Last Updated on January 10, 2023

When you sew for long periods of time, the needle eventually wears out. This means that it is necessary to replace a sewing machine needle periodically. The average lifespan of a needle is 6 to 10 hours at best, depending on how you use it and on the fabric that you’re working on.

When your stitches aren’t as crisp or your thread is breaking then it’s likely time for you to replace your sewing machine needle.

When you’re ready to change yours out, check out this guide for how to do just that!



Why do I need to insert the sewing machine needle properly?


Inserting the needle on your sewing machine needle properly is very important.

For starters, the needle is a very essential part of the sewing machine. It’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of the machine because it’s the one doing all of the work. So knowing how to replace it is something you’ll see yourself doing over and over again.

When you put the needle in a sewing machine properly, you’ll have better stitch formation, prevent damage to your machine, and avoid many common sewing machine problems.

And speaking of sewing machine problems, changing the needle of your sewing machine is also the solution to a lot of the basic troubles that you may encounter with your machine.


Featured image of How to replace a sewing machine needle


The Tools You Need to Replace a Sewing Machine Needle


  • Screwdriver
  • Needle

It can be intimidating to know how to replace the needle on a sewing machine, but there are only two tools you need.

One is a screwdriver that fits your specific brand of sewing machine and the other one is a new-needle package so make sure it’s compatible with your model.


A bunch of sewing machine needles laying on a black fabric


How To Remove The Sewing Machine Needle


  • Turn off the sewing machine
  • With your left hand, hold the needle in order to prevent it from falling into the floor or on the machine.
  • Use your right hand to undo the screw located at the top of the needle. 
  • Remove the needle by pulling it down gently.
  • If you’re encountering some problems, turn on your sewing machine to test how it works without a needle in order to see if there are any problems.


How to put a needle in a sewing machine


After you remove the previous needle, it’s time to insert your new needle.

  • Insert the new needle into the needle bar. The flat side of the needle shank must face the back of the sewing machine.
  • Hold the needle with your left hand. Push the needle up as high as it will go.
  • Using your right hand, re-tighten the screw to secure the needle in its place.
  • Rethread your machine.




Some tips in replacing a sewing machine needle


  • A broken needle poses a lot of dangers when used. Make sure that once you see that your needle is broken or bent, replace it right away! Not replacing it may cause the needle to break while it’s being used.
  • If you have a needle insertion tool,  you should insert the needle into it first before inserting it in your machine. This will make for an easier time.
  • Make sure you tighten the screw to secure the new needle so that there is no risk of slipping or sliding out and accidentally getting stuck with a sewing needle.
  • If, after rethreading your machine, you notice that your thread bunches up when running through, try loosening one stitch at a time until this happens no more. If that doesn’t work either then double check how tight the screws are on your sewing machine and how well threaded they are too.
  • For good measure, you can put a small piece of paper on the base to prevent the needle from falling down to the inside of the machine.
  • Always keep extra needles just in case!
  • Remember to use the right type and size of needles when you replace your old needle. This will help you avoid many sewing machine problems.
  • Dispose old or broken needles properly.


Photo of a woman sewing with a sewing machine


We hope that this mini-guide helped you know how to replace a sewing machine needle safely and securely. Now you’ll be able to change sewing machine needles confidently, as you’ll need it because we’re sure you’ll need to do it very often. Below is a video of how to replace a sewing machine needle if you need visuals.

Happy sewing!


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