Portable and Hand Held Sewing Machines

Are there any small, portable hand or battery operated sewing machines that can be tested?


Welcome to the community @paullukitsch

Choice’s last foray into ‘full sized’ sewing machines was in 2019 with a buyers guide and review of the last tests from 2013.

Other than the statement ‘We no longer test sewing machines’ there is no explicit reason provided. Given sufficient demand perhaps that would be revisited?

However you are interested in hand held or portable ones and I cannot find any references across choice, the community, or even the anecdotal productreview site.

Perhaps other members have used one and can provide their experiences.

I also see this is marked ‘request a test’ for Choice to consider the product category for a future test.


I’ll second that request for a test. Could be very handy if they worked as advertised under some sort of test.


Hi @paullukitsch, welcome to the community and your first post.

As they are relatively cheap ($10+), maybe there is an opportunity for a member to test rather than Choice. There also seems to be a limited number of brands and models available in retail stores.

They seem to be designed (advertised) as for minor repairs. Some also indicate suitable for materials such as denim and leather. Online eviews seem mixed and maybe they claim to bite more off than they can chew.

If one buys one, maybe one’s experience can be posted. Such would provide valuable information to the community,


I’ll second that … As a serious sewer with a mid-range sewing machine and an upper level 4 thread overlocker, I am often asked about the ‘cheap’ battery operated sewing machines for people just wanting to fix the odd thing. Personally I don’t think they will live up to the hype.

Global Shop Direct flogged the Fast-Sew endlessly on TV, claiming you could repair clothes while you were still wearing them, fix tents, curtains. Conventional sewing machines are big & bulky with bobbins that run out (but the Fast-Sew has a bobbin??) and cost $hundreds, but we have a special deal for the viewers … They don’t say how it all works though.

https://www.globalshop.com.au/products/fast-sew At $60 (incl delivery), I don’t think I would be buying one. Australia Post has them for $19.95 free delivery.

Innovations - purveyors of expensive junk (but with the odd good thing …) have the Sew-Maxx https://www.innovations.com.au/p/craft/accessories/swmac-hand-held-sewing-machine

The haberdashery stores have them https://www.spotlightstores.com/sewing-fabrics/scissors-dyes-accessories/scissors-cutting/o-sew-hand-held-sewing-machine/BP80253768

Big W has one $17 https://www.bigw.com.au/product/triumph-hand-held-sewing-machine/p/778049/ but they also have a range of entry level sewing machines from $100.

I note that the rating for most of these hand-helds is low to middling. Lack of instructions, inability to sew the materials suggested (sheers, leather, denim etc), the stitching coming apart, breaking down on first use etc.

Problems I see with them are - 1. problems with tension, 2. no locking of thread at the beginning and end of a run (unravels), 3. limited range of material, 4. How do you wind bobbins? Some offer an additional box of pre-wound bobbins, or suggest you wind your own on a sewing machine - which ever way you go, the tension is critical, so hand winding may not work. With a limited range of colours how do you make invisible repairs? 5. They break, or simply don’t work.


Lincraft currently has one for $10…

I agree and expect they would be for emergency repairs where the look of the stitch or quality of the sew is less important. They also possibly wouldn’t necessarily be an alternative to a traditional desk top machine.

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Many thanks to you and the other who have responded so quickly ! As i live a semi-nomadic life in the outback of Western Australia, i’d really like a convenient alternative to hand stitching. I’ll probably get a few of these online as i seldom go to the big smoke and do my own tests and report back to everybody. P


There has been one hand held sewing machine advertised on TV the last 12 months. You can see that it it very hard to hold the material and the machine at the same time and they take away the camera just after it starts to sew crooked

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Can anybody give me feedback on these?

Welcome to the forum. I have moved your question to an apt existing topic. You may like to read the preceding posts for the feedback you were wanting.

I think they are worth testing, because my suspicion is they would all deserve a Shonky award, ie, you are probably better off with a needle and thread!

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They have hidden it now from within the ad, but when it was first advertised the sewing went off the seem because the materials was too hard to hold down.