The Brother ST371HD sewing machine is the company’s first heavy-duty machine, and we think it’s a great place to start.

Sure, it lacks the bells and whistles of other machines, but it’s a sturdy, dependable machine that’s ideal for sewing at home.

The Brother ST371HD is not for you if you need a heavy-duty sewing machine that can go the distance at an industrial level.

However, if you’re looking for a personal, mechanical sewing machine that can handle both general sewing projects and thick materials and multiple layers, this could be the machine for you.

Here’s our in-depth review of the machine to help you decide.

Brother ST371HD Review

Brother ST371HD: The Details

With a color scheme of blue, gray, and white, the Brother ST371HD is unlikely to win any design awards.

Is it just us who want a pastel-colored sewing machine?

However, it’s a neat little machine that’s surprisingly light for its heavy-duty sewing capabilities.

Let’s have a tour around the features:

  • Free arm: for free-motion sewing
  • Automatic needle threader: press on the little lever for automatic threading
  • Reverse sew lever: easy backstitching for hems and seams
  • Tension control dial: manual thread tension adjustment
  • Handle: for easy portability
  • Bobbin winder
  • Stitches: all of the 37 in-built stitches and buttonhole
  • Stitch selection dial: find and use the stitch you want to use

Specs

  1. 14.3 pounds
  2. 12.21 x 16.10 x 7.87 inches
  3. 37 built-in stitches including one automatic one-step buttonhole
  4. Maximum 800 stitches per minute
  5. Mechanic
  6. Requires use of the SA156 bobbins
  7. 25 year limited warranty
  8. Accessories

The Brother ST371HD comes with the following accessories in the box:

  • 6 presser feet: blind stitch, buttonhole, button sewing, non stick, spring action zigzag, and zipper
  • Foot controller
  • 3 piece needle set: #11, #14 and #16
  • Twin needle
  • Spool pin
  • 4 bobbins
  • Power cord
  • Operational manual
  • Instructional DVD

Brother: The Company

Although the most important factor to consider when purchasing sewing machines is the machine itself, it is also a good idea to evaluate the company itself. This can often give you an idea of how strong their customer service is and how long the machine will last.

Brother makes the ST371HD, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades, you’re probably familiar with them.

Brother was founded in 1954 as the American branch of Japan’s Brother Industries Ltd.

That is, a Brother sewing machine combines Japanese-inspired engineering with the American convenience, safety, and customer service that you desire.

Brother has a long history of producing a wide range of home and office products, including printers, scanners, and vinyl cutters, in addition to sewing machines.

One of the most significant advantages of purchasing the Brother ST371HD is that it comes with a 25-year limited warranty and unlimited phone support for the life of the product.

That’s a level of service you won’t find with an unbranded sewing machine or one made by a smaller company.

The Warranty

Brother offers a limited 25-year warranty on the ST371HD, which can be broken down as follows:

1 year warranty on parts, labor, and accessories
2 years for electronic components and printed circuit boards
Casting of chassis: 25 years

Remember that you must keep your receipt as proof of purchase in order to use the warranty, and you must also pay the shipping and packing costs.

The full standard Brother limited warranty can be found here.

Heavy Duty Features

The Brother ST371HD is marketed as ‘Strong and Tough’ — it’s even written on the machine! — and Brother has gone to great lengths to ensure that it lives up to your expectations.

What are you looking for in a heavy-duty sewing machine?

It’s simple for us: the ability to sew through multiple layers of fabric and handle a variety of material thicknesses.

Isn’t it simple? No, not always.

Thankfully, the ST371HD is up to the task of handling our heavy-duty projects. That’s something to rejoice about at this low price point.

Here’s what the Brother ST371HD is packing in the heavy-duty department:

  • Heavyweight needles: #16 for heavyweight fabrics and #14 for multiple layers.
  • Metal needle plate: ensures a smooth fabric feed and aids in alignment with the engraved measurement guide.
  • Thread hook made of metal
  • Spring action zigzag foot: allows you to glide effortlessly over thick seams and multiple layers.
  • Nonstick foot: Excellent for moving over non-woven fabrics such as suede, which can be difficult to do otherwise.

Brother ST371HD Review

Right, let’s get to the good stuff: how does the Brother ST371HD actually work? Is it worth the money?

Let us find out…

Notable Characteristics

Aside from its heavy-duty specifications, the ST371HD has a few other intriguing features to consider.

  1. Automatic needle threader
  2. A convertible free arm for hemming sleeves and cuffs
  3. Brother’s exclusive jam-resistant quick-set drop-in top bobbin
  4. Adjustable stitch length and width
  5. As we mentioned in the introduction, the Brother ST371HD is not a glitzy, high-tech sewing
  6. machine. It’s not even computerized.

What it is, however, is dependable: it does the job. It’s also reasonably priced. Beginner sewers and those on a tight budget will find excellent value.

The Advantages

Excellent for Heavy Duty Sewing

The Brother ST371HD is ideal for sewing heavyweight fabrics and multiple layers, as you’d expect from a ‘Strong and Tough’ sewing machine.

The metal needle plate ensures a smooth fabric feed, whether you’re working with silk or suede, and the #16 needle makes quick work of tougher materials (without any shredding).

The #14 needle is ideal for tackling multiple layers of fabrics of varying thicknesses, while the spring action zigzag foot makes gliding over different materials a breeze.

While the machine doesn’t have the same sturdy feel as more expensive heavy-duty sewing machines (the components feel like they’re made of plastic), the 25-year limited warranty should give you some peace of mind about its durability. We found it to be tough enough to tackle some fairly large projects, such as sewing outdoor canvas materials.

Easy to Use Bobbin

We know this will be a huge help to all the newbies out there, as well as old hands (like us!) who hate fiddling with the bobbin.

The Brother jam-resistant quick-set drop-in top bobbin stays in place and contributes to even and consistent stitching. The bobbin holder even has a thread guide mark to help you set the thread in place.

The bobbin winder is easy to use and allows you to load bobbins with various threads.

The transparent cover over the bobbin is also a nice touch, allowing you to see when you’re running low on thread.

Overall, the bobbin system is simple to use and convenient for everyone.

Automatic Needle Threader

Another feature that both novice and experienced sewers will appreciate.

The automatic needle threader, which is activated by simply pushing down the lever on the side, allows the thread to thread the needle automatically.

This is a real benefit for sewers with poor vision, or even for those of us who get frustrated threading.

The Dial for Stitch Selection

While there’s no denying that the Brother ST371HD isn’t as sleek as sewing machines with computerized LCD screens, we do appreciate how simple the stitch selection is.

Simply turn the dial on the side of the machine to select the stitch you want. The ST371HD’s 37 built-in stitches are all printed on the front, making it simple to choose which one you want.

While some sewers may feel that the 37 included stitches are insignificant in comparison to some of the machine’s competitors, we believe that it is a sufficient number to cover all of your everyday sewing needs.

Who, aside from the most prolific of crafters, uses 100+ different stitches?

Other Small Features We Love:

  • The 6 accompanying presser feet are snap-on for easy changes
  • Free arm and feed dogs can be lowered for free-motion sewing
  • Built-in handle
  • Adjustable stitch size
  • Free customer service phone support for life
  • No periodic oiling is needed
  • Storage compartment in the work area
  • It’s cheap!

Brother ST371HD Review

The Negatives

Of course, there are some drawbacks to a low-cost machine. Whether or not these concerns are a deal-breaker is entirely dependent on why you need to use a sewing machine.

It’s Very Simple

The Brother ST371HD is one of our favorite printers because it is dependable and gets the job done. It’s ideal for both everyday sewing and heavier-duty projects.

But beyond that… it can’t offer much more.

It has only 37 built-in stitches, one buttonhole, and is not computerized. There are no lettering fonts or embroidery options for crafters to use.

A specialist sewing machine is required for specialist sewing (and probably one with a higher price tag). The Brother ST371HD isn’t that; it’s simply a good all-around machine.

There are a few functions that are missing.

There are a few features that we would have liked to see on the Brother ST371HD to improve the user experience and convenience.

Because there is no stop/start button, sewing must be started by moving the feet. For beginners, this may take some getting used to, but it should not be too difficult (even if it is a little inconvenient).

A key feature that we believe is lacking is a button for adjusting the needle’s up/down position. We find sewing around corners much easier when we can simply press a button to lower the needle, but with the ST371HD, this will require a manual re-adjusting movement.

Again, it’s not a deal-breaker because the action can be completed by hand, but it does take away from the convenience of the sewing machine.

Brother ST371HD Review

There is no automatic thread tensioning or speed control.

Another factor that may deter sewing beginners from purchasing the Brother ST371HD is the fact that you must set the thread tension yourself by turning the dial at the top of the machine.

Some of the more advanced sewing machines will automatically set the tension for you, making the learning curve a little easier.

There’s also no speed control available, which again maybe a little unnerving for beginners who like to start their sewing slowly before building up the speed.

Other Small Features That Could Be Improved

  • We wish it felt a little more durable
  • The LED light isn’t that bright in the work area
  • Brother ST371HD Overall Verdict
  • Overall, we highly recommend the Brother ST371HD.

Yes, it isn’t high-tech. Yes, it’s not for crafters. And yes, it looks kind of retro.

But, you know what?

It’s dependable and gets the job done. That’s really cool.

It’s ideal for heavy-duty sewing as well as everyday tasks like hemming your favorite jeans, sewing a Christmas play costume, or attempting to blend outdoor fabrics.

At such a low price, it’s difficult to find any real flaws with the Brother ST371HD.

Where Can I Purchase the Brother ST371HD?

The Brother ST371HD is available for purchase all over the internet, including at HSN and Jo-Ann.

Of course, one of the most popular places to purchase this sewing machine is on Amazon, where you can frequently find great deals.

They sell the stand-alone machine as well as a bundle deal with a pack of ten bobbins.

The Brother ST371HD versus the Brother ST531HD

Except for the following differences, both machines are nearly identical:

The ST531HD model from Brother has sixteen more stitches than the ST371HD model. The ST531hd also includes a metal finger guard to protect your fingers from injury.

Despite the additional stitches and figure guard, the ST531hd is not widely available for purchase online. You should look for this model in your local stores.

Our Opinion

The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough Sewing Machine is a long-lasting, dependable machine that can handle tough jobs with heavier fabrics. If you need a sewing machine that is both versatile and affordable, this machine will suffice.

It has some nice advanced features that even a novice sewer will find useful with some practice. Veteran sewers will appreciate this machine’s accessories and stitches as well.

This could be a good option if you need a heavy-duty machine that will last for many years.

Click here to purchase the ST371hd from Amazon.