The Singer 1803, sometimes referred to as the Kenmore 1803 (due to a rebranding collaboration), is a vintage sewing machine renowned for its durability, versatility, and ease of use. While no longer in current production, the 1803 remains a popular choice among sewists who value a reliable machine built to last. This review will explore the features, strengths, weaknesses, and ideal users of the Singer 1803.


  • Solid Metal Construction: The 1803 boasts a sturdy metal frame that contributes to its reputation for longevity. This build quality is a stark contrast to many lightweight plastic machines available today.
  • Variety of Stitches: Compared to more basic models, the 1803 offers a wider selection of essential stitches, including straight stitch, zigzag, blind hem, and decorative stitches. This allows for tackling a broader range of sewing projects.
  • Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure: The ability to adjust the pressure exerted by the presser foot ensures the machine can handle various fabric weights effectively, from delicate silks to thicker upholstery fabrics.
  • Easy Buttonhole Maker: The 1803 features a built-in buttonhole maker that creates consistent and professional-looking buttonholes in one easy step.
  • Internal Bobbin Winder: Unlike some machines with top-mounted bobbin winders, the 1803 keeps the bobbin winding process discreet within the machine body.


  • Durable Construction: The metal frame and mechanical components of the Singer 1803 are known to withstand years of use, making it a valuable investment for long-term sewing needs.
  • Versatility: With its variety of stitches and adjustable presser foot, the 1803 can handle a wider range of sewing projects than many beginner machines.
  • Ease of Use: Despite not being computerized, the 1803 is straightforward to operate with clear dials and levers for stitch selection and tension control.
  • Easy Maintenance: The machine’s mechanical design allows for relatively simple maintenance and repairs compared to computerized models. Manuals and parts are often readily available online.


  • Discontinued Model: Since the Singer 1803 is no longer in production, finding a new machine is not possible. You’ll need to rely on finding a used or refurbished model.
  • No Automatic Features: The 1803 lacks some of the modern conveniences found on newer machines, such as automatic needle threading or speed control.
  • Potentially Heavier Weight: Compared to modern lightweight machines, the 1803’s metal construction makes it a bit heavier.

Who is the Singer 1803 Right For?

The Singer 1803 is a good sewing machine for:

  • Sewers who Value Durability: If you’re looking for a machine that will last for years to come, the Singer 1803’s robust build quality makes it a great choice.
  • Versatility Seekers: With its range of stitches and presser foot adjustability, the 1803 can handle a variety of sewing projects.
  • Comfortable with Manual Machines: If you don’t mind the lack of computerized features and are comfortable with a more traditional sewing experience, the 1803 is a great option.
  • Those Looking for a Second-Hand Machine: The discontinued nature of the 1803 means you’ll be looking at the used market, but its reputation for longevity makes it a worthwhile secondhand find.


 the Singer 1803 is a classic sewing machine known for its reliability, versatility, and ease of use. While its lack of modern features and discontinued status might deter some, sewists who value a well-built machine for various projects will find the Singer 1803 a timeless treasure.