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How Do You Know When To Change The Needle On Sewing Machine

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Do you know when it is time to change the needle on a sewing machine? Having a sewing machine is not enough, as it is also recommended to understand the basic details about when to replace the needle and how to change the needle as well. 

So, how do you change a sewing machine needle? Start by switching off and unplugging the sewing machine. Place a piece of fabric underneath the presser foot, put the needle in the up position, loosen the needle set screw, remove the old needle and replace with a new one. Lock the needle in place by tightening the set screw and test the new needle on a scrap of fabric.  

Changing the needle on a sewing machine comes with so many different options, so what is important to look for. The fabrication and type of sewing machine you have require individual solutions.

If you are going to use a new needle for every single sewing garment, then the cost can add up over time. However, you will have to change the needle as changing the fabric is generally not an option as it will be more expensive than changing the needle of your sewing machine. 

Apart from this, if you want to avoid skip stitching or thread keeps breaking, then you should change the needle so it remains sharp, doesn’t break and matches the toe of fabric you are sewing. 

This article cover everything that you will need to know about changing a sewing machine needle. Included below are quick hacks to simplify the process and answers to frequently asked questions that you may have about sewing machine needles.

threading needle on sewing machine

How to tell if your sewing machine needle is dull?

The sewing machine needle is dull when it begins making a thud or popping sound every time the blunt needle is having difficulty making a hole in the fabric. Also, turn off the machine and put your finger against the needle to check whether the needle is dull or sharp. 

Another way to find out if your sewing machine needle is dull is if you use a magnifier glass to check the status of your needle point.

Always select the correct needle for the type of stitching and the fabric being used. The right needle will help you make stitches easier and smoother. 

Not only that, but sharp needles are the most economical way to make your sewing machine last longer without needing expensive repair. This is because the machine doesn’t have to work as hard to make each stitch when the needle effortlessly slides through the material.

How long does a sewing machine needle last?

The sewing machine needle is one of the cheapest and most affordable items in any sewing toolkit. Therefore, you can change the needle for each and every new project. 

In general, the sewing machine needle will last about 8 to 10 hours of consistent sewing, or roughly 3 full bobbins of thread. 

Many needles have a lifetime of 6 to 8 hours, but if the fabric is tough to poke through then the lifespan of the sewing machine needle will be reduced. 

Avoid using a dull needle on your fabric as it will hamper, slow or produce inconsistent stitches in your sewing project. The dull needle will ruin the motor of your sewing machine or damage the fabric.

How to change the needle on a sewing machine?

It is a simple task and it will improve your stitching quality. All sewing machines come with detailed instructions for how to change the needle on a sewing machine. 

If you lost your owner’s manual or need a bit more help, here are the basic step by step tips for how to change the needle on a sewing machine:

  • Unplug the machine and turn off the power.
  • Place a piece of paper or fabric underneath the pressure foot.
  • Loosen the needle set screw.
  • Pull the needle in the downward direction to find the needle bar.
  • Insert the new needle.
  • Then, push it to the upward direction until the butt of the needle touches the stop.
  • Tighten the needle set screw.

In the case of the home sewing machine, needles have a flat side on the shank, so there is only one way to fit the needle properly. On the other hand, industrial sewing machines have round-shaped shank needles. 

Expert Advice: Make sure to label as “sharp” and dispose the old sewing needles safely by wrapping it in piles of tape or stick them in a cork before throwing in the trash. Never use cardboard boxes where it can rip or break open.

Give careful attention to sewing machine needles as they are one of the most economical ways to make your machine last longer and help you create straight stitching with ease. Also, it is one of the simple ways to keep the sewing machine running perfectly. 

In this way, you can even ensure your quality stitching and sewing as well. Now you have understood when the needles need to be changed, the proper method of inserting a needle and also making adjustments safely and with confidence.

steps to change needle on sewing machine

Which way should the needle face on a sewing machine?

When you observe that it is time to change the needle, understand the correct way to insert the needle to your sewing machine. Whether you have Singer or Brother, the position of the needle is the same for both machines.

Insert the point of the needle into the tiny hole of the insertion tool of the sewing machine. Use the needle insertion instrument so that you can push it as high as it can go. 

Make sure the flat space on the needle goes to the back when inserted. Once the needle is inserted, turn a quarter with your finger or a screwdriver to tighten and secure in place.

The proper insertion of the needle in the sewing machine will guarantee the perfect stitching and longevity of your machine. So, you will have to do it perfectly. Check that there is no needle breakage at the time of insertion by testing on a piece of scrap before starting the sewing project.

How do you lift a needle on a sewing machine?

If you want to lift a needle on a sewing machine, place a piece of paper over the pressure foot part so that you do not drop the needle into the machine. 

Removing or lifting your needle on a sewing machine is a tricky step that requires following a few rules and technique. Rule number one, unplug the machine and make sure it is turned off.

Turn the hand wheel towards you or counter clockwise so the needle moves up, then you will be able to unscrew to detach the needle from the machine.

At the time of lifting needle on a sewing machine, you will have to be more careful since you may loose the needle inside of the machine. Loosen the set screw to remove the needle from the machine on one hand and hold the needle with the other to securely remove the needle.

How to loosen needle set screw?

To loosen the needle set screw, it is different than a regular screwdriver from the toolbox. 

In general, the needle set screw comes with the sewing machine when you purchase. Depending on the brand and type of machine you have, it may look different so read thoroughly your owners manual beforehand.

In order to loosen needle set screw, turn the main power switch off and unplug the machine. Place a piece of paper or fabric scraps to hold the dropped needle when loosened and use the needle set screw with hexagonal wrench to remove the needle.

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