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Last Updated: January 6, 2020

Best Handheld Sewing Machine

A good handheld sewing machine is hard to come by. Why?

Because the technology is inherently touchy. To make something function at such a small scale is incredibly difficult.

But, a hand held sewing machine can offer us a lot.

As far as functionality is concerned, a hand sewing machine does a lot of things that a bigger machine can’t. A regular sewing machine can’t maneuver the same way a handheld sewing machine. And you certainly can’t pick one up the same way.

If you want to be able to carry your machine and be on the go with your sewing, hand machine sewing is the only way to go about it. Finding the right machine for you can be difficult, but we’ve narrowed down the field for you. These are the best of the best.

 

Product Quick Compare

A photo of EG Emigoo Portable Sewing Machine against with wall

EG Emigoo Portable Sewing Machine

3.8/5

3.8 / 5

Magic Stitch Cordless Portable Sewing Machine

3.5/5

3.5 / 5

A photo of Sew Mighty Handheld Sewing Machine against white wall

Sew Mighty Handheld Sewing Machine

4.1/5

4.1 / 5

A photo of W-Dragon Handheld Sewing Machine against white wall

W-Dragon Handheld Sewing Machine

4.25/5

4.25 / 5

JIALN Portable Sewing Machine

4.75/5

4.75 / 5

A photo of EG Emigoo Portable Sewing Machine against with wall

1. EG Emigoo Portable Sewing Machine

Best handheld sewing machine for clothing
Our Rating: 3.8 / 5
Brand: EG Emigoo
Batteries Required: 4 x AA batteries or DC 6v Power Adapter
Model: Handheld

The EG Emigoo Portable Sewing Machine doesn’t stand out too far, but it has a few features that make it a great option for most sewers. It’s especially helpful for beginners, because of the included accessories. This machine includes a long-stick, a needle threader, a needle, 9 bobbins, 4 sewing clips, scissors, and measuring tape. The included instruction manual is comprehensive and good for beginners, making it easy to pick up this machine and quickly become proficient.

Another thing I love about this machine is the wide variety of fabrics that it can handle. Unsurprisingly, most lightweight machines can’t handle very many fabrics with ease. However, this machine can even cut through some of the heaviest materials on the market. The EG Emigoo can easily be used for sewing most clothing and linens, silk, wool, denim and leather.

Note that it won’t be able to handle full projects of these heavy materials, though. This machine is meant to be used mostly for repairing projects, not creating them. If you want to quickly fix a hole in a pair of jeans, this machine can handle it. If you want to craft a new pair, this machine isn’t going to be very useful.

Other, smaller features also make this a nice machine to have. A safety lock helps during threading to cut down on the number of mistakes you could be making. A simple and easy to use latch on the end of the machine carries batteries for you, and keeps them secure so they don’t shake out of the machine. The size is great, as well. The machine is .9 inches wide, 2.8 inches tall, and 8 inches in length. This is a little long, but allows the machine to fit easily into the palm of your hand.

Unfortunately, this machine has a critical flaw: it’s not very durable at all. The lightweight aspect of the machine carries throughout the design, meaning that it can break with even a little bit of force applied. Whether this comes during a difficult sewing job or while you’re carrying it somewhere, it’s always a disappointment. The needle is prone to getting stuck, as well, which can lead to frustration.

What I liked

  • Great assortment of accessories.
  • Handles a wide variety of fabrics.
  • Good size.

What I didn't like

  • Machine is prone to breaking.
  • Needle frequently gets stuck.

Editor's Rating: 3.8 / 5

3.8/5

2. Magic Stitch Cordless Portable Sewing Machine

Best handheld sewing machine for comfort
Our Rating: 3.5 / 5
Brand: Magic Stitch
Batteries Required: DC 6v, or AC adapter
Model: 1234567

If comfort is important for you, the Magic Stitch handheld is perfect for you. The machine is so comfortable to use, that some users even use it on clothes that they’re wearing for repairs. That degree of trust can be hard to find with smaller machines like this. Most people would bet on either messing up the stitching, or the machine becoming too difficult to use during that period.

The Magic Stitch is 8.9 long, 5.7 inches tall, and 2 inches wide. This is a little bit bigger than most other handheld sewing machines, but is a big part of what makes it so comfortable. The Magic Stitch adds a bit more weight and a bit more room to grab, allowing users to get a firm grasp of the entire machine and maneuver it however they’d like. The only thing that will get in your way with the Magic Stitch is wires. It’s often easier to power the Magic Stitch with batteries than with the included AC adapter, as wires make that easy maneuvering much less easy.

Other features of the machine add a layer of trust for most users, too. The machine comes with 3 spools of thread, an extra needle, a needle threader, and an extension spindle. The machine offers tension control with a knob on the front. This is a little out of place, but tension control is great to have while sewing. This allows greater control than other handhelds will have. The included user manual leaves a lot to be desired, but you should be able to figure out most everything on your own.

Stitching with this machine can be a little bit more complicated than we’d like it to be, though. The machines settings aren’t easy to change the way the would be on a regular sewing machine. That means you’ll often find yourself using settings that aren’t the best for the materials that you’re working with at the time. Beginners might want to look elsewhere because of this, as it adds a large degree of difficulty. Placement of the setting knobs that do exist is also a bit unwieldy, with many being difficult to get to while sewing.

 

What I liked

  • Very comfortable.
  • Size and bulk make for easy maneuvering.

What I didn't like

  • Poorly written manual.
  • Wires get in the way.
  • Lack of control for different types of fabric.

Editor's Rating: 3.5 / 5

3.5/5
A photo of Sew Mighty Handheld Sewing Machine against white wall

3. Sew Mighty Handheld Sewing Machine

Best handheld sewing machine for cheap
Our Rating: 4.1 / 5
Brand: Sew Mighty
Batteries Required: DC 6v
Model: Handheld

The Sew Mighty is an unorthodox looking machine. It’s black and pink exterior looks like something straight out of the early 2000s. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a pro or a con. What it certainly is, though, is a testament to what this machine is all about. This machine’s unorthodox design makes it very easy to use.

Stitching with this machine is very easy to control, as all of the important settings can be found directly on the side of the machine. A needle set-screw, fastening plate, thread tensioner, thread guides, thread bobbin, needle arm thumbwheel, and conveniently placed battery switch are all easy to get to even while sewing with the machine. This makes it simple to get to anything that you might need the moment that you know you need it. Many of these features add a refreshing stability that’s often lacking with handheld machines.

Bobbin winding and needle threading are also very easy with this machine. Both are left out in the open, making access much easier than other machines of it’s type. This allows you to seamlessly get into repair stitching, which is always nice. If you want to avoid the added frustration of having to spend 20 minutes preparing after a new hole has you flustered, this machine will come in handy.

The Sew Mighty is also great for kids, because it simplifies things as much as possible. A size of 9 inches long, 5.3 inches tall, and 2.2 inches wide makes it comfortable for children, too. The design is perfect for teaching your children how to sew, especially if you’re looking to get them started out on paper and other lightweight projects. Stitching with the machine isn’t overly difficult, so they should have no trouble getting through paper. It might not have the power for denim or leather, but it can handle curtains and even heavy cotton without much of an issue.

Where problems do begin to pop up for this machine is in it’s make, which is remarkably cheap. The machine will not be around for forever. If you’re a very conservative consumer, you might go ahead and buy two. However, given everything else about this machine, that isn’t a deal breaker for me. It won’t break so easily as to not be worth the money, and you’ll get a lot out of it before you have to move on.

 

What I liked

  • Great for kids.
  • Easy to control and offers options.
  • Quick, simple needle threading and bobbin winding.

What I didn't like

  • Cheap build makes it easy to break.

Editor's Rating: 4.1 / 5

4.1/5
A photo of W-Dragon Handheld Sewing Machine against white wall

4. W-Dragon Handheld Sewing Machine

Best machine for computerized sewing
Our Rating: 4.25 / 5
Brand: W-Dragon
Batteries Required: 4 AA
Model: Mini

W-Dragon puts a lot of focus into their handheld sewing machine, and it shows. If budget isn’t a factor, this is undoubtedly the best. (Unfortunately, that’s frequently an important factor here.) At 9.1 inches long, 3.2 inches tall, and 2 inches wide, the size of this machine is absolutely perfect for the average sewer. It’s also perfect for transportation. W-Dragon considers this machine “your emergency weapon.”

So, when that emergency pops up, what can this machine do?

First and foremost, it can take on any fabric that you throw at it. The W-Dragon can handle denim and leather in short bursts, especially when on a flat surface. Any fabric lighter than that needn’t move, as the W-Dragon can easily be used for stitching drapes, clothes, and most other around the house items. If you want versatility, the W-Dragon can also be used for full crafts with light materials. It even has the power to handle most full clothing sews with no issues. Spot repairs, by comparison, are no issue for this machine at all.

Another thing this machine can handle is a little bit of force. With it’s compact but heavy interior, this machine could withstand a lot of tumbling before it would become an issue. The needle might break if things were very rough, but needles are never tough enough for that. A sewing machine should be, though.

I love how easy to use this machine is, as well. Automatic movement is not an auto-include for handheld sewing machines, so it’s always nice to have. This adds power and consistency to the machine, which is what allows it to function at such a high level. The added convenience is something that most handheld machines entirely lack, and really makes this stand out among the competitions.

It would be very hard to find something about this machine that you don’t like. If you want me to go out of the way to criticize it, I’d say this: the tightening knob sometimes doesn’t have enough power to stay tight on a table. But this will never be a problem as long as you’re watching it do it’s thing.

 

What I liked

  • A lot of power for a small machine.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Feels comfortable; good size.

What I didn't like

  • Tightening knob can be a little bit loose.

Editor's Rating: 4.25 / 5

4.25/5

5. JIALN Portable Sewing Machine

Best handheld sewing machine for repairs and alterations
Our Rating: 4.75 / 5
Brand: JIALN
Batteries Required: 4 AA
Model: Handheld

One thing I value very highly is consistency, and that’s the name of the game for the JIALN handheld. While it might not be quite as powerful as the W-Dragon, you might not need all that power. Trading off for that, you get a machine that rarely leaves stitching uneven. At 8.8 inches long, 3.5 inches tall, and 2.1 inches wide, this machine has great size, as well.

This machine ships with 2 extra bobbins, a spindle, an extra needle, and a threader. The included manual is nothing special, but nothing to sneeze at either. The machine also ships with a bit of fabric that you can use as a test and to get familiar with the machine. Break it in at your own risk, though, as you might find yourself looking for excuses to use it more.

The machine runs very smoothly through all but heavy fabrics. It can handle heavy materials, but isn’t built for them. Instead, it’s built for constant, unwavering stitching through most common materials. You can easily use this machine for small projects like kerchiefs and pillowcases. Again, spot repairs are a breeze.

Threading the machine can be a bit of a pain, but JIALN offers some advice on how to make it easier. If you’re experienced, you shouldn’t have much issue. It simple requires a bit of dexterity.

Overall, there isn’t much to say about this machine. If you saw it on the rack at a store, you might not even notice it. It isn’t fancy. What it is, though, is a workhorse. And that’s an important factor for a handheld.

 

What I liked

  • Consistent, even stitching.
  • Very durable.
  • Smooth sewing experience.

What I didn't like

  • Threading can be difficult.
  • Not great for sewing heavy materials.

Editor's Rating: 4.75 / 5

4.75/5

Buyer's Guide

When looking for the best handheld sewing machine, there are three factors that you should consider: portability, efficiency, and comfort. If you aren’t able to easily take the machine with you, get the job done, and feel good about it afterward, it won’t be worth the money. Here’s what I look for in the best handheld sewing machines:

Portability

Obviously, you should be able to carry a handheld sewing machine without any issues. Most handhelds are easy to take with you given that they’re so small, but the more lightweight the better. You also need to consider durability here, as it’s easy for things to break while you’re on the go. Look for a solidly built, lightweight sewing machine for your handheld sewing needs.

Good questions to ask are: how long could I carry this before it would be an issue? And what would I trust to carry it? Can I put this in my purse, in a luggage bag, in a car seat, without having to worry about it? Your answer to those questions – your level of trust – might be different from other people’s, but you need to gauge what those answers are for you.

 

Efficiency

Handheld sewing machines are notorious for being better at being handheld than they are at sewing. Many machines will have issues with uneven sewing or a lack of control. Obviously when you’re repairing something, a lack of control isn’t going to be helpful. Features like a strong needle and a high SPM can go a long way in making a handheld sewing machine more useful. Consider how much you value speed versus how much you value consistency.

Some machines sacrifice a little evenness for speed, while others run a little slower during sewing but are less likely to make mistakes. If you want to use your handheld sewing machine for projects by itself, then the speed might be helpful. For simple repairs, though, we value consistency much higher.

Comfort

Finally, you’ll want to consider comfort. The best handheld sewing machines on the market will easily fit into the palm of your hand, with some being so lightweight that they don’t even feel like a burden. A lower tier handheld sewing machine can be painful and difficult to use, often being difficult to use over long periods. Granted you won’t be using these machines for very long in most cases, but you should always look to avoid cramps.

Comfort is also important when it comes to using the machine. Users of a sewing machine get comfortable with most machines quickly, as the skills translate between machines. A handheld sewing machine is a very different experience, though. The perfect sewing machine shouldn’t feel very different when you’re using it in your hand. Features should be easy to access and use, with the design being very straightforward.

 

FAQ:

Mini sewing machines are known as “repair machines.” They are mostly used for repairing stitching on other projects. However, handheld sewing machines can also handle some small projects on their own.

Yes, a hand held sewing machine is a mini sewing machine, meant for

Most portable sewing machines are powered by batteries. You can usually find the batteries required in the manual of the machine.

The verdict

Handheld sewing needs to be convenient and effecient above all else. You shouldn’t be using a handheld for all your sewing needs. Instead, it should handle repairs and quick stitching. That’s why we love the JIALN so much. Consistency, quality, and portablility are the key factors for a good handheld sewing machine.