Back to top

Brother XL 5130 Sewing Machine Review


During a recent look at the newest Brother sewing machines, we discovered that they have released a new product called the Brother XL 5130. Even though the machine itself wasn’t exactly considered new here, there’s little doubt that it wasn’t in excellent working condition. In fact, one of the things that we noticed about it was the fact that it lacked a working table.

We have also discovered that the XL 5130 must be sold ‘as is’, since we learned that it also did not include its own set of accessories. This model that we bought was probably left behind or inherited from a past owner, or if the current owner’s previous tenant left off. It’s a good thing that the previous owner only decided to leave it there instead of sending it to the garbage.


Before we can start up this review, we have to mention that we were thoroughly impressed by the color scheme of the machine, it’s understandable stitch selection, and the function buttons – All of which are easy to read.

Apart from these features which have captured our attention after the first look – Namely the machine’s stitch chart on the machine, its oversized reverse stitch lever and the carrying handle, we have discovered that the XL 5130 is a simple sewing machine that does not actually contain all of the features found in the average sewing machine, which is quite the disappointment, if we’re being honest here.


It’s a good thing we found an online manual made especially for this sewing machine with a bit of research, and a little help from the official Brother Website. This manual comes in three languages: English, French, and Spanish.


The features that come with the XL 5130 include fifteen types of build-in straightened and zigzag-style stitches, a seaming guide found on the machine’s needle plate, a one-step buttonhole maker, and a thread cutter with its own adjustable width and length, in case you want to produce different sizes of stitches in your project. There’s also a functional free arm that has the ability to sew collars, cuffs, pants hems, as well as other types of intricate sewing techniques.

As we mentioned earlier, the Brother XL 5130 does not come with its own working table.


Even though the aforementioned manual does not mention even just a single detail on how to perform bobbin winding steps or threading, it was still easy for us to do this task thanks to the board diagram that was drawn onto the machine. In fact, the instructions on the diagram were so simple, the manual itself was rendered useless.

The process of winding up the bobbin was simple and easy, thanks to the diagram that shows us how to do the bobbin winding process in complete detail. You can find the front loading bobbin housing under the needle plate.

The lack of a working table with the XL 5130 actually comes as an advantage – It makes inserting the bobbin as easy as counting 1 to 3. All you need to do is to open up the drop down door, and place it inside – That’s it! You can also thread the machine with plenty of ease.

The manual guides you through the entire process of attaching the thread to the machine, thanks to a small series of numbered diagrams. It’s so simple, even a child can do it. This is one of the reasons why the XL 5130 one of the best sewing machines for beginners.

Picking your choice of stitch, adjusting the tension along with the stitch’s width and length, and executing them with the right precision are also very easy.

It’s very simple to learn the identifiable icons and numbered dials, both features that make the XL 5130 easy to use.

The XL 5130 isn’t just made for beginners – A person who has been in the sewing business for decades will also be content with using this machine and won’t feel bored with how easy it works.


The adjustment dial can be found right above the needle. The numbers on the needle are readable, and you won’t have too much difficulty with using this feature.

It’s also very easy to find the right amount of tension in the needle. After one quick guess, we managed to successfully fix the tension to its right setting.


During this review, we had managed to test out at least all fifteen decorative and utility stitches coming from this machine. And we were pleasantly surprised to find out that executing each stitch on a piece of cloth was just as simple as adjusting the knob to whatever number we liked.


The stitches that we tried out all came out in even sizes, with a clear and sharp look for all of them. We conclude that the Brother XL 5130 has the capacity to produce at least 1,000 stitches every minute. This is typical of a Brother sewing machines.

The machine’s foot pedal is also very light. In fact, the board light that comes with it does give off the perfect amount of illumination so both its glare and shadows are lessened until they get to the point where you won’t notice them anymore.


Always cover up the machine when not using it, so you can protect it from debris or dust. Because the XL 5130 doesn’t have its own protective casing or even a simple dust covering, we suggest that those who buy it should also save up to purchase an affordable customized cover or a plastic dust cover, or buy your own carrying case. The case should also have pockets to place in your sewing tools, such as buttons, hem tape, scissors, pin cushion, tape measure, hem gage, tailors’ chalk, needles, or other object that might come in handy some other time.


The XL 5130 works through the following fabrics: Synthetic fabrics, knits, blends, silk, velvet, satin, cotton, natural fibers, rayon, polyester, taffeta, wool, linen, and other fine fabrics.

Even though these accessories did not come with our particular XL 5130 model, a quick look at the manual tells us that the accessories that came with this sewing machine include: Five pieces of snap-on presser feet – Including a zigzag foot, a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, a quilting foot, and lastly, a button sewing foot. Other accessories include screwdriver, a lint brush, a seam ripper, twin needles, additional needles, a darning plate, and a thread spindle. The plate is made especially for those machines that don’t come with their own drop feed dogs.

While the monogram machine that we had here was slightly incomplete because of the lack of a working table, we soon learned that the XL 5130 still works perfectly, especially for mending fabrics and alterations. Much like the JUKI TL 2000Qi, it’s also a good machine for those who are just starting out.

Children aged at least nine or older can become sewing experts at a young age, all thanks to this machine. Not only is the Brother XL 5130 uncomplicated, it’s also strong enough to withstand any damage brought onto it by people who aren’t too familiar with how a sewing machine works.

We’re not exactly too sure about who will end up buying the one that we reviewed here. But there’s no doubt that whoever ends up purchasing our very own XL 5130 will also be asked to make an investment in both the machine’s cover and its accessories.


Unfortunately, the Brother XL 5130 has been discontinued by Brother – But there are used machines that look similar to this model (the Brother HC 1850 comes to mind), and even come with a highly-detailed manual, the usual accessories, and best of all – A working table. These replacement machines usually cost around 20 dollars on eBay or Amazon.

As mentioned earlier, the XL 5130 is so simple to use, even a child can learn how to sew thanks to it. We also would like to tell everyone that not only is this machine excellent for professional sewers who want to mend or change something in their clothes, it’s also great for creating a business as well.


This machine is also the best choice for those home sewers who want to purchase a highly dependable sewing machine where they can craft beautiful clothes in, as well as make their own accessories for themselves or to sell or give as gifts. Sewing machines aren’t just for clothes – They’re great for home decors too.

Along with the Brother XR 9500 PRW, we think that the XL 5130 is one of the best choices for those who recently retired from their day job, and can now devote a good amount of time to doing their favorite pastimes, which they didn’t have enough time for while they built their careers and created their own families.

Another group of individuals who can gain benefit from using this machine are college students. The XL 5130 is light, and can be moved from the home to the student’s own dorm room. This has got to be one of the most economical ways to keep one’s own self updated with the newest trends, without even having to break the bank.

Pros: A highly recommended machine for sewers of all skills and ages. Dials are easy to use, and you can also understand the board stitching selection.

Cons: Does not come with a dust cover. Does not have its own detachable table.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.