The first thing you should know when shopping for the best sewing machine under $50 is that you’re going to buy a mini sewing machine.
For this low price range, you won’t find full-sized models. However, if you’re interested in full-sized machines and you can increase your budget, you can check out my article where I talk about the best sewing machines under 100 dollars.
Check out my article featuring the best sewing books if you want to explore what a sewing machine can do, even one under $50.
5 Best Sewing Machine Under $50 Reviews
You might think that such cheap sewing machines only work for children. You’re partially right. There are some models that are definitely made for children and not adults.
However, if you want a model that can be used by both adults and children, check out my first review. It’s from a well-known sewing machine brand and it’s quite a nice model, given the price.
1. Janome Pink Lightning Basic: Overall Best Sewing Machine Under 50
I’m going to go out on a limb and have as my first recommendation for the best sewing machine under $50 a machine that costs a bit more. About $20 more.
If you’re not interested in something that exceeds the 50 dollars budget line, you can check out the other reviews that come after this Janome mini-machine.
However, this is the kind of cheap machine that can be used by both adults and kids. It’s quite nice, although it’s far from perfect.
The problem with cheap sewing machines is that you must be prepared to not like your purchase. In order to sell a machine for such a low price, I imagine that compromises had to be made when they manufactured it.
Considering that even models that cost $200 or more receive plenty of complaints, it’s to be expected that something that’s at least 4 times cheaper is going to receive a lot more complaints. So, keep that in mind no matter which best sewing machine under 50 dollars you end up choosing.
In the pictures, this Janome mini-machine looks a bit like a toy. Even so, it’s a pretty capable model that can be used by adults, too. It has its limitations but we’ll talk about them in a sec.
In the same line, besides the Pink Lightning, you’ll also find other colorful machines. They all share the same features and have the same price.
Other colors you can choose from are: Graceful Gray, Watermelon Crush, Lady Lilac, Mystical Mint, Purple Thunder, Bandana Blush, and Citrus Circus.
They’re all vibrant. It’s hard to pick a favorite.
It weighs 5 pounds.
It’s a mini-machine that can be taken everywhere you go.
The work space offered by this mini model is 4.3 (W) x 3.8 (L) inches.
I also recommend checking out their Ready-Set-Sew guide for a short intro into the world of sewing. You’ll also find plenty of YouTube videos if that’s more of your thing.
The main components for the Janome Pink Lightning Basic are: bobbin winding tension disk, upper thread guide, thread take-up lever, thread tension dial, needle plate, hook cover plate, reverse stitch lever, stitch selector, accessory drawer, needle clamp screw, needle bar thread guide, needle, presser foot, setscrew, bobbin winder spindle, bobbin winder stopper, handwheel, presser foot lifter, spool pin.
It comes with a top drop-in bobbin with clear cover.
It only comes with the size 14 (90) needles only. The size 14 works best for cotton and percale.
For more light-weight materials like organdy or linen, a size 11 (65) needle is recommended. You’ll have to get that separately.
If you want to sew through light denim, you’ll have to get appropriate needles.
Surprisingly, this tiny machine can actually sew through denim layers if you get the right needles. You can find a few examples of that on YouTube.
The accessories are: bobbin (2), needle, threader, foot switch.
The foot switch doesn’t control the speed as it happens with more expensive models. It just turns the machine on and off. That means that we only get one speed.
It also includes a free arm for sewing hems or sleeves or other smaller parts.
There’s a wheel for selecting thread tension and a dial for selecting the stitch type.
What it’s clearly missing is a LED light over the needle area. I recommend getting a cheap bendable LED light.
There are actually 4 main stitches and each comes with some width and length variations. Thus, 10 total stitches.
It might not sound impressive but you’ll be able to make most projects just with these 10.
The letters A to E represent straight stitch variations. These are good for basic sewing and for inserting zippers. See, just with these 5 you’re already pretty nicely covered.
Letters F, G, H represent zigzag stitches. They’re good for basic mending and garment construction.
The letter I stands for crescent/scallop stitch for embellishment and applique.
J represents multi-stitch zigzag for stretch fabrics like knits.
The major thing missing is a buttonhole stitch. You’ll have to do those by hand.
Even if there is no hem stitch, plenty of users mention that they use this Janome mainly for hemming. It’s still possible to do it. And those users are completely satisfied with the performance and the hemming quality they get.
You can also learn how to insert a zipper without a zipper foot. If you look for them, you will find alternative solutions.
Type of fabrics
It’s time to talk about which type of fabrics this machine handles best.
This is the area where we come across the limitations of Janome Pink Lightning Basic.
The manufacturer mentions that this machine can handle light to medium-weight materials. However, as I’ve already mentioned, people have managed to sew through light denim, as well.
Their list of fabrics that you can stitch with the help of this model includes:
If these are the kind of materials you can use for your projects then you will be satisfied with this cheap Janome model.
You can certainly do quite a lot of projects just with light-weight and medium-weight fabrics so you won’t be as restricted as some might imagine.
One surprising user review was from someone who took this mini-machine to a quilting guild retreat. It seems that it was able to handle everything the user wanted it to do. That’s awesome to know.
Where to Buy?
2. Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine
I’m not nearly as pleased with this Magicfly as I was with the above Janome but I must also mention that the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine is also half the price of the Janome model.
It’s an electrical machine that also works with batteries. That can be an advantage for some although I’m not sure how long the 4 AA batteries can sustain it.
The design also includes buttons for the 2 speeds (high or low), a button for powering on and off, and a button for the light.
If you need extra help in the beginning, you’ll find YouTube videos on how to operate the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine.
We get the standard components: thread spindle, takeup lever, presser foot, thread gap, bobbin spindle, handwheel, bobbin winder spool, needle clamp, finger guard, tension screw.
The accessories included are: extension table, extra needles, threader, bobbins, and dust-proof bag. They’re certainly not bad accessories but not something impressive either.
There’s only 1 stitch for this machine. It’s the straight stitch that is good for daily operations.
This video will teach you how to operate this machine. Although, a professional seamstress mentioned that she couldn’t get the machine to not break the thread.
Other users love this tiny thing and have sewn all kinds of objects.
It’s not at the top of my shopping list but you can give it a try if you’re on a tight budget. Just make sure to experiment with it within the return period so that you don’t miss the date if you’re not pleased with it.
Where to Buy?
3. Haitral Portable Sewing Machine: Cheapest Option
This Haitral looks almost identical to the above model from Magicfly.
The noticeable differences when it comes to design is where the buttons for on/off and for speed are placed.
Unlike Magicfly, Haitral doesn’t seem to be having a light button so I guess it loses a point.
However, the mechanisms are similar.
Haitral is also cheaper by about $10. Nevertheless, I still recommend checking out the Magicfly Mini Sewing Machine if you’re looking for the best sewing machine under $50.
You can watch this YouTube video on how to use the Haitral Portable Sewing Machine so that you can see what the deal is and what to expect.
We also don’t get an extension table as an accessory. The extension table can be a useful accessory for some beginners but you can definitely do your projects without it. As long as the machine works properly.
It has quite a lot of negative user reviews. I recommend reading a few so that you know what to expect.
Where to Buy?
4. Michley LSS-505+: My Second Favorite
This machine has a price just a bit above 50 dollars but I think that it still works as a recommendation for the best sewing machine under $50.
It’s a bit similar to my first review, the Janome model. The major design difference is that this one is white and it doesn’t come in any other colors.
Let’s see what it offers as features and capabilities.
It’s a pretty standard machine but it has the needed features: take up lever, upper thread tension dial, pattern selection dials, thread cutter, light, needle clamp screw, hand wheel, reverse lever, bobbin winder pin, bobbin winder stop, bobbin winder tension disk, presser foot lifter, presser foot.
We also get a couple of accessories: foot pedal, thread spool (2), bobbin (2), needle threader, and a needle.
It also has 2 speeds changed from a button: H for fast and L for slow.
We get 12 different stitches types/lengths.
It offers plenty of variety for different projects from mending to hemming jeans to sewing clothes from scratch. It’s quite great for this price tag.
Where to Buy?
5. Singer Stitch Quick +
I guess I couldn’t really end my reviews for the best sewing machine under $50 without including a handheld machine. It’s certainly not for children, it’s adults only.
Personally, I have tried using a handheld sewing machine just for the fun of it. I was curious about their capabilities so I decided to try one since it was cheap. It wasn’t a brand name like Singer. And it had a simpler design than this Singer Stitch Quick +. However, I wasn’t a fan. Let’s see if this one can change my mind.
There are not a lot of them since this is a handheld model: thread guide, fastening plate, tension control, set screw, needle arm, thread guide, bobbin, rotary wheel.
There’s an on/off switch and a battery compartment.
It works with 4 AA batteries that are not included.
We also get a threader and extension spindle as accessories.
It uses a 15 metal bobbin.
I recommend reading the manual with attention. For example, when operating it for the first time, you need to run it for 10 seconds and then pause for 5 seconds. After that, it can be used regularly.
It’s not the most extensive manual so I recommend watching some YouTube videos on how to use it.
What it can do
It’s a mending machine.
Some users claim that it’s absolutely easy to repair your clothes instantly. You can repair pretty much everything you want, as long as you get it to work properly.
Where to Buy?
All in all, my first recommendation for the best sewing machine under $50 remains Janome Pink Lightning Basic, even if it’s a bit above budget.