4 Best Small Sewing Machines

A mini sewing machine is what exactly it sounds like, a sewing machine that is small in size. However, that’s not it. Most people would think that a mini sewing machine can not take a regular-sized sewing machine’s place, or it does not have the same features. Well, this is a common misconception, as there are mini sewing machines that not only provide the same features and value as a regular one, but it goes one step further by offering more than what a regular sewing machine does.

There are a lot of reasons why one would say that mini sewing machines are better than regular ones. We will get to the differences later, but there is no denying that buying a mini sewing machine definitely has its perks. For starters, the most visible advantage is the size and weight of the machine. A mini sewing machine will be half the size and weight of a regular machine. You can easily carry it around without any trouble. One can even use it as a portable sewing machine, which brings us to the next advantage, the ability to function without electric power. Most mini sewing machines run off of battery power. So, if you are traveling or working at a place where you don’t have access to electricity, these mini sewing machines can be a lifesaver. There are tonnes of other benefits as well, kids and beginners can operate it or learn to use it, and it saves you a lot of space in your house as well. So, if sewing is just a hobby for you, if you don’t require a sewing machine all the time, or if you travel a lot and need an extra machine when traveling, then buying a mini sewing machine is the best option.

There are not a lot of differences between a regular and mini sewing machine. Nonetheless, you should still know the few but crucial differences if you are serious about sewing. The first difference is the speed of stitching. Mini sewing machines stitch way slow compared to regular sized machines. This difference in speed can be a benefit as well as a drawback. Benefit because it allows beginners and kids to learn and get better at stitching. Drawback because it is not suitable for professionals who already know how to stitch. The second most crucial difference is that most mini sewing machines cannot sew stronger and thicker fabrics. On the other hand, a regular-sized sewing machine does a great job on almost any kind of fabric. There are a few other differences, but these two were the most crucial ones.

So, how we choose a mini sewing machine, and on which factors do we judge these devices. Well, as always, we have listed the most important factors and features that you should consider to choose what best suits you.

  • The most common reason why people buy a mini sewing machine is because of its small size and lightweight. So, make sure you consider the size and weight of every sewing machine on this list.
  • As we mentioned before, the sewing speed is a very crucial factor. Choose one according to your needs and use.
  • An automated needle threader is quite a useful feature that you should consider if you find it difficult to put the thread in the needle.
  • Most of the mini sewing machines on this list come with LED, which can be useful.
  • See if the device has free arms for effortless stitching experience.
  • Warranty is quite a prominent factor because, unlike any other product, you are buying this for long term use. So, make sure you have some leverage if it gets broken, or if it stops working.
  • Every sewing machine comes with some extra features that may prove to be useful to you and your context of work and house. So, always keep an eye on them.

1. SINGER Start 1304

SINGER Start 1304
SINGER Start 1304

The SINGER Start 1304 is from a well-reputed brand of sewing machines and accessories. It is one of the most durable and versatile mini sewing machines on the list. Kids or beginners can easily use or learn to sew with it. Along with beginners, pros can use it for most of their work as well, making it an ideal choice for both groups of people.

The dimensions of this mini sewing machine are 13 x 7 x 11.5 inches, and its weight is 7lbs only. It’s very compact and lightweight, allowing the user to carry and store it easily without any hassle. Travelers or people who move around a lot will find this really helpful, as a regular size sewing machine is almost impossible to travel with.

The SINGER Start 1304 has six built-in stitches that can be selected or changed with the help of a simple turn of a dial. Beginners and hobbyists who don’t have much experience or skills in sewing will find the stitch width and length presets on this device beneficial. Blind hem stitch, zig-zag stitch, decorative scallop stitch are a few of the six presets available on it. You can also add buttonholes on almost any kind of fabric in just four steps using something called the 4-step buttonhole feature.

The SINGER Start 1304 has a speed of 350-400 SPM, which stands for stitches per minute. This is most probably the best speed you will get on a mini-sewing machine at this price range. However, there are complaints of irregular thread jams while sewing, which can be frustrating for people used to using regular sewing machines. Combining this with the 25 years of warranty it offers, it fulfills the basic features and factors every mini sewing machine should have. The 25 years of warranty that Start 1304 has is the most prolonged warranty time-period you will get on any device on this list.

Apart from the most common and basic features, it has some great extra features as well to raise the stakes. Firstly, it has a LED-illuminated work area, which means you can work on this mini sewing machine even in the dark. The LED on this machine provides a pretty strong light that will let you easily work when the power is out. However, using the LED might use more battery power, which is something you should keep in mind while using it. You can access the free arm by removing the Extension table. It helps with stitching long sleeves and trousers, along with other minor projects. You can use it for twin needle sewing as well with the dual spool pins it has. Lastly, it comes with all the essential accessories you need to start sewing at a beginner level or a professional level.

Pros

  • It occupies less space and has less weight making it an ideal choice for portable use.
  • It has six built-in stitches along with a few stitch width and length presets to help out the beginners.
  • It has a speed of 350-400 SPM, one of the fastest sewing machines on this list.
  • It has an LED-illuminated workspace for the ease of working in dark environments.
  • It has a free arm to effortlessly stitch long sleeves and trousers.
  • It is very durable and will last for a very long time, plus it has a warranty of 25 years.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have any automatic needle threading or presser feet, which a few other sewing machines have.
  • Complaints about irregular thread jams while sewing.


2. Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine

Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine
Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine

The Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine is specialized in stitching thick fabrics like leather, rough car ceilings, etc., even for people who don’t know how to stitch.

The dimensions of this sewing machine are 12.4 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches, and its weight is 5.4 lbs, making it the second most heavy sewing machine on this list after SINGER Start 1304. Nonetheless, it is still pretty small in size and lightweight, allowing you to use it as a portable device. It can also prove to be really useful for campers because of its ability to stitch thick fabrics.

The Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine has 12 built-in stitches, and its speed is not specified. If knowing the speed of your mini sewing machine is essential for you to make a decision, then this device may not be suitable for you. Even though they do not reveal the speed of this device, they do mention that it has 2-speed options or settings. It has a warranty of 1 year as well, which is once again, the second-longest warranty period after SINGER Start 1304.

The Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine has an 18cm ruler printed for easy measurement tasks during sewing or stitching. Along with that, it has reverse and overlock stitches, and a LED light to work in dark environments. It comes with a lot of options for needles with different sizes and shapes, and you can easily change these needles without any fuss at all. One of the main reasons why Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine is considered one of the best is because of its ability to quickly change needles. The design of the device is pretty attractive as well, with a metallic needle holder and a strong wooden grip. The design is not only attractive but sturdy and durable too, which is why many customers have praised it. However, the best feature of the Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine is its ability to stitch even the hardest and thickest of all fabrics. So, if you are someone who regularly needs to stitch these hard fabrics, then this mini sewing machine could be the best option for you.

Pros

  • The size and weight of this machine are pretty compact and lightweight, making it suitable for portable use.
  • It has 12 built-in stitches.
  • It has a warranty of one year.
  • Efficient on hard and thick fabrics like leather.
  • Ability to swap between needles quickly.
  • Attractive, strong, and durable design.

Cons

  • Contrary to its strong point, it does not function so well with thin fabric, as it is specifically manufactured to handle thick fabrics.
  • No stitching speed is specified.
  • Only has a single wax thread.


3. KPCB Mini Sewing Machine

KPCB Mini Sewing Machine
KPCB Mini Sewing Machine

The KPCB Mini Sewing Machine is the most budget-friendly option on this list. However, being cheap or inexpensive doesn’t take away much value from this mini sewing machine at all. Instead, this sewing machine provides an ample level of performance, considering its price. As always, these types of mini sewing machines are best for kids and beginners who are just starting out.

Starting with the dimensions of this mini sewing machine, it is only 8.6 x 3.5 x 6.9 inches, which is very small, and 2.4lbs of weight, which is very less as well. It is the lightest in terms of weight and the smallest in terms of size on this list. You can easily take this with you anywhere you want, keeping it in a small bag. Although the KPCB Mini Sewing Machine doesn’t mention how many built-in stitches it has, it does mention the speed or stitches per minute of this device, which is 270-330 SPM. It has two-speed settings as well to adjust speed according to your needs. Once again, the pace of this mini sewing machine is really impressive, considering its low price.

It has a warranty of 3 months, which is really less, but one can argue that it is alright according to its price. Simply speaking, the low price of this device is its unique selling point. So, if you have a low budget and you want to learn more about sewing and the skill behind it, then this is your best option. It has some really good features as well, like the built-in thread cutter and lamp for the ease of sewing fabrics. It has something called the cuff slot, which makes it incredibly convenient to sew pants and sleeves. The machine is powered by a battery backup, so if you don’t have electricity for some reason, you don’t have to stop sewing as well. Lastly, the KPCB Mini Sewing Machine can work on a diverse range of fabrics from soft jeans, denim, hard silk, cotton, linen, and hard wool, all the way to shopping bags, curtains, coin purses, aprons, etc. The only measure you need to take while sewing this wide range of fabric is to change the needle according to the thickness of the fabric.

Pros

  • Extremely inexpensive and budget-friendly compared to other mini sewing machines on this list.
  • The smallest in size and lightest in weight makes this the most suitable mini sewing machine for portable use.
  • It has a speed of 270-330 SPM with two speed settings for different needs.
  • Works on a variety of fabric, thin and thick.

Cons

  • No mention of the number of built-in stitches in this sewing machine.
  • It only offers a warranty period of 3 months.
  • It lacks many useful features that other devices have, like free arm, different stitching options, etc.
  • You have to change the needle according to the kind of fabric you are sewing.


4. MICHLEY LSS-505+ Lil’ Sew & Sew

MICHLEY LSS-505+ Lil’ Sew & Sew
MICHLEY LSS-505+ Lil’ Sew & Sew

The MICHLEY LSS-505+ Lil’ Sew & Sew is mostly known for being the best mini sewing machine for kids and beginners. The easy mechanics, helpful features, safe and lightweight of this device makes it the ideal choice for kids and beginners who are just starting out in the learning process of sewing.

The dimensions of this mini sewing machine are 10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2 inches, and its weight is 5.3lbs, just a little less than the Uten AGM Portable Sewing Machine. Similarly, this machine is also really easy to carry around and store without needing a lot of space, almost like a portable mini sewing machine. It has 12 built-in stitches, two of which include forward and reverse sewing. This forward and reverse sewing option is an excellent feature considering its price range, and it is also one of its unique selling points (USP). Unfortunately, the speed per minute or stitching speed is not specified for this model. It is one of the drawbacks of this otherwise great mini sewing machine. Even though it doesn’t reveal its SPM, the results are still effective and impressive.

However, it only offers a warranty of 3 months, which can convince people not to buy this. Adding to this drawback, the build and durability of the mini sewing machine are also very questionable. Not everything is faulty about it though, as it is a no-oil machine, which means maintaining it throughout the years of use is easier than you may think. It has other impressive features as well, like a LED light that projects a very bright under which you can easily operate and complete your sewing tasks, it has the option of double thread sewing, which makes the end result of the fabrics way better than what you would get with a single thread sewing. As mentioned before, it has forward and reverse sewing that helps in tightening the stitches, so it doesn’t break apart. Lastly, it has an auto thread rewind as well.

At one end, you will miss a lot of other features that other sewing machines have to offer, but on the other hand, you will get some new and unique features that may prove to be very helpful, depending on you and your situation.

Pros

  • Forward and reverse sewing feature is really helpful in getting nicely finished fabrics.
  • The Lightweight and small size of the device makes it easy to carry around and store.
  • It has 12 built-in stitches, similar to and even more than most of the other sewing machines in the market.
  • It has bright and strong LED lights to sew in dark workplaces.
  • It has double thread sewing for better results of sewing.
  • It also has an auto thread rewind.

Cons

  • The warranty period is lesser than other sewing machines in the market.
  • The stitches per minute or speed of the machine are not mentioned.
  • it lacks a lot of essential features.

Buying Guide

There are a lot of good reasons to buy a mini sewing machine, whether you are a professional, beginner, parent, student, and so on. There are countless ways a mini sewing machine can help you in. The most common issues that a mini sewing machine can solve is if you are always moving around from place to place, or if you travel a lot, or if you have small stitching tasks for which you don’t want to buy a regular sewing machine. Whatever the reason might be, investing in a good mini sewing machine will definitely pay off in the long run. However, every sewing machine has its own features, its pros, and its cons. So, how do you choose the one that is the closest to your needs? To choose the right one, you must have some knowledge about all the factors that come into play. Only then can you choose the right one for you.

Factors to consider when buying a mini sewing machine

The following is a list of factors that make a sewing machine great or whack. Knowing the basics of each of these factors and features will help you tremendously in making the right choice.

Size & Weight

The first thing to look out for in a mini sewing machine is its size and weight. In other words, its dimensions will determine how much space it takes, and its weight will determine how easy it is to carry the machine around. If you are going to buy a mini sewing machine, then it only makes sense if size and weight is your number one priority. Most of the candidates on this list are pretty small, compact, and lightweight. Some are notably small and lightweight like the KPCB Mini Sewing Machine, which only weighs 2.4lbs. You can decide for yourself if you want the smallest sewing machine with fewer features and functionality or an average size sewing machine with relatively more features and functionality. You may also consider whether you are going to use it as a portable sewing machine, or if you will use it in your house only.

Stitches per Minute

The sewing speed of a mini sewing machine or any sewing machine for that matter is crucial. One of the reasons why mini sewing machines can never completely take the spot from regular sewing machines is because of sewing speed. Mini sewing machine normally tends to be slower than the regular ones, but some machines try its best to solve this issue like the SINGER Start 1304, which has a sewing speed of 350-400 SPM. Stitches per minute indicate a sewing machine’s ability to complete the number of stitches in a minute. The higher the number, the faster you will be able to complete your projects. Speed is quite a significant factor, especially people who are using mini sewing machines for traveling purposes. Two of the sewing machines do not have any sewing speed specified. So, make sure you understand this concept of speed before you choose one of them.

Number of Built-in Stitches

Built-in stitches are patterns already included in your mini sewing machine, using which you can quickly modify a stitching pattern on your desired fabric. Guess which group of people this feature helps the most? Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the beginners that get the most benefit from this feature. The reason being that beginners do not have the required skills to pull off amazing or even decent looking pattern designs. That is why having this feature in your mini-sewing machine can make a dramatic difference in a beginner’s sewing skills. These built-in stitches can easily be modified by just adjusting the stitch width and length. Some have less built-in stitches, maybe six, while others have more, maybe twelve. It’s up to you to decide for yourself the numbers, variation, and versatility of built-in stitches you want in your mini sewing machine.

Warranty Period

Usually, we consider warranty as an extra feature in most products, but because we are a mini sewing machine, not an accessory, warranty is a crucial factor for the purchase in this case. According to your budget and your needs, decide how much warranty period may be the best for you before you can afford a new mini sewing machine again. Luckily, some products out there in the market offer amazing warranty offers that will fill you with trust and confidence towards their brands. The SINGER Start 1304 is a very relevant example of this matter, with a warranty period of 25 years.

Extra Features

Like always, there are other extra features that you must consider before purchasing your favorite mini sewing machine. Sometimes, one extra feature can make all the difference.  In products like these, where the basic features of all products are the same, extra features become the deciding factor in it. Features like LED, which almost all of the mini sewing machine on this list had. Then we have features like a free arm that allows the user to use extra space for fabrics like sleeves and trousers. If you have the perfect sewing machine table for this purpose, then you might not need it, but people who don’t have one can benefit from this as well. On top of that, you can not bring your table everywhere, especially while traveling. Other features include multiple speed options, foot pedal, auto thread rewinding, etc. While choosing a mini sewing machine to buy from the list, ask yourself if the features it provides will help you in any way, or will remain useless. Asking yourself questions is the best buying guide you will ever get.

FAQ

What threads should one use?

Ans. There are two possible answers to this question. The first one is pretty straightforward – it varies. The second answer is much more complicated. A special bobbin thread that comes in black and white is commonly used in machine embroidery, an all-purpose thread in the bobbin for topstitching thread, and a more heavy thread is required for the bobbin and needle to sew fabrics like upholstery and canvas.

Does mini sewing machines work for canvas?

Ans. Canvas is a pretty rough-and-tough fabric, which requires heavier threads to sew. However, mini sewing machines have small motors that are not suitable for sewing such thick and heavy-duty materials. So, in short, your mini sewing machine will most probably fail to sew a canvas. The most common problem you will encounter while attempting to sew canvas on a mini sewing machine is that the needle will keep getting broken, or the machine will start malfunctioning. It’s that you don’t force it to sew fabrics that it can not possibly sew to prevent it from permanently getting broken.

When does a sewing machine skip stitches?

Ans. There are a lot of possible reasons for this, but the two most common are as follows. You may have broken the needle while handling, which is now causing the machine to skip stitches. Take a look at your sewing machine’s needle and see if there’s any problem there. The second most common reason as to why your sewing machine is skipping stitches could be because of a mismatch in the needle and thread.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, your priority should be to choose a sewing machine that has the most basic features like a compact design, lightweight, fast sewing speed, and so on. After that, you can start considering the extra features. But at the end of the day, you should always choose the one that is closest to what you require from it. In this particular list, we don’t have any favorites, as all of them have their own benefits. For example, the SINGER Start 1304 has the best quality and features. On the other side, KPCB Mini Sewing Machine is the most inexpensive option in trade for the lack of some key features.

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