on the floor underneath the desk, protected by its hard cover. The cover kept away dust.
The interior parts of the sewing machine are metal, making it heavier and also more durable. Since this machine is a financial investment, we were happy that it well-crafted and looked like it could last for many years with proper care.
Setup Process: You will need the manual and video tutorials
We have always preferred a simple sewing machine with mechanical dial controls—the computerized models have a steep learning curve. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 has 600 stitches available, but without the manual, you’ll have a hard time understanding which stitch you have selected on your display. The simplest straight or zig-zag stitch is obvious, but the more complicated, decorative stitches are difficult to find. Consulting the manual helps, but with so many options, even that can be challenging.
When changing the stitch selection, we selected the stitch “family” from the left side and then scrolled through the arrow buttons. We liked that the display listed the type of sewing foot needed for the stitch. This bonus information gave us confidence in working with this machine, reducing our fears of the machine jamming or breaking.
The sewing feet are easy to change, but we recommend watching a YouTube tutorial if you are new to sewing. Singer is very consistent among all of the models of sewing machines that they sell. Once you learn the basics of setting up your Singer machine, you should be pretty comfortable on all models of Singer sewing machines. There are also a lot of great tutorials online for sewing beginners.
Price: Expensive for a home machine
If you are new to sewing, we recommend trying out a cheaper, more straightforward machine before investing in the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine. Aside from its complicated controls and an extensive list of stitch options, it is a more expensive machine than most beginning sewers need. While we loved the features, the high cost compared to other home sewing machines is hard to justify for a beginner.
There are many included accessories, which would add to the cost of less expensive machines if you decided that you needed these add-ons. The hard protective case is often sold separately for around $20 to $40. Each sewing foot can range from $10 to $50 for the most specialized. Singer values the included extra accessories at around $300, so that may make this machine worth the higher cost if you know you will need to purchase these anyway.
You can often find great sales on sewing machines, so we recommend looking for a deal if you decide to invest in the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960. If you wait for the right sale, you may be able to get this sewing machine for a similar price to models with fewer advanced features.
Competition: Options for every price point
Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine: This mid-level home sewing machine is our top choice for its variety of stitches and features without substantial financial investment. The Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine is easy enough for beginners and includes advanced features, keeping more experienced sewers happy. It’s also an easy-to-use introduction to computerized sewing machines and the Singer brand. If you know that you eventually plan to purchase a more advanced machine, the Singer 7258 is a good sewing machine to start with before moving on to Singer’s more professional, high-tech products.
Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine: For those just starting, the Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine is the perfect budget-conscious sewing machine to learn basic stitches and home sewing without spending a lot on a new hobby. It also makes an ideal second sewing machine for those in need of a lightweight, portable model. For a simple home sewing machine that does the basics well, this is our top choice.
Only buy it if you need to monogram your fabric often.
We liked certain features of the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine, such as the extension table, multiple font options, and a wide array of stitch options. But unless you plan to use these features often, we think that most of this sewing machine’s functionality is available in other good models that are more portable and better for your budget.
- Product Name Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine
- Product Brand Singer
- MPN 9960
- Price $699.99
- Weight 18.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 17.2 x 12 x 8.2 in.
- Color White
- Warranty Limited 25 year