Best Portable Sewing Machine: Top 5 Reviews & Buyers Guide
If you first discovered the fun of quilting and sewing in your own home, then you know that some of the best quilts and stitched pieces are crafted with the help of some powerful equipment. A lot of us grew up carefully walking around a massive sewing machine that belonged to our mothers, grandmothers, or quilt crazy relatives that rented one from the craft store.
If you're anything like me, when inspiration strikes for a crafting idea, you need to be able to dive right in without a second thought. Quilters and designers will flourish if they always have access to their quilting tools. A portable sewing machine is a perfect solution to this, especially if you're looking for a way to spend your downtime on a family vacation.
Once you’ve decided whether or not a portable sewing machine might be a good investment, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have all of the information that you’ll need to pick the right one for you. You’ll want to compare portable sewing machines that have all of your must-have features, won’t break your budget, are super easy to use, and will last a long time.
We’ve done some of the work for you, take a look below to see our take on five of the best portable sewing machines on the market.
Summary: Here are the 5 Best Portable Sewing Machines:
Updated: February 2018
Brother CS6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine: best high quality portable sewing machine.
SINGER 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine: lightest, full-size portable sewing machine.
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing Machine: best for number of stitches available.
Haitral Portable Sewing Machine: smallest, lightest model reviewed.
Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine: full featured, compact model with high customer satisfaction.
My Best 5 Portable & Small Sewing Machines
My top picks are based on a combination of features, price, warranty and overall value.
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Important Features To Look For Before Buying
If you’re going to be doing endless quilting and scrapbooking with the help of your new sewing machine, you’re going to want to keep your eye out for some must-have features that you’ll need to get the most out of your investment.
Battery Operated or Electrical?
This feature boils down to preference and how much you can afford to invest in your crafting. If you opt for a lightweight, battery-operated model, that might be the best fit if you're a casual crafter and you don't think you'll be using your sewing machine very often.
However, if you're more of a consistent crafter, a battery operated, portable sewing machine can be costly in the long run. You should double check that you'll be able to easily afford the type of battery that your sewing machine uses.
If you go with an electrical model, you'll eliminate this problem, but you'll always need to find an outlet for your sewing machine, which may eliminate the perk of having a portable sewing machine.
Handheld or Tabletop?
When you start shopping for a portable sewing machine, you’ll see handheld and tabletop sewing machines.
While your personal preference plays a small role in this, you should be aware that a handheld sewing machine is usually on the smaller side, and is a good fit for smaller projects. If you’re new to sewing, this might be a good fit since you probably won’t be using it a lot at first. Handheld sewing machines will usually be the less expensive option, and a little easier to learn with.
A portable tabletop sewing machine is the perfect fit for the crafter that can't stand to be away from their project for too long. These sewing machines will work similarly to the full-size sewing machine that you might have at home. Additionally, if you're just a beginner that isn't ready to commit to the price of a full sized tabletop sewing machine, this is an excellent choice for you.
Your portable sewing machine might come with a few different stitches that vary in width and length. A portable sewing machine could come with straight, buttonhole, zigzag, or chain stitches.
There are some portable sewing machines that may only be loaded with one stitch. You'll want to be sure to double check the number of stitches and the number of free sewing accessories that come with a portable sewing machine before you make your final choice.
Difference Between a Regular Sewing Machine and Portable Model
Once you’ve started scouring stores for a sewing machine, you might be tempted to go with a portable sewing machine since they’re usually more affordable. However, if you intend on using a portable sewing machine as your primary tool, you need to know the difference between a portable sewing machine and a regular sewing machine.
A portable sewing machine has a few fundamental differences that won't go unnoticed by an experienced crafter. You'll find that a portable sewing machine is slower, which is ideal if you're new to sewing because you're going to need a machine that moves a little slower at first.
However, an experienced quilter might not care for the slow speed of a portable sewing machine, or the fact that a portable sewing machine doesn’t come with as many automated features as a full sized sewing machine.
You might have to install extras like buttons and zippers separately. Additionally, your portable sewing machine may not come equipped with a built-in light as the full-sized model does. There are plenty of perks to having a portable sewing machine, they're an excellent learning tool for beginners, they're usually much cheaper than a full-sized model, and they're lightweight.
If you’re concerned that you might be sacrificing quality by using one of these smaller powered machines, then you might want to stick with a full-sized model, especially since you’re less likely to encounter issues like a slow-moving machine, or a needle that can’t handle thick fabrics.
What Can Portable Sewing Machines Be Used For?
We mentioned that a portable sewing machine has a lot of advantages when you compare it to its larger counterpart and you can put that to the test with a few different activities. Portable sewing machines can be used for:
How Much Do Portable Machines Cost?
When you start shopping for a portable sewing machine, you’ll be happy to see that a portable sewing machine will usually cost less than a full sized sewing machine. A portable sewing machine can cost anywhere from $20 to $130 depending on the size, model, brand, and accessories that come with the machine.
If you purchase a portable sewing machine on the lower end, around $20 or $30, you’ll notice that they’re much smaller than average, and some are designed to be purse-sized or handheld.
However, if you’re more of a serious crafter, you can invest in a tabletop portable sewing machine, which will usually pack a bit more power, be able to handle thicker fabrics, and come with more stitches. A full sized sewing machine can cost anywhere from $130 to $800 depending on the type of sewing machine it is.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should just buy a full sized sewing machine, consider looking into a higher end portable sewing machine so that you won’t have to sacrifice as many features, and so that you’ll still be able to enjoy the advantages of having a sewing machine that doesn’t take up a lot of space, and is easy to learn on.
Brother CS6000i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine - Editor's Choice
The Brother CS6009i 60-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine is a lightweight, portable sewing machine that comes with 60 built-in sewing stitches, an LCD, an integrated free arm for sewing cuffs and sleeves, and a wide table for big projects.
It is optimized for convenience, and it's an especially good fit for beginners. When you purchase the Brother CS6009i, you'll also be getting a threading diagram and a quick start guide with instructions on how to use the machine. It weighs 17.4 lbs. and comes with a 1-year warranty.
This portable sewing machine is a good start for beginners. Seasoned sewers might prefer a larger and more expensive machine. Some buyers mentioned that it's a little difficult to hem jeans and that the bobbin winder is a bit slow, but this can be amended with a change of bobbins. Brother's CS6009i is our editor's top choice for a portable sewing machine!
SINGER 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine
The Singer 7258 Computerized Sewing Machine is an award-winning, light-weight, portable sewing machine. It only weighs about 14 lbs., and you can order a solid white, plastic carrying case for this sewing machine. When you purchase your Singer sewing machine, you can order the 7258 with 70 or 100 stitches. This easy to use, lightweight machine is not battery operated, it comes with a 69 in. long power cord. You'll enjoy some of the Singer's other features like the LED work light, the onboard free arm storage compartment, one-step buttonholes, easy push-button stitch selection and ten presser feet.
This machine is an excellent choice for beginners and sewing pros, it's easy to use features make it a top-selling item.
Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing Machine
Why You Should Buy It: The Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing Machine is the perfect machine for experienced quilters and is a fantastic buy for the price.
The Brother HC1850 is a portable, computerized sewing machine. Beginners will enjoy being able to use a machine with the qualities of an expensive, full-size model.
This sewing machine comes plenty of accessories that make it more than worth the money.
Those accessories include a zigzag foot, a monogramming foot, a blind stitch foot, a disc-shaped screwdriver, a seam ripper, a zipper foot, a buttonhole foot, an extra spool pin, an overcasting foot, a button fitting foot, a cleaning brush, an eyelet punch, four bobbins, a spool cap, and a foot controller.
Additionally, you'll love the LCD that you can use to help you choose from any of the 160 built-in stitches.
Haitral Portable Sewing Machine
Why You Should Buy It: If you've wanted to take up a new hobby, whether it's learning how to sew so that you can mend your old jeans or using a sewing machine to elevate your scrapbooking, the one-pound Haitral Portable Sewing Machine is the best option.
The Haitral Portable Sewing Machine is a lightweight and portable sewing machine, and it’s ideal for learning how to sew or for completing scrapbooking projects. You can add embellishments to your scrapbook with the help of this portable sewing machine, and you can try out new designs.
If you're interested in teaching someone how to sew, the Haitral Portable Sewing Machine is a good fit. It's small size make it perfect for a small child to operate with adult supervision. Additionally, if you're worried about a child damaging the machine, it's inexpensive, so you won't have to worry the same way that you would with a more expensive machine.
Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine
Why You Should Buy It: You can enjoy all of the features that an expensive, full-sized sewing machine offers. It's easy to use and only weighs 15.8 pounds, which makes it an ideal portable sewing machine.
The Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine is perfect for the crafter that wants a high-quality sewing machine for under $200. It is lightweight and equipped with a ton of easy to use features, and the machine is not intimidating for beginner level sewers.
Additionally, if you're a beginner, you'll benefit from the DVD that is included with the purchase of this sewing machine. You can relax knowing that the Brother XM2701 comes with a one year warranty, along with 27 unique stitches.
A portable sewing machine is ideal for crafters that are hoping to use different tools when they're scrapbooking or crafters that want a portable option so that they can work on their projects wherever they go. You'll want to consider investing in a portable sewing machine if you're hoping to teach a small child how to sew, or if you're a beginner.
You can find some affordable portable sewing machines that will give you everything that you need to complete your projects. You don't have to pay the price of a full-sized model, for the quality that a full-sized model can deliver.