replace needle sewing machine

Elevate Your Sewing with This Easy Needle Replacement Trick

If your sewing projects have been plagued by skipped stitches, uneven tension, or other frustrating issues, the problem may be as simple as a worn-out needle. Replacing the needle on your machine is a quick and easy fix that can make all the difference.

  • Identify the correct needle size and type for your machine and fabric
  • Unplug the machine and raise the presser foot
  • Loosen the needle clamp screw and gently pull out the old needle
  • Insert the new needle, making sure it’s fully seated in the clamp
  • Tighten the needle clamp screw securely
  • Lower the presser foot and test the new needle

Why Replace Your Sewing Machine Needle

An old, bent, or damaged sewing machine needle can cause a variety of stitching problems, including:

  • Skipped stitches from a dull needlepoint
  •  Frayed or broken thread from a damaged needle
  •  Snags, holes, or shreds in delicate fabrics from a bent or blunt needle

Replacing your needle regularly, such as after 6-8 hours of sewing or finishing a large project, can prevent these issues. Signs your singer sewing machine needle or brother sewing machine needle needs replacing include:

  • Skipping stitches
  •  Frequent thread breaks
  •  Fabrics shredding or snagging
  •  Resistance piercing fabric
  •  Visible needle damage

Using the proper sewing machine needle for your fabric type and thread size improves stitch quality. While universal sewing machine needles work for most fabrics, needles like micro tex/sharps for wovens or stretch needles for knits make a noticeable difference.

How Often to Replace Sewing Machine Needles

How frequently should you replace your sewing machine needle? Here are some general guidelines:

  • After 6-8 hours of sewing
  •  After completing a large sewing project or quilt
  •  When the needle is bent, dull, or damaged
  •  When changing fabric type or sewing machine thread

Signs your needle needs replacing include skipped stitches, thread breaks, fabric damage, and visible needle damage like scratches or a blunt point. Replacing bent, damaged, or dull sewing needles can prevent further issues.

What You Need to Replace a Sewing Machine Needle

What You Need to Replace a Sewing Machine Needle
Photo credit: freepik

You only need a few supplies on hand to replace a sewing machine needle:

  • New machine needle in the correct type/size
  • To loosen the screw that secures the needle clamp, a small-sized screwdriver is needed. Needle insertion tool (optional but can help)

It is essential to make sure that you refer to your sewing machine manual to determine the appropriate needle size and type that you should use for your project.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Sewing Machine Needle

Follow these steps to replace your sewing machine needle easily:

Preparing Your Sewing Machine

  • Unplug the power cord for safety
  • Please lift the needle bar to its highest position. Lower the presser foot.

This exposes the needle clamp area and prevents the needle from falling into the bobbin area.

Removing the Old Needle

  • Loosen (don’t remove) the needle clamp screw
  •  Gently slide the old needle down and out of the needle clamp

Avoid dropping the old sewing machine needle into the machine.

Inserting the New Needle

  • Insert the new needle fully into the needle clamp with the flat side facing back
  •  Tighten the needle clamp screw securely

Ensure the needle is inserted as far up as possible for a solid hold.

Testing the New Needle

  • Slowly rotate the hand wheel to check that the needle clears the sides
  •  Test stitch on fabric scrap to check for skipped stitches

Then, you’re ready to resume sewing!

Tips for Replacing Sewing Machine Needles

Follow these tips when changing your sewing machine needle:

  • Consult your manual for the correct needle size and type
  •  Handle the needle carefully to avoid damaging the point
  •  Don’t over-tighten the needle clamp screw
  •  Consider labeling damaged needles before discarding

Take your time and be gentle when changing your sewing machine needle for best results.


How do I know when to replace my sewing machine needle?

Replace your needle if it is bent, dull, or damaged. Also, change it after 6-8 hours of sewing or completing a big project. Signs you need a new needle include skipped stitches, thread breaks, and snags or holes in the fabric.

What size/type of needle does my sewing machine need?

Check your instruction manual for the correct needle system and size for your specific sewing machine model. Most home machines use standard, universal needles in sizes 11/75 or 14/90.

What is the best way to remove the old needle?

Lift the needle to its maximum height, bring down the presser foot, and then loosen the needle clamp screw without removing it. Gently slide the old needle down and out of the clamp.

How do I know my new needle is inserted correctly?

Insert the needle fully upwards into the clamp with the flat side facing the back of the machine. Tighten the screw securely with the needle pushed up as far as it will go.

Why does my needle keep bending?

You are hitting too many pins while sewing, sewing over thick seams, or striking the needle plate can bend needles. Use the proper needle for your fabric to help prevent bending.

How can I avoid breaking needles when sewing?

Go slow over thick seams, avoid hitting pins, and don’t pull or push fabric while the machine runs. Use the correct needle size and replace needles frequently.


Replacing your sewing machine needle prevents skipped stitches, thread breaks, and fabric damage. Follow the step-by-step guide to change your needle effortlessly. Investing a few minutes in this crucial machine maintenance will keep your sewing on track.


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 249

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *