How Long Do Sewing Machines Last? (Explained for Beginners)


A sewing machine can cost hundreds of dollars. So, you want to make sure that you will get enough use from it to justify the investment. So, how long will a sewing machine last?

Five years is the minimum life expectancy for a cheaper sewing machine. If a machine has high-quality parts, it should be able to last for at least 25 years. Some sewing machines continue to offer excellent performance after 40 to 50 years.

How long a sewing machine can last will depend on a wide range of factors. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to extend the life of your sewing machine. Keep reading to learn more about the typical sewing machine lifespan and how it can be prolonged.

What Affects Life Expectancy Of A Sewing Machine?

There are several factors that affect how long a sewing machine will last, these include:

  • Age of the machine
  • How you maintain it
  • The way you store it
  • How long the warranty period lasts
  • Whether it is a computer or manual model

However, the most important element to consider is the quality of the machine you purchase. Inexpensive machines are often made with inferior parts. As a result, they will be more prone to breakage. Cheap sewing machines can last for around five years.

If you purchase a high-quality sewing machine, though, you can expect it to last for decades. It’s not uncommon for these devices to last for around 25 years. Some have even been known to last for 40 to 50 years.

How To Increase Sewing Machine Lifespan?

It’s important to regularly clean the sewing machine, to remove any dirt or dust. Using a cover can stop dust from building up. Next, the machine parts should be oiled regularly. The owner’s manual will detail any specific maintenance tasks you’ll need to perform.

There are a few things that will help you improve your machine’s lifespan. First, you should make sure that you are servicing it regularly. We’ll discuss this a little later.

You should also consider the way that you are storing the machine. It’s best to cover it over when you aren’t using it. This will stop dirt and dust from getting into the machinery and causing problems.

Make sure that you are cleaning the sewing machine frequently. The owner’s manual will have some tips to help you do this. It can help to use a can of compressed air. This can allow you to get into the cracks and clean them out. You can use a paintbrush to help you remove any lint or dust from under the needle plate or feed dogs.

Next, you’ll need to make sure that you are replacing the parts frequently. For example, needles tend to last for eight hours. If they get blunt, it can start to have an impact on the machine.

Finally, you will need to make sure that you are oiling the machine frequently. This helps remove friction. This helps get rid of eventual wear and tear. Most craft stores will sell oil for a sewing machine.

When Should I Replace My Sewing Machine?

You can keep repairing a sewing machine, so it keeps running smoothly. But there comes a time when it is best to replace the machine. Here are some signs that you have reached that point:

  • Spending a lot of money on repairs. Sometimes, you might find that you are spending a lot of time and money on repairing your machine. It can be uneconomical to run a machine when it gets past its prime.
  • Oil leakages. This is a common problem amongst older machines. This has the potential to ruin your projects.
  • Pulling material. If you can’t get the right amount of pressure on the machine, there is a chance that it will tear the fabric apart.
  • Wanting an upgrade. Sometimes, you might just want a newer sewing machine. These will often come with more sophisticated technology to make sewing easier. Plus, you’ll be able to get more stitches per minute, so you can complete projects faster.

Ultimately, when you decide to replace your sewing machine will depend on you. But if the machine is older than five years, and you are experiencing persistent problems, it might be time to consider an upgrade.

How Often Should You Have A Sewing Machine Serviced?

Ideally, a sewing machine should be serviced once a year. Usually, a service will cost around $75. This will reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs on the mechanical parts. As a result, it will be able to prolong the lifespan of the sewing machine.

Sewing machines can be complex machines. Because of this, it’s a good idea to make sure that you take it for a professional service. There are a few things that they will do, including:

  • Lubricating the machine
  • Checking for signs of wear and tear on parts
  • Replacing any parts, if needed
  • Checking computer components

Usually, you will need to get a professional service once a year. This will keep the machine running properly and help prolong its lifespan. A service will usually cost between $75 to $100.

Though there are some maintenance tasks that you should be doing more frequently. For example, it’s a good idea to keep a can of compressed air close to the sewing machine. If you spot any dirt or grime, you can remove it. If the machine starts to feel stiff, you can oil it up.

Is It Worth Repairing a Sewing Machine?

If you have a relatively minor problem with a high-end sewing machine, it’s usually best to get it fixed. Once fixed, it should last for several years. However, if you have a bigger issue, which will cost a substantial amount to repair it might be best to upgrade to a new sewing machine.

It’s not uncommon for a sewing machine to develop a mechanical fault, which you will need to repair. Whether the costs will outweigh the benefits will usually depend on the problem and how severe it is.

If you have a popular machine, you might be able to turn to online resources to help you find a way of fixing the issue. If not, you can take it to a repair shop and ask for a quote. Usually, you will be able to get a basic tune-up for around $75.

If the issue is more serious, you will need to see a professional. It might be over $150 to fix. Plus, you will need to pay for any parts required.

The next thing to consider is the age of the machine. If it has a serious issue near the end of its life, it might be time to consider a replacement.

Lastly, think about the quality of the machine. If you have chosen something that comes with strong parts, it might be a good idea to repair it. This can extend its lifespan for several more years.

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