hand-held sewing machine
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Best Hand Held Sewing Machine for minor repairs: our 3 Top Choices

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For sewing enthusiasts, there are instances when we prefer not to use our full-size sewing machine for a simple stitch or small projects. That’s where a hand held sewing machine comes in handy and becomes a valuable addition to our sewing arsenal.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why you might consider purchasing a handheld sewing machine. We’ll also provide you with some useful tips, such as changing the needle and thread on this compact sewing machine.

Finally, we’ll unveil the best handheld sewing machine available on the market, keeping in mind that only a select few truly justify the investment.

However, if you’re contemplating buying a sewing machine for your home instead of a handheld one, I recommend referring to my comprehensive sewing machine buying guide for assistance!

Reasons For Using A Hand held Machine

Handheld sewing machines excel in providing a portable sewing solution, perfect for tackling sewing projects that require immediate attention. A prime example is repairing a hem on a skirt or a pair of pants.

What sets these portable machines apart is their versatility in power sources. They offer various options, including an AC adapter or the convenience of operating on AA batteries.

This flexibility transforms them into truly portable handheld sewing machines that can be used at home, on the go, or even while traveling!

A significant drawback of many small sewing gadgets is their limited capability to sew through either thin or thick fabric effectively.

As a result, they are primarily suitable for emergency sewing situations. In such cases, one might find using a hand sewing needle, thread, and thread cutter to be a more favorable solution for small repairs.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone possesses the skill or desire to sew using a needle and thread.

Additionally, not everyone is inclined to learn how to operate a traditional sewing machines.

Therefore, a handheld machine can serve as a preferable alternative for individuals who have a curiosity about sewing but aren’t yet ready to invest in the cost or space required for owning a full-sized electric sewing machine.

As an alternative, you can buy a small sewing machine like the Magicfly mini sewing machine for quick repairs, and it works well on a variety of fabrics. It doesn’t work great on thicker fabrics. It’s a good sewing machine for kids

A crucial question that needs to be addressed is whether there are genuinely reliable handheld sewing machines available in the market.

hand-held sewing machine

What Stitch Does A Hand Held Sewing Machine Make?

A handheld sewing machine is limited to sewing straight stitch or chain stitches. These stitches are created using a single thread, which is loaded into a bobbin located at the side of the sewing machine. It’s important to tie knots at both ends of the thread once you’ve completed your line of stitching, as failure to do so will result in quick unraveling.

How To Thread A Hand held Sewing Machine

When using any of the listed sewing machines, you will find detailed instructions included. However, here are the general steps to follow:

1. Load the bobbin onto the side of the machine.

2. Pull the thread across to the thread hole, typically located a few centimeters from the bobbin holder.

3. Run the thread through the tension control mechanism.

4. If there is a second thread hole, guide the thread through it as well.

5. Using a needle threader, pass the thread through the eye of the needle, ensuring that it runs from the back to the front.

6. Finally, pull the thread through the hole and position it under the presser foot (although it may not be an actual presser foot, this description provides a close approximation).

Using a handheld sewing machine may require some practice and adjustment. Many individuals express the challenge of needing an extra hand or two to operate them effectively.

How To Use A Handheld Sewing Machine

When using a mini portable machine, you have two options:

1. Place the machine on a flat surface, power it on, and feed the fabric from left to right.

2. Hold the fabric in your left hand while holding the sewing machine in your right hand, close to your body. Guide the machine away from you along the fabric edge.

To achieve a longer stitch length, guide the fabric more quickly. For a shorter stitch length, guide it through more slowly. Sewing with a mini handheld machine may involve some trial and error as you familiarize yourself with its operation.

How To Change The Needle In Mini Hand Sewing Machine

Replacing the needle on this type of sewing machine can be a challenging and intricate task, as each machine may have its specific set of instructions.

It is essential to carefully review the instructions provided with the machine. Similar to a regular sewing machine, you will typically need a screwdriver to loosen the existing needle and replace it with a new one. Pay close attention to the instructions to ensure proper needle replacement.

Hand Held Sewing Machine

Brightlylit Hand Held Sewing Machine

After extensive research, in my opinion, the best handheld sewing machine available is the one created by Brightlylit (although it’s a brand I hadn’t heard of before either!).

It surprised me that a lesser-known brand took the top spot. Perhaps the prominent sewing machine brands recognize the limitations of portable machines and choose not to invest in products with potentially limited sales.

The manufacturer of the Brightlylit handheld sewing machine explicitly states in the product description that it should not be used for fabrics thicker than 0.07 inches, which does impose restrictions on the types of fabric suitable for use.

This mini handheld sewing machine includes essential accessories such as 12 bobbin threads, a needle threader, scissors, a spare needle, and a measuring tape and a storage box.

It can be powered either by 4 AA batteries or the provided USB cable, a standard power adapter which is included.

Users who have utilized this portable handheld sewing machine mention that getting accustomed to its sewing technique can be tricky since it requires simultaneous management of the fabric and the machine.

It differs from using a regular sewing machine with a foot pedal and both hands free to handle the fabric.

It’s important to note that this small machine can only produce a chain stitch. Consequently, any stitching performed with it is susceptible to unraveling in the future, as it lacks the lock stitch feature found in regular sewing machines.

To prevent unintended unraveling, be sure to tie knots when removing fabric.

Other Hand held Sewing Machines To Consider

iRuntek handheld sewing machine 

The iRuntek handheld sewing machine is a noteworthy contender, ranking closely behind the previously reviewed Brightlylit model.

It offers a two-speed capability, making it versatile for various sewing needs. This mini sewing machine can be powered either by 4 AA batteries or through a USB cable power cord.

One noticeable distinction is its unique shape. The iRuntek machine features a solid plastic handle storage recess with the needle mechanism neatly tucked inside, whereas the other two machines discussed have an “open” design, where the upper part visibly moves with each stitch.

Although there are relatively few reviews available for this machine, the general consensus states that it meets expectations for manual hand-held sewing machines.

The iRuntek handheld sewing machine falls within the same price range as the Volcanoes and Singer sewing machines, offering a comparable value for your investment.

Singer stitch sew quick

This particular handheld machine is produced by Singer, a renowned brand in the sewing machine industry. Singer explicitly states that it is not designed to serve as a primary sewing machine, which is commendable.

The machine performs best when working with lightweight fabrics and operates solely as a battery-operated sewing machine, lacking the option for an AC adapter.

Reviews for this product are quite varied. Some individuals consider it satisfactory for a portable sewing machine, while others express significant criticism, which is understandable. Given the reputation of a well-known brand like Singer, one would expect this machine to deliver at least a decent sewing performance, but according to the reviews, it falls short in that regard.

The kit includes spare needles, bobbins, and a threader. However, it relies solely on 4 AA batteries, lacking the option for an AC adapter, which can be a drain on battery life.

Some reviewers suggest that if you approach this purchase with realistic expectations, acknowledging its basic nature, the need for extra dexterity to operate it effectively, and the potential difficulty of maneuvering fabric under the plate, you may be able to master it over time with patience.

It can then serve as a handy tool for quick fixes on a sewing project requiring immediate attention.

A hand held sewing machine is a great option if you don’t feel like pulling out your full-sized sewing machine. Make sure and check the handheld sewing machine reviews before you purchase.

We have found that although they are a lower price the compact size is great for minor repair or emergency repairs but with limited stitch speeds and battery power source they are not made for larger projects. 

Other Sewing Resources:

If you are new to sewing, we recommend that you start by learning the basics and starting with a simple project like the potholder.

Start with:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

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