How to change a sewing machine needle

Changing the needle on your sewing machine is an essential maintenance task that ensures your projects go smoothly. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced sewist, knowing how to replace the needle is crucial. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to change the needle and help you identify signs that indicate it’s time for a new one.


Signs That Tell You It Is Time to Change the Needle

Your sewing machine’s performance can deteriorate if the needle is not in good condition. Here are some signs to look out for:

Skipping Stitches: If your sewing machine is skipping stitches, it often means the needle is blunt. A blunt needle cannot pierce the fabric properly, causing it to miss stitches.

Bent or Broken Needle: A bent or broken needle is a clear indicator that it needs to be changed. Using a damaged needle can lead to fabric damage and uneven stitching.

Other Signs: Look for frayed threads, uneven tension, or unusual noises while sewing. These can also be indicators that your needle needs replacement.

Sewing Hours: Typically, you get 8 to 10 hours of sewing from one needle. After this period, it’s advisable to replace the needle to maintain optimal sewing performance.

How to Change the Needle

Step 1: Turn Off and Unplug the Machine

Safety first! Always turn off and unplug your sewing machine before changing the needle to avoid any accidents.

Step 2: Remove the Old Needle

Raise the needle to its highest position using the handwheel. Loosen the needle clamp screw with a screwdriver or your fingers. Carefully pull the old needle down and out of the needle clamp.

Step 3: Insert the New Needle

Take your new needle and insert it into the needle clamp with the flat side facing the back of the machine. Push it up as far as it will go. Tighten the needle clamp screw securely to hold the needle in place.

Step 4: Test the New Needle

After replacing the needle, run a few test stitches on a scrap piece of fabric. Ensure the stitches are even and the machine runs smoothly.

Watch this video on how to change the needle on a sewing machine


Regularly changing the needle on your sewing machine is vital for maintaining its performance. By recognizing the signs of a worn-out needle and knowing how to replace it, you can ensure your sewing projects are always of the highest quality. Remember, you generally get 8 to 10 hours of sewing from one needle, so keep track of your sewing time and change the needle accordingly. Watch our video tutorial for a visual guide on changing your sewing machine needle, and keep your machine running at its best!

Learn how to care for your machine and so much more in the Beginners Online Sewing Course