How to fix sewing machine handwheel

How To Fix Sewing Machine Handwheel?

Sewing machines are a crucial tool for those who love to sew, and the handwheel is an important component of the machine. It helps control the movement of the needle and is used to adjust the tension on the thread. 

However, over time, the handwheel can become difficult to turn or even become stuck. This can cause frustration and make sewing difficult, but the good news is that it’s a fixable problem. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to troubleshoot and repair a sewing machine handwheel that’s not turning smoothly. You may read also best sewing machine for hemming jeans

Steps To Fix Sewing Machine Handwheel

Some Steps To Fix Sewing Machine Handwheel are the following there:

Step 1. Making Inner Knob Adjustments

If you’re having trouble with your sewing machine handwheel not turning smoothly or not turning at all, there are a few steps you can try to fix the issue. One of these steps is making inner knob adjustments. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to do this:

First, you need to locate the inner knob of the handwheel. This knob is usually located inside the handwheel and can be accessed by removing the screw or screws that hold the outer cover of the handwheel in place.

Once you have access to the inner knob, you can start making adjustments. The inner knob usually controls the tension on the handwheel belt. If the handwheel is not turning smoothly, you may need to tighten the tension on the handwheel belt by turning the inner knob clockwise. If the handwheel is too tight and difficult to turn, you may need to loosen the tension by turning the inner knob counterclockwise.

In some cases, the inner knob may be damaged or worn out, which can cause the handwheel to stop turning altogether. If this is the case, you will need to replace the inner knob. This is a relatively straightforward process that can be done with a few basic tools, such as a screwdriver and pliers.

Once you have adjusted or replaced the inner knob, you can test the handwheel to see if it is turning smoothly. If it is still not turning smoothly, you may need to inspect other parts of the sewing machine, such as the handwheel belt or the drive gear, for any signs of wear or damage.

Making inner knob adjustments is an important step in fixing a sewing machine handwheel that is not turning smoothly or not turning at all. By following these simple steps, you can have your sewing machine up and running in no time. However, if the problem persists, it is always best to seek the advice of a professional to ensure that your sewing machine is functioning correctly and safely.

Step 2. Re-Threading your Machine

Re-threading your sewing machine is a crucial step in fixing the handwheel issue. A properly threaded machine will help ensure the handwheel turns smoothly and with minimal resistance. Here is a detailed guide on how to re-thread your machine:

  • Start by removing the presser foot and lifting the needle to its highest position. Then, gently pull the thread off the spool and make sure there are no knots or tangles.
  • Next, locate the thread guides on the machine. These are the small hooks or eyes that the thread passes through before reaching the needle. Make sure the thread is passing through all the guides in the correct order, as this will help ensure the thread is properly tensioned.
  • Once you have passed the thread through all the guides, thread the needle. To do this, you may need to lower the needle and then lift it back up to the highest position. This will help ensure the needle is threaded correctly.
  • After threading the needle, make sure the thread is passing through the tension discs. These are usually located near the needle and help control the tension of the thread. Make sure the thread is passing through the discs in the correct direction and that the discs are properly adjusted.
  • Finally, bring the thread up from the bobbin area and make sure it is passing through the tension discs and the needle. Make sure the thread is not tangled or knotted and that it is properly tensioned.
  • To test the machine, sew a few stitches on a scrap piece of fabric. Make sure the thread is properly tensioned and that the stitch quality is good. If the stitch quality is not good, you may need to adjust the tension or re-thread the machine.

Re-threading your sewing machine is a simple process that can make a big difference in the performance of the machine. If the handwheel issue is still not resolved, there may be a more serious problem with the machine and you may need to seek professional assistance. But by following these steps, you can ensure that the threading is not the root cause of the problem and that your machine is running smoothly. You may read also best sewing machine for monogramming

Step 3. Cleaning the Bobbin Case

Step 3 of fixing a sewing machine handwheel involves cleaning the bobbin case. The bobbin case is a small, circular component located under the needle plate and is responsible for holding the bottom thread in place. Over time, lint and debris can accumulate in the bobbin case, causing it to become clogged and affect the machine’s performance. To clean the bobbin case, follow these steps:

  • First, turn off your sewing machine and unplug it from the power source. Then, remove the needle plate to access the bobbin case.
  • Use a small brush or compressed air to remove any lint or debris from the surface of the bobbin case. Be careful not to damage the delicate components of the bobbin case during this step.
  • Once the surface of the bobbin case is free of debris, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the inside of the case. This will help remove any residual lint and debris, as well as any buildup of oil or grease.
  • After cleaning the bobbin case, reassemble the sewing machine and test the handwheel to see if it is moving smoothly. If you notice any resistance or dragging, you may need to repeat the cleaning process.
  • To prevent future build-up of lint and debris in the bobbin case, consider using a lint brush or vacuum cleaner to regularly clean your sewing machine. Additionally, it’s important to oil the moving parts of your machine on a regular basis to keep it running smoothly.

By following these steps to clean the bobbin case, you can improve the performance of your sewing machine and ensure that it runs smoothly for years to come. Whether you’re a professional tailor or a home sewer, keeping your machine well-maintained is essential to ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your machine. So, don’t neglect this important step and take the time to clean your bobbin case regularly.

How Should You Turn A Sewing Machine Handwheel?

Turning the handwheel of a sewing machine is an important step in getting your machine ready to sew. The handwheel is the part of the sewing machine that moves the needle up and down, which is necessary to create stitches. Turning the handwheel manually can also be helpful in getting the machine threaded correctly, or in adjusting the position of the needle. Here are the steps you should follow to turn the handwheel of a sewing machine:

Locate the handwheel: The handwheel is usually located on the right side of the machine, near the needle. It is usually a round wheel that you can grip with your hand and turn.

Make sure the machine is unplugged: Before you start turning the handwheel, it is important to make sure that the machine is unplugged from the power source. This will prevent the machine from accidentally starting and causing injury.

Turn the handwheel in the correct direction: To move the needle up and down, you need to turn the handwheel towards you. This is called “lowering the needle.” Turning the handwheel away from you will raise the needle back up.

Turn the handwheel smoothly and evenly: It is important to turn the handwheel smoothly and evenly, without jerking or stopping abruptly. This will help prevent the needle from breaking or becoming damaged.

Stop turning the handwheel when the needle is in the correct position: When you have turned the handwheel enough to lower or raise the needle to the desired position, stop turning the handwheel. You can then use the machine to sew as normal.

It is important to remember that the handwheel is an essential part of the sewing machine, and that it should be handled with care. By following these steps, you can turn the handwheel of your sewing machine safely and efficiently, and get your machine ready to sew.


In conclusion, fixing a sewing machine handwheel can be done by identifying the problem and following a set of steps. Common issues include a handwheel that is difficult to turn, a handwheel that is loose or broken, or a handwheel that is not attached properly. To fix these issues, you may need to tighten screws, replace parts, or realign the handwheel. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when making repairs, and to use proper tools and safety precautions. If you are unsure about how to fix your sewing machine handwheel, it is best to consult a professional repair person or take the machine to a sewing machine repair shop. With proper care and maintenance, your sewing machine can last for many years and provide you with reliable and enjoyable sewing experiences. You may check also best sewing machine to hem jeans


Why is my sewing machine handwheel not moving?

The handwheel on your sewing machine may not be moving due to a few reasons, including the machine being locked, the needle being jammed, the belt being loose, or a mechanical issue with the machine. Check the machine for any of these issues and resolve them to get the handwheel moving again.

How do you remove a handwheel from a sewing machine?

To remove a handwheel from a sewing machine, first, turn off the machine and unplug it. Locate the screw or bolt holding the handwheel in place. Use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen and remove the screw/bolt. Gently pull the handwheel off the shaft and set it aside.

What causes the sewing machine to lock up?

A sewing machine can lock up due to several reasons such as incorrect threading, incorrect bobbin winding, incorrect needle size, improper tension, and foreign objects lodged in the machine.

Why is my handwheel stuck?

Handwheels can become stuck due to a variety of reasons such as corrosion, dirt, or misalignment. To fix it, first try lubricating the shaft or cleaning the handwheel and surrounding area. If that doesn’t work, check for any obstructions or loosen any tight bolts. If the issue persists, it may be necessary to seek professional repair.

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