How to Change the Needle on a Sewing Machine

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If you need to replace your sewing machine needle, don’t worry. It’s very easy! I’ll walk you through this, step by step. The process is the same for almost all sewing machines…

There are all sorts of reasons why a sewing machine needle can break. If this is a recurring problem for you, read this article: Why the needle keeps breaking on my sewing machine

Sewing Machine Needle Replacement Instructions

First, you’ll need to find a replacement needle and the screwdriver that came with your sewing machine. I like to buy bulk sewing machine needles so that I always have a spare on hand.

Read also: Everything you need to know about sewing machine needles

Here are the steps to follow to replace the needle on your sewing machine:

  • Step 1: Choose the right needle for your sewing project. Sewing machine needles come in many different types and sizes.
  • 2nd step: Turn off your sewing machine so you don’t accidentally press the pedal and injure yourself.
  • Step 3: Use the handwheel to raise the needle to its highest position, if it is not already there. This gives you the space you need to easily remove the old needle and replace it.
  • Step 4 (optional): place a small piece of paper under the presser foot to cover the hole where your needle goes down. This prevents the needle from falling into the hole when removing it. This has happened to me before, and it was a bit difficult to get the old needle back!
  • Step 5: Locate the needle clamp or screw. It’s usually to the right of the needle. Use a screwdriver to loosen it and the needle should fall out. You don’t need to remove the screw completely.
  • STEP 6: Insert a new needle with the flat side facing back. You will notice that all sewing machine needles have a flat side at the top of the shank. Insert the needle all the way up and hold it in place. Madame Sew has a clever Needle insertion tool it makes things super easy. The needle should be straight.
  • Step 7: While holding the needle in place, tighten the screw or needle clamp.
  • STEP 8: Rethread your sewing machine and test to make sure everything is working properly. Check that the needle is not touching the plate or anything else.

Congratulations! That’s it.

How often should I change the needle on my sewing machine?

Did you know that you are supposed to change the needle on your sewing machine every 8 hours of sewing? This is a recommendation of Schmetzand I think that’s about right…

You should also change the needle when:

  • The needle is damaged/broken.
  • The needle is bent.
  • The upper thread breaks or snaps repeatedly.
  • The needle is still in contact with the fabric.
  • You notice resistance when sewing the fabric.
  • You are using a different fabric and need a specific size or type of needle.

I usually replace my sewing machine needle at the start of each new project (or when it breaks). I think it’s easier to remember that way, because who really tracks how many hours they sew? Plus, I can insert the right type of needle for my sewing project without worrying.

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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