Manual sewing machine – a device and how to choose a portable or stationary by function and cost

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It is difficult to argue that any modern device in the household is a necessary and useful thing. Many portable multi-functional devices make life much easier and save a lot of time. One of such indispensable needs in the house is a small sewing machine, which will always come to the rescue if you suddenly need to quickly sew up your husband’s trousers, work on the frayed edge of a kitchen towel or other home textile, make an interesting handicraft in kindergarten, or just take some free time to craft..

What is a manual sewing machine

Speaking generally about this device, the sewing machine is a special technical device used to connect pieces of fabric and process their edges by stitching, which is operated by hand. The term “manual sewing machine” means several types of devices – stationary mechanical sewing machines with a manual drive, electromechanical devices with a special engine start button on the front panel, and miniature stand-alone portable devices for performing small sewing work.


The most important distinguishing criterion by which manual sewing devices are classified is the mechanism that drives the machine. Depending on the type of such a mechanism, sewing machines can be:

  • mechanical – for the movement of the needle and the operation of the fabric conveyor, special gears, wheels, levers located inside the device are responsible, and such devices are activated by rotating the handwheel handle;
  • electromechanical – the flywheel and the needle begin to move after starting the built-in electric motor, and on the front panel they have special buttons for turning on / off the power;
  • electronic or computer – all the actions performed on such devices are possible thanks to the built-in microprocessor, and the functionality of each individual model is determined by the program “wired” into it with the necessary settings.

Depending on the type of stitch and the method of weaving, sewing machines are:

  • shuttle – work through shuttle weaving;
  • chain – make chain stitches.

Sewing machines can be equipped with a different number of needles, therefore they are divided into:

  • single needle;
  • two-needle;
  • multi-needle (three and more needles).

Woman sews on a typewriter

The sewing process on a special device is accomplished by rotating the main shaft. Depending on the speed of his work, sewing machines are:

  • low speed (up to 2500 stitches per minute);
  • medium-speed (2500 – 5000 stitches per minute);
  • high speed (from 5000 stitches per minute).

Another important criterion for the classification of technical devices for sewing is the way to automate the work, which determines the following types of sewing machines:

  • non-automated;
  • semiautomatic devices;
  • automatic machines.

All sewing machines, depending on the technological functionality, are divided into universal (performing different operations) and special, which are designed to perform certain functions:

  • grinding;
  • execution of the string “zigzag”;
  • overcasting the edges of the fabric;
  • making loops;
  • sewing on buttons;
  • inserting buttons and other accessories;
  • execution of a secret line;
  • creating a long seam;
  • embroidery.

Models of manual sewing machines

In the modern market of sewing accessories, a wide range of hand-held devices for home sewing is presented. There are compact electromechanical models with power from the network and miniature sewing machines with removable batteries. If you bought such an assistant, but are just starting to master the sewing skills, do not be afraid that you will not succeed, because setting up a manual sewing machine is very simple, because its functionality is limited, so your fears are completely unjustified.

Manual sewing machine

Among modern sewing devices it is very difficult to find the mechanical type of machines, but the good old “Singer”, “Seagull”, “Podolsk” still occupy honorable places in the homes of many hostesses of the former USSR. Once such devices were considered the best, but now they are gradually fading into oblivion. Manual-driven machines are ideal for beginners, because they are very easy to use and rarely break, although they perform a minimum number of functions.

The huge advantage of such sewing devices is that even thick thick durable fabrics and leather can be processed with them, and you can also work on a manual machine when there is no electricity in the house for any reason. On the pages of online stores, a mechanical sewing machine with a manual drive is presented in a single version:

  • model name: DragonFly JA2-2;
  • price: 4 750 r .;
  • characteristics: swing shuttle, two-thread stitch and backstitch, adjustable foot lift, case made of black metal with golden pattern, underframe and cover made of white plastic, there is a small compartment for accessories and side table, sewing speed adjustment;
  • pluses: easy to use, suitable for processing all types of fabric, relatively cheap;
  • cons: performs only a straight line.

Mechanical sewing machine DragonFly JA2-2

Manual sewing mini-machine

If from time to time you need to use special sewing equipment for minor repairs of clothes, but you don’t want to buy an expensive and bulky machine, the best solution in this case is a small portable device. It looks like a miniature copy of a full-fledged sewing machine with a set of the most necessary functions:

  • model name: Zimber 10919-ZM;
  • price: 2 670 r.;
  • characteristics: electronic, dimensions 24x21x12 cm, weight 1.5 kg, plastic case, white-violet color, reverse, sewing speed adjustment, platform for finishing sleeves, automatic needle threader, compartment for bobbins, powered by mains or batteries, AC adapter current and pedal included;
  • pluses: autonomous, small-sized, affordable;
  • cons: unstable, may make noise and vibrate during processing of dense fabric.

Road Zimber 10919-ZM

Using a manual sewing machine is very simple: the main thing is to correctly thread the thread and understand the basic principle of operation of such a compact sewing device. With a manual mini-machine, you will no longer have any problems how to quickly repair a thing, sew a patch, or process frayed edges. If you need a cheaper option, pay attention to the Chinese-made models:

  • model name: Travola 201;
  • price: 1 450 p.;
  • characteristics: electromechanical, package size 22x14x22 cm, weight 1 kg, white plastic case with violet details, rotational horizontal hook, sewing speed adjustment, work surface illumination, sleeve platform, the set includes a power adapter, 4 bobbins, needle threader, foot pedal;
  • pluses: takes up little space, easy to operate, low cost;
  • cons: fragile, does not cope with thick tissue.

Model Travola 201

Electromechanical machine

Looking for a low-cost electromechanical sewing machine for infrequent home use? For this, compact manual models of sewing machines have been created. The price of such a device depends on the configuration of the product, the number of functions performed and the quality of the case:

  • model name: Comfort 2;
  • price: 3,500 p.;
  • characteristics: package size 37x32x17 cm, weight 3 kg, light green plastic case with pink elements, horizontal horizontal shuttle, 6V power supply, 11 operations performed, working area illumination, network adapter included;
  • pluses: inexpensive, functional, beautiful design;
  • cons: not suitable for processing thick and knitted fabrics.

Electromechanical Comfort 2

To refuel a manual sewing machine, you need a minimum of knowledge in the field of sewing, because the device of such a home device is understandable even on an intuitive level, but it is better to carefully study the instructions from the beginning. Still, to get an even beautiful line, you need to correctly adjust the thread tension. Very popular among beginners is a simple sewing machine Bradex:

  • model name: Bradex Tailoring TD 0162;
  • price: 1 680 p.;
  • characteristics: electromechanical, dimensions 20x18x10 cm, weight 1 kg, horizontal rotation shuttle, sewing speed adjustment, white plastic case with blue details, the kit includes a power adapter, a foot pedal, 4 bobbins, a needle threader;
  • pluses: compact, convenient, inexpensive;
  • cons: short-lived.

Electromechanical Bradex Tailoring TD 0162


Very convenient to use is a miniature standalone sewing machine or pocket sewing machine. Due to its small size, such a device can always be taken on a trip in order to correct any misunderstandings with clothes in any situation. Externally, such devices are similar to a regular clerical stapler, and their cost, as a rule, does not exceed 1000 rubles:

  • model name: Handy Stitch SEW014442;
  • price: 850 r.;
  • specifications: weight 350 g, powered by four AA batteries or a power adapter (not included), spare needles and reels are included;
  • pluses: small, easy to use;
  • cons: breaks down quickly.

Portable Handy Stitch SEW014442

Specialized stores sell several models of such equipment, but you can also buy a manual sewing machine in an online store at a great discount, on the promotion or on sale, saving up to 200 rubles. To do this, you need to order the necessary goods on the site and after a while get it from the hands of the courier or by mail. In addition, many carry out free delivery in Moscow and St. Petersburg:

  • model name: Irit IPR-02;
  • price: 555 r.;
  • characteristics: dimensions 21x5x7 cm, powered by 4 AA batteries, 3 bobbins, needle threader, needle, spool included;
  • pluses: easy, autonomous, cheap;
  • cons: only for small sewing.

Rechargeable Irit IRP-02

How to choose a manual sewing machine

If you decide to get such a useful home device, remember some practical tips regarding the selection of compact sewing equipment:

  1. Initially, decide for what needs you need a machine and what place in the house you can take for it. The best choice for beginners is a compact electromechanical manual machine with a small table under it. If you need a hiking option for minor clothing repairs – take a battery-powered self-contained mini-machine.
  2. Before buying, pay attention to the equipment of the device. For infrequent sewing “on trifles” a minimal set of functions is suitable, and for serious intentions to become a seamstress – a multifunctional reliable machine.
  3. An important criterion when choosing such a device is the material and manufacturing quality of the case and parts. The machine’s body is quite suitable for plastic, but you need to choose a more durable one, but the foot, holder and fabric conveyor should be metal.
  4. Remember that not always a high price is an indicator of impeccable quality, so before you buy a manual sewing machine, consult with experienced seamstresses, read reviews from real users and be sure to ask the seller to check the device in front of your eyes.
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