How to Sharpen Sewing Needles at Home (6 Easy Ways)

Sewing is a great hobby. It can help you slow down, focus and calm down if you are angry. Sewing can give you time to think while doing something constructive. That is a good thing. To make sewing even better you should keep all your sewing needles nice and sharp.

How to Sharpen Sewing Needles at Home: One of the quick and easiest ways to sharpen a sewing machine needle is to use an emery board. An emery board can be found on most nail clippers so finding one should not be that difficult. A little oil on the emery board will help as you go back and forth sharpening your needle.

To learn more about sharpening your sewing machine needles just continue to read our article. It is filled with ways to help you get your sewing needles sharp enough to handle all your sewing tasks.

Can You Sharpen Sewing Machine Needles?


Some people suggest that you shouldn’t sharpen sewing machine needles. The reason behind that thinking is that sewing needles are not to be sharp enough to cut the fabric. It only needs to be able to push the fabric aside when going through it with thread.

They also say that after 2-8 hours of sewing time, the needle is worthless and it should be thrown out. That may be good for some people yet for those who do not have the extra money, sharpening your sewing machine needle may be the only way to get your sewing duties completed.

Sewing machine needles are made from metal and you can always sharpen metal. One could way to sharpen your sewing machine needles is to use the strawberry emery cloth that comes with the tomato pin cushion.

If the needle is already bent, then do not try to sharpen it. A bent needle is no good to anyone and you would only be wasting your time trying to straighten it then sharpen it. Some sewing machines may be at finicky and not accept that type of sewing needle.

Why Do You Need to Sharpen Sewing Needles?


There are several reasons why you should sharpen your sewing needles. Te first is that it makes your sewing projects go smoother and be more enjoyable. When you are sewing very little is worse than a dull needle that won’t do its job.

Second, sharp needles help improve the quality of your sewing. Your stitches look cleaner, sharper and tougher than if you didn’t use a sharp needle. Third, sharp needles won’t ruin fabric as dull needles can. When you are done, you want a good looking product and dull needles can’t do that.

Finally, sharp needles help prevent skipped stitches. That is a good thing when sewing your boy’s jersey pants for the big game.

6 Ways to Sharpen Your Sewing Needles

  • Use a bar of soap - all you have to do is place the needle in the bar of soap and then take it out. The soap that remains on the needle helps it to pass through fabric easier. The soap fills any little scratches so the does not catch on the fabric as it passes through.
  • Use steel wool as a pin cushion - steel wool is often used to smooth out the surface of some metals. Since needles are made of metal, then the steel wool should smooth out the needle with ease. You do not need to store your needle in the steel wool, just push and pull the needle a few times to get it sharper.
  • A little coconut oil - even regular cooking oil will help. Just dip the tip of the needle in the oil and rub it against some foil paper. After you have done that a few times, just wipe the needle off with a clean cloth.
  • An emery board - as we stated earlier, an emery board will do the job very effectively and thoroughly. Just lightly rub your needle over the fine grit and you should be good to go after a few passes.
  • Sandpaper - make sure to use very fine grit when you decide to use this option. You do not need a coarse grit as that may ruing your needle and make it worse. Like the emery board, a few passes Should get the needle back into shape very quickly.
  • A strawberry works - no, not the fruit but the emery strawberry that comes with your pin cushion. You do not need to make a lot of passes with the needle. Just get it smooth and a little bit sharper. Remember you do not want your sewing needles too sharp.

How to Tell If Your Sewing Needle Needs Sharpening


Believe it or not, sewing needles do come with a long life span. But every once in a while they do get dull and you should sharpen them. Sharpening your sewing needles helps extend their lives and saves you a little money in the long run

It is not very hard to tell when your sewing needle needs sharpening. All you do is hold the needle between your thumb and forefinger with the point down. Then take the index finger or pinky on your other hand and run it lightly up and down your needle making sure to cover the whole circumference.

If your finger catches anywhere on the needle, then it is dull and you should take the time to sharpen it.

Some Final Words

In spite of what some people say sharpening sewing machine needles is not a bad thing. You can save a little money and extend the life of your needles by following the simple tips listed above.

The key issue to watch out for is if your needle is bent or not. If it is, then get rid of it and use a new one. If it isn’t then forget what the naysayers claim and sharpen your sewing machine needle.

It is not hard to do.

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