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Brother GX37 Review

A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lighting
Brother GX37
Credit: Brother
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Price:   $180 List | $184.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric types
Cons:  Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim test
Manufacturer:   Brother
By Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer  ⋅  Jun 9, 2022
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Sewing - 45% 6.8
  • Ease of use - 35% 6.8
  • Buttonholes - 20% 4.6

Our Verdict

Though scoring on the lower end of the sewing machines we tested, the Brother GX37 gave a solid showing in the scallop, blind hem, and zig-zag stitches. Its bobbin setup and use are particularly nice, and the stitch setup and selection are clear. The diamond stitch, basting stitch, and basic straight stitch also scored well, reinforcing our thinking that this would be a decent sewing machine for a beginner. Much like the other Brother sewing machines we tested, we found the GX37 to be a solid, simple machine to use and one that had a lot of features for a minimal price.

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Price $180 List
$184.00 at Amazon
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Pros Bobbin quality and winding, simple, great at scallop stitches across multiple fabric typesAutomatic thread cutter, tons of stitch optionsGood sewing performance, easy to use, high valueExcellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-upExcellent straight stitching on cotton jersey, very easy to get stitches set up
Cons Not computerized, trouble with our 8-layer denim testBig learning curveA bit harder to set upTrouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutterLacks a needle up/down button, no presser foot lock, trouble with bottom strap of average zipper
Bottom Line A solid, non-computerized model that leaves more to be desired with buttonholes and lightingAn all-around great machine with more than enough stitches for even the pickiest sewerA great machine for the price and a good bet for both beginning and seasoned usersGood for those starting out, but advanced users will get better performance out of other machinesGreat machine for a beginning sewer, but lacking a few helpful computerized features
Rating Categories Brother GX37 Singer 9960 Quantum... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother CS6000i Brother CS5055
Sewing (45%)
6.8
7.8
7.5
6.7
6.8
Ease of use (35%)
6.8
8.2
7.8
9.3
8.0
Buttonholes (20%)
4.6
7.4
7.4
6.2
6.6
Specs Brother GX37 Singer 9960 Quantum... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother CS6000i Brother CS5055
# of Built-in Stitches 37 600 100 60 60
# of Buttonhole Styles 1 13 6 7 7
Measured Weight 12.5 lbs 19.7 lbs 14.6 lbs 9.4 lbs 10.8 lbs
Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute) 850 850 750 850 750
Buttonhole Sewing (number of steps) 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step
Maximum Stitch Width 7mm 7mm 6mm 7mm 7mm
Maximum Stitch Length 5mm 5mm 4.8mm 5mm 5mm
Thread Cutter Built-in Automatic Built-in Built-in Built-in
Automatic Bobbin Winder? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Twin Needle Capability? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cover? Soft Hard Soft Hard No
Free Arm? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Brother GX37 has a lot of nice features for the money and some rather clunky ones too. One of those features that our testers liked best is how things are labeled. The labels for threading the machine and bobbin are very clear, and the printing for the stitches and stitch selection wheel are as well. Once you can find the directions on how to get to the SS ("stretch stitch," used for knits) stitches, those are clear too. But the only way you can see them is to look down on the machine — you can't see them from sitting in front of it, which is puzzling, to say the least. Of course, once you get to know any machine, much of this will become easy and automatic.

Performance Comparison


Brother GX37 sewing machine - you have to go counter-clockwise to select your stitch.
You have to go counter-clockwise to select your stitch.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sewing


The GX37 did a very nice job in the stitching tests we put it through. In fact, it scored highest of all the machines we tested on the zig-zag and scallop stitches, and it also scored very high on the blind hem.

Brother GX37 sewing machine - the zig-zag, scallop, and blind hem stitches all scored highly on...
The zig-zag, scallop, and blind hem stitches all scored highly on this machine.
Credit: Laura Casner

This machine didn't do so well with the multi-layer denim test, though. It got through all the layers just fine but looked like someone had adjusted the stitch length in the middle of sewing. It also had the same kind of trouble as the other Brother machines in that it just couldn't sew over the bottom strap of a zipper — we had to lift up the zipper foot and guide the needle through before getting to the other side.

Brother GX37 sewing machine - we had to manually lift the presser foot in order to get over the...
We had to manually lift the presser foot in order to get over the bottom strap of a zipper.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


The Brother GX37 had THE easiest bobbin to wind and load out of all the machines we tested, and the wind was consistently excellent and even. However, the stitch setup was a little tricky until we learned the dials, and the lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.

Brother GX37 sewing machine - while not the best or the fanciest sewing machine out there, this...
While not the best or the fanciest sewing machine out there, this would be just fine for a beginner.
Credit: Laura Casner

Things kind of went downhill from there, though. The thread cutter is adequate with the blade facing up, and you can cut from either side, which is good. But there is no needle stop, so you have to manually turn the wheel to get the needle to the highest position before lifting the presser foot up and removing the fabric. Neither of these things are deal-breakers, but they are something to be aware of.

Selecting the stitches themselves uses a simple knob, with the upper row being the regular stitches and the bottom row being the SS stitches. A little oddity about the stitch selector knob for the Brother GX37 is that, though there are 19 different stitches, you have to go counterclockwise from 1 to 19 and then onward. You cannot go clockwise for some reason.

The bobbin is top-loading, which we like best, and there is clear labeling for that and for threading the machine, which is consistent with the other Brother sewing machines we tested. The thread cutter faces up, and you can cut the thread from either side as long as you are cutting from the top.

A couple of negatives for the Brother GX37 are that with the position of the lighting, you can't see behind the needle, and it has no automatic needle stop, which means you have to manually move the needle to the top position before lifting the presser foot and removing the fabric. The instruction manual also feels cluttered and is difficult to read due to how the pages are laid out. That said, it has very good information on how to do things, including pictures right under the written instructions, and an instructional DVD that is also very clear.

Brother GX37 sewing machine - the lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.
The lighting didn't cover as much area as we would have liked.
Credit: Laura Casner

Buttonholes


The buttonhole test really did the Brother GX37 in. It scored lowest on our buttonhole test of all the machines we rated. The setup involves multiple steps and took a lot of trial and error to get the right size hole for our button. The sides were not symmetrical at all, with the left side uneven and grainy in each test we tried.

Brother GX37 sewing machine - the machine did very well in the sewing tests, but lacked in the...
The machine did very well in the sewing tests, but lacked in the zipper and buttonhole processes.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


Despite having to play around with the buttonhole foot and little problems with the zipper, we think this is a good value for the money, especially for a beginner sewer. The little oddities can be overcome, and the sewing machine should serve you well for a long time.

Conclusion


The Brother GX37 had low scores in some areas, but overall, it is a good beginner sewing machine at a very approachable price point.

Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer
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