Imagine a sewing machine, no bigger than a large staple gun, that fits perfectly in your luggage, your handbag, and even fits right in your hand. A sewing machine so compact that it can be transported anywhere, anytime, ready for any simple sewing job. That’s what modern technology has made possible with most major sewing machine brands introducing their own portable handheld sewing machines. Readily available in both online and offline stores, handheld sewing machines have made sewing easier and more practical.
These nifty tools still don’t do everything that a full-on sewing machine can, but it is very useful for mending or small jobs on the spot. From quick fixing sudden wardrobe glitches to altering lengths of your pants, from fixing that wonky shirt button just before your date or an important meeting to spot-fixing curtains without removing them from the rods. This pocket-size monster is very versatile and functional.
- 1 Comparison Table
- 2 The Best Handheld Sewing Machines Reviewed
- 2.1 1. SINGER 01163 Handheld Sewing Machine
- 2.2 2. MICHLEY LSS-202
- 2.3 3. Sunbeam Portable Cordless
- 2.4 4. SINGER 01664 Stitch Sew Quick
- 2.5 5. KPCB Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
- 2.6 Buyers Guide
- 2.7 FAQ
- 2.8 Final Verdict
Handheld sewing machines are great for any simple repair job or basic sewing requirements. We’ve put this review together to guide you towards the right handheld sewing machine for your sewing needs. With various models being introduced recently in the market, you might want to check our top five handheld sewing machines. While reviewing the best handheld sewing machines for 2020 the important factors that aided our selection include dimensions, weight, power sources, and warranty.
The Best Handheld Sewing Machines Reviewed
1. SINGER 01163 Handheld Sewing Machine
The first handheld sewing machine on our list has the brand backing of SINGER. The 01163 is expected to match high-quality standards in terms of both build and performance. Smartly designed the 01163 is very compact and portable and runs on both electricity or 4 AA sized batteries.
The highlights of this ultra-lightweight machine are its sewing efficiency at higher speeds and its powerful motor. It has been found to work smoothly on fabrics like wool, cotton, silk, leather, and denim, and is best suited for fast repairs and quick mending assignments.
Despite a few negative customer reviews, mostly arising from unreasonable expectations of handheld machines, according to sewing veterans, the SINGER 01163 is one of the best handheld sewing machines for 2020.
The SINGER 01163 is both compact and portable and is ideal for all kinds of small mending jobs and small sewing projects. If you are looking for a handheld sewing machine that is great to take on holiday and for little repairs around the house like curtain hems you cannot go wrong with SINGER.
The machine comes with needles, a threaded spindle, bobbins as well as a needle threader. Although it works on heavier fabrics like wool and denim, we recommend sticking to lighter fabrics as that’s the area of expertise of these machines.
Instructions given in the manual make it easy to fix beddings, curtains, and other household items. It runs on electricity for which you’ll need to buy a power cord separately. It’s mainly powered by four AA batteries which are not included in the package. What you get is a powerful cordless device that’s easily portable with a built-in power switch for safety. Although not an all-purpose portable sewing machine for larger sewing projects, the SINGER 01163 is for on-the-spot repairs only.
What We Like About SINGER 01163 Handheld Sewing Machine
Pocket-friendly, both in terms of budget and portability, we like how lightweight it is. The 01163 is a very efficient handheld sewing machine that doesn’t compromise on any of the basic tasks that a handheld machine is required to perform. This is a great handheld option for the seamstresses.
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What We Don’t Like About SINGER 01163 Handheld Sewing Machine
A few users noticed that the seams and stitches were of low quality as compared to the other sewing machines.
- Easy to use
- Free accessories
- Ideal for DIY lovers and beginners
- Two power options
- Not the greatest stitch quality
- Not suitable for large projects
2. MICHLEY LSS-202
The MICHLEY LSS-202 handheld sewing machine is an example of great engineering. Compact and light enough to be carried under your shoulders, this allows you to sew all the basic techniques. Not as big as a regular sewing machine and light enough to be kept on your lap while working, it is a perfect choice for new seamstresses and children taking their first steps in the world of sewing.
The LSS-202 Lil’ Sew and Sew Mini by MICHLEY features a 2-speed motor, a 2-thread lockstitch, an auto bobbin winder, and a top drop-in bobbin system. It also includes a needle, a foot pedal, 4 bobbins, and a threader. The LSS-202 includes a 42-piece sewing kit, a pair of electric scissors, and a threading bag that will allow you to carry out all your basic projects with ultimate ease.
This is easily the best handheld sewing device for beginners because of the top drop-in bobbin system. Capable of sewing any fabric, from silk to denim it offers perfect stitch control and double thread. It is powered by 2AA batteries and you can use the foot pedal or hand switch to start. It’s also one of the most budget-friendly machines in the market.
What We Like About MICHLEY LSS-202
Customers love how it efficiently completes small projects without any fuss. We also like all the necessary features on this which delivers basic sewing processes.
What We Don’t Like About MICHLEY LSS-202
Seasoned seamstresses found it lacking features that would help them to create intricate designs. Also, customers found the motor of this machine to be quite noisy and disturbing.
- Top drop-in bobbin system
- Free accessories
- Two-thread lockstitch
- Automatic bobbin winder
- No reverse stitch
- Difficult to learn how to use
3. Sunbeam Portable Cordless
Another one of the popular brands, Sunbeam’s handheld sewing machine has almost all the functionalities and features of its costlier competition. It is ultralightweight, easily portable, and is available in two color options; a red and white combination, and a black and white option.
As with all handheld sewing machines, this is recommended only for sewing light fabrics and for mending and small sewing repairs.
This cordless, compact sewing machine is one of Sunbeam’s best products that are perfect for basic tasks. The cheapest machine on our list, the Sunbeam handheld sewing machine is ideal for newbies and frequent travelers. This sewing machine is powerful and perfect for sewing quick fixes. It works great for quick repairs like trouser hems, curtains and drapes, untimely holes and rips, and also ideal for arts and crafts projects which require basic sewing and stitching. You can easily use this machine with a variety of fabrics such as denim, cotton, silk, nylon, and polyester.
The Sunbeam cordless handheld sewing device is powered by four AA batteries or electricity with an adapter, both of which need to be bought separately. This is quite a versatile pocket-friendly handheld sewing device perfect for basic sewing and repairs.
What We Like About Sunbeam Portable Cordless
Users found it perfect for stitching in difficult to reach areas thanks to its compact size. They were also pleasantly surprised by the power generated by this machine even on battery power. Both beginner and master sewers found this to be a good handheld sewing machine.
What We Don’t Like About Sunbeam Portable Cordless
Some customers were not satisfied with the stitch quality on heavier fabrics.
- Ideal for beginners and children
- Batteries/adaptor not included
- Not good for professionals
4. SINGER 01664 Stitch Sew Quick
The SINGER 01664 is one of the more heavy-duty handheld sewing machines in the niche. Known for its exceptional build quality, it is a 2-thread repairing machine that is very portable. A great option for quick repairs, it is also extremely easy to maneuver when working a straight stitch. Featuring an automatic threading function which makes it an efficient machine, it also has 2-way speed control and doesn’t require a cord to work. The 01664 comes with several handy accessories that increase its appeal to the seamstresses.
Another great tool from Swinger, the 01664 fits easily in your hand and can repair curtains, clothes, bedding, and beyond. It is a two-thread repairing machine that is easy to maneuver for straight stitches. You get 2-way speed control with this machine which helps you with a wide range of repair requirements. The SINGER 01664 has an automatic winding function and includes accessories like bobbins, needles, threads, and thread spindles which are a bonus for sewers.
SINGER has been the industry leader in sewing machines and it shows in the engineering of this machine. Sturdily built without being too bulky it makes light work of repairing clothes. The 01164 is compact enough to easily fit in your purse. This handheld sewing machine operates on 4 AA batteries or with a DC/AC adapter. As with all other handheld sewing machines, you will need to buy the batteries and adapters separately.
What We Like About SINGER 01664 Stitch Sew Quick
Users love how easy it is to add a new thread to the spool. It is durable and is capable of stitching many fabrics including leather, cotton, and silk. The instruction manual is very easy to follow and accessories that come along with the machine make this handheld machine a delight to use.
What We Don’t Like About SINGER 01664 Stitch Sew Quick
Many users faced jamming issues while working on different fabrics with this machine. Also, some complained about the low quality of the stitches included.
- Sturdy build
- Easy to control
- Dual speeds
- Automatic winding mechanism
- Lacks consistency
- Doesn’t handle heavy fabrics
5. KPCB Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
The KPCB mini handheld sewing machine is a basic sewing machine with an exquisite design that delivers straight line stitching. Designed for simple sewing and handling some small stuff this machine has a thread cutter and a built-in lamp.
This mini sewing machine is suitable for young children and is perfectly suited for sewing fabrics such as soft jeans, denim, hard silk, cotton, linen, and hard wool. If you are in the market for a small handheld sewing machine that runs on a battery or an adapter power supply, this KPCB is the right choice for you
KPCB’s handheld sewing machine has also been used in making and repairing soft fabric items such as shopping bags, curtains, coin purses, aprons, and so on. We strongly recommend changing the needle based on the thickness or hardness of the fabric.
A highly affordable sewing machine this one comes with upgraded environmental material, which makes it highly durable and economical in the long run. The KPCB handheld sewing machine is equipped with a built-in lamp and a thread cutter and also features an extension table that will make your sewing stable and smooth.
You get a cuff slot with this machine that makes sewing pants and sleeves convenient. The foot pedal gives you 2-way speed control over your sewing speed. Featuring a built-in winding pole and spool that makes the rewinding and replacement of the bobbins super easy whenever you switch on this handheld machine.
The KPCB sewing machine is battery operated for outdoor use and has high safety standards as the adapter comes authenticated by UL/ETL/CE. This is backed by a 3-month guarantee.
What We Like About KPCB Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
Users like the KPCB for its features like the automatic bobbin rewinding and the foot pedal operation. The large extension table and the upgraded environmental material used are a bonus.
What We Don’t Like About KPCB Mini Handheld Sewing Machine
Some customers were unsatisfied with their work on heavier fabrics.
- Built-in thread cutter
- Built-in lamp
- Suitable for a variety of fabrics
- The needle doesn’t pick up the lower thread
There are certain things that you should consider when you set out into the market to buy a handheld sewing machine. Although a handheld sewing machine may make life easier they are not always necessarily cheap. So, your purchase decision needs to be a measured one. We list a few of the factors you may want to consider before settling on one best suited for you.
An important prerequisite for a handheld sewing machine, it should be portable. Lightweight and compact, a good handheld sewing machine is one that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. You should check the dimensions of the machine and its weight to determine how easily you’ll be able to carry it around in your time of need.
If you’re a frequent traveler and you require a machine to make quick repairs on the fly, then you can look for a model that is possible to store easily and can be slipped into your bag or suitcase.
A handheld machine with an ergonomic grip will function properly and provide comfort while working. It also helps to maintain stability and delivers better stitches. This will allow you to work on hems and sleeves without extra support.
If you are looking for a handheld, portable sewing machine, it needs to work on a battery. Most handheld sewing machines require four AA batteries, which are usually not included with the machine. They also can be operated with an AC adapter but that limits your portability and movement.
Although its functionality doesn’t match regular sewing machines one still expects a handheld sewing machine to stitch a variety of different fabrics. We’ve featured some machines on our list that are compatible with all kinds of fabric, like wool, silk, leather, denim, cotton, and more. Having said that these machines are designed and built for use on only thinner and lightweight fabrics.
The best handheld sewing includes various equipment and materials like bobbin, threads, thread spindle, needles, scissors, measuring tape, practicing fabric, etc. These are some of the accessories a good handheld sewing machine should offer. The idea is to provide you with all that you need without having to venture out to the market for the most basic of functions.
The design is crucial to any handheld mini sewing machine as it needs to be user-friendly. A good machine needs to have design elements that do a neat and thorough job. Some of the sewing machines on our list have a flat edge that allows you to place the fabric on it evenly. A few also have a fastening plate that allows you to hold the fabric in place while you are stitching.
Since it’s quite a compact machine you should consider the build of any handheld sewing machine. This will give you a fair sense of its reliability and durability. Choosing trusted brands that are known for manufacturing good quality durable products is what we recommend. Machines with metal bodies should be preferred over ones with plastic exteriors.
Ease of Use
You’re not going to use a handheld sewing machine for a big project. So, it is important to consider if a particular handheld sewing machine can do the basics well. Some models come with complicated and difficult to understand functions that diminish usability and efficiency. It is advisable to choose a machine that will help you do your sewing repairs easily and on time.
We’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions about handheld sewing machines, for people who are setting out to buy handheld sewing machines. This is not a comprehensive list but we do cover some of the most basic questions.
Q: How Does the Machine Work?
A; Since a handheld machine’s USP is its portability, therefore it needs AA batteries for it to sew stitches or fabrics. Most handheld sewing machines are also compatible with a power or AC adapter. Both the battery (AA) and the power/AC adapter needs to be purchased separately.
Q: What Fabric Can It Stitch?
A: A handheld mini sewing machine works great with lighter fabrics such as cotton, denim, wool, leather, etc. Built for emergencies you won’t be able to stitch complete outfits with one. The sewing thickness standard for most handheld sewing machines is 1.8 mm.
Q: What Accessories Does It Come With?
A: A good standard handheld mini sewing machine should include a variety of equipment, materials, and add-ons. The common things offered by most manufacturers of handheld machines include bobbin threads, thread spindle, needles, scissors, measuring tape, practicing fabric, and most importantly, an instruction manual.
Q: Is It Child-Friendly?
A: Not all handheld sewing machines are best for children and will require a learning curve. Some may be useful for children but may require adult supervision. A couple of machines on our list are handheld machines that your child can complete their whole summer project without requiring any adult supervision.
Q: When can you use a handheld sewing machine?
There are many instances where carrying a portable handheld sewing machine is an apt choice. Used to quickly fix small sewing problems they can be easily carried, kept in the car, or in the office to mend your problems in a jiffy. It’s a highly useful tool in the case of wardrobe emergencies like a torn pant or shirt.
Q: How costly are handheld sewing machines?
A: Handheld sewing machines of different brands have a wide range of prices. There are handheld sewing machines for as little as $30 and some brands with machines that cost between $100 – $200. A travel-friendly machine shouldn’t cost you more than $10-$20. Do keep in mind that with the difference in price points come variations in performance and endurance.
Q: How quickly can a handheld sewing machine sew?
A: While not as quick as conventional sewing machines, handheld sewing machines also pack a punch and some are pretty quick. They pack enough power to get you through your repairs quickly and easily.
Q: Can it sew on patches?
A: One of the outstanding features of handheld sewing machines is their ability to sew on patches without you needing to remove the clothes.
Q: Is it suitable for jeans?
A: This question is tough to answer as different handheld sewing machines come with different capabilities. You will get satisfactory denim sewing with some of the handheld machines but be advised that most of them often struggle when used for thicker denim. So if you’re looking to do denim heavy mending you might want to use your machine for only softer jeans or denim or choose a heavy-duty machine accordingly.
Here’s our rundown of the top handheld sewing machines. We’ve mentioned and compared some of the features and functionalities to gain some clarity into this modern technological marvel. A handheld sewing machine is truly a brilliant piece of engineering. Bringing together portability, ease of use, and pocket-friendly prices, handheld sewing machines are a must-have tool in every sewer’s arsenal.
Specially designed to make mending and minor repairs easy, these machines cover the sewing basics comprehensively. Offering a broad range of functionalities, ranging from repair work on light fabrics to hems and sleeves and even some heavy-duty mending on denim and curtains, you can get a lot out of a good handheld sewing machine. This is also a blessing in disguise for frequent travelers and helps them get out of a wardrobe jam quickly and in style.
We’ve carefully considered some of the best brands in the market and their flagship handheld models, based on key factors which make for great handheld sewing machines.
If we were to recommend one, it would be the SINGER 01164 handheld sewing machine. First, it comes from the stable of SINGER, one of the most famous and leading names of the sewing world. Second, it’s a versatile handheld sewing machine that has some excellent features to help you successfully undertake all of your repair and mending projects. Third, it’s one of the sturdiest handheld sewing machines on the market and finally, for all the features that are packed into it, the SINGER 01164 sewing machine does not burn a hole in your pocket.
However, all the other handheld sewing machines are built to easily cater to a wide range of needs and all budget sizes. So, you can always make a choice and get the best one for yourself.
We hope our list of the best handheld sewing machines, put together after thorough research helps you make a great decision for yourself. Do take a look at the buying guide and make a smart decision before you buy one.
So, carefully weigh the pros and cons of the machines and pick the best one based on your requirements and budget.