What You Need to Know about a Hand-Held Sewing Machine

The handheld sewing machine is made for emergency clothing repair situations. If you don’t like repairing tears or ripped out stitches manually, this tool is for you. It’s a sewing machine small enough to be held in the palm of your hand for quick sewing needs. These typically look like large staplers.

Obviously, its best feature is portability. You can easily pack it in your bag or suitcase while you are travelling or away on an outing. Its lightweight build also makes it versatile and easy to handle while sewing mid-air. Most models are battery-powered so it’s a great plus if you had a dress emergency in a place with no power outlet near you. They are also relatively inexpensive compared with regular sewing machines that need a space of their own.

Handheld sewing machines are great for on-the-spot repairs. You can use it to mend torn pockets without having to remove your pants, stitch back buttons that dropped off, shorten slacks, repair loose inches in a seam and sew curtains while on the rod. It’s perfect for basic sewing projects like making your own handkerchiefs or pillowcases, or small hobby crafts and decorations.

However, if you would check sewing machine reviews, you would probably see a lot of negativity regarding portable sewing machines, mostly because users expect too much from them. For the small size and low price, clearly there will be a bunch of limitations.

Bear this in mind: handheld sewing machines cannot replace your regular sewing machine. Even the best sewing machines of such kind could not match the capabilities and the quality of stitches the traditional ones can bring, needless to say. So, if you want to sew a T-shirt of your own, please do not depend on handheld machines.


They cannot always give you stable, firm and straight stitches, especially if your hands are too shaky. And because you won’t be able to use it above a hard, flat surface, the tension you would put into sewing could be uneven. It might result in awkward stitches that are less durable than what a regular machine can do.

Another thing is that handheld sewing machines will not finish off the stitch for you. You will have to cut off the thread and tie off the stitches manually.

Also, because they are cheap, they are not so durable. Needles can break easily, especially if you are not careful. Avoid using it with tough types of fabrics like denim or canvas unless you’re using one of the sturdiest units. It might damage your clothing as well.

Overall, handheld sewing machines are modest and convenient, despite the limitations. As we imply again — they should not be a replacement to your conventional sewing machine. However, these little guys can make a great addition to your sewing arsenal. If you’re planning to get a hand-held sewing machine, it’s best to choose one from the top rated sewing machines of this type for you to experience it first-hand.