Sewing machines have always been of moderate sizes. While there are some dainty models, they still occupy space on the table or a shelf. Some of them are even bigger and bulkier and obviously meant for industrial and heavy work.
But we don’t always need a huge machine, do we? There will be times when we need to stitch something small yet important (like a tear or a patchwork). Also, as people get older, they cannot use the regular heavy machines with the same ease. And what about those who are frequently traveling and need a spare sewing machine while on the go?
That’s how handheld sewing machines have become famous. Various popular and smaller brands have released compact, little, and effective sewing machines that can be operated using one hand. Yep. You can think of it as similar to an extra-sized stapler. Now you get the idea, right?
It is easy to operate the machine, and you can do it anywhere. Whether you are watching the telly or in a hotel room getting ready for a meeting or a party in another location, in a few minutes, you’ll be able to complete the job.
You’ve probably realized that this sewing machine is not for heavy work, didn’t you? Minor stitching jobs are the best it can handle. But those are the ones that cause most trouble anyway.
So which handheld sewing machine should you buy? A quick look at the internet would have given you enough scare. There are so many models available, aren’t they? How do you pick the right one? Which factors should you consider when buying a handheld sewing machine?
We’ve got all the information for you right here. Check out the top 5 models in detail and then go on to read the buying guide. By the time you reach the end of the post, you’ll have enough information to make a decision. Let’s get started right away.
Table of Contents
The Best Handheld Sewing Machines For The Money
#1 GWolffy Portable Sewing Machine for Beginners - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Sold by GWolffy, the handheld sewing machine has 1077 ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.8 stars. Isn’t that assuring?
So what makes this compact little unit so famous? With an affordable price and interesting features, the machine can be used by just about anyone. As the name itself says, this one is perfect for beginners too. Let’s take a look at the features in detail.
Features & Benefits
The sewing machine comes in a single color- white. It’s small and easily fits in the palm of your hand. Being a battery-operated machine, you can use it anywhere at any time. Just make sure you have new spare batteries (in case you need to stitch quite a bit). It requires 4 AA batteries to function. The power switch also acts as a safety lock and prevents you from getting hurt. Keep it locked when you don’t use the machine and also when you need to replace the batteries. The battery jar is at the bottom of the machine (at the opposite side of the needle).
The machine can stitch most materials, including denim. But see to it that the thickness of the cloth is not more than 1.88mm. This shouldn’t be much of an issue. Most models have the same limitation. The needle moves automatically when you start the machine. You’ll have to monitor the movement of the cloth with the other hand to get a straight line. That’s easy too, isn’t it? There is a small knob to adjust the thread’s tension. Depending on whether the stitches feel too tight or too loose, you can turn it to your left or right and get the exact result. The needle is sharp, so be careful when your fingers get close to it.
Ease of Use
There is hardly anything you’ll have to do except thread the needle and let the machine run the stitch. To install the thread spool, you have to loosen the bobbin nut and take it off. Then slide the spool onto the extension needle. Next, connect the spindle to the bobbin shaft. That’s it. You are good to go.
Replacing the needle (if it gets old or breaks) is equally easy. Just loosen the set with a screwdriver, pull off the existing needle, place the new one, and tighten the screw again. Voila! One thing you do need to keep in mind is to take breaks a little more often. If the batteries start to heat up, stop using the machine, and let it rest until it cools down.
#2 Dewyka Handheld Sewing Machine - Best for Accessories
Second on our list is another small brand that has good reviews on Amazon. The build is similar to the previous model, and so is most of the operation. That’s the thing about these sewing machines. If you know how to use one, you’ll be able to manage others without much effort.
One attractive feature of this model is that it has a dual power supply. Yep. You can use it with batteries and by connecting to the power outlet. While the warranty information is not available for this one as well, the brand does mention contacting customer support if you have any issues or queries.
Features & Benefits
The design of the unit is simple and effective. It has a transition button at the top that allows you to switch between batteries and electric power supply. There is a small outlet to plug in the 6V (DC) adapter to connect the machine to the power supply. This adapter, however, is not included with the sewing machine. The unit needs 4 AA batteries, which you’ll need to buy separately. The battery case is located at the bottom of the machine.
The unit is 11.6 ounces and provides a good grip for everyone. You don’t have to worry about it slipping from your hands, but still, you will have to pay attention when stitching.
The maximum thickness the machine can sew is 1.8mm. It works great for thinner fabrics, though you can use it to stitch or patch up denim. So what about the accessories that come with the unit? Let’s check them as well-
One instruction manual, one threader, one long rod, nine bobbins, two sewing needles, one scissors, one ribbon, and ten safety pins. You don’t have to worry about misplaced bobbins, especially when you are in a hurry. You can pick another and get going.
Ease of Use
The sewing machine is super easy to carry around in a suitcase or even a handbag. It doesn’t come with any separate cover or case. However, you can use any of your existing pouches or cloth bags. Or, just place it as it is in the suitcase where it can be cushioned by other items.
One thing you need to be careful about is threading the needle in the right direction. Wrong threading will jam the machine, rendering it ineffective.
#3 Varmax Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table - Best for Sleeves & Trousers
What do you think about a mini sewing machine that even has a compact extension table? Well, you may not be able to hold it in one hand, but you sure can pack into small places and carry it around without hurting your arms or your shoulders. It is more powerful than the handheld version, so that’s a bonus.
What else can we do using this mini sewing machine? Let’s check out.
Features & Benefits
Vaxmax has designed this cute little machine really well. It’s useful and attractive. Costing less than $40, you can use this machine to stitch sleeves and trousers as well. Yep, the unit is sturdy enough to handle some heavy stitching, with limitations.
The machine also has a built-in light in case there is not enough natural light for you to use. The extension table can be used as and when needed. The knobs, buttons, and controls are in a lovely shade of lavender and easier to spot on the white body frame.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional who likes to carry a portable sewing machine, this one will suit each one of you. It has two stitching speeds- high and low. You can set it at a comfortable speed and work on your project. Also, you don’t have to worry about the thread, either? Why? It’s a double-thread machine, which means that the stitch will lock itself. You don’t have to knot it towards the end. And guess what, the brand offers a one-year warranty and after-sales service to the customers. That’s cool, isn’t it?
Ease of Use
The machine doesn’t run on batteries. It needs an electric power supply, considering its size and usage. It does weigh 2.7 pounds, but that’s not heavy, right? The unit has a thread cutter and cuff slot. It doesn’t have the reverse lever. But handheld sewing machines generally don’t have such features. The manufacturer provides the following accessories with the machine-
Extension cable, power adapter, one foot pedal, four bobbins, one needle, one needle threader, and one user manual (which is detailed enough and helps you understand the operations). If you still find it confusing, call customer care.
#4 Blizzow Portable Handheld Sewing Machine - Best Dual Power Supply
At the fourth place on the list is the Blizzow handheld sewing machine that can be used by beginners, elders, and kids. Yep. Kids can use this to stitch their DIY crafts and tiny dresses for their toys. The needle is sharp, so it recommended that an elder supervise them and make sure that they don’t hurt themselves. As with every other handheld model, this one also cannot stitch through materials that are more than 1.8mm thick.
Features & Benefits
The machine is all white in color and compact in design. It has a dual power supply- 4 AA batteries and a 6V (DC) electric power slot. Neither the batteries nor the adapter is provided with the unit. However, the manufacturer provides other accessories you need to use the machine.
You get an instruction manual, a measuring tape, 7 bobbins, 2 sewing needles, one threader, and one scissors. The manufacturer has also mentioned that customers who are not satisfied with the product can send an email to customer care. That’s good, right? Even if they don’t offer a warranty, they are offering to respond to an email about our dissatisfaction.
The machine is no different from the other models we’ve seen on the list. The power switch allows you to choose between the two power supplies. Changing the needle is super easy. All you need to do is twist the set screw to loosen the existing needle. Take it off and replace it with the new one. Twist the screw in the opposite direction to fix in the new needle. You can adjust the tension using another knob to get the right stitch on the cloth.
Ease of Use
The machine is a single thread model, so don’t forget to tie the stitch to prevent it from coming off. To start stitching, use your ring finger to lift the pressure plate. Place the fabric and gently lower the plate back to its position. Press the button to start stitching the cloth. Hold the machine in one hand and the fabric in another.
Take a break when the machine starts to heat up (when using batteries). Let it cool down and start working again. Pack it in a pouch and store in any cupboard/ drawer/ or carry it when traveling.
#5 BreadPeal Handheld Sewing Machine - Best in Appearance
The last handheld sewing machine is yet another smaller brand in the market. This one comes in black color and has a glossy finish that makes it good looking and attractive. You can use this as a beginner or as a professional who likes to carry a portable machine for emergency purposes. You can also start teaching your child to learn stitching by using this machine.
Features & Benefits
The sewing machine has pretty much the same design as other handheld models. It has a slot of batteries at the bottom, a 6V (DC) power point to the side, and a power switch at the top. You can either use 4 AA batteries to operate the machine or connect it to the electric power supply. The batteries and adapter are not included with the unit.
The machine comes with a user manual, one threader, one extra needle, one spindle, and two extra bobbins with thread. Yep. You don’t have to sit and thread the bobbins if you are in a hurry.
The machine comes pre-threaded. That means you don’t have to thread it (at least for the first time). Of course, you do have to thread the needle if you want to use threads of different colors. Make sure that the thread goes from inside to outside. Threading it wrong will cause the machine to jam. Also, make sure that the thickness of the fabric is not more than 1.78mm. The machine is single-threaded. You will have to tie the thread at the end of the stitch.
Ease of Use
The user manual will help you understand the operations if you are a beginner. You don’t have to remove the curtains to stitch them. Just hold the machine in one hand, the curtain in another, and stitch away while standing. You can do the same if there is a small tear in a dress at the hem. You can pack it along with your clothes and carry it anywhere. Carry the adapter as well as the batteries so that you can still use both, depending on convenience.
Best Handheld Sewing Machine Buying Guide
Before we delve into the factors to consider before buying a handheld sewing machine, let us see the benefits of owning one.
Benefits of a Handheld Sewing Machine
- The machine hardly requires any storage space. The fact that you can carry it in your suitcase is an indication that it can be stored almost anywhere.
- Just because it’s a mini version doesn’t mean it is not capable of varied tasks. You can attach buttons and even do embroidery using some of the machines.
- The machines consume less power (obviously). Some are exclusively battery operated while others can be used with batteries and electric power.
- The models are stylish and trendy. They catch the eye compared to regular sewing machines.
- Anyone new to sewing can also use this machine. It is that easy. That said, people of all age groups and experience levels can use this model.
- Some handheld models are slightly larger and are called mini sewing machines. They can’t be exactly held in one hand but are easy to pack and carry while traveling. These models have more power than the handheld ones, though they are less powerful than table-top models.
- The cost of a handheld machine is quite less. If you need a sewing machine for basic stitching purposes, this one will do the job for a lesser investment.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Handheld Sewing Machine
The following are some important factors you need to keep in mind when selecting a handheld sewing machine.
As we’ve mentioned in the benefits, handheld sewing machines are mostly battery operated. But some models use only electric power supply, and some use both kinds of power. So how do you pick yours? The easiest would be to buy the battery-operated model. You don’t need to sit beside the power outlet to use the machine. Also, it’s convenient while traveling. That said, if the machine has both, it’ll be even more convenient.
You’ve got to hold the machine in your hand, right? It should fit well and not slip through the fingers. This ensures that you don’t hurt yourself and also keeps the stitches even and neat. Moreover, if you plan it use for a longer time, you’ll need something comfortable to hold.
This is equally important, isn’t it? The needle should be strong enough to not break every now and then to cause you trouble. Even if there is a limit to the thickness of the material you can stitch using the machine, the needle should be sturdy enough.
This is actually simple to manage. The sewing speed depends on how fast or how much pressure you put on the pedal. But since it’s a handheld model, you’ve got to be careful about using it at full speed. Beginners should always start slowly. Get a hang of the process. Get used to using the machine before you hit a higher speed. That said, the sewing speed of handheld models is less compared to regular models.
Some accessories are an essential part of the machine. You shouldn’t have to buy them for extra money. See what accessories are provided with the machine and which ones you’ll have to buy. Compare brands to understand what the common accessories are.
The thing about handheld sewing machines is that not all of them are precise. You might have noticed how some models have more negative reviews than positive ones. These are little units that can handle limited work. At the same time, you’ve got to choose a one that offers decent quality. Precision is one important factor. No point in having to stitch the same cloth again and again.
Reason for Use
Now, this is a major deciding factor. The handheld sewing machine is versatile but has limited usage. If you want a sewing machine for heavy work, this may not be the one for you. But you want one for basic stitching, hemming, and moderate usage, this one suits perfectly.
As we’ve just mentioned above, handheld models can be used for hemming, patching, overall stitching, mending holes and tears, etc. Make sure that the model you buy can be used for all these purposes and more. Also, the machine should stitch different types of materials.
Durability and Reliability
This is where many handheld sewing machines tend to cause trouble. Even the topmost brands have been unable to offer durable and reliable products. However, the smaller and non-branded models are doing way better. They are stronger, reliable, and last for a decent time.
Just because it is handheld and comes cheap, it doesn’t mean you can buy it often, right? The brands do not offer longer warranty periods. But at least there should be some sort of assurance from the brand’s side to encourage you to buy the unit, isn’t it? Sadly not all of them share the warranty information. You’ll have to contact customer care.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
If you are still undecided, we suggest you choose GWolffy Portable Sewing Machine for Beginners. It is easy to operate and carry. It is reliable and highly useful.
We’ve already discussed its features in detail, right? It’s one of the best handheld sewing machines with a great value for the price.