Is a Handheld Sewing Machine Worth It? Discover Its Quirks and Perks
When you first google it, a handheld sewing machine looks like a small stapler. Not every model has this shape, but these two devices indeed have some features in common.
They both connect differently:
- fabrics, or
We basically don’t define a handheld sewing machine as a mini version of an adult sewing machine—although some models may look like it.
A pocket sewing machine is also not equal to a kid’s sewing machine.
Check out with We All Sew to find out how to start a sewing adventure with your youngsters using a regular machine.
Are you confused enough to take an explanatory ride with us?
A handheld sewing machine has its quirks and perks. We’re happy to discover them in the following article.
First off, let’s check up with Annika Victoria’s “Trying a Handheld Sewing Machine” video.
She bought a $16 model and reviewed it on her YouTube channel.
Hers is a valuable approach to getting to know as a beginner since it’s her very first experience with such a device.
Got a little more courage to start this enterprise now? The more curious sewers, the merrier, isn’t it?
In this article, we will get acquainted with notions of handheld sewing machine
- from a topic of a cordless sewing machine,
- to a heavy duty handheld sewing machine type,
- to an automatic handheld sewing machine;
We will also discover some of their pros and cons and the best models available in the market.
Image source: Fluffy Land
Handy sewing machine—types
According to Treasurie, there are two types of sewing machines:
- Domestic, and
A small, handy, and usually not highly sophisticated handheld sewing machine is in the first category.
Domestic sewing machines divide into:
- Mechanical Treadle Sewing Machines
- Electronic Mechanical Sewing Machines
- Mini and Portable Machines
- Computerized or Automated Machines
- Embroidery Machines
- Quilting Machines
- Overlocking or Serger Machines
It’s easy to guess that our handy type belongs to the third category.
There is anything:
And this is how Treasurie author describes this type:
“The mini machine is not sturdy enough for vast quantities of sewing. Although it is portable and easy to carry, it is best suited to small projects and mending. Most of these machines are not strong enough for larger projects and extended sewing.”
Mini handheld machines are portable and fit into tiny spaces of your
- carry on flight luggage,
- car boot, or
They do a fantastic job of quick fixes and on-the-spot corrections.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll crack the best models in the market.
Image source: Pinterest
Handheld sewing machine—pros and cons
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a portable handheld sewing machine?
We asked Treasurie, and this is what we found out:
These machines are lightweight and compact. You can carry them with you on your holiday trip and enjoy any quick repairs while you are away from home.
It’s one thing that you can take it everywhere, another that it’s handy to carry: it easily fits into a handbag or holiday case.
Easy to handle
Read our blog about a sewing machine for beginners.
Operating this machine will come easy, even for beginners. So if you learn how to sew, consider getting this model, at least as a backup.
This type of machine is perfect for repairs. In addition, it’s handy to deal with hems and minor alterations.
The prices for these machines are very reasonable—you can buy a model that costs anywhere from $2 to $15-$20.
No cord gets in your way as you sew small areas of fabric since these machines typically feed with an AA battery
It comes with attachments (not always with batteries and the power adaptor, though!).
On the other hand, there are some cons of small hand sewing machine models.
Wait with throwing out your regular sewing machine any time soon.
There is potential in handheld sewing machines, but they have downsides.
Disadvantages of a small handheld sewing machine are few compared to its bright sides:
Hard to handle
One source claims these machines are ideal for beginners (see the table), while others say the opposite.
According to Clothed Up, a portable hand sewing machine has a larger learning curve than a standard device. The authors claim that it’s not an easy tool to work with, and it takes a lot of practice to get it right. They also believe that you might be better off starting with a standard machine if you are a beginner.
Issues with some fabrics
This machine only sews lighter fabrics. Unfortunately, this disadvantage is hard to overcome. The reason is the core structure and size of this device.
While it’s understandable, it’s also one of the most significant criticisms of these machines. It comes as an issue regardless of the brand (also among the top shelf Walmart sewing machine)
Some people expect to work on jeans—sew and mend them—but these machines can’t handle heavier fabrics.
A small handheld sewing machine isn’t designed for large sewing projects or prolonged periods of use. So there is only one option: take it as it is and accept its flaws.
With this type of machine, you can only sew along an edge. For some projects, it may limit or even make it impossible to execute ideas.
An extra tip for sewing heavier fabrics is to add $20 and buy a cheap regular sewing machine.
It’s not that handy, but this solution is better in the long run.
On Sewing Hive, you can read “Tips For Choosing Your First Sewing Machine.” Among the things to consider:
- garments you want to create,
- repairing and altering,
- home decor,
- non-standard options;
Image source: Sewing Hive
Best hand sewing machine
We reviewed a couple of handheld sewing machines for you—those believed to be the best in the industry.
According to Love Sewing, the top-notch examples are the following:
- SINGER 01664 Stitch Sew Quick 2 Hand Held Mending Machine—Editor’s Pick
- Jeteven Handheld Sewing Machine—Best Value
- Varmax Mini Sewing Machine Electrical with Foot Pedal—Best For Thick Materials
- HAITRAL Handheld Sewing Machine—Best Affordable
- MSDADA Portable Sewing Machine—Best For Adjustable Tension
- Sew Mighty Handheld Sewing Machine—Best Design
- CHARMINER Handheld Sewing Machine—Best Accessories
Image source: Best in Singapore
If you’re looking for a device for quick fixes like mending or hemming, one of these could be a great option.
They’re so affordable that you can always buy one and give it a shot without prolonged consideration.
To lend a hand, we have reached out to another portable hand sewing machine list. This time, by Sewing Top Gear:
- Cordless Small Handy Stitch Handheld Sewing Machine
- FineWish Cordless Sewing Machine
- Meteralla Handheld Sewing Machine
- Ankuwa Handheld Sewing Machine
- BellaLe Handheld Sewing Machine
- MSDADA Handheld Sewing Machine
- Portable Mini Handheld Sewing Machine by UODOO
- Yibaision Handheld Sewing Machine
- Coquimbo Handheld Sewing Machine
- W-Dragon Handheld Sewing Machine
- APlus+ Handheld Sewing Machine
- DUTISON Portable Sewing Machine
- Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
- Amado Portable Sewing Machine
- Singer Stitch Sew Quick Portable Mending Machine
Image source: Sewing Machine Guide
Too much information leaves you perplexed? We know the pain.
“The difference in quality between handheld stitch machines is something to be aware of. Although many models look almost exactly the same, there is a noticeable difference in the stitch quality they offer and the fabrics they can be used on. […] You will find that most mini handheld sewing machines can be used on lightweight fabrics like silk all the way through to the thicker leather fabrics. This doesn’t mean you should expect to be able to work on super thick fabrics at the best you are talking 2mm with leather.”
—warns Sewing Machine Guide.
Choosing the best handheld sewing machine model is crucial. It ensures your projects emerge victorious against all the effort you put into working on them!
Also, there is another way to win all of your fashion battles with minimal effort.
Add different types of woven labels to the garments to
- personalize them, and
- increase the level of elegance and professionalism they represent;
The customized offer by Super Label Store comprises:
Are a Singer handheld sewing machine and other handheld machines any good for making clothes?
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Handheld sewing machines allow us to fix minor details within minutes. Yet, designing, stitching, and putting together new pieces of clothing leads to a more complex kind of project. For most handheld sewing machines, these projects could be a bit too much of a challenge.
If you’re creating new garments, we suggest you work with a classic sewing machine.
The portable hand sewing machine option is suitable for minor and easy quick fixes and repairs on the go.
However, don’t get discouraged from purchasing one. Investing in a handheld sewing machine is worth it. It’s a perfect solution to have a portable sewing machine always at hand.
Not to mention how cheap it is (imagine buying a machine that actually sews for one dollar).
Image source: Sew Care
With Just Crafting Around guidance, we browsed several helpful handheld sewing machine reviews.
NEX Portable Sewing Machine Double Speeds
According to Just Crafting Around, this is the top pick of all times.
It’s multi-functional. It has all the options you wish to have for your handheld stitching device.
It’s more of a mini hand sewing machine than a stapler in its appearance.
It’s not the cheapest—$59.99. Yet, consider that we’re talking about a value for money here, i.e., you do get what you paid for.
This machine is super easy to use, with the 12 stitching options clearly shown on the device.
You can use this machine in both
- cordless option (AA batteries), and
- with the supplied DC 6V power adapter (in case you were missing good old cables tangling under your feet);
Image source: Pinterest
NEX Portable Sewing Machine Double Speeds model is suitable for both beginners as more experienced sewers.
The possibilities in fabrics to stitch with this machine are more than sufficient—it can even sew sleeves.
LED light makes it super helpful—for example when it’s getting dark, and you have to sew under the blanket not to disturb your family members.
No worries; We know that feeling when too much enthusiasm gets in the way of a NORMAL life.
This electric handheld sewing machine is compact yet sturdy enough to take it seriously.
It can become one of your most innovative and flexible sewing room ideas.
Check this machine’s presentation in this YouTube video.
This helpful device comes with a built-in carry handle. It may not be its most important feature, but it adds convenience to transport.
This model is the perfect option for beginners and children.
Other points that could interest you:
- 5.74 pounds in weight,
- automatic bobbin winder,
- foot pedal,
- two stitching speeds,
- automatic thread cutter,
- lock stitch formation;
One of the few drawbacks is that the device only holds small spools of thread.
Read also about other sewings supplies.
Image source: A Little Craft in Your Day
YUESEN Mini Portable Multifunctional Electric Sewing Machine
Have a look at the following proposition among the top choices of automatic handheld sewing machine models.
YUESEN is another multi-purpose option with a perfect set of emergency stitches.
The machine is supplied with an extended workbench—fully suitable for both smaller and larger projects. However, the convenience of a portable mini sewing machine remains at the core of these machine characteristics.
It’s a cordless sewing machine running on an energy-saving 9W power adapter.
It weighs only 2.1 pounds and comes with:
- cuff slot for sewing sleeves,
- foot pedal,
- built-in sewing light,
- two stitching speeds,
- metal presser foot;
Don’t forget about an informative sewing manual. It makes this machine useful for seasoned sewers and beginners.
Sewing on this machine is not only convenient but also results in high-quality work. Moreover, the engine is easy to operate, so that everyone can benefit from it.
It’s suitable to use on different types of fabric such as
It even supports multiple layers of fabric!
If you’re attracted by this YUESEN’s easy-to-carry, lightweight machine, here’re some drawbacks.
Get familiar with them before you proceed to the actual purchase:
Image source: Just Crafting Around
Mini Electric Portable Sewing Machine by YKB
Before we break down all the features of this machine, let’s see if it’s an affordable choice.
$53.09 at Walmart places it somewhere in the middle—being a perfect balance between a first-time investment and getting value for money.
This cute mini device doesn’t include much more than what a sewing beginner sewing enthusiast needs.
The lightweight material of this device is covered with playful, bright colors—you can pick up one of the four different colors of choice.
Unfortunately, the Mini Electric Portable Sewing Machine by YKB doesn’t support reverse stitching.
What else do we have here?
- built-in sewing light,
- two stitching speeds,
- metal presser foot,
- automatic winding,
- automatic thread-cutting,
- anti-slip buttons,
- cuff slot for sewing sleeves,
- foot pedal,
- double threads for extra resistance;
This machine has a double switch: foot pedal and manual switch.
You can work both entirely remotely or be plugged into a power source (DC 6V1A). It can bother you a little that the power cord is relatively short, though.
This 2.35 pounds’ weight model is a small, user-friendly, portable sewing machine.
SINGER 01663 Stitch Sew Quick Portable Mending Machine
We wouldn’t be right if we overlooked one of the legendary brands with a long history on the market.
These small machines also come under the name of Singer—and this model finally remains a staple.
According to Hunt for Best, this cordless sewing machine is handy but sturdy.
Like most of these devices, it works best with lightweight fabrics and is perfect for small, quick, and easy repairs of everyday household items.
“From beddings to curtains“
—underline the authors.
On the other hand, it’s fair to say that the quality of this product and the stitch that it creates is not high-end.
This portable handheld sewing machine mends our garments quickly with a single thread feed. It also handles temporary basting well.
This device’s cordless (AA batteries) nature adds to the core aspect of a pocket sewing machine. You can:
- easily carry it around without problems,
- change the position of the machine while using it to mend cloth,
- freely move around one or multiple projects;
The most enjoyable part is a generous set of sewings supplies that come with it:
- needles, and
- thread spindle (read here how to thread a sewing machine);
Follow the story on the Tech Angel YouTube channel to get familiar with this viral model:
Can you imagine she found this handy device for $1?
Another video—you choose which one is more useful—is a product demonstration by Dyno Merchandise LLC.
Watch it to get a general idea about this item.
Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine
On the top of the popularity list, there is a Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine.
We learned about it from a Sewing Step website.
For starters, a surprising part is a piece of information that comes in this side of the review that typically presents cons: “None for the price.”
This model comes for $40.99 on Amazon, so let’s see what we get in return.
This budget-friendly mini sewing machine is said to be perfect for kids and beginners.
It’s easy to use, has a simple start and stop, and has an appealing design with adorable colors.
It can be wired or cordless, supporting AC/DC power supply and battery power supply.
The great news is that it includes all the fancy accessories, functions, and features (like foot pedals and speed settings).
- turn on with button or foot pedal,
- double Threads design,
- speed button with “high” and “slow” settings,
- 42 pcs sewing accessory;
Image source: Refashionista
Jillian Owens, also known as Refashionista, revealed some spicy details about her adventure with this machine.
Impressions? She wasn’t delighted, to say the least.
“First off, I hate the way this machine feels. Simply put, it feels like a toy. I never felt like I was using a real machine. I was pleasantly surprised it worked at all, and that’s not great. Threading the machine wasn’t very challenging (although the needle threads from left to right rather than front to back, which is kind of odd). But the actual sewing part was challenging. When I first tried to sew something, the needle kept coming unthreaded, which was incredibly frustrating. After much tweaking of the tension knob, I was able to fix that particular issue.”
While other reviews found on the internet are much more favorable than this, its juiciness made us curious!
So we kept reading:
“I looked at the manual and discovered that apparently this sewing machine isn’t intended for most fabrics, which is incredibly annoying as it’s a sewing machine. What else would one sew if not a variety of fabrics??? Seriously.”
Below, you’ll see the note by the author of this review note about what this machine doesn’t do.
Image source: Refashionista
Also, this machine only comes with a straight stitch (so no reverse onboard).
“Is this a good sewing machine for kids? Once again, no! I’ve taught kids how to sew in the past, and never have I ever thought they needed a smaller-than-normal size sewing machine. They’re usually a little clumsier (It’s okay…they don’t have all their fine motor skills yet) and harder on sewing machines than adults. They’d destroy this piece of junk in ten minutes. Which is what I wanted to do.”
The story goes on and on, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Everyone has their own experience and is free to share it!
In case you want to stick to this model anyway, learn from Magicly brand channel “How to Rewind Bobbin of Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine”:
The Sew Mighty
We mention this model because it’s popular and you’ll sooner or later come across it.
The Sew Mighty—who are you, and where do you come from?
Image source: Pinterest
The Sew Mighty—also known as the best model for basic home sewing—is an excellent easy-to-carry (3.19 lbs) option for light home sewing projects.
We learn from Just Crafting Around that it’s light enough for travel and suitable for beginners to seasoned sewers.
It’s fair to say that these characteristics describe every other portable hand sewing machine as well.
Let’s view its specifications.
This machine runs on 110V AC or four AA batteries.
It’s a two-speed sewing machine with a user-friendly work light.
The Sew Mighty has:
- top and bottom bobbins,
- large bobbin spindle,
- bobbin re-winder,
- cuff notch for quick cuff alterations,
- thread tension controller,
- built-in thread cutter,
- foot control pedal operated with/without the pedal;
According to some reviews, it’s ideal for small craft projects and handy to use for children with supervision.
It’s said to be easy to make minor repairs and deal with three layers of sewing fabric.
Two drawbacks come in the package:
- Is has no reverse,
- you need to buy a better quality thread than the one that comes in a kit;
Image source: Plastic Bottle Cutter
We pause for a minute on our quest for the best sewing machine in this department, but we don’t quit.
We always keep you in the loop with novelties on the Super Label Store blog.
Small hand sewing machine—how to use it?
We browsed all these fascinating models, but do we actually know what to do when a mini handheld sewing machine ends up in our hands?
It sounds like the knowledge we could use, doesn’t it?
This unpretentious device of any brand can fix a lot, but someone has to operate it—the more skillfully, the better.
Fit it in your purse or backpack, take it on holidays or wherever you feel fully relaxed, and learn to sew with the paragraphs below.
Image source: Sewing Machines Guru
First off, let’s see what a handheld sewing machine is composed of, according to Sew Care:
Handheld sewing machine part
It’s where we place the batteries, which provide power to the machine.
It helps in the effortless movement of the machine.
The bobbin in a portable handheld sewing machine is not like in regular sewing machines. The bobbin is placed easily in the machine.
The buttons or the lever provided for it control the tension on the thread.
We use the screw for tightening.
This type of sewing machine has a long needle arm, to the point that it looks like a stapler.
We use it for charging the sewing machine.
It accepts an adapter.
This part helps in easy sewing.
Using a handheld sewing machine is not that complicated.
Here’s how to use a handheld sewing machine:
Step 1: Getting the machine ready to use
Since many kinds of handheld machines work on batteries that rarely come in with the kit, you need to discover the type of batteries used.
Inserting the batteries in the battery compartment is the first step in using the machine.
We will tell you straight away that this type of machine mainly uses AA batteries.
Some models will need a single battery and some four of them.
Step 2: Set up the bobbin
The bobbin (used to hold in the thread) is made of plastic or wood and is cylindrical.
Typically, a traditional machine uses two threads—one comes from the needle and one from the bobbin. Here, only the bobbin provides the thread.
Now, what happens:
“First, the bobbin holder is pulled off and the spring beneath it. Then the spring is positioned over the whole to place the bobbin holder. After this, the bobbin holder is shifted, and then the bobbin is placed in its position.”
—Sew Care reports.
Image source: She Likes to Sew
Step 3: The threading process
Step 4: Sewing of fabric
Step 5: Securing the stitches
Watch “How to Operate a Handheld Sewing Machine – Tutorial” by Easy Sewing for Beginners.
You can also read How to Thread a Handheld Sewing Machine” in this article by Sewing Machine Buffs.
A handheld sewing machine has loads of benefits that we didn’t mention before:
- It starts stitching quickly,
- You can stitch from anywhere,
- It’s an inexpensive tool,
- It’s easy to use,
- There’s no restriction on the type of fabric—just pick the right model,
- It’s quiet;
For a handheld sewing machine repair, refer to the retailer.
Image source: Pinterest
By the way, is there anything such as a heavy-duty handheld sewing machine?
We believe that the Hanchen Mini Bag Closing Machine found on Amazon can respond to this can refer to this notion.
It functions as a packaging tool, as it’s excellent for closing bags in the industry context.
We use it for sealing:
- express bag,
- burlap bag,
- PP woven bag,
- leather compound bag,
- kraft paper bag, etc.
Its destinations are:
- warehouses in agriculture,
- express logistic,
- and other industries.
Also, it cannot:
- be used as a household sewer,
- sew clothes, zippers, buttons, quilts, etc.
Yet, its structural and functional side has too many similarities to our handheld sewing machine to overlook this cousin.
Image source: The Finest Thread