Mechanical Sewing Machine: Advantages, Disadvantages and Uses

Last Updated: March 13, 2023 by Philip Williams

If you ask any professional tailor about what sewing machine you should get, they’ll most likely talk about how superior the mechanical sewing machine is and that you really don’t need any other model out there.

But if you’re like us, you probably want to know more about them and why professionals love them, especially since computerized sewing machines seem to have become the norm nowadays.

That said, we’ve made sure to gather as much information about the mechanical sewing machines. Below, you’ll find why you’d want to consider getting one and why they’re not so good at doing certain things.

What is a Mechanical sewing machine?

An analog sewing machine is used to sew many types of fabrics. They were one of the first machines in the market and have been the go-to option of many sewers worldwide.

But unlike modern sewing machines, mechanical machines are limited to what they can do.

For instance, the user in question must control the machine for it to work. With a digital one, the computer takes care of everything. This is can either be good or bad for some sewers as they’d rather have more control over the machine.

What Does a Mechanical Sewing Machine Do?

The mechanical sewing machine is known for being extremely efficient and easy to use. Even though we live in a world slowly being replaced by computers, tools like this are often preferred by experienced sewers.

Apart from that, mechanical sewing machines behave differently when changing the speed. On a mechanical sewing machine, one needs to step on a foot pedal to control the speed, meaning this machine relies on your physical strength to change the speed.

They’re also pretty easy to use regardless of your background. The design has been the same for many decades, although this can change depending on your model. But even then, they are easy to get used to.

Uses of mechanical sewing machine

If you’re feeling confused about the uses of mechanical sewing machine, the following section will clear up most doubts you might have:


You can pretty much do anything on an analog sewing machine that you’d do on any modern sewing machine. They do not have endless built-in stitches, but you can still get some great results with them.

However, you have to be careful as the stitch’s quality depends on how well you can handle the machine.

Thick Fabric

Apart from that, some mechanical sewing machines can deal pretty well with the thickest and lightweight fabrics.

Old School Vibes

If you’re more of an old-school kind of person, you’ll love the feeling of using a mechanical sewing machine. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of manually controlling a sewing machine?

This is something that you give up on a computerized sewing machine since the machine does almost all the work.

Advantages of a Mechanical Sewing Machine

With so many things being automated, one can only wonder if it’s worth getting a manual machine. That being said, below you’ll find a couple of advantages of mechanical sewing machine:

Ease of Use

If you’ve ever looked up anything about mechanical sewing machines, you’ve probably noticed just how many people talk about how easy these machines are. And that’s true. These machines are beginner-friendly.

This is thanks to their simple but reliable design. If you’ve used a computerized sewing machine, you can probably tell why they’re more accessible.

They don’t have nearly as many features but that’s why they are easier to use. You could think of mechanical sewing machines as old phones. They didn’t have as many features as today’s smartphones, but that’s precisely why they’re more accessible.


So you’ve finally made up your mind and decided to get into sewing. Logically, you went to Amazon and sorted by best-selling. Surprisingly enough, none of the top machines were affordable. They were far beyond your budget.

Well, you might want to get a mechanical sewing machine. You see, these machines have fewer components. But that doesn’t mean they’re not helpful. They don’t have as many “unnecessary” features as computerized ones.

The lack of features and circuit boards makes mechanical sewing machines cheaper. And for the time being, that won’t change. So, if you’re just getting started, a mechanical one will do wonders for you for an affordable price. And as time goes by, you might not want to upgrade.


Between the mechanical vs computerized sewing machine, which is one is more durable? The most significant difference between these two is that mechanical one is more resistant than their counterpart.

It’s hard to tell how long your sewing machine will be by your side as there are many factors to consider, including maintenance and the manufacturer. But in many cases, mechanical sewing machines are more durable.

Digital machines have a tone of parts inside them. While this allows them to have more features, this can also mean they’re more likely to break down.


Having the ability to repair your own electronic devices feels incredible, but we can’t say that for the computerized ones. They’re hard to repair can be pretty expensive to have them fixed.

On the other side of the coin, mechanical sewing machines are known for being extremely easy to fix. Even if you’ve never repaired one before, you can probably play with it and get it to work again.

What’s more, even if there’s something wrong with your mechanical machine, it won’t quit working mid-job. Instead, it will try to operate.

What is the Best Mechanical Sewing Machine?

Choosing the best mechanical sewing machine is not as hard as you might think. Most mechanical sewing machines are pretty good for most sewers. Still, it would help if you looked out for some features to get your money’s worth.

First, watch out for the stitches. You can get by with the straight and zig-zag ones. But, if you’re past the beginner stage, you should get one with more stitches than that.

Second, make sure it has an automatic needle threader. That’ll make your life easier. And finally, make sure it’s pretty sturdy. Lightweight machines will move around when sewing, which is annoying.

Disadvantages of a Mechanical sewing machine?

Mechanical sewing machines still have a place in today’s world. However, with technology moving forward, they’re getting left behind. That said, here are a couple of disadvantages of a sewing machine:

Limited Amount of Stitches

Finding out that your sewing machine has only two stitches can be heartbreaking for many beginners. Few stitches are one of the most significant disadvantages of mechanical sewing machine. But you can’t really blame this on the engineers. That’s just what they had back in the day.

Due to their designs, you can’t fit hundreds of stitches in these machines. Modern machines, however, have plenty of built-in stitches.

But that’s not the end of the world. Even professionals only need the zig-zag and the straight stitch for most projects.

But if you want to spark your creativity, yeah, you’re not going to find that on a mechanical machine.


One of the most common types of sewing machine is the mechanical sewing machine. But the biggest drawback is that you have to run the machine manually.

For instance, features like automatic thread cutters and automatic stitching are nowhere to be found on these models.

Foot Pedal

Perhaps the biggest drawback of owning an analog sewing machine is that they rely on your physical abilities. This isn’t very pleasant and can hold you back from getting stuff done.

In that regard, mechanical sewing machines are way inferior to computerized sewing machines.


We literally just bragged about how mechanical sewing machines have fewer parts. Therefore, they experience less damage — but if some of these components break down, you might have a hard time getting accurate stitches.


In general, a mechanical sewing machine might be better suited for those folks who want a reliable but powerful sewing machine.

Like we said throughout the article, mechanical sewing machines are still one of the best-selling sewing machines in the market. Yeah, they don’t have those fancy features found on computerized machines. But you’ll still be able to get fantastic results with them.

It’s not like you’re getting a half-assed product. That being said, we hope you feel more confident about mechanical sewing machines now that you know the good, the bad, and the ugly about them.

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