SINGER XL-550 Review

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It’s time to move on to the next generation of sewing machines; multifunctional, easy-to-use and makes the sewing and embroidering experience seem effortless.

The SINGER XL-550 promises to handle all types of fabrics with ease thanks to its 125 embroidery designs, 215 built-in sewing stitches, and an automatic thread cutter.

Let’s find out if the Singer XL-550 delivers.

What Is the SINGER XL-550?

The Singer XL-550 is a combination sewing and embroidery machine.

Combining several features and capabilities in one piece of equipment, it allows you to create embroidered garments, monogrammed napkins, decorative pillows and so much more.

Review of the Singer XL-550

What’s in the box?

The Singer XL-550 comes with two hoops; the 6×10 and the 4×4, giving you a lot of flexibility in the size of your embroidery projects.

Conventional sewing machine feet, the blind ham, the all-purpose foot, the buttonhole foot with the under plate, the zipper and piping foot and the satin stitch foot.

This time, Singer also provides a “cheat sheet”. The Singer XL-550 comes with a pattern chart detailing all of the different types of stitches so that you can easily access them from the interface on your computer.

The machine comes with extra spool pin caps, screwdrivers, bobbins, scissors, thread nets, buttonhole opener, an auxiliary spool pin, needles, spool pin felt; all you need to create your designs efficiently.

A USB cable is included in the accessories in order to hook the machine to your computer and use the included software to send the design to the machine.

SINGER XL-550 specs

The Singer XL-550 is 22 x 9.5 x 13 inches, and weighs 23 pounds (10.4 kgs).

One of the machine’s best features is its wide embroidery area of 18.5 x 11″ with multi-hoop. The larger-than-average embroidery area helps users create bigger embroidery designs than the standard 4 x 4″.

The 6 StayBright LED lights in the tower and to the right and left of the needle, help you see the stitching properly, even in low light, to minimize mistakes as you work.

The machine has an LCD screen through which you can switch between multiple settings and more than one sewing and embroidery design.

All you need to do is turn the top dial until you find the stitch that you want, and choose the length and width you need using the bottom dial, and then you’re good to go.

Key Features of the SINGER XL-550

Foot Sensor

The SINGER XL-550 is comfortable to use thanks to the presser foot sensor and the free-arm convertible option provides the optimal angle for harder to reach areas like cuffs, collars, sleeves, pant hems as well as smaller expanses of fabrics.

The automatic foot presser also allows you to use the machine on heavier fabrics, such as denim.

Storage Space

Huge removable extension tray where you store all the accessories that come with the machine is convenient for keeping everything in one place.

Think Big

Not only does the machine come with 215 built-in sewing stitches, but it also features 6 automatic 1-step buttonholes, a 10 x 6” embroidery hoop option, and multi-hooping capabilities.

Another great feature is the large sewing area which measures at 8.5” from the tower to the sewing needle. All of this enables you to embroider large projects, such as table cloths, bedspreads, quilts, dresses and more.  

Advanced Software

The machine comes with CDs to install AutoPunch, which is used to convert any type of clip art, images, or designs you’ve created yourself into embroidery.

Another software option is HyperFont, through which you can convert any of the fonts on your PC into embroidery. You can also choose from different stitch types, including regular, italic, bold and bold italic fonts. 

The Advanced Editing function allows you to edit existing embroidery designs.

The machine is compatible with Windows® XP / Vista® / 7 / 8 / 8.1.

Twin Needle Function

This multi-function machine can also save a lot of time thanks to the automatic twin needle function which allows you to create more decorative and impressive topstitching.

Speed Control Lever

The machine comes with a handy speed control lever. The lever actually provides complete control over the sewing machine and it helps switch between slow and faster speeds much quicker, preventing any mishaps.

Save Time

The XL-550 also saves you the hassle of using scissors to cut off stray threads, you can use the automatic thread cutter to cut both the bobbin and top thread by pressing a button next to the screen.

Another great time-saving feature is the SwiftSmart threading system with the automatic needle threader that you activate by pushing down on a lever instead of struggling with trying to thread the machine manually.

The Drop & Sew bobbin system allows you to load and change the bobbin quickly without the need to pick up the bobbin thread.

LED Options

The machine’s 6 StayBright LED lights illuminate the sewing surface and eliminate eye strain as you work.

Computerized Embroidery System

Not only does the XL-550 allow you to customize your embroidery on your computer screen, but it also can combine multiple designs into one and add different lettering and fonts to the overall design.

Important Details & Quick Tips: Getting the Best out of the SINGER XL-550

Make Use of the Machine’s Dual Modes

The machine’s two modes allow you to make so much use out of it. For example, on its sewing mode, you can make use of the machine’s 215 built-in stitch designs and 6 buttonhole styles.

The free motion foot function makes the machine handy for quilting projects.

As for its embroidery mode, the XL-550 includes 125 built-in embroidery designs and 20 fonts. The three included software programs allow you to modify the embroidery designs.

Thread Breaking?

A common issue people face with sewing machines is when the thread keeps breaking, so to avoid the problem with the XL-550, open the machine cover up and make sure that the thread is its proper groove and has not slipped out.

Also, be sure to use good quality thread, as it’s more durable. Always check the top if your thread or needle keeps breaking.

Thread Shredding?

If your thread is shredding, that means that you have a burr on the throat plate or on the bobbin case. It may also be because you have the wrong needle type and size installed.

Bird Nesting

“Bird nest” is a wad of thread on the back of your fabric, so to avoid this, make sure when you thread your machine the presser foot has is up, and move the thread back and forth to make sure that the tension disc is engaged properly.

If that doesn’t work, then you might need to replace the bobbin case.

What we like

  • An extra-large embroidery table for larger projects and less re-hooping
  • 120 embroidery designs, which can be expanded using its USB compatibility
  • The machine can stitch out designs you’ve created automatically and with little effort on your part. You can choose one of the 125 built-in designs and import new designs from the web or CDs.

What we don’t like

  • The digitized functions can be difficult to navigate for beginners
  • Loud noise from the bobbin while embroidering

Should you buy the SINGER XL-550?

If you’re looking for an all-in-one machine, then the Singer XL-550 may be the right choice for you since its combined features mean you don’t have to buy multiple sewing machines at a much higher cost.

Alternatives to Singer XL550

If you don’t need a combination machine, you’re looking for a dedicated embroidery machine, you might take a look at the Brother PE800 embroidery-only machine.

Although the Singer XL-550 specs and features are easy enough to use, they might be too much to handle for a beginner who is just starting out. In this case you may want to take a look at the affordable Brother SE600 combo machine.

Wrapping Up

In spite of its higher-than-average price, this machine remains one of the most sought-after models on the market. The Singer XL-550 has made it easier to add personal touches to your sewing projects and its automatic features help ease the sewing and embroidering process, making it almost effortless.