This review covers basically all of the Heavy Duty Series (44s, 4411,4423,4432,4452,5532,4443 and Scholastic Series.) they are all basically the same machines, just the stitches are different between the models. A couple of them have more accessories with them.
I give it a 4 star simply because they are not true heavy duty machine because of the presser foot height. That's the one drawback to it being called heavy duty.
I have been using it for about a month as of the review and I love the speed control you have with the foot pedal.
I have been reading the rather mixed reviews for these machines on the Internet and I must say they range from 1 star to 5 and everything in between. Reading the reviews, some lower ones can be disregarded as "new sewer mistakes" and others as never bothering with the manual at all.
The manual is simple because the machine is simple. It's a mechanical sewing machine... just that simple. YouTube has a video from Singer for the 44s... this will cover the basics for all the heavy duty series of machines. The only machine that is different are the machines with the 4-step buttonholes.
I make bags, handbags and backpack type bags. I have a more expensive computer sewing machine, I don't care to use it for heavier materials. Not that it won't do it, I just prefer not to.
This was the machine of choice mostly due to price. A tad over $100 as a factory refurb. Normally wouldn't buy a refurb, but it is a mechanical machine.
It sews a very nice stitch and has little issues with sewing through heavy materials or the layers created.
I bought the Singer accessory kit with all the optional feet for these machines and the even feed / walking foot.
I have not had any issues with tension as others have... but then again, I am not trying reupholster a car interior with it either. Getting tired of people's reviews about home sewing machines not being able to sew heavy leather. These are people that are trying to get away without buying the $1000+ machine they really need. Everyone wants a ~$200 sewing to do the work of industrial machines... PLEASE stop fooling yourself. There is a reason clothing factories are not filled with cheap home sewing machines.
Not sure of the weight, but machine and box weighs 18 pounds so 14 - 15 pounds with accessories and foot controler? Point? Good traveling machine for classes or doing work at someone else's house.
Summary; good first machine and as a backup to take places instead of that heavy $1000 machine, mine weighs 23 pounds and I'm not taking it in the car anywhere - excellent reason for someone to break a window. It will sew pretty heavy materials and sews it very well for a lower end machine.
Watch the YouTube video and/or read the manual before beating up these machines.
Also, and I can't stress this enough, DO NOT TURN THE HANDWHEEL BACKWARDS!!! You are not supposed to on any machine, but these are made so they won't, if you managed to turn it backwards, you probably broke something.