SINGER 3116 SIMPLE Sewing Machine Review

Simple is the word for new sewing enthusiasts

Phyllis Stewart
Written by Phyllis Stewart Updated on April 9th, 2021

The SINGER 3116, although no longer manufactured, is a great entry model to the sewing hobby. It isn’t a stripped-down model but features basic, stretch, and decorative stitches. This capability offers sewers a pathway from beginner to accomplished sewing. Now that it’s out of production, prices might be less ­expensive, making this a good buy.

I consulted with other home sewers, professionals, and instructors to arrive at a complete and comprehensive review.

Our Rating = 4.0 / 5.0

For home sewing, the SINGER 3116 SIMPLE earns a solid 4.0 out of a possible 5.0

Is the SINGER 3116 SIMPLE right for you?

The SINGER 3116 SIMPLE is designed for beginners. If you haven’t sewn by machine before or have minimal experience, the 3116 is a good introduction to the hobby. You’ll be able to sew kid’s clothes, do the family mending, and even run up some kitchen curtains.

The SINGER 3116 reviewed: an honest list of features (and flaws)

Here are the features I considered when rating this sewing machine.

What to love:

  • 18 stitches included
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Fully automatic 1-step buttonhole
  • Adjustable stitch length & width
  • Automatic tension settings.
  • Snap-on presser feet
  • Heavy-duty metal frame
  • On-board storage
  • Free arm for sleeves and hems
  • Center zigzag taper – when tapering with the zigzag stitch, the stitch tapers to the center, not the left or right
  • Twin needle capability
  • 5mm maximum stitch width
  • Multiple needle positions
  • Extra-high presser foot lifter for heavier and multiple layers of fabric
  • Automatic presser foot pressure control
  • Product dimension: 18.2 x 10.5 x 13.8 inches
  • Product weight: 3 pounds
  • 25/2/90 Warranty

But watch out for:

  • A front-loading bobbin is usually a problem for inexperienced sewers. If loaded incorrectly, it will make a massive nest of thread balls and mess with the thread tension. This is not a machine fault, but inexperience and misunderstanding of the directions.

What others are saying

What the pros say:

“The SINGER 3116 Simple Sewing Machine is the basic sewing machine you will love to use.”

“The Singer 3116 has what just might be one of the easiest to understand and use stitch selection systems I’ve seen on any sewing machine.”

“Singer 3116 is very much an entry-level sewing machine. It has all the features you can expect from an inexpensive sewing machine. It comes with 18 built-in stitches, including a 1-step buttonhole.”

Consumer feedback:

SourceAv. ScoreLast checkedNo. Ratings
Amazon4 out of 521 March 202153
Joann4.2 out of 521 March 202122

What to expect when you buy

The following accessories are included with the 3116 SIMPLE:

  • Darning Plate
  • Thread Spool Cap Holders
  • Screwdriver
  • All-Purpose Foot
  • Buttonhole Foot
  • Button Sewing Foot
  • Zipper Foot
  • Edge/Quilting Guide
  • Bobbins
  • Needles
  • Lint Brush/Seam Ripper and Oil Bottle

Alternatives to the SINGER 3116 SIMPLE

While the 3116 is now out of production, other models might be comparable. Don’t forget, however, that a gently used 3116 SIMPLE sewing machine might be just fine.

Singer 3221 SIMPLE Sewing Machine

This machine compares very well with the 3116 and has comparable features.

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Another beginner’s good bet, it has 27 built-in stitches and an auto-size buttonhole.

Elnita EM16 Mechanical Sewing Machine

Easy to use and includes every feature you would need for basic or beginner sewing.

In a nutshell

The SINGER 3116 SIMPLE is one of several good choices for the beginning sewer. You can either stick with the 3116, move over to SINGER’s 3221 SIMPLE, or try one of the other manufacturers’ entry-level offerings. Visit your local fabric store and see if you can try one of these models before you buy.

Phyllis Stewart
Written by Phyllis Stewart Updated on April 9th, 2021