Sewing Machine Judge

Top 10 Portable Sewing Machines To Consider

portable sewing machine

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Portable sewing machines are lightweight, easy-to-carry machines that can perform most household sewing tasks. They’re light enough to be carried where you need them, so they can provide sew-on-the-go convenience. Perfect to take to sewing workshops or to a friend’s house for some companionable sewing, these machines are made to be rugged and dependable.

How We Rated These Sewing Machines

It’s important to get a well-rounded review of the most accurate and honest results. There are hundreds of portable sewing machines on the market, each claiming to be the best.

To help you sort through the hype, we’ve factored in testimonials and customer reviews along with hard-core data regarding each machine to determine our final line-up.

The 10 Best Portable Sewing Machines

With so many choices on the market, it was tough to pick the very best. However, the 10 machines listed below represent the most reliable, durable, and portable sewing machines available today.

1. Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine

juki TL 2010q

The Juki is the Rolls-Royce of portable machines. More than just a quick-hem gem, this machine can tailor, quilt, and finish any home décor project you can throw at it. With a built-in carrying handle, this little workhorse can go anywhere — and do just about anything.

Notable features include:

  • One-pedal foot control
  • Sliding speed control
  • Included auxiliary table
  • checkLED light
  • checkProfessional speed of 1500 stitches per minute
  • checkSee that speed?

That’s what gives your sewing project that extra-professional look. Faster speed means even stitching for tight, neat seams.

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2. Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches

Brother cs60001

The Brother CS60001 is also super easy for beginning sewers, but advanced enough to perform well on more complex sewing projects. A great machine for beginning quilters, in particular, the CS60001 is packed with features. With many accessories that store neatly in the arm of the machine, it’s ready to go where you are.

Notable features include:

  • 60 built-in stitches
  • 7 styles of one-step buttonholes
  • Quilting table
  • checkJam-resistant bobbin
  • checkLCD display

With a nice price point and outstanding warranty and customer support (free, for the life of the product) this machine is well worth a close look.

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3. Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine with 27 Stitches

brother xmr2701

We just can’t stay away from these portable Brother machines. This one is exceptionally lightweight at only 15.7 pounds and it comes with its own carrying case to make porting it from place to place simple.

Notable features include:

  • 63 stitch functions
  • 27 built-in stitches, including stretch stitches
  • One-step auto-size buttonholer
  • check6 quick-change sewing feet
  • checkSupport for the life of the product

Brother really steps up their game with these quality portable machines. With free technical support as long as you own the machine, you can tell they’re confident of product quality. This is a fantastic machine for a beginner or a home sewer that doesn’t have a lot of room for an in-place machine.

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4. Handheld Sewing Machine, Mini Handy Stitch Portable Sewing Machine

handheld sewing machine

This little machine puts a new spin on portability and we couldn’t resist including it. If you need on-the-spot clothing repairs, this is the machine for you. Perfect for travel and on-the-go emergencies, this tiny, 8-ounce machine can take care of basic sewing tasks with ease.

Notable features include:

  • Mini size and handheld.
  • Battery operated, but power adaptor available

The lowest price point on the list, this small task-buster gets outstanding reviews from satisfied customers. It’s great for camping, car trips, and any sew-on-the-go job you need done.

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5. Janome Jem Gold 660 Lightweight Sewing Machine

Janome sewing machine

Janome is a respected name in sewing machines, and this machine shows off what they do best — pack a lot of features into a lightweight, streamlined machine. This portable machine is jam-packed full of features you’ll love, including automatic threader, a free arm for easy hemming of pant legs and sleeves, and a see-through bobbin cover so you’ll never run low on thread again.

Other notable features include:

  • 8 built-in stitches, including stretch stitches
  • 4-step  buttonhole
  • Included accessories
  • checkNeedle reverse function
  • checkSnap-on sewing foot

All of your accessories store easily in the free-arm, so you can take them with you on the go. With all of these features and the Janome name, it’s hard to resist taking this one home now!

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6. Janome Arctic Crystal

janom arctic crystal

Another favorite from Janome, the Arctic Crystal is a funky, bright green sewing machine that packs a lot of power in its tiny frame. Weighing just 12 pounds, the Arctic Crystal is still loaded with features. Its slim styling and simple controls won’t overwhelm the beginning seamstress, but it’s tough enough to stand up to years of use.

Notable features include:

  • 15 built-in stitches
  • 4-step buttonhole
  • Front-loading bobbin
  • checkAdjustable stitch length
  • checkReverse lever
  • checkDarning plate
  • check3-piece feed dog system
  • checkRemovable free arm
  • check4 presser feet

With all these features, it’s easy to see why this machine could easily become a favorite in your home. It can take care of all your home sewing needs — darning, hemming, crafting, and more. Plus, it’s backed by Janome’s 25-year warranty.

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7. Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW Electric Sewing Machine

Brother Project Runway CS5055PRW

Another lightweight offering, the Project Runway model is just 14 pounds, making it easy to carry where you need it most.

With features like 50 built-in stitches and the ability to create blind hems, overcasting edges, sleek buttonholes, and professional-looking stitching even on knit fabric, this machine is sure to be a crowd favorite.

Notable features include:

  • Consistent, professional stitch quality
  • Free arm for sleeves, cuffs, and pant legs
  • 6 specialty feet
  • checkSpecialty needles
  • check5 one-step buttonholes

With a built-in carrying handle for true portability, the Project Runway will have you sewing like a professional in no time. The LCD screen is easy-to-read and intuitive, and the machine makes threading easy with an automatic threader.

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8. Singer Simple 3223R Handy Sewing Machine

Singer Simple

Another colorful addition to our list, the Singer Simple comes in two luscious colors, Raspberry and Honey.

No matter which you choose, you’ll get Singer’s reliability and durability in this whimsical, yet feature-packed machine. With over 23 built-in stitches and an automatic buttonholer, this little workhorse can sew anything your heart desires, from couture to crafts.

Notable features include:

  • Automatic bobbin winding
  • High presser foot for sewing through thick fabric
  • Free arm feature for sewing cuffs and pant legs
  • checkOn-board storage with numerous included accessories

With a simple, dial-operated stitch selection system and a heavy-duty metal frame, this machine mixes ease of use with durability for a machine that will give you years of service

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9. Meditool Sewing Machine

menditool sewing machine

Not as small as the handheld in our Number Four spot, the Meditool nonetheless weighs in on the light side at just 8.65 pounds. It’s a basic machine, but it’s sturdy and well-made, with reverse needle function and even an overlock function for extra versatility.

Notable features include:

  • Automatic thread rewind
  • Quiet operation
  • 16 built-in stitch patterns
  • checkBuilt-in carry handle
  • checkFoot pedal
  • checkBuilt-in measuring tape
  • checkFour-step buttonhole
  • checkAdjustable stitch length

With a simple, intuitive silhouette, this machine is easy enough for beginners, but durable enough to be used daily.

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10. Singer Pixie-Plus Craft Machine

singer pixie plus craft

Weighing under five pounds, the Pixie-Plus is the ultimate sewing machine for crafters who require portability.

With the unique feature of being able to support monofilament thread, the Pixie offers straight, zig-zag, rampart, or applique stitches for a variety of craft and sewing uses.

Perfect for beginners, this machine runs on batteries or AC power.

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Sewing Machine for Quilting

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing a portable sewing machine. With such a variety of machines on the market, it’s hard to determine what features you need — and what is nice, but unnecessary.

We’ve gathered the most important details for you in one easy-to-follow guide to make choosing a machine appropriate for your needs fast and easy.


One of the most critical features for a portable sewing machine is its weight. Most portable machines are under 15 pounds to make carrying them a breeze. There are some slightly heavier machines that still consider themselves portable. These might be fine if you’re only intending on using your machine around the house.

If you want to take it on the road to sewing classes, quilting bees, or other off-site locations, it’s best to stick with the smaller, easier-to-carry models.

In-Line Handle

The most useful portable sewing machine will have an in-line carrying handle — one that’s molded right into the body of the machine. This means you don’t have to lift the entire machine with both arms — you can carry it with one hand, leaving your other hand free for supplies.

Intuitive Controls

Portable sewing machines often have fewer features than their heavy-duty, sew-in-place cousins, but those features aren’t always easy to follow. The machines on our list offer simple, easy-to-decipher dials and other features that will allow you to complete your sewing tasks quickly and efficiently.

Ease of Use

Many portable sewing machines are marketed for beginner sewers. A portable machine is a great choice for a teen just getting started or someone who doesn’t need to do elaborate sewing projects.

As a beginner machine, a good portable should be simple to use and have features that make machine set-up easier, like a clear bobbin cover, automatic threader, and clearly-marked dials.

Advanced Features

Not all of the machines on our list have advanced features. This is because most people who want a portable machine just want basic sewing capability.

However, if you’re a beginning quilter or sewer and you’ll be taking your machine to classes, you might want to choose one that’s feature-rich, so it can grow with your skills.

Strong Warranty

These machines might be portable, but they still represent an investment. You want to be sure that the manufacturer is certain of product quality. One way to tell if a product is durable is to look at warranty length and support services.

Only a manufacturer who is creating consistently reliable products will offer a long-term warranty and easy access to customer support.

Looking for the Portable Sewing Machine? The Choice is Yours!

We’re so confident that these 10 machines represent the very best of the best in portable sewing machines that you can take your pick of any of the above and be a satisfied seamstress. These machines all receive the highest reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers and each brand we chose stands behind their product with strong warranties and customer service.

In addition, each machine has most, if not all, of the recommended features for a portable machine. As a rule, we allowed that some of the more portable machines, notably the ultra-inexpensive handheld in our Number Four spot, have only basic features and a limited warranty. After all, at $16.99, this machine is really made for the simplest jobs, yet its extreme portability makes it a winner on the list.

If you’re just trying out sewing as a hobby, there’s no need to pay a high price just to get features you might not need. That’s why most of the machines on our list are sleek, simple, and reasonably priced. No matter which machine you pick, you’ll have a dependable, durable, and flexible sewing machine that can see you through years of sewing creativity.

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