The Hand Held Sewing Machine: Pros & Cons

Hand-held sewing machines are very popular on TV shopping shows, eBay and Internet malls. It’s tempting to want one for such simple sewing chores as sewing on a button or repairing a few loose inches in a seam. There are very small and inexpensive sewing machines that call themselves “hand-held” because no set up is required. A genuine “hand-held” machine can truly be held in the palm of your hand and is more the size and shape of a very large stapler.

Before spending your money, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of such a tool.

Virtues Of The hand-held Sewing Machine:

1. The most obvious virtue is its portability. If you want to sit in the den and watch TV with the family, or sit out on the patio to keep an eye on the kids, the hand-held is perfect. The standard sewing machine cannot be easily transported while a genuine hand-held sewing machine can go anywhere.

2. They need no electricity. If you are camping or vacationing in a hotel, this is clearly a huge plus.

3. The price is extremely modest, especially when contrasted with top-of-the-line specialty sewing machines which can not only cost thousands of dollars but are definitely ‘overkill’ for mundane sewing chores. You can usually buy a hand-held for under $30.

Disadvantages Of The hand-held Sewing Machine:

1. A regular sewing machine is quite stable, since it always sits on a flat, hard surface. A hand-held sewing device is not, and the result can be some pretty awful looking stitches, with uneven tension, that can be easily pulled out.

2. They aren’t as easy to use as a regular machine. It takes some practice to get the hang of making flat, even stitches and even many experienced needlewomen find themselves stymied.

3. The tension cannot possibly work like a more expensive machine, so the result is often very inferior stitches that are uneven, look sloppy and are less durable than a regular sewing machine.

4. Because they are cheaper and therefore of less quality, they are very liable to break easily and many owners have reported strange phenomena, like their hand-held turning itself on unexpectedly.

5. The feature that hand-held sewing machine users dislike the most is that, unlike a traditional machine, you can’t pull the threads at the end of the stitching when you’re finished. Instead, the user must keep running the machine in mid air until there is enough thread to tie off the stitches.

As with so many consumer choices, the buyer must choose between a low price and portability on one hand or a higher quality result, and more expense and trouble on the other side. Be sure you know your options before making your own decision.

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