Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking?

Last Updated on August 9, 2022

Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking: Wrong choice and use of accessories for sewing machines are the main causes of equipment breakdowns. Suppose the needle breaks while sewing; pull it out, and take the measures indicated in the overview. You can change the needle yourself – just follow the instructions. 

Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking

But if the needle breaks too often during sewing, you need to call the master. He will inspect the device, determine the problem’s cause and help avoid similar difficulties in the future. Also, a specialist will easily pull out a needle stuck in Singer, Janome, or other sewing machines.

When the Needle Is Broken, What Needs to Be Done?

If the needle is stuck in the machine, try to get it out carefully – otherwise, it will not work to install a new one. To do this, unscrew the screw securing the needle holder. If you find rusty areas, clean them with fine sandpaper and treat them with lubricant.

Important! Call the service when the needle is stuck in the machine, and you can’t remove it yourself. The master will conduct a comprehensive diagnosis, remove the remnants of the needle, and restore the equipment to working order. The needle may be stuck because it has not been inserted into the needle bar as far as it will go. 

In this case, you will need to unscrew the screw and tighten the accessory to the desired position. The seamstress should do this before anything breaks. In older machines, especially Seagulls, threads can become tangled when forming stitches. To fix the problem, the flywheel wheel begins to rotate in parallel slowly and gently pull the needle to its original position.

When the needle bar is loosened, the screw is carefully fixed. Ensure the interval between the shuttle’s nose and the needle’s eye when it comes into contact during lifting is about 2-2.2 mm. This parameter is considered optimal. It increases the service life of the equipment.

When Do You Need the Help of an Expert?

A broken needle in a sewing machine can be an ordinary situation for you – they removed the remnants, put in a new accessory, ensured everything was done correctly and continued to work. But sometimes, you can’t do without the help of a master. It is needed if:

Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking
  • The shuttle is damaged (the specialist will diagnose and repair or replace it);
  • Complete disassembly of the sewing machine is planned (people can not carry out such work independently without special skills);
  • The needle is broken, and the fragments got inside the device (you will not be able to remove them yourself without hitting neighboring nodes);
  • The needle sticks constantly, you tried to identify and eliminate all known causes, but this did not help.

Call the master when it doesn’t come out to get a needle. You have lost the instructions. You don’t know how to act. The functioning of the shuttle device, the needle bar, is clearly disrupted. It is much more correct and wiser to spend money on quality service than to wait for the complete failure of the unit.

Common Rookie Mistakes

Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking

Beginning sewists and those craftswomen who have just switched from old machines to new equipment make the same mistakes. Performing specific actions out of habit or inexperience, you risk bringing the matter to equipment failure.

For example, you cannot pull the fabric towards yourself. Doing this while creating a stitch will damage the needle and, worse, the hook. The tissue web usually moves at an adequate speed. It does not need to be helped by hand. All stretching and braking occur due to a mismatch between the needle and the thread of the selected fabric. 

Make sure you did everything right, and make adjustments if necessary. You can try increasing the presser foot pressure by turning the adjustment screw or slightly raising the feed dog teeth. Most modern machines have a special switch that allows you to adjust the height of the rail.

Good to know about needles:

For all types of fabrics, manufacturers provide different types of needles. The relevant information is indicated on the label. Accessories for thick materials come with a special sharpening point and increased thickness.

Be sure to study the instructions, even if you think that you already know everything perfectly. Look for information about the operation of a sewing machine of a certain brand or model on thematic forums. Users write why the needles break, how they figured it out empirically, and what can be done.

General Recommendations for Owners of Sewing Machines From Experts

The main reason a sewing needle jams and breaks is the wrong choice of accessories. Consider the recommendations for certain models, types of machines, and varieties of fabrics. The instructions for the devices indicate which specific needles are needed.

Before installation, they always read the instructions (an exception can only be made by experienced users who have long had their hands full and have no difficulties operating the equipment). Inspect the needle for the absence of corrosion, dullness, curvature, and marriage – all defects that should not usually exist.

Take care of your machine and promptly clean and lubricate it with special oil. The reasons for jamming needles can be different. Troubleshooting methods will also differ. That is why users should not engage in amateur activities again – only the master will help to deal with the problem for a long time, restore the sewing equipment’s work, and eliminate future breakdowns.

Why Does a Needle Break in a Sewing Machine? – 5 Reasons and Solution

Why does a needle break in a sewing machine? There can be several reasons for one of the most frequent breakdowns during sewing. Most often, it’s about:

Why Do My Sewing Machine Needles Keep Breaking
  • Incorrect installation of the needle;
  • Wrong choice of the needle.

However, there may be more serious reasons. Let’s look at possible options for problems and ways to solve them.

Reason #1: Wrong Choice of Needle

The mismatch between the size (thickness) of the needle type and the density of the fabric selected for sewing can lead to needle breakage. A thin needle for silk or knitwear will not withstand working with tarpaulin or leather.

This should also include the erroneous installation of needles for industrial equipment and overlock in a household machine. Such needles have different bulb shapes and special markings.

  • Solution: Always select a perfect needle according to the type and weight of the fabric!

Reason #2: Incorrect Needle Placement

If the seamstress doesn’t push the needle into the needle bar during installation, its overall length will increase and break on the hook. Turning the needle in the other direction can also lead to breakage.

Before installation, be sure to check if the needle is bent! A twisted rod will not provide a quality stitch and may break anytime.

  • Solution: Before work, ensure the needle’s quality and correct installation.

Reason #3: Sewing Machine Problems

In some cases, the presser foot pedal may cause the breakage. If the seamstress doesn’t securely fix it at the attachment point, in some problematic areas with differences in the thickness of the material, the foot may move to the side and fall under the needle, causing it to break. On some machines, the needle bar may also be loose.


  • Check the place where the foot is attached.
  • Tighten all screws with a screwdriver.
  • If you buy a non-original foot, check with the seller for possible compatibility with your sewing machine.

Reason #4: Bugs with threads

The seamstress must thread the upper thread according to the instructions. The degree of its tension should also be controlled, since too much tension, especially when sewing with reinforced threads, can break the needle.

  • Solution: Check the threading of the upper thread and its tension. On average, with the foot lowered, the seamstress should pull out the needle thread with a little effort.

Reason #5: Wrong Sewing Technique

Sometimes the seamstress can literally “pull” the fabric from under the presser foot instead of just holding and guiding the product slightly. The needle can easily be bent or even broken if handled this way.

  • Solution: If the fabric is difficult to move under the presser foot, adjust the presser foot pressure or the height of the feed dog teeth (if applicable).


We hope the article will be helpful, but if our tips did not help fix the needle breakage problem, you could seek professional advice from TheSewingStuffs.

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