How Much Electricity Does a Sewing Machine Use? (for Beginners)


Unless you prefer to go old school and hand sew with an antique machine, your contemporary electric sewing machine is going to use some power, and if this is your first purchase, you may be wondering how much juice is needed for your hobby.

On average, the typical sewing machine will consume around 100 watts. Electricity usage will depend on the age and type of sewing machine, as older models may consume as little as 75 watts, whilst industrial sewing machines can use up to 180 watts.

Certain factors can drive up your machine’s electricity use, of course, such as how long per day you’ll spend sewing and whether or not your machine is equipped with a lamp to help illuminate your work in the dark (roughly adding an extra 15-30 watts to the total usage).

Let’s break down how much electricity sewing machines typically use across different sizes, and brands, plus an answer to some common queries.

How Much Electricity (Amps, Volts & Watts) Do Sewing Machines Use?

Your sewing machine will state the number of watts its uses (typically between 90 and 110W) and the type of electrical outlet you are able to connect it to in terms of voltage i.e. 120 to 240V.

The amp usage will vary based on the sewing machine type. The typical home sewing machine may use somewhere between 1 and 1 ½ amps per day, but this will jump to 4 to 10 amps per day for industrial sewing machine, and machines equipped with lamps will leap to between 175 and 200 amps.

The energy consumption will depend entirely on how long you sew for in a typical day, week, month, etc. So let’s look at an example of this below…

Let’s say you sew for around 3 hours each day for 5 days a week using a 100 watt sewing machine. This is around 65 hours of sewing each month (65 x 100 watts = 6,500). So your machine would use 6,500 watts of electricity each month or 6.5 kWh (kilowatt hours).

When you consider that the average household in the US consumes around 900 to 1,000 kWh each month, a sewing machine will use very little electricity, probably costing you as little as a dollar per month. Of course, this will depend on your hourly usage and the average electricity price in your area. You can find individual electricity prices by state here.

Where To Find the Sewing Machine Watt Number?

You should be able to find your machine’s wattage number on the silver sticker at the back of the machine beneath the serial number.

What If I Can’t Find the Watt Number?

If you’re unable to locate the watt number on your sewing machine, you will be able to calculate the watt number by multiplying the number of Amps by the Volt number. (For example: 120 volts x 0.83 amps/ampere = 100 watts).

How Many Watts is a Good Sewing Machine?

The majority of home sewing machines are in the range of 100 watts, so anything at this wattage number or higher can be considered a decent sewing machine. Some older models will be in the range of 75-85 whilst contemporary models and specialist machines (embroidery, quilting machines, for example) may be in the higher range of 150 watts.

Sewing Machine Electricity Usage

Electricity usage or power is measured in watts, so as above mentioned, normal household sewing machines will use somewhere in the range of 90-110 watts. This will vary depending on the sewing machine type though.

The amount of electricity used by a sewing machine is also relatively small compared with other typical household items. A typical flat screen TV, for instance, uses up to 1,000 watts and microwave ovens can use up to 1,200 watts. Depending on how many hours you spend sewing in a typical day, you may of course use more electricity than these other appliances.

How Many Watts Is An Industrial Sewing Machine?

Industrial sewing machines are much more powerful models, using around 180 watts per hour. Recent advancements in technology have meant that modern industrial sewing machines use a little less power during operation, so some can use only 130 watts per hour.

By comparison, industrial sewing machine models made pre-1990 used around 430 watts, but this was before technological upgrades were available to level out the energy consumption driven by all the features added on to them.

How Many Watts is a Mini Sewing Machine?

Miniature or portable sewing machines are roughly ¾ the size of a normal machine and will typically only consume between 20 and 50 watts, with some models using as little as 11 watts per hour.

How Many Watts Does A Brother Sewing Machine Use?

It can vary. There are many models of Brother sewing machines available, with some using around 78 watts and more powerful models consuming roughly 100 watts and more.

How Many Watts Does a Singer Sewing Machine Use?

The most widely-recognized sewing machine brand, Singer, has a wide range of models all using various wattages. Heavy-duty Singer models such as the Singer 4411 can use around 120 watts of power.

On the flip side, there are the more advanced computerized models of Singer sewing machine, such as the Singer C340, which runs on 120 volts but needs as little as 0.46 amps, resulting in only 55 watts per hour.

Whichever brand or model of sewing machine you use, don’t forget that the wattage is going to depend on your typical hourly, daily, and weekly usage.

How to Choose the Correct Adapter for Your Machine?

When taking your sewing machine with you on your travels, it’s important to know about converters or travel adapters to make sure you can continue sewing abroad.

A US sewing machine requires 110 to 120 volts whilst UK/European sewing machines can require 220 to 240 volts, so depending on where you are you’ll need a step-up or step-down transformer to convert and lower/increase the voltage as needed.

Firstly check that your sewing machine is dual or single voltage (most sewing machines are manufactured to be dual voltage). Dual voltage basically means that the machine can run on two different voltage types (as in anywhere between 100 and 240v). If this is the case, you will only need a travel adapter.

Sewist Jackie from the Craft Tribe Online recommends the Ceptics travel adapter – one of the most trusted adapters for dual voltage sewing machines.

Though rare with modern sewing machine models, if your sewing machine is single voltage, you will need a voltage converter to use it abroad and avoid damaging your machine.

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