Sewing machines used to be entire tables, and many high-powered ones still are. But sometimes you just need a light, portable machine for smaller jobs. That’s why we decided to look into what makes a great portable sewing machine.
In our research, we found that the best machines can sew through most fabrics despite their smaller size. They also have a variety of stitches and can reverse stitch as well. Of course, they should also fit your size needs. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve handpicked our favorite portable sewing machines available online.
Top 5 Best Portable Sewing Machines to Buy Online
While a sewing machine may tick all your boxes, always be sure to read reviews to ensure that it works as well as it should.
1. Singer Start 1304 Sewing Machine for Beginners
Best Simple Sewing Machine
This simple sewing machine covers just the basics but does it very well. It comes with just six stitches, all with preset widths and lengths, making for hassle-free sewing for beginners or those on the go.
Reviewers write that the instructions are easy to follow and that even beginners can be ready to start sewing in a matter of minutes. Do note that it does move rather quickly, so it’s best to start with a lighter touch on the pedal.
|Works on||Denim and medium fabrics||Stitches||6|
|Reverse Stitch||Yes||Power Source||Outlet|
|Size||13 x 7 x 11.5 inches||Weight||11.5 lbs|
|Extras||3 feet, buttonhole stitch, easy threading, light|
2. Brother GX37 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine
Best Large Portable Sewing Machine
At just over 15 pounds, this sewing machine is on the heavier side of portable, but it also has a ton of functions to justify it, including 37 different stitches, the ability to sew through thick materials, and speeds up to 850 stitches per minute.
Reviewers report that the instructions are clear and that the machine is very easy to use–even for beginners. They also write that it has excellent value for its price.
|Works on||Materials up to 6mm thick||Stitches||37|
|Reverse Stitch||Yes||Power Source||Outlet|
|Size||17.4 x 14.8 x 7.6 inches||Weight||15.5 lbs|
|Extras||One-step buttonholes, 6 feet, light, automatic threading, instructional DVD|
3. KPCB Mini Sewing Machine
Best Budget-Friendly Sewing Machine
This mini sewing machine weighs just under two pounds and is very travel-friendly. Though it’s small, it also comes with an extension to give you a larger workspace.
Reviewers love the simplicity of this machine and write that it’s good for beginners and Reviewers love this machine because of how easy it is to use and how high-quality it feels.. It can’t handle thick materials or elastic, but it works well on nearly every kind of clothing fabric, making it good for quick mends and hems.
|Works on||Thin fabrics only||Stitches||1|
|Reverse Stitch||No||Power Source||Outlet or battery|
|Size||11 x 4.5 x 10.5 inches||Weight||1.9 lbs|
|Extras||Light, video tutorials|
4. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches
Best Balance of Portability and Function
This award-winning sewing machine includes basically everything that most people would need in a portable machine. It’s simple enough for beginners yet functional enough for more advanced sewers.
Reviewers love this machine because of how easy it is to use and how high-quality it feels. Several of the most enthusiastic reviewers were dads learning to sew for the first time in order to mend kids’ clothes.
|Works on||Materials up to 6mm thick||Stitches||27|
|Reverse Stitch||Yes||Power Source||Outlet|
|Size||12.1 x 5.9 x 15.3 inches||Weight||12 lbs|
|Extras||6 feet, 63 stitch functions, automatic needle threader, light, instructional DVD|
5. Janome Basic Sewing Machine
Best Portable Sewing Machine that Kids Can Use
This adorable sewing machine weighs just five pounds and comes in 10 different colors. It’s has a surprising amount of functions despite its size, including 18 stitches and reverse stitch capability.
Reviewers write that it’s the perfect size for kids learning to sew and also makes a good option for those who don’t want to spend a lot on a first sewing machine. However, some report that it can be prone to breaking, so keep that in mind.
|Works on||Thin materials only||Stitches||18|
|Reverse Stitch||Yes||Power Source||Outlet|
|Size||10.5 x 5 x 9 inches||Weight||5 lbs|
How to Choose a Portable Sewing Machine – Buying Guide
Figuring out what portable sewing machine is right for you is mostly about deciding what you need.
Ensure Your Machine Has the Stitches You Need
One of the first things you should look at when choosing a sewing machine is how many (and what kind of) stitches it can do. For quick, on-the-go repairs, maybe a small machine that only does a simple running stitch is enough. On the other hand, there are also portable-sized machines that can do up to 20 or more different stitches, but these tend to be much larger and heavier.
So think about how you’ll use it before just going for the most decked-out option. You may also want to check for a reverse stitch option, which lets you go back over your stitches to prevent unraveled seams.
How Portable Do You Need It? Look at Size, Weight, and Convenience
There are two main types of portable sewing machines: ones that just look like smaller versions of regular machines, and ones that are handheld and resemble more of a stapler. The handheld ones are naturally more portable, but they have much more limited functionality and can be harder to use. They also tend to be weaker and may not stitch through thick fabrics.
Larger machines will be able to do much more, more easily, but they can weigh up to 19 pounds. Depending on your needs and capabilities, this may not even be considered portable. If you do opt for a larger machine, make sure that it has a free arm—that is, make sure you can deconstruct the base to reveal a narrow working area. You can slip tubes of fabric over the free arm, ensuring you don’t accidentally sew a sleeve shut.
Consider Power Source When Judging Portability
Portable sewing machines can either be battery-powered or plugged into an outlet. Battery-powered machines are much more portable, but they can be weaker than plugged machines and require changing or recharging. On the other hand, a plugged machine will be more powerful but does require proximity to an outlet.
Need More Functionality? Look for Other Important Features
If you’re looking for more convenience or functionality, be sure to check what else the machine can do. Some portable machines also come with an automatic needle threader, additional sewing feet, settings designed for certain stitch buttons such as buttons or hems, and even instructional pamphlets or DVDs.
A portable sewing machine is great for anyone who may be low on space or finds themselves needing to mend or sew anywhere that isn’t at home. And picking the right one from the get-go can save you precious time and money.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
Karaoke is always a welcome addition to any party. The only problem is that it can sometimes be difficult to get the right tools to where you need them, especially since traditional karaoke machines require a TV or bulky equipment. Luckily, there are quite a few options for portable karaoke machines now that allow you to take the fun anywhere. But picking the right one can make or break your party, so it’s important to get it right. In this guide, we’ll go over the things you should consider when deciding on a portable karaoke machine. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Portable Karaoke Machine – Buying Guide While you should definitely consider going for the flashiest machine possible, you want to make sure that it also fits your needs and situation. Standalone Mic or Speaker Set Depends on Portability Needs and Party Size There are two main types of portable karaoke machines: all-in-one microphones and separate m
We’ve dug deep and pored over reviews to figure out what makes a great garden tiller. While researching, we found that the best tillers match your power needs, either with rear or front tines and electric or gas-powered engines. The tilling area–both the width and depth–should also fit your garden in size. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve handpicked our favorite garden tillers available online. Top 10 Best Garden Tillers to Buy Online When deciding on a garden tiller, keep your garden space and soil in mind. 1. Earthwise 11-Inch 8.5-Volt Corded Electric Tiller (TC70001) Visit Amazon for more details Price: $91.65 Best Value Tiller for Small to Medium Gardens This light, compact tiller more than pulls its weight. It’s the perfect size for small to medium-sized gardens and works well as a weed control tool. Reviewers write that this tiller provides incredible value for its price–it’s fast, cuts through almost anything in its way, and is comfortable in your hands. However, it does
Some fair foods are pretty easy to replicate at home–funnel cakes, corn dogs, and candy apples, for example. But cotton candy, one of the most iconic and most fun to eat foods, is nearly impossible to make without a dedicated machine. Luckily, cotton candy machines are pretty easily accessible, even to those who just want to make some for themselves or the kids. But whether you’re looking to whip up some fluff for a small slumber party or a big fundraiser, you’re going to want a machine that works for your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the different factors to consider when choosing a cotton candy machine. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Cotton Candy Machine – Buying Guide Finding the right cotton candy machine can be a sticky process. The cute designs and fun colors of the machines may catch your attention, but don’t forget to take your own situation and needs into consideration first. What Can You T
We researched materials and pored through Amazon reviews and came to the conclusion that the best portable greenhouses are protective without being stifling, sturdy while still remaining easy to transport. Depending on your climate and your plants’ needs, the perfect greenhouse could look different for everyone, and it’s important to weigh your situation against the experience of reviewers. We kept all of this in mind as we hand-picked the best portable greenhouses on the market. Top 10 Best Portable Greenhouses to Buy Online Remember to bear in mind how you’re going to use the greenhouse. 1. Flower House Pop-Up Plant House Visit Amazon for more details Price: $74.50 Best Large, Easy-Setup Greenhouse This pop-up style portable greenhouse is made from PVC Gro-Tec material that lets in diffuse light optimal for younger and more delicate plants. It also comes with stakes and rope to keep it in place no matter what the weather. While this greenhouse alone won’t protect plants from overnig
It’s winter, it’s cold, and worst of all, it’s dry. Excessively dry air can lead to a whole host of problems ranging from cracked skin to compromised immune systems. Luckily, humidifiers help to alleviate many of these issues. Unfortunately, traditional humidifiers can be clunky and bulky and not ideal for use in smaller spaces or while traveling. Luckily, portable-sized humidifiers are gaining traction, which means you’ve now got quite a few options when it comes to moistening your air. Picking out the right humidifier you boils down to figuring out what exactly you need from it. In this guide, we’ll cover the things you should look out for. At the end, if you’re still stuck, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorite portable humidifiers. How to Choose a Portable Humidifier – Buying Guide There’s no point in buying a humidifier that you’re not going to use. This guide will help you pick out one that’s exactly right for your situation. Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist: Think About Safety and Wat
Summer is right around the corner, and before you know it, the days will be getting hotter, and you’ll be looking for a way to cool off. While it can be fun to go out for a cool treat, it’s nice to also be able to make your own at home. Whether that’s slushies, snow cones, or frozen margaritas, a shaved ice machine is the best summer house guest. There are a ton of options available, but not all of them will suit your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors to look out for when choosing the right shaved ice machine for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search. How to Choose a Shaved Ice Machine – Buying Guide Shaved ice machines run the spectrum from $10 plastic machines that look like toys to gigantic metal machines that can shave hundreds of pounds of ice every hour. This guide will help you find your happy medium. Blocked Ice or Cubes–Consider Convenience and Ice Fluffiness Traditionally, shaved ice machines used big
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best heated eyelash curlers. We then chose the 15 most popular products and tested them. We focused on two things: the finish of our eyelashes and how it felt to use the product overall. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese heated eyelash curlers available online. Top 15 Best Heated Eyelash Curlers to Buy Online We picked out 15 of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how nice of finish it gave our eyelashes and how good it felt to handle the device. Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 15 Japanese heated eyelash curlers available online. ※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing. 1. Kobako Heated Eyelash Curler Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only) Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only) Visit Yahoo! S
Maybe you’ve just tried a crepe for the first time in Paris and want to make some yourself at home. Or maybe you’ve been making crepes for years and want to simplify everything. In either case, you’ve probably realized that crepes require a special set of tools in order to get their paper thin consistency just right. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go all the way to France to find what you need. There are a ton of options when it comes to crepe makers, and although most of them might technically work for you, you want to choose one that fits your needs perfectly. In this guide, we’ll go over the things that different crepe makers do well and help you think about what you need. If you’re still stuck at the end, we’ve got a list of our ten favorites for you to start your search. How to Choose a Crepe Maker – Buying Guide Before purchasing a crepe maker, it’s important to find one that fits your needs rather than just choose the first one you see. This guide will help you figure out w
Whether you forget to water your plants or have a tendency to drown them, self-watering planters can be a lifesaver. That’s why we’ve decided to figure out what makes a great product. Poring over descriptions and reviews, we’ve found that the best planters have a visible water gauge, holes for easy watering, and adequate drainage for aeration. Some use soil wicks while others use rope, and the pot size should differ based on your plant and space. Keeping these things in mind, we handpicked some of our favorite self-watering planters available online. Top 10 Best Self-Watering Planters to Buy Online Before beginning, remember that self-watering planters keep the soil consistently moist, and some plants prefer drier conditions. So always check your plant’s watering needs before making your choice. 1. Aquaphoric Self Watering Planter + Fiber Soil Visit Amazon for more details Price: $17.99 Best Planter for Beginners and Unskilled Gardeners This self-watering planter comes with basically
When it comes to protecting and preserving documents, photos, luggage tags, and more from being ripped to shreds, laminators can be one useful tool. Once your precious items are sealed in a plastic sheet, they’re much closer to being considered indestructible. However, as with most electronics, knowing what kind of laminator is best for you can be a stressful ordeal. Some are better suited for office-type settings while more cost-efficient options could be a great addition to your home, classroom, or small-scale office. In this guide we’ll go over the characteristics of the most popular laminators out there, and then we’ve got a list of our 10 favorites to get you started in your search. How to Choose a Laminator – Buying Guide Laminators come in a variety of types, and each is suited for a different kind of laminating job. We’ve broken down what you should look for and consolidated it into a handy buying guide. What Type of Laminator Should You Buy? The two most common types of lamina