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All the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine lacks are fancy bells and whistles that don't help do the work most of us have.
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Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine

Tough machine with civilized capabilities

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 1-30-2018

It is easy to think of heavy duty sewing machines as crude industrial or factory equipment. The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is designed to handle the tough work in a home-based environment, while retaining its ability to handle the lighter tasks more commonly found around the home.
I frequently sew three-layer sandwiches of fabric when making my RC Plane Protector Sets. That kind of work, especially the seams that can run 14-feet in length and incorporate two or more of those three-layer panels being joined can increase the demands on a sewing machines power and durability dramatically. The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is advertised as a machine for these needs so encountering a good sale, I grabbed one as fodder for this Review in the shop.

The Basics

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine sports a motor that is 60% more powerful than the norm and that alone caught my attention. I am a firm believer in having more power than is needed so the machine is not laboring near its limit all the time. Even the pressure foot system has been designed to raise a bit higher than normal to better accommodate the more substantial workpieces the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is capable of sewing.

Beneath the gray industrial-looking facade lives a metal frame that provides the backbone that increases the overall rigidity while helping to limit the vibration-like pulses generated by the rapid up and down motion of the needle drive. The extra “beef” of this metal frame helps maintain the alignment of the moving parts which goes a long way towards limiting wear and lengthening their life.

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine comes with an auto-threader (left) that actually works! the lay-down bobbin (right) is simple and worlds better than the old stand up ones.
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Though I seldom run a sewing machine anywhere full speed the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine can deliver up to 1,100 stitches per minute. Those kind of stitch speeds will let you know if your work surface is stable and that you are adept at steering the project material that is quickly heading into the needle. The extra power of the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine motor gives it the “horsepower” to effortlessly cruise through heavier fabrics and layered workpieces at lower, more reasonable speeds without bogging the motor down.

Keeping with the heavy-duty theme is the lack of bells and whistles that are often included more as bling than as utilitarian features for the user. The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine provides responsive tension controls, dials for stitch length and width (up to 6mm widths) along with a simple reversing tab. When the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is turned on an effective LED work light comes on as well. The core features and capabilities most users need are included with the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine, maintaining a wide range of useful day-to-day capabilities.

Something very few users need is the dizzying array of stitches jammed into some sewing machines. The average user will never use all of what can be hundreds of built-in stitches. The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine has a far more reasonable stitch count with its 6 base stitches, 7 stretch stitches, 18 decorative and a single but very functional automated buttonhole stitch routine. The range of stitch styles is more than adequate for the average user which also reduces the initial price of the machine.

Button Holes

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine comes with a simple but effective button hole pressure foot and settings that make it largely an automatic task. The button hole pressure foot “measures” the sample button placed in it and uses that automatic setting to size the resulting button hole correctly. Nothing fancy, it just works as advertised and produces simple but totally serviceable button holes. You can tweak some of the stitch settings in the button mode to make them look a bit more to your liking. In all my testing, the automated button holes were clean, simple and required no adjusting to function well.

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine uses this simple dial (left) for selecting from the reasonable list of stitches. These are just a couple (right) of the stitches and variations available.
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The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine sewing machine comes with a selection of accessories that are skewed a bit towards the heavy-duty theme. The basic accessories are an all-purpose pressure foot, zipper, buttonhole, button sewing and non-stick pressure feet. They even include a walking foot that is designed specifically for sewing multiple layers of fabric. A seam ripper, lint brush, quilting guide, screwdriver, auxiliary spool pin and a machine cover are also in the box. Finally, there is a clearance plate for sewing heavy seams and a package of size 16 needles.

Putting the thread in the machines track simple and tool free. Threading the needle on the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is surprisingly simple because of the built-in “auto” threader that works as it is supposed to. As with many auto-threading systems we need to get used to how to hold the thread to get it engaged with the threading system but that is easy and quick to learn.

To maintain the up-to-date easy usage theme Singer included a drop-in bobbin system. This relatively modern system goes a long way towards producing happier users, myself included. In addition to the simple loading and threading of the bobbin and its remarkably trouble-free in operation. Plus, the clear cover lets you see how much bobbin thread is left so can change it out for a loaded one before it runs out halfway through a seam.

The auto-sizing button hole foot (left) works with the built-in button hole routine to produce perfectly-sized button holes (right) quick and easy.
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To help work with a wide range of fabrics and layers the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine has an adjustable foot pressure control. In our use this has proven to be effective and the pressure consistent once it is set. I made a couple adjustments to the pressure control during my initial use and it has worked well ever since at that setting.

The feature list also includes what the Singer verbiage calls “Automatic Reverse” sewing. As do all modern-era sewing machines, the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine does go backwards to lock stitches, but you must press the Reverse tab, again as with all modern machines. Just how Singer arrives at “automatic” is a mystery unless they are just that impressed that the Reverse tab works.

In the Shop

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is a smooth-running machine with no surprises in its controls or setup. Using the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is for the most part as intuitive as are most modern machines. The controls are easy to understand and use, with the resulting adjustment being predictable. The included accessories installed easily and they all worked as expected.

The power provided by the larger motor is noticeable, particularly when sewing my multi-layer projects at my usual slower needle speeds. Sewing seams and joining two multi-layer panels poses no problem for the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine which cruises right on through. I like that there is sufficient power to not have to “floor it” to get the needle started through the fabric. As far as I could notice, power is applied evenly throughout the speed range and the foot pedal is smooth and consistent.

The one feature is would like to see added is the needle “parking” selector as found on the Singer Confidence. This button allows us to choose whether the need stops full up or full down when the foot control is released. I found that control to be extremely useful and would like to see it built into all sewing machines – at least all of them that I use!

Video Tour


The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is a nicely designed sewing machine for the heavier use end of the home market. With a street price of $225.99 (1-29-2018) its not a budget-breaker for lots of potential users. It performed well in my shop testing, handling every chore I encountered during that test period.

The Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine is not a fancy machine, but it seems to be as tough as Singer says. For the home user with a wide project range the Singer Heavy Duty #4452 Sewing Machine might be just the machine you need to handle all your work today and things you get into in the future.

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All written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by Tom Hintz and LLC 2013-2018. Materials cannot be used in any way without the prior written permission of the owner.
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