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Are Sewing Machines Loud? (All You Need to Know!)

The noise from sewing machines can be bothersome to you and the people you live with. Not only that, it can result in loss of hearing in the future. But brands have evolved and made sewing machines that are comparatively quieter than the ones that were used before.  

Are sewing machines loud?

This depends on when you bought the sewing machine, brand, servicing, and its type. All sewing machines make noise. Traditional, antique, and industrial sewing machines tend to be loudest. As technology has advanced, domestic ones which are electric have become quieter than these. 

What noise does a sewing machine make?

A sudden repeated noise can never be a good sign when it comes to any machine! A sewing machine makes several noises when there are issues with the machine. It can make a grinding noise, whistling noise, ticking sounds, knocking sounds, and also a squeaking sound.

All of these happen for different reasons. You should try to identify where the noise is coming from right away to prevent your sewing machine from breaking down. 

You do not necessarily have to go to a repair shop if you can fix it at home. Sometimes noises can occur while sewing if you place your sewing machine on an unbalanced plane even if it’s as small as a tiny floor bump. Make sure the surface is smooth but not slippery. 

The noise from sewing machine motors is normal. It can range from 65 decibels to 85 decibels. Any noise above 85 is harmful to your ears in the long term. 

Why sewing machine makes noise?

Some sewing machines are loud in general, but if you hear any of these sounds then you should definitely check it. Most of these noises are caused by poor maintenance. 

Ticking Sound:

Usually, the ticking sound is made by the needles. Either there is a manufacturing defect with the needle or it is bent, broken, or dull.

This is why always check the needle properly before putting it in. Get a new proper needle to fix this problem.

Knocking Noise:

This can be caused because of several situations. Let’s look at some of them. 

  • Your bobbin case might be filled with lint which might be blocking the bobbin hook.
  • Your bobbin winder might be engaged.
  • Your noodle plate screw could be loose. Tighten it properly. 

Squeaking Sound:

This means some of the sewing machine components are colliding with each other.

This is caused by the lack of oil. Often it can be solved by opening up the parts and adding just a few

drops of sewing machine oil. Make sure the oil spreads to all the required areas. 

Whistling Noise:

This happens when your motor area is filled with lint. Clean it properly to avoid this problem. 

Grinding Sound:

Your thread could be tangled. Either untangle it or cut it off. 

Banging Noise:

This occurs when your sewing machine is not positioned properly. Make sure it is on the level. You could also place a towel or cloth below it to reduce the noise a bit.

A banging noise can also happen if your thread does not go to the take-up lever. You’ll have to take the thread out and re-thread it. 

Clunking Noise:

It could be possible that the thread did not get into the take-up lever while threading the machine.

This is why you should fix this first. It might be difficult to find the take-up lever. In some sewing machines, they are located behind the machine casing. 

If none of these work for you, it’s time to get it checked by a professional technician to continue using it. Don’t let the noise go on for a long time or else it will damage your sewing machine. 

How to make a sewing machine quieter?

Position on a different surface:

The surface should be even and smooth. An uneven and bumpy surface can make your machine shake and cause more noise. It can also get in the way of sewing. This is why always make sure to put it on a stable surface. 

Relocate to a different room:

Noise can be amplified if you have a lot of materials around you such as glass, plastic, and metal.

It’s better to relocate to a room where natural materials such as wood dominate the room. Wood helps absorb sounds and vibrations.

Limit your speed:

The higher the speed, the louder the noise. The foot pedal is sensitive and you should let it rest once in a while when you are sewing to lower the noise. It’s not a race car accelerator! 

Buy anti-noise pads:

They absorb the sounds and act as a sound insulator. It lowers the level of

vibrations between the places. Just put it under your sewing machine before placing it on a rough surface. 

Maintain it properly:

Poor maintenance is the top reason why sewing machines get damaged. Every machine requires maintenance. If you regularly clean and oil it, it will become more durable.

Purchase a specialized mat:

Similar to anti-noise pads, these are specifically made to absorb the sounds and vibrations of sewing machines. It will reduce the noise of your machine and also make it more balanced. They can be easily bought online. 

Find out where the noise is coming from:

See if the noise is occurring when it’s turned off and when it’s working at high speed, or right after being used. Then you could find out which part it is coming from. Usually, cleaning and oiling should fix the problem. 

Is there a quiet sewing machine?

Modern sewing machine models are quieter than their previous counterparts. There are several brands that have created very quiet sewing machines. Quiet sewing machines are very pricey. They are electric and if you can’t bear the noise, you could try it out. 

Here are some examples if you are looking for one. 

  • Elna ef1
  • Janome 9000
  • Singer 99600
  • Brother cs6000i
  • Brother XM2701 Lightweight

Which sewing machine is the quietest?

The Janome 9000 is known as the quietest sewing machine to many. It is lightweight and is not only used to sew. It can be used for embroidery and quilting too. 

It is a long-lasting and quiet sewing machine. Moreover, it does not require much lubrication. You can adjust the needle position and change seam sizes easily.

Sewing machines make more noise when you increase the speed but this does not apply to Janome 9000, it keeps up with a low sound. 

In addition, it has a built-in instant threader that makes selecting colors simple. Its settings allow you to make consistent stitches.

Why is my bobbin ticking?

Your bobbin might be making a ticking sound if the bobbin area is not clean. Cleaning it should solve the problem. If it doesn’t then your bobbin might not be inserted properly making it hit other walls. 

This can also occur if you are not oiling your bobbin area properly. Lack of oil can cause it to tick when your sewing machine is operating. Lubricate it regularly but only in little amounts. 

You should check if your needle has been inserted properly or not.

Sometimes the ticking sound can come for that. If none of these fixes the issue, take it to a repair shop or the manufacturing shop for a quick fix. 

How often should a sewing machine be serviced?

A sewing machine should be serviced at least once a year to make it last longer and to reduce issues. Every 13 to 18 months should be ideal.

You should have it serviced by an authorized and professional technician. Sometimes the manufacturing companies offer to service if you have a warranty. 

It can typically cost you around $70 to $100. It is recommended that you get it serviced by a technician instead of at home. But if it’s not possible, you can do it yourself too to reduce the costs.

You should clean every part, check the moving parts including the bobbin and the screws, check the bobbin winder, examine the electric connections, and get the timing checked as well. 

Besides servicing, you should lubricate your machine frequently. If you use your sewing machine every day then you should oil it once a week. 

Can I use hair clipper oil on my sewing machine?

Hair clipper oil is a thin oil made for hair clippers and since they work well with metal, they can be used as sewing machine oil.

It is inexpensive compared to hair clipper oil. Hair clipper oil is designed to be used on items that run at high speeds and are hot so they can handle sewing machines as well.

Many people recommend using this. However, the purpose of hair clipper oil and sewing machine oil is different. Hair clipper oil might be fine for old sewing machine models, but the recent models are very sensitive and are only made for highly refined sewing machine oil. 

Read the manufacturer’s manual before applying anything to your sewing machine. It is usually written what kind of lubricant can be used. 

Noise can be a real issue. If none of these noise-reducing tips work out for you, maybe it’s time to switch to a newer and quieter model.

Always regularly maintain and lubricate your sewing machine to keep it fresh as new. 

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