Best Handheld Sewing Machine: In-Depth Buyer's Guide

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When you think of sewing machines, you probably think of the big, clunky heavy duty machine your grandmother used. It takes up too much space to be left out all the time but is too heavy to be lugged from place to place. But sewing by hand is slow and can end up uneven. If you want the quick and even job of the best sewing machine without all the weight and size, you should consider a mini handheld sewing machine.

Best Sewing Machines

Summary

Editor's Choice

MICHLEY LSS-202

MICHLEY LSS-202

Designed to work as a regular sewing machine at a fraction of the cost. Also designed to include several features for easy use.

Handy Stitch Mini Handheld Sewing Machine

Handy Stitch Handheld Sewing Machine

This convenient little machine comes with everything you need to get sewing, except the thread. It also comes with a lifetime warranty and can be a good option to replace a heavy duty sewing machine on the go.

AGM Sewing Machine

AGM Portable Sewing Machine

This sewing machine has a lot of excellent features like LED lights and hidden storage. It also has 12 different stitches built in.

Catpalm Sewing Machine

Catpalm Portable Sewing Machine

The Catpalm portable sewing machine works for a wide range of materials and is great for beginners and pros. Also perfect for traveling.

Meteralla Mini Handheld Sewing Machine

Meteralla Handheld Sewing Machine

This sewing machines sleek and straightforward design that works for a wide range of projects. You can also choose between the battery and cord power.

UODOO Mini Handheld Sewing Machine

UODOO Handheld Sewing Machine

This mini handheld sewing machine works on a wide range of materials and projects. Is also perfect for beginners.

MSDADA Handheld Sewing Machine

MSDADA Handheld Sewing Machine

Great for introducing your children to sewing and crafting. Only works on certain materials and can't be used for thick fabrics.

MICHLEY LSS-202

MICHLEY LSS-202

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Built-in accessories like thread cutter
  • Three-month warranty

Cons:

  • Not designed for thicker materials

More About The MICHLEY LSS-202

The Michley LSS-202 is a mini sewing machine that weighs less than five pounds and is designed to be both cute, efficient, and excel at even some heavy duty jobs. The buttons are easy to find and operate, and there is built-in storage for the smaller bits and bobs you may need. You get not only the machine itself, but a foot pedal, 2 different needles, four bobbins, and a needle threader. 

You also get some nice additional features like a built-in thread cutter, light, and the ability to choose between two speeds. This makes it a great option for beginners, casual sewers, or just a spare, considering how affordable it is. It is also a fantastic gift option and comes with a warranty of three months of satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

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Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

Pros:

  • Can run on batteries or power cord
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Works for a wide range of materials

Cons:

  • The charger is not included

More About The Handy Stitch Handheld Sewing Machine

If you want a truly handheld sewing machine that is straightforward and easy to use, then this handheld sewing machine is a fantastic option. It sews quickly in a perfectly straight line as you hold it, which means you move the sewing machine rather than the material. 

This makes it ideal for any type of project. You not only get the sewing machine itself but nine separate bobbins, a pair of scissors, one needle, one threader, a long stick, and a measuring tape. Simply grab your favorite thread and start sewing.

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Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

Pros:

  • Capable of twelve different stitches
  • Comes with great features and accessories
  • Easy to use and ideal for beginners

Cons:

  • Could be more durable

More About The AGM Sewing Machine

For a machine that weighs just over five pounds, the AGM portable sewing machine is filled with features. Designed to give you everything you may need, in a small package, you can enjoy a thread cutter, LED light, hidden drawer, and a ruler on the side of the machine.

You can also choose between 12 different stitches and even change the spacing on your stitches to fit your needs. It can be charged by batteries or a cord depending or your preference.

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Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

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Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners or pros
  • Great for most materials
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • No charger or batteries included

More About The Catpalm Portable Sewing Machine

The Catpalm portable sewing machine is unique among sewing machines because it is designed for anyone to use. This means that if you are looking to introduce your children to sewing and crafting you can do that with this sewing machine without worrying about it being too bulky or dangerous. 

The portability and design make it perfect for beginners and pros, without sacrificing on quality. The compact design fits right in your purse and is ideal for on the go alterations or accidental rips. There is also a 60-day money-back guarantee if there are any issues.

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Pros:

  • Perfect for a wide range of projects
  • Battery or cord powered
  • Sleek and simple design

Cons:

  • Only single stitch sewing

More About The Meteralla Handheld Sewing Machine

The Meteralla handheld sewing machine looks more like a stapler than a sewing machine but can easily make quick work of a wide variety of projects. You can either have it sitting on your table as you feed the material through or hold it in your hand as you move along the material. This allows you to not only take on a plethora of projects but do alterations and fixes without having to take them from their spot.

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Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

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Pros:

  • Works with batteries or charger
  • Works with a wide range of materials
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • Charger not included

More About The UODOO Handheld Sewing Machine

The UODOO handheld sewing machine is perfect for beginners who have little to no experience. The low cost and straightforward design make it easy to use and easy to test out different crafting projects. It works for a wide range of materials and can be handheld or set on a table as you work.

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Unilive Handy Electric Tailor Stitch

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Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great for all ages, including kids
  • Battery-powered

Cons:

  • Won’t work on certain materials

More About The MSDADA Handheld Sewing Machine

If you want to introduce your children to the art of sewing, then this is a great machine to start them on. It comes with a lifetime warranty and can be used as a handheld or table sewing machine.

This easy to use, extremely cheap and effective little sewing machine is a great choice if you're looking for the security of a lifetime warranty, want something simple, and want something that can get the job done on the go.

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Benefits of a Handheld Mini Sewing Machine

A handheld sewing machine can be an indispensable tool for the home sewer. It’s a small sewing machine which looks very much like a stapler. They can be held comfortably and easily in your hand. 

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of hand sewing on a button or repairing a loose hem with a standard sewing machine, these mini powerhouses are perfect for small sewing jobs or quick repairs. 

There are many benefits to using a handheld sewing machine.  Let’s look at a few pros and cons.

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Pros

Affordability

A top of the line standard sewing machine can easily top four figures, while you can purchase a handheld machine for less than thirty dollars. This makes it perfect for someone who doesn’t sew very often or doesn't need a heavy-duty machine. 

Portable and Requires no Electric

One of the best features is its portability. You can take one virtually anywhere. They’re lightweight and fit easily into a suitcase. They’re so useful if you just want to put in a stitch or two while watching your son’s soccer game or sitting on the porch. They can be taken along on vacation since they’re conveniently self-contained and require no electricity. 

Unlike a bulky standard sewing machine, they don't have to be near a power source. Drop-in batteries and you're good to go. 

This is the perfect option for college students or someone who doesn't have the room for a bulky, standard-sized sewing machine.

Versatile and Efficient

What makes a handheld sewing machine so great is the versatilityWith a standard machine, you're tied down, but the handheld can go to the project. Do sagging drapes need a hem? The handheld can repair them without taking them off the rods. A child lost a patch off their pants right before school? Repair them without taking the pants off the child!

A handheld sewing machine can also handle a variety of fabrics- cotton, polyester, silk.

Cons

Cheaper Quality/Stitch Quality

While the low cost of a handheld machine can be a plus, it’s also a minus. The sewing machines are made cheaply and are subject to breaking down.  Simply put, don’t expect the same quality as a standard sewing machine. 

The stitches are not the same quality as a regular sewing machine. There’s not enough power in these handheld sewing machines to produce sturdy, quality stitches with even tension. While they are handy for repairs, don’t expect a perfect seam every time. The handheld sewing machines also don’t work well on heavier fabrics such as leather or denim.

Ease of Use

It might seem a handheld machine would be simple to use but that's far from the fact. There's a learning curve and steps must be followed to ensure a good, even stitch. With practice, they can be a handy tool but don't expect perfection right out of the box.

Stability  

A standard sewing machine is usually larger and more stable. They don’t jump around or move.

A handheld sewing machine, held in the hand, does move around which affects the stitch quality.

What to Consider When Buying

There are many brands and types of handheld sewing machines on the market. It’s hard to know where to begin.  Let’s look at some features to consider when buying.

Portability

If you truly want a portable handheld model, chose wisely. Many brands of these machines come with added features such as extension tables, which makes them almost like a small, standard machine. If you want the versatility of being able to take the handheld along, opt for the ones shaped like a stapler, not a mini-sewing machine or child’s sewing machine.

Look for a cordless handheld that is portable and lightweight. A handy power adapter can be a great feature to charge your machine or give you the option to use electricity when available.

Needle Quality

The best quality stitches are made with the best needles. Look for a model with good needles. Weak needles make poor stitches. Also- the better models come with a needle threader and/or a thread cutter. Both are excellent features to have.

Precision and Proper Grip

Some questions to ask when buying a handheld sewing machine include how precise are the stitches? Does it have a proper grip? How easy is the machine to hold in your hand? Does it feel comfortable if you have to sew a hem? Both can make a difference in the quality of the stitches and your finished project. If your hand cramps while trying to sew, you won’t get a straight, even seam.

Brand Name or Not?

Does it matter if you buy a brand name handheld sewing machine or a generic version? Yes and no.  If you just want something cheap to do a minor repair once in a while, don’t invest in a more costly model. However, if you want the handheld sewing machine to last and sew precise stitches, go for the brand name. 

The adage, you get what you pay for, is true with handheld sewing machines. Read handheld sewing machine reviews to see what features and added tools come with each brand.

Ways to Use a Handheld Sewing Machine

There are many ways to use a handheld sewing machine and put its portability to full use. Some of these scenarios where a cordless handheld machine comes in handy are:

  • Quick repairs needed on the go 
  • A small patch to replace before school.
  • A hem coming loose a few minutes before a business meeting
  • Repair loose threads in a curtain without the hassle of taking it off the rod
  • Make your pants smaller by stitching the extra fabric inwards instead of trimming
  • Fix patches of your clothing that have torn without having to remove it

In all these daily scenarios, pull out the handheld sewing machine and make a fast, on the spot repair. Household chores are made easier with a handheld sewing machine.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to buying a handheld sewing machine.  If you want something simple to use, portable and convenient, they’re a great buy.  If you want more stability and better-quality stitches, then a standard sewing machine is the better choice.

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