Does the Handy Stitch Really Work?

Does Handy Stitch work?The Handy Stitch bills itself as a handheld sewing machine, allowing you the flexibility to maneuver the sewing machine where you want it, rather than having to manipulate the clothing article to fit the machine.

If you’ve ever had trouble with a sewing machine you will appreciate that there are companies trying to solve the problems. Struggling with a big, bulky sewing machine can really be a pain, and being able to quickly put the machine where you want it is a big advantage.

The Claim
The makers of the Handy Stitch say that you’ll be able to sew without a cord, giving you the freedom and the flexibility to sew all sorts of different items. They also say that with just 4 AA batteries it’s able to rival the power of larger machines. This is perhaps one of the bigger claims, because we’ve seen time and time again that battery operated devices just don’t pack the punch of corded ones. For us, this is a red flag and we’ll go into greater detail on whether or not it lives up to this claim.

The Hype
Like any product that has an infomercial backing it, there will be some hype surrounding it. That’s because they depict it working flawlessly on the video, so you’re led to believe that you’ll have a similar experience when you unbox it at home. Many times though there is a gap between how it looks on TV and how it performs in the real world. You can’t fault a company for shedding the best light they can on their product, but some go too far and the majority of users say that this falls far short of the mark set by its ad.

The Cost
This is what likely draws many people to at least try it, because it’s set at a price that makes it easy to own. For less than $20 you get the entire Handy Stitch kit and are ready to start with it.

The Commitment
The premise behind this device is that you’ll be saving time on your sewing tasks because it frees you from having to sew thins manually, and sometimes you have items that are too small to justify using a big machine, but too large to sit and do it by hand. This is meant to be a good compromise, knocking out all of the medium sized projects you have and getting you your time back.

The 4 AA batteries gives this some weight, so it feels solid in your hand. There are issues with the craftsmanship, with some saying that the needles break easily on it. There are others that say it has design flaws, leaving behind loose stitches, or that it doesn’t hold the stitching. Some have even said it’s better to simply stitch things up by hand than to fuss with this, but the whole point of buying it is to save you time from having to do it by hand. Or it is supposed to save you from learning how to sew manually. Either way it’s not getting the job done.

Anytime we see a product get universally panned we’re often asked: but what about those that tried it and like it, since there are always a few people giving it a thumbs up when everyone around them is giving the thumbs down. In those instances it could be that this person needed it for a specific task and had their expectations set at the right level. We’ve learned that it’s never a good idea to base your decision off of one or a few personal reviews, as these mean very little when looking at the bigger picture. There’s always anomalies that shouldn’t be factored into the final answer.

Final Handy Stitch Review

The Handy Stitch is getting our Thumbs Down rating, and it’s best to avoid this even at its low price point. The overwhelming number of people that dislike their experience with it is impossible to ignore, and unfortunately it’s back to the drawing board in regards to the best way to get smaller sewing projects completed. The search for a reliable and portable sewing machine continues, and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for anything that deserves a review.

Our Recommendation
We scoured the Internet for a handheld sewing machine that actually works. We weren’t able to find one, although there are several companies that have made an attempt at it. The closest thing we were able to find is a smaller sized machine that doesn’t quite give you the ultimate versatility of holding it in your hand, but it’s easier to put it where you need it. It’s the Sew Advance Sew Affordable machine by Brother. It is packed with features and accessories to tackle just about any project, gets great feedback, and at $85 is priced below many of the bigger models.

What do you think? Does the Handy Stitch work or not?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Caldwell July 9, 2013 at 7:16 am

THIS THING IS WORTHLESS. I bought it thinking that I could use it instead of pulling my full size machine out every time I needed to repair or hem something. WHAT A WASTE!

Not only did the needles keep breaking, but no matter what type of material I tried it on the stitching either slipped or tied the threads up in knots. Anyone who buys this product is bound to be disappointed if not flat out ticked off like I was.

I even returned the first one thinking I had gotten a dud and that no product could be that crappy and still be on shelves. Boy was I wrong!


Tbaby October 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

This is a piece of junk I can’t even get it to stitch I finally just gave up but pissed I lost my money. T anyone thinking of buying this run don’t walk away unless you like given your money away.


Allison July 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I have been sewing for a number of years and have tried my fair share of sewing machines, sergers, mini sewing machines, and many others. When I initially purchased the Handy Stitch I did so because I was looking for an alternative to my larger sewing machine for the use of smaller projects. I probably successfully sewed 75 to 100 stitches before it dies on me. There are multiple reasons why this products simply does not work. (1) The needle is rather weak and cannot properly sew through most materials and (2) the durability is not what you would need to sew. Buy this if you are hoping to make Barbie clothes or some such small project.


Kaila Braley August 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

The only thing I can see this being useful for is if you keep it in your purse in case something breaks and you need to stitch it back in an emergency, but everyone is saying that it hardly would even be worth it for that. To me, you should just carry some thread and needle around for the small repairs you might need to make, and invest in a really nice high quality sewing machine to do your bigger products. It’s usually true that you get what you pay for, so if you want to make some really nice sewing projects, you should really just get a nice table top sewing machine that can do all of the things you need. There isn’t really a need for this product, I think, so it’s not that disappointing that it doesn’t work well.


MIKE SOUZA August 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I bought a handy stitch years ago. Unlike many ladies, I was clueless with ANY mechanical sewing device. I know how to do simple handstitching, and that’s all. Oh, BTW, I am a former Navy-Marine Corpsman trained in surgical wound closure or suturing. Never having used a sewing machine before, I read the instructions several times. I practiced on some old denim (because I wanted to repair my jeans). The only trouble I had was terminating, so I called mom and sis for advice. They recommended raising the arm and re-sewing the final inch or so. That worked! I’ve used it to hem-up pant legs, fix bags and pouches, etc. I remember paying less than $20 years ago – $15? Even at $20, it’s great for light jobs. I leave it in my Land Rover, so when I go camping I can fix rips and tears on a tent or sleeping bag quite easily. I use Nimh rechargeable batts, and I also carry a batt charger in the LR (in the Marines, the corpsman is the go-to guy for stuff). Maybe I like it because I didn’t buy the HandyStitch with any pre-conceived notions and expections!


Iron Mike Taylor January 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm

I agree Mike,

This little contraption have saved my butt many times.

I guess like you, I had no real high expectations and knowing little about sewing, I was/am delighted with this.

Perhaps it should be marketed to men or those who don’t know how to use the heavy duty sewing machines.

I will agree that the needle is weak and break easily if you are not careful.


jackie July 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Great, firm, even stitches. Easy to use. It does a great job. Of course, the biggest benefit is its portability. Perfect if you are taking a trip–you will be prepared for any type of wardrobe malfunction. It is great for multi tasking–I also keep it in my sewing tote basket so that it is there for my mending and portable sewing projects–watching TV, waiting at the doctor’s office–no wasting time, I feel very productive now..


Lauri Garrison August 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I have never tried to use my Handi Stitch in place of my sewing machine, or as a substitute for hand stitching even. I have several, and use them in my child care for craft projects. The kids LOVE doing little projects like napkins, scarves, puppets etc. My daughter uses hers for quick fixes. Keeps it in her car. I enjoy mine, and would recommend it for fun projects & light fix its …. but probably not as a handy substitute for my sewing machine.


andrew August 20, 2016 at 1:40 am

After 2 hours pissing around with this shite i threw it through the open window on the 12th floor of my flats.
Better than watching x factor tho


Tami August 24, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I sewed many things with my handy stitch only to find that finally the lower thread ran out & u can not re-thread it. What kind of !#%* is that. So what…you are just suppose to throw it away now??? That seems like a waste and why bother to buy it in the furst place?


Rick August 29, 2016 at 8:52 pm

After taking off the test quality patch that came with the machine, I wound a #69 thread to match the repair job I needed it for. It did not work. After trying different threads and finally using the original thread that came with it, it still would not stitch. Taking it apart, I saw that the thread hook that grabs the thread from the needle was missing the thread. Reassembling the machine, I brought the needle down by about 1/16″. It worked beautifully on a suitcase repair. My $6,000 professional stitchers were unable to do the task since the position was awkward. I sealed the end of the chain stitch with super glue to keep it from unraveling.

Use a drill to wind the bobbin.


lydia September 5, 2016 at 6:01 pm

it is a deception as it cannot be compared to a conventional sewing machine. i bought it with great expectation thinking that i will be able to sew some torn clothes but trust me it kept making nice and yet will sow nothing. i think the manufacturers would have to re look at it again since majority are disappointed.


liza October 25, 2016 at 11:38 am

It sucks! Frustrating! Waste time and money. Did not even manage to stitch 10 stitches before it broke. It stopped catching the bottom thread. I might have it repaired and give it another go.


William March 6, 2017 at 7:08 am

Hello folks I have been given a “handy stitch” never used still in the box. Maybe the reason it was never used is that it has no needles: where can I get needles???????? I have searched ebay and the like, lots of tutorials but nothing about what needles you need or where you can get them. Any help would be gratefully received


Jolene May 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

If a single stitch gets pulled the entire line of stitching just gets pulled right out. I do not understand how they could think this would actually replace anything! My poor at best hand stitching holds up better.


Carl February 28, 2019 at 3:33 am

Instructions are very small and does not hold stitch yet.


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