Summary of Portable Sewing Machines
Portable sewing machines are very useful for people who take their sewing machines with them when they travel for one reason or another such as sewing at an event, taking classes, and other reasons. Portable sewing machines are designed to be smaller and super light so they are easy to carry around.
The four top rated portable sewing machines we have featured above are all compact, lightweight, and perfect for sewing on the go. They are manufactured by reputable companies that are known for quality and offer features that allow you to get the jobs done that you need to even while taking them on the road with you.
If you would like to learn more about how to choose a good, quality portable sewing machine read the buying guide below. This buying guide contains information on what to look for, important features, and the benefits and drawbacks that portable sewing machines have.
Once you have read this buying guide you will be armed with the knowledge you need to sort through all of the different choices on the market and eliminate the ones that won’t work for your needs. The most important factor in choosing the right portable sewing machine is understanding what the differences are and what to look for to ensure a good purchase. This buying guide will provide that.
Portable Sewing Machine Buying Guide
- Portable Sewing Machine Reviews
- Best Portable Sewing Machine Overall
- Best Budget Portable Sewing Machine
- Best Portable Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
- Best Mini Sewing Machine
- Summary of Portable Sewing Machines
- Portable Sewing Machine Buying Guide
Traditional style sewing machines can be very heavy and bulky so they stay in one place when you are sewing. With a regular sewing machine, you will more than likely put it in one place and keep it there because they are not easy to move around.
A portable sewing machine is very different than its traditional counterparts. They are specifically designed to be lightweight and very easy to move so you can take them with you wherever you go. Portable doesn’t mean inferior, especially with today’s modern portable models. Many have auto thread winders, multiple stitch options, speed options and a host of other features as well.
Even though they are small, many of the portable sewing machines on the market offer a lot of the features that traditional machines do. You can find portables with multiple speed options, multi-stitch options, auto-threaders and even free arms that make clothes making easier and faster. They weigh much less than traditional sewing machines do as well making them excellent choices for younger sewers to handle and move around.
Portable Sewing Machine Benefits and Drawbacks
There are many great qualities and benefits that purchasing a portable sewing machine offers. We have listed the main benefits below.
- The main benefit you will find with a portable sewing machine is that you can take it anywhere you want to go. This allows you to work on projects away from home on vacation, when traveling, at a live event, a trade show and a number of other situations. Because of their portability, you will not have to lug around heavy machines.
- Another popular benefit to portable machines is that they cost a lot less than the full-size models. A full size sewing machine can cost well into the mid hundreds or more depending on what brand it is and the features offered. You can get a good portable machine for 100-200 dollars and it will have a lot of great features. Depending on your needs you can find some for under 100 dollars as well and there are handheld models that are as low as 40-50 dollars.
- Portable sewing machines are smaller than the full-size models which mean they have better technology to achieve the same objectives. This usually means that the learning curve to using them is much easier as well. This is one reason that many beginners start with a portable sewing machine even if they don’t plan on traveling with it.
- Portable machines can be set up very quickly. Depending on the model, some can be set up in minutes. This makes them perfect for quick repair jobs on the fly or for spur of the moment sewing that you may want to do.
For the most part, portable sewing machines are really terrific but there are a few drawbacks to purchasing one that we have listed below for your consideration.
- You will not have as many stitch choices with a portable that you can have with a full sized sewing machine. Some models may offer a small handful of basic stitches but it is unlikely that you will find any that offer decorative stitches or the variety that you can find with many traditional machines.
- Because they are much smaller than regular sewing machines, portables are not very good for sewing larger items like long dresses or thick curtains. These types of projects will be best suited for a large machine that is equipped to handle their longer and larger size.
- To make them light enough to be considered portable, most portable sewing machines are made from plastic materials. This unfortunately, makes them less durable than regular machines and it is likely that they will not be strong enough to handle specialty fabrics like denim, corduroy, and leather.
Who Should Buy a Portable Sewing Machine?
There are certain types of sewers that a portable machine is best suited for. We will go over the types of people that portables tend to work very well with so you can take a look at your own needs and see if a portable is a good choice for you.
- If you do not do a lot of sewing, a portable is a great choice for you because it will be stored until you need it. They are the perfect machine to handle the occasional repair or button replacement and do great for basic sewing tasks. If you rarely need your machine or it only comes out a couple of times a year, a portable is the way to go because it will save you money while still providing the basic needs you have.
- If you only like to make small craft type projects that need basic sewing stitches, a portable will fit the bill nicely. They are great for helping you complete small projects and repair tasks efficiently and easily and don’t require a big complicated set up. They also work great right on your dining room or kitchen table and then can be packed up easily and put back into storage until you need it again.
- Portable sewing machines are great choices to consider for children who want to learn how to sew, especially young children. Their smaller size and simpler set up is great for a newbie just starting out and is a lot less intimidating than some of the larger, heavier duty models available. Portable machines are also easier for the child to use and reach and can help a child gain the confidence they need to take on larger projects and bigger machines as they learn more. It is also a lot less to invest if your child changes their mind and decides sewing isn’t for them which can happen when a child is trying new interests. The smaller size and user friendly features of a portable may keep your child interested in sewing far longer than a large model would.
- If you take sewing or quilting classes and have to provide your own sewing machine, a portable is the perfect answer. If you travel to visit your parents or kids and want to bring the sewing machine with you, a portable will fit the bill. Lugging full-size sewing machines around is not easy or fun. Here is where a portable really shines because it makes taking your sewing machine with you super easy and simple without breaking your back or having to have a ton or space to put it.
- If you teach sewing to another person or a group of people, having a portable sewing machine can be a real plus. It is much easier to set up your portable machine on class day each week if the machine doesn’t weigh a ton. Even if you teach one on one lessons, having a good portable machine to teach them with enables you to be as mobile as you need to be.
Portable Sewing Machine Features
When you start researching different portable machines, there are a few things that you will want to look for to ensure that you are getting a good quality machine. Even though you will pay less for a portable than a traditional machine you will want to make sure it is money well spent.
- Reputable Brand – Most of the full sized sewing machine companies have a portable sewing machine in their lineup. Some, like SINGER have several portables to choose from including three of the four top rated portables we have featured above. Brand is important in a purchase like this so be aware of what company the portable sewing machine you are considering comes from. It can make a big difference in durability, performance, and options.
- Quality Materials – Even though most portable sewing machines are made with lighter materials so they remain lightweight, you don’t want them made with CHEAP materials; there is a big difference. Some portables even offer a metal frame with a plastic cover, like the SINGER Start 1304 to provide durability without adding a ton to the weight. It is very important to remember that portable does not have to equal cheaply made.
- Features – While a portable sewing machine may not have all the features its full sized counterparts may have that doesn’t mean they can’t have ANY features. Like the four top rated portable machines featured above illustrate, portable sewing machines can come with extension tables, auto-threaders and winders, workspace lights and other features. Think about the features you want and will use and see what portables offer those features. You will be surprised just how many features a small portable machine can offer.
- Warranties – Even though you are purchasing a portable, it is important to look for models that come with a warranty of some kind. It may not be as long as the full sized machines offer but most reputable companies will offer a warranty for their portable sewing machines. It is a good idea to have since you will be moving your machine around a lot.
If you travel a lot, relocate often, take classes or you’re the costume person for a theater group, you need a portable sewing machine that you can count on. They are the perfect size, weight, and option for people on the go and help save money and wear and tear on your back since you won’t have to lug your heavy, full size machine around anymore.
As the reviews above and the buying guide have shown, there are some factors to look at and consider when choosing the right portable sewing machine for your needs. It is important to start by knowing what those needs are, so do a bit of self-assessment and determine what your needs are before you start researching the different portable sewing machines available. Also determine if you want to stick to a specific budget and set that before researching.
Take a look at the four top rated portable sewing machines we have and see if any of those fit what you are looking for. If not, then use the information that we have provided in the buying guide and sort through the choices with knowledge and confidence. This knowledge will help you understand what features the portable machines you are considering have and to be able to compare them against each other properly so you know which ones are better deals.
Even though portable sewing machines cost less than traditional, you still want to get a good quality product for your money and choose something that is going to last. This buying guide will help you achieve that goal.