Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine Review

brother xr9500prw review

Brother XR9500PRW Review Summary

The Brother XR9500PRW is a very good entry level sewing machine. Suitable to light duty tasks, it offers a great accessory package, all the features you’ll need and solid performance at a very affordable price.

What I like:

– quick set bobbin
– included oversized table
– needle position
– accessory package
– lots of stitches
– clear display
– automatic sewing

What I don’t like:

– illuminating LED could be brighter
– monogramming font not so good
– uninspiring hard cover

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Brother XR9500PRW – Full Review

The recent price reduction for the Brother XR9500PRW may just make it the best entry level sewing machine your money can buy right now. I’d even go as far as to say forget about anything under $100, spend an extra $50 or so and get this baby. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s take a closer look at why Brother has hit such a home run with this machine.

First Look

Well, there’s nothing special about the looks of this machine to get excited about. It’s a compact unit with blueish panels to break up the predominantly white coloring.

The layout of buttons and controls is clean and effective.

buttonlayout

The three sewing control buttons lead naturally to the speed control, while down the right hand panel you have the electronic display and stitch controls, as well as the numbered reference provided by the quick stitch guide. The stitch guide has two panels, you just flip the bottom part up to reveal the alphanumeric stitch guide.

Looking at the accessories, there’s quite a lot of goodies here! I see seven accessory feet (buttonhole, zigzag, button sewing, overcasting, monogramming, blindstitch and zipper feet).

The rest of the package consists of the usual stuff like the foot controller, screwdriver, cleaning brush, 3 extra bobbins, a twin needle, ball point needle, a set of three needles, seam ripper and extra spool pin. You also get a hard cover for the machine (made of fairly thin plastic, so not terribly impressive) and an oversized table (yay!).

So, that’s a great starting kit. Let’s explore what the machine itself offers.

The Brother XR9500PRW Features Breakdown

– 100 Unique Built-In Stitches

This machine offers you a big selection of heirloom, decorative and utility stitches. Seriously, you’re not going to use all of them, but they’re there nonetheless and they give you so many options! You also get 55 built-in alphanumeric stitches.

A handy 8 one-step buttonhole stitches gives you a lot of options for creating buttonholes. You get a ton of decorative stitches, lots of satin stitches, cross stitches, and about 16 utility stitches. This is the kind of sewing buffet that gets you raring to go. With up to 7mm stitch width supported, you can take on just about any project with the XR9500PRW.

– Oversized Wide Table

As with most Brothers, this machine comes with an oversized work table included. This is so handy to have for quilting projects in particular, but with any of your larger projects you’re just going to love getting this right out of the box.

wide table attachment

The XR9500PRW with table attachment.

– Quickset Drop-In Bobbin

One of my favorite things in sewing machines is the quickset bobbin! The Brother not only offers this, making bobbin replacement a breeze, but also provides a clear housing so you can keep an eye on that bobbin while you’re sewing. No out-of-thread emergencies here if you stay vigilant.

xr9500prw quickset bobbin

– Needle Position Setting

Yes, another big plus, as always, is the needle up/down setting. This is controlled by a button on the front of the machine to the left of the speed controls. It gives you excellent control of the needle position.

– Needle Threading System

This is a really easy to use needle threading system, with a simple lever operated system.

– Free Arm

You KNOW you want a free arm on a sewing machine! It is essential for cuffs, sleeves and similar jobs and the XR9500 has you covered.

Performance

Ooh, this machine runs so quietly and smoothly. That’s probably the first thing that will strike you once you’ve gone through the fairly standard threading procedure and got it up and running. Oh, you’ll love the quick set drop in bobbin. Just so easy.

Automatic sewing works like a charm. Just unplug the foot pedal and press the start button on the machine to get going. The excellent sewing feed keeps the material fed straight even when you’re not using your hands to guide it. The speed control works as it should and keeps you in control of the job.

When selecting a stitch, the machine automatically indicates which presser foot you should use. The brightness of the display struck me again, and it is really quite big by sewing machine standards.

xr9500-stitchguide

While the illuminating LED is quite bright, you may still need additional light, especially at night. Well, I believe the better you can see the better you can sew, all other things being equal.

The monogramming font is very simple, but in what really is an entry level machine like this it’s okay. You only get them in one size, namely 1/4″, which is kinda small.

Some people do report having trouble getting legible monogramming out of it. Hmm. May take a bit of practice to get this feature to work, or maybe this just wasn’t meant to be an important feature of this machine.

brother xr9500prw monogramming

The XR9500PRW monogramming font is small and basic, but gets the job done.

Certainly you’re not going to get embroidery machine quality lettering out of the XR9500PRW, and I wouldn’t expect that for around $150 that this machine costs!

Verdict

While not without a few minor faults, the XR9500PRW offers exceptional value for money in the entry level sewing machine market. You can easily forgive the fact that some of its features, like the monogramming font, are less than inspiring. The mere fact that they’re there in such a low priced machine at all shows that Brother was serious about stacking up the value.

A highly recommended machine that competes favorably with everything else in this price range, and it is an easy machine to recommend.

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Other Machines to Consider

The Singer 7258 is a strong challenger, and as I said in my review of that machine, there is little to choose between it and the XR9500PRW.

The other machine to consider here is the Laura Ashley CX155LA, another Brother machine that offers a notch or two extra performance over the XR9500PRW, while costing about $50 more.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Brother XR9500PRW

Can I use upholstery fabrics or denim with this machine?

Yes, you can. However, be sure to choose the right needle and thread and take it slowly. Don’t expect to be able to sew multiple thick layers though.

Does it have an automatic thread cutter?

No, it has manual thread cutters in three positions. On the left of the machine, on the bobbin winder and on the floor of the machine.

Is it a pedal or button operated machine?

If offers both. To use automatic button controlled sewing, just unplug the pedal and start and stop the machine with the appropriate button at the front.