If you are a beginner when it comes to sewing, it’s crystal clear you don’t want to deal with the old, heavy sewing machines. Then why not consider a portable one? Well, portable sewing machines can be easily carried around, while meeting anyone’s sewing needs in full. They are smaller, light-weight, easy to maneuver, and don’t require a lot of space to store.
Sewing plays an important role in the development of humankind. Imagine that all you are wearing have passed through the needles of the sewing machines. So, these mechanisms have been around for a long time and passed through lots of improvements. The portable sewing machines are one of the best examples, as they are user-friendly, compact, affordable, and, as their name says, portable.
But how to choose the best portable sewing machines? Why are they convenient, which features to consider and which are the best models on the market? Wonder no more! I took all the time to gather some of the best portable sewing machines’ information. Down below you will find reviews, advice and some models to consider before making a purchase.
Best Portable Sewing Machines Comparison Chart
Because the actual reviews take a lot of time to read, I also created a comparison chart so you can make an idea of what products you are interested in, what are their characteristics and differences. So let’s compare them first before actually discussing them!
|Best Portable Sewing Machines||BRAND||Weight||Dimensions||Warranty|
|Janome JW8100 Fully-Featured Computerized Sewing Machine - Best for Advanced Users||Janome||20.9 pounds||16 x 7 x 12 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine - Winner of Women’s Choice Award in 2019||Brother||13 pounds||16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine - Best Value for Money||Singer||17.15 pounds||15.2 x 6.2 x 12 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|EverSewn Charlotte 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine - Best for Beginners||Eversewn||16.5 pounds||15.5 x 7 x 11 inches||1 year warranty|
|Janome Arctic Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine - Best Portable Sewing Machine For Teenage Girls||Janome||12 pounds||16 x 7 x 12 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine - Editor's Choice||Brother||12.6 pounds||12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|SINGER Start 1304 Portable Sewing Machine - Best Portable Sewing Machine for Hemming||Singer||9.8 pounds||13 x 7 x 11.5 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|MICHLEY LSS-505 Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine - Budget Pick||Michley||5.35 pounds||10.8 x 4.8 x 10.2 inches||3 months|
|Janome Basic Easy-to-Use 10-Stitch Portable Sewing Machine - Best Color Variety||Janome||5 pounds||10.5 x 5 x 9 inches||1 year|
|SINGER Simple 3232 Portable Sewing Machine - Best for Thick Fabrics||Singer||12.25 pounds||15 x 7.5 x 12 inches||25 years limited warranty|
|As Seen On Tv Handy Stitch Handheld Sewing Machine - Best for Traveling||As Seen on TV||13.6 ounces||9 x 2 x 6 inches||2 months|
|Brother HS2500 Sewing Machine - Best ‘Old School’ Portable Sewing Machine||Brother||11 pounds||13 x 17 x 8||25 years limited warranty|
Top 12 Best Portable Sewing Machines Reviews 2020
This part is the most relevant of the article. I made a broad review of each product and presented not only the good parts that the producers want you to hear about but also the dirt that appears only after using a model. So get yourself comfortable and check out the pros, cons and my personal opinion of each and every one of the selected models.
1. Janome JW8100 Fully-Featured Computerized Sewing Machine
(Best for Advanced Users)
Produced by Janome, the Janome JW8100 model is a computerized sewing machine. Its digital screen lets you choose the stitches you want to work with, but also the suggested foot you should apply. Janome JW8100 comes with 100 built-in stitches.
It is a great pick for advanced users who love to create original designs and aspire to get a brand-new start on tailoring home decorations and garments or want to improve their quilting techniques.
- A wide diversity of stitches;
- Very portable;
- Good warranty;
- Memory function;
- Good speed.
- Difficult to use for beginners;
- Doesn’t offer the best results on thick fabrics.
This Janome model is a great one. It is very easy to use and comes with a lot of accessories. However, even though it is recommended for all kinds of users, I strongly think that beginners might be overwhelmed by it.
I like the fact that it comes with a 25 years limited warranty. This means that the warranty covers issues such as materials or performance for 25 years, but the electronic equipment is protected by the warranty only for two years after the purchase. However, in the first year, you can obtain replacements for any components that are broken free of any additional cost.
I couldn’t find any relevant online tutorial, but here is a video presentation so you can have a better idea of how the machine looks like.
2. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
(Winner of Women’s Choice Award in 2020)
Produced by the Brother company, the CS6000i model is very user-friendly and portable. It comes with a big variety of sewing and quilting highlights. If offers 60 built-in sewing stitches, from which 7 are styles of one-step buttonholes and the others are decorative stitches. The CS6000i model lets you pick from 9 included presser feet. This model has an LCD display, an automatic needle threader, and also adjustable sewing speed control. It comes with an instruction manual in both English and Spanish.
- Very easy to use;
- Great for beginners and intermediates;
- Great for quilting;
- Good value for money.
- Its plastic case is not very long-lasting;
- Doesn’t have automatic tension.
Like almost everything from this company, the Brother CS6000i is also a great product. Even though it doesn’t have a fancy design, it is an amazing portable sewing machine to work with. After using it, I understood that it didn’t win the Women’s Choice Award in 2019 for no reason. It is probably the best portable sewing machine for quilting, but of course, you can use it for other purposes as well.
It comes with a 25 years warranty that I hope you won’t use if you will decide to purchase this model. However, before buying it, you should check an online tutorial to see this beauty in action.
3. SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine
(Best Value for Money)
Produced by Singer, the heavy-duty 4432 portable sewing machine was created, just as its name implies, for heavy-duty projects in mind that involve fabrics like denim. Due to the product’s strong motor, the Singer 4432 portable sewing machine has an amazing sewing speed that will save you lots of time.
It comes with an adjustable presser foot pressure and a stainless steel bedplate that permit materials to slide over the machine easy. Singer 4432 portable sewing machine has 32 stitches, from which, one is a one-step buttonhole that will allow you to design original clothing and great home decorations.
Last but not least, you will also have access to the SINGER Sewing Assistant App in case you will encounter any difficulties.
- Amazing value for money;
- Very good customer support;
- Very easy to use.
- Some stitches can turn out loose;
- It doesn’t have the best results on canvas.
Some people call the Singer 4432 portable sewing machine ugly, but I actually like its design. When it comes to the machine’s capabilities, I don’t have a bad thing to say. It works great and it comes at a more than fair price, therefore I think it is the best value for money when it talking about portable sewing machines. However, it is not as portable as other models.
To understand more about how this portable sewing machine works you can watch a video posted by Singer.
4. EverSewn Charlotte 70-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine
(Best for Beginners)
Produced, by EverSewn, the Charlotte portable sewing machine comes with a pack of 80 stitches and a with a 7mm maximum stitch width. It has a start/stop capacity that lets you manage the stitching manner without using the foot pedal.
Another great feature of the EverSewn Charlotte sewing machine is given by the needle position up/down capacity. This will permit you to designate the needle position after a row of stitching, making it great for stitching in the corners. Also, it has a speed control that can be adjusted very easily.
EverSewn Charlotte sewing machine comes with a bunch of accessories, but if you think they are not enough, you can always order some optional ones from their list.
- Great for beginners;
- Good price.
- A little too basic for advanced users;
- The warranty is a little tricky.
This is a very delicate portable sewing machine. I love the blue insertions in its design. It really is very easy to use, so beginners will most probably be very happy with it. It is so straightforward that you can even teach your kid how to sew. However, if you are not at your first stitches, you may want more than it offers.
You can read the instructions manual before buying it to get an idea about how to do the setup.
5. Janome Arctic Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine
(Best Portable Sewing Machine For Teenage Girls)
Produced by Janome, the Arctic Crystal portable sewing machine is a very colorful model that comes at a very good offer. It offers 15 built-in stitches, a four-step buttonhole, but also a dial pattern selection. It is very easy to use and offer the capacity to be very versatile.
At the initial price it doesn’t include very many accessories, but you can always order some extra if you feel like you need more.
- Multiple colors to choose from;
- Good price;
- Good with thick fabrics such as denim.
- Comes with very few accessories;
- Not the best lighting.
I must confess that the first thing that caught my eye was that you can choose the machine’s color. You can pick your machine to be blue, turquoise or intense pink, so if you are into girlish colors, the Janome Arctic Crystal portable sewing machine will make you very happy.
The thing that I don’t like very much about the product is that it lacks the accessories and the optional ones don’t come very cheap. However, it is a product which is very easy to use. You can check a video tutorial to make a better impression.
6. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
The Brother’s product XM2701 is ideal for both beginners that need to learn how to sew and advanced users that look to improve their skillfulness. This model comes with 27 built-in stitches and 63 stitch functions such as quilting stitches or blind hem. The XM2701 portable sewing machine also comes with 6 quick-change sewing feet.
It includes an instructional DVD that will help you make the initial setup, but also with manual in both English and Spanish.
- Great speed;
- Great stitch variety;
- Extremely portable.
- Doesn’t have medium speed;
- Some tension issues may occur.
I love this Brother XM2701 portable sewing machine. It is so compact and it is indeed a portable product. It is easy to take around and do your projects while traveling. Even though it is very lightweight it delivers incredible results and this is why it is my editor’s choice.
As stated earlier, the product comes with an instructional DVD that you can also check online to see if it fits your needs before actually buying it.
7. SINGER Start 1304 Portable Sewing Machine
(Best Portable Sewing Machine for Hemming)
Produced by Stringer, the Start 1304 model is a portable sewing machine that comes with 6 basic stitches. Both the stitch length and width are preset, making it very easy to use and therefore good for beginners. You can pick a zigzag stitch, a blind hem stitch or the four-step buttonhole to create home decorations or clothes. The Start 1304 also comes with a removable extension table and a free arm that will come very useful when hemming pants and jackets.
- Good value for money;
- Incredible lightweight;
- Very easy to use.
- Some bobbin issues may occur;
- The machine can jam.
What I first noticed about the Stringer Start 1304 was how very lightweight it is, making it one of the best portable sewing machines I ever put my hands on. Yes, it has some minuses, but it is great for traveling and it has a very good price, so I definitely think that you should consider it. However, before buying it, you should check a video tutorial to make an idea of how Stringer Start 1304 actually works.
8. MICHLEY LSS-505 Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine
Produced by Michley, the LSS-505 model is small and light, it comes at a good cost and it is very easy to use. All these aspects make the product a great one for beginners to learn on. It comes with 8 stitch designs and with a built-in LED light that will help you see better your work. It also has 2 speeds and a 2-thread lockstitch.
- Great for learning;
- Very light;
- Can also work with batteries.
- Not the best quality;
- Doesn’t have a buttonhole function.
I think that when you first decide to start sewing, you should not go an pick the fanciest products and spend a lot of money on it. This is why the Michley LSS-505 is great for beginners. It is cheap (you won’t spend too much and realize that sewing is not for you) and also it is very easy to use. I like that it also works on batteries, so you can practically go camping and still use it.
Yes, it has some little issues, but it is the best portable sewing machine to pick if you are on a budget.
9. Janome Basic Easy-to-Use 10-Stitch Portable Sewing Machine
(Best Color Variety)
Janome comes again and proposes a colorful and playful model. The Fast Lane from Janome can be purchased in 10 colors (fuschia, gray, green, lilac, mint, pink, purple, red, teal, yellow). This product is an excellent alternative for both advanced users and beginners. You will be able to make simple sewing projects with it but also more advanced crafting. Fast Lane comes with 4 stitches and has 6 stitch width and length choices from which you can choose
It doesn’t come with any accessories, but you can buy optional ones if feel the need.
- Multiple colors to choose from;
- Easy to use;
- Can be used by all kinds of users;
- Very lightweight.
- Doesn’t do well with think fabrics;
- Doesn’t include any accessories;
- Makes a lot of noise;
- It has a slow speed.
I remember that when I was little, I received a very pink toy sewing machine for Christmas. I loved it so much that I wanted to have the same toy in different colors. Years after, it appears that my dream can come true and I can actually have a functional sewing machine in multiple colors (one in each room).
However, regardless of its colors, the Janome Fast Lane is a very good portable sewing machine. It is very light and easy to use and I think that due to its design every teenage girl that wish to become a fashion designer will love to receive it and learn how to sew.
10. SINGER Simple 3232 Portable Sewing Machine
(Best for Thick Fabrics)
Produced by Singer, the Simple 3232 portable sewing machine gives the essential features you would want to sew all kinds of designs. It comes with 32 separate stitches to pick from. It also has an adjustable stitch length that will let you sew on multiple materials but also create embroidery. With the Simple 3232 model, you will be able to make buttonholes easy but also to hem pants due to its free arm.
Singer offers an Online Owner’s Class video to make you really understand how this portable sewing machine works.
- Good speed;
- Great variety of stitches;
- Amazing with thick fabrics.
- It only works at 110 volts;
- Not very straightforward for beginners.
There is nothing bad I can say about Stringer. They are good and they know it. This specific portable sewing machine model will give you all the things a sewing machine should: speed, many stitches to choose from and quality.
I love to use it especially when I need to sew multiple layers of thick materials at once. The price is a fair one. It is not too expensive or cheap, but you pay exactly for what you receive.
Before buying the Stringer Simple 3232 you can read its instructions manual or watch one of their videos to understand more about the product.
11. As Seen On Tv Handy Stitch Handheld Sewing Machine
(Best for Traveling)
The As Seen on TV product it is actually a handheld sewing machine and not a portable one. This means that it is so small and lightweight that you can carry in your pocket. It works on batteries (4 AA) and it is great for emergency repairs that might appear.
- Very cheap;
- Very easy to work with;
- Very easy to travel with.
- Doesn’t come with included batteries;
- It can skip stitches.
Well, it is not the most qualitative sewing machine, but if you expect to a handheld sewing machine to work like a pro one, then think again. Regardless of where I go, I always take it with me, not for actual projects but for emergency fixes on my family’s vacation clothing.
12. Brother HS2500 Sewing Machine
(Best ‘Old School’ Portable Sewing Machine)
The Brother HS2500 has a very classical design. It is very easy to use and it comes with 70 built-in stitches, that contains 7 techniques of 1-step buttonholes, and stitches for utility, ornamental and antique sewing. Even if it has an ‘old school’ look, the model comes with an LCD screen that will help you choose the desired stitches easily.
It offers a 25 years limited warranty and an instructional manual available in both English and Spanish.
- Very easy to use;
- Lots of accessories;
- Quality stitches.
- The LCD screen is very small.
I think that the Brother company cannot fail when it comes to sewing machines. They always offer the best and they don’t make an exception with the HS2500 portable sewing machine. I like its ‘old school’ look and the way it works. I would have liked its LCD screen to a little bigger, but that it’s just my own opinion.
I couldn’t find any good video with this product to show you, but you can take a look at its instruction manual to understand more.
Might Be Wondering: What Makes a Sewing Machine Portable?
Portability is a very important feature when beginners look for buying a sewing machine. But sometimes people get confused when it comes to the main features of this category. To help everyone understand this topic, here are some highlighted points that make a regular sewing machine to be portable.
Yet, there might appear different opinions from person to person, but in general, these are the parameters which decide the portability of a sewing machine:
- They are light-weight;
- They are easy to maneuver;
- They are compact, meaning the size dimensions are smaller compared to others;
- The portable sewing machines are easy to storage;
- The cost is lower.
The portable sewing machines offer all the basic sewing jobs anyone could ask for and even more. But the best part? They are convenient and powerful. Next, let’s discuss another “spicy” topic.
Is the Portable Sewing Machine Really Useful?
And this is the question. So, what is the true difference between the regular sewing machines, and the portable ones? Here’s the truth! Portability is such a convenience for any user. And this is the main attribute of having a portable sewing machine. You can so easily move around with them.
So, in the first instance, I will talk about portability. These sewing machines can easily be moved around. They are lightweight, which makes all this process less complicated.
Then, a portable sewing machine is the best one for children, students, designers or the very beginners. Also, if you use to travel a lot and want to take your sewing friend with you, the portable sewing machine is perfect.
Let’s go further and talk about the complex affordability of these products. The best portable sewing machines are so easy to transport and operate and they are so simple. You can use them for making clothes, crafting projects, lightweight sewing or scrapbooking. Moreover, you can take the portable sewing machine wherever you go. It means if inspiration strikes you on the road, just open the case and start sewing.
You might not want to hear this, but there is a negative part as well. You cannot sew thick and stubborn materials, like jeans and heavy wool. In these cases, the portable sewing machine won’t be the best choice.
The Pros and Cons of The Portable Sewing Machines
There are plenty of portable sewing machines on the market that can do very well the everyday sewing tasks. And they are also great for on-the-go sewing. But, like any product on the market, they also have pros and cons.
Meanwhile, you need to know that the portable sewing machines are kind of the mini-size variant of the regular sewing machines. But, as their name says, they are smaller, lighter and made with a different type of material.
Well, if you are a beginner in tailoring and interested in using a portable machine for sewing, carefully analyze all the pros and cons of these products. Let’s reach every point and talk in detail about the advantages and disadvantages of these mini sewing machines.
- The shape is small, which makes the product easy to carry around. Moreover, they take up minimal storage in your home. Because of their small size, portable sewing machines make great first sewing for children. Especially if they have to transport to school or sewing classes.
- The operation mode is very easy, meaning that even children can use these sewing machines; it is also a great item for beginners. The portable sewing machines are a real breeze to set up and to use immediately after getting them out of the box. They don’t have complicated features or accessories, but they are actually quite intuitive;
- The price is cheaper and more affordable than the regular sewing machines;
- The design is nice, attractive and more colorful;
- It is portable, meaning it’s so easy to travel with it.
- Although some of them have a metal interior, the portable sewing machines are generally made of plastic, which is more easily damaged than a standard one;
- Sometimes, portable sewing machines are less powerful for sewing thicker materials, such as jeans or heavy bags;
- They are not suited for convection business, as they don’t produce enough stitches in a short time;
- Fewer features;
- Less inbuild stitch capacity.
These pros and cons are general and only meant to help you choose the best model of portable sewing machines, depending on your needs.
Buying Guide – What to Look for in a Portable Sewing Machine
Not sure what kind of portable sewing machine to buy? Then I will make your work easier. Here are some principles to follow in order to choose the most suited portable sewing machine for your needs:
There is no doubt that a classic sewing machine is more professional than a mini-sized one. But, please bear in mind that it occupies way much more space than a mini one. The first one has a larger size and it is usually very heavy. This means it needs a special place to use it.
On the opposite, the portable sewing machine is easy to use on different occasions, such as vacations or moments when you really need a fast machine to use. There is no doubt that portable sewing machines are a great option for these kinds of setbacks. So, in order to enjoy an efficient option for sewing, but without occupying a lot of space, look for machines small in size.
As a rule, most of them are tiny enough to fit in small spaces.
What features are a real must for you? Some people are only looking for a “clean”, not a sophisticated sewing machine, while others want the machine to be full of as many features as possible.
The features you will find on these types of sewing machines are quite enough to make sewing a real pleasure. So, the most popular ones are:
- Easy convenience buttons;
- Automatic needle threader;
- Automatic thread tension;
- Jam-resistant coil;
- Stop/start button;
- Removable free arm;
- Bonus extension table.
I assume if you are looking for a portable sewing machine, it means you want something light and less than 15 pounds. And some mini machines are exactly like this. They have a good basic range, with nice stitch options that let you obtain a uniform and quality stitch.
Weight is a big factor when making this kind of purchase, as most of you want a sewing machine easy to transport. And if it comes with a case, it is more than enough.
One of the main criteria in all we purchase, the price of the products is so important. When buying portable sewing machines, it’s normal to look for a simple and low cost. Imagine how it would be to drop a very luxurious sewing machine and damage it. I don’t say to buy the cheapest one, but think that these portable sewing machines are actually for beginners and lots of movements.
Your FAQ about Portable Sewing Machines
Conclusion – My Sincere Say
Now that you have reached this point, make a brave comment about your opinion on portable sewing machines. Are they so useful? Do you already use one and want to share some of your experiences?
I would be glad to hear your opinion.
Now, I have used some of the most popular portable sewing machines on the market. What I can tell, definitely, is that you should look for quality. Although they are not professional sewing machines, it would be a pity to use it only a few times.
I have seen many people complaining about missing features or low-end portable sewing machines that do only basic stitching jobs only. As already know, my favorite one is the Brother XM2701, but I still dream to have at least Fast Lane models from Janome.
Share this article if you enjoyed the information and if it helped you in some way.