7 Best Portable Sewing Machines: With Manuals, Pros, & Cons

The sewing machine is the most exciting way to add a unique and personalized touch to any fabric. It allows you to modify, repair, and customize the seams, stitches, and hems for an authentic and original look. For household use, the best portable sewing machine is the must-have that offers both flexibility and convenience to create some unique outfits and also revamp the style.

Are you interested in a particular category of “best” portable machine? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section.

And you can always go back by clicking on the grey arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Pros and cons of buying a portable sewing machine

Pros:

  • The best portable sewing machine allows you to sew anything from fashion to costumes, leather goods, to home decor items and accessories.
  • You can sew all types of fabrics with the portable sewing machine.
  • It is compact and can be used easily in small areas. It is light that makes carrying easier
  • It allows you to do alteration and repairing of clothes and fabrics without paying a frequent visit to the tailor store small repairing jobs.
  • The household portable sewing machine is quite affordable and cheaper than the industrial-grade machine.
  • Some of the portable sewing machines even come with different designing features that allow you to become creative and express your talent.
  • The compact size of the machine makes it easier to store. And you can even carry those around with you while traveling. So you can do the repair jobs efficiently anywhere and anytime. 

Cons:

  • The portable sewing machine usually lacks the advanced features that you find with other industrial-grade devices.
  • Since it is compact in size, the work area may be of greater concern for you. Compact sized work area makes working with stitching projects quite challenging for people with bigger hands
  • Threading the needle is also tricky as it is small and compact in size and need more precision for threading the needle and bobbin

How much does portable sewing machine cost?

The cost of the portable sewing machine depends on a variety of factors. There are two different types of portable sewing machines – electronic and manual. The price of the portable mechanical device is much lower than the electronic machines. That’s because the latter comes with extra features that make stitching and sewing faster for you.   

Overall the more features portable sewing machine has, the more money you will be spending on the model. Moreover, the cost also varies depending upon the brand of the sewing machine.

But all in all, you might expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $200 on average. 

What to look for when buying a portable sewing machine?

Build. The first thing you need to see is the build quality of the portable sewing machine. The heavy-duty machines are industrial grade and heavier than the typical ones as it is made out of iron or steel rather than plastic.

Variety in Stitches. Probably the second most crucial factor to look for is the variety of stitches available with the portable sewing machine. The best portable sewing machine is the one that offers you different types of stitch capacity, including zig-zag, straight, and decorated stitching.

Speed Control. The speed of the portable sewing machine is another factor to consider when buying it. Speed control is a must-have feature as it allows you to set where to stitch when it starts jamming and stop for readjusting the fabric in no time.

Types. Depending upon your stitching need, you need to make the selection between electronic and mechanical portable sewing machine. The latter needs manual settings, while in electronic devices, most of the controls are done automatically for you. 

What is the best portable sewing machine?

Well, the market is flooded with a variety of models, and choosing the best portable sewing machine is quite complicated. So, to make things simple, here is the list of portable sewing machines that are worth considering for your daily household sewing needs.

Compare the best portable sewing machines

For your convenience, you can access all the major data points describing each sewing machine from this rating in a table below.

$30.98
in stock
1 new from $30.98
as of August 12, 2020 10:49 pm
Amazon.com
$39.99
$41.99
in stock
2 new from $39.99
2 used from $40.91
as of August 12, 2020 10:49 pm
Amazon.com
Free shipping
$119.99
in stock
26 new from $119.99
2 used from $185.00
as of August 12, 2020 10:49 pm
Amazon.com
Free shipping
out of stock
as of August 12, 2020 10:49 pm
Amazon.com
out of stock
as of August 12, 2020 10:49 pm
Amazon.com

And now, let’s dive deeper into details about the best portable sewing machines in each category.

Singer portable sewing machine

SINGER | Start 1304

Description:

Singer sewing machines are amongst the most reputable and popular. And if you are a beginner level sewer, then consider buying Singer Start 1304 that comes with 6 built-in stitches along with free arm for the best experience for beginners. To make sewing even easier, it also comes with threading diagrams printed on the machine, and it has 4 built-in buttonholes.

It comes with dual spool pins for twin needle sewing and has the simple stitch selector too.

SINGER | Start 1304 manual

Download user’s guide (PDF)

Features:

  • Threading diagram printed for easy threading
  • Comes with 4-step buttonholes system
  • Dual spool pins for twin needle sewing
  • Allows changing the stitches in easy steps
  • Designed with a heavy-duty metal frame
  • Comes with 6 built-in stitches
  • Preset stitches length and width     

You can check more specifications here

Lightweight sewing machine

Varmax Mini

Description:

The best lightweight sewing machine available today is the Varmax Mini sewing machine that comes with an extension table to make sewing easier and comfortable for you. It is the special mini size design that makes carrying easier. It comes with a built-in lamp for stable and precise thread cutting and cuff slot.

The machine also features a winding pole for the smooth rewind of the bobbins. It works fine for classic straight line stitch and basic sewing.

Varmax mini manual

Download user’s guide (PDF)

Check instructional videos here

Features:

  •  It is equipped with a larger extension table to make sewing smoother
  • Specialized designs for the cuff slot
  • Easy compact and mini size machine for a comfortable carry
  • Suitable for classic straight line and primary sewing
  • Built-in lamp and thread cutter included
  • Easy to rewind bobbins on winding pole

You can check more specifications here.

Portable sewing machine best for travel

Mini Sewing Machine by LIANTRAL

Description:

LIANTRAL Mini sewing machine is the best portable sewing machine that is compact in size and easy to carry, and it makes the best companion when traveling. 

It comes with adjustable speed controls and all the essential accessories that you need for everyday sewing.

Mini Sewing Machine by LIANTRAL manual

Watch the tutorial video and unboxing for a similar machine here.

Features:

  • A portable sewing machine that is lightweight and portable
  • Suitable for carrying with you while traveling
  • Comes with the dual-speed control system
  • Double sewing mechanism as it comes with foot pedal and on/off button
  • The package includes the manual guide and complete accessories

You can check more specifications here

Brother portable sewing machine 

Brother RLX3817A (Renewed)

Description:

Create some handmade gifts or do repairing of seams or hems of your clothes with this new Brother RLX3817A portable sewing machine that comes with 17 built-in stitches suitable for both beginner level and advanced sewers. This sewing machine comes with blind gem stitch, four-step auto-size buttonhole, and more.

The sewing machine includes 4 sewing feet along with a button sewing foot. It also has an upper thread tension control dial that enables you to adjust the thread tension to suit the fabric.

Brother RLX3817A (Renewed) manual

Download User’s guide in PDF

Features:

  • It features 17 unique built-in stitches including the 4-step auto-size buttonhole
  • Comes with four different sewing feet
  • It is designed with free arm for sewing sleeves and cuffs
  • Jam resistant model and has a quick set-top bobbin system
  • Clear view bobbin cover
  • Upper thread tension control dial

You can check more specifications here

Best portable sewing machine for beginners

Mini Beginner sewing machine by Shendian

Description:

This little one comes with a built-in metal hook tip and portable adjustable 2-speed control system and extension table to increase the work area for comfortable sewing.

It features dual threads, a speed control system, and a larger spool that you can use with a rewind device for easy replacement of bottom bobbin.  

It also includes an electric pedal, a foldable extension table, and a non-slip suction cup that prevents slippage while using it. Great package for a beginner.

Mini Beginner’s Machine by Shendian manual

Watch tutorial video created by the manufacturer here

Features:

  • Foldable extension table to increase the sewing work area
  • Two-speed control 
  • Selection between high and low speed for comfortable sewing
  • Metal hook tip to reduce machine failure
  • Comes with electrical pedal 

You can check more specifications here

Handheld sewing machine

Handheld sewing kit by Yibaision

Description:

This little one will make your sewing session way more fun. It is suitable for small repairs and alteration jobs on varied fabrics. It is lightweight and very compact in size, and you can even carry it with you because of its pocket-sized.

So, for your regular stitching and repairing jobs, you don’t have to take out the traditional sewing machines every time. It can be handled easily with this handheld sewing machine that has almost all features to do the job for you.

Handheld sewing kit by Yibaision manual

Watch the tutorial video for the similar model here

Features:

  • Perfect for repairing and alternations on any materials and fabrics
  • Handheld models, compact and lightweight
  • Runs on 4 AA-size batteries
  • A great accessory pack is included

You can check more specifications here

Best portable sewing machine – Our Top Choice

Janome Pink Sorbet 

Description:

This sewing machine is our top choice as the best portable workhorse for a variety of good reasons. This sewing machine comes with an interior metal frame and bobbin diagram right o the body to make a selection of stitches and threading easier for beginners. Plus, it features 15 built-in stitches and 4-step buttonhole, front-loading bobbin system, and a heavy-duty metal frame inside. 

It also comes with many customizable features along with the removable free arm.

Janome Pink Sorbet manual

Download User’s guide in PDF

Features:

  • 15 stitches including the buttonhole, heirloom, quilting, and more
  • Comes with 3-piece feed dog system
  • Adjustable stitch length and zig-zag width
  • Front-loading bobbin system with easy access manual 

You can check more specifications here

Credits: photos by Canva

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