Sewing Machine Handwheel Hard To Turn: How To Fix It?

sewing machine handwheel hard to turnFor achieving a comprehensive study on the basics of sewing and its procedures, every beginner must have a complete understanding of the various parts of a sewing machine. Every minute part of the device serves its purpose. All of them together function at a time while working on a sewing project. In case any of the parts stops working, the resulting stitches will not be as per the requirement. In some cases, the machine may not work at all.

One of the elements of a sewing machine is the handwheel. Also known as the balance wheel. Along with modernizing technology, a lot of mechanical changes have taken place in the structure of a sewing machine. Modification in the handwheel has been a significant concern. In manual or domestic sewing machines, the handwheel is in the form of a distinct wheel-like structure, as the name suggests situated on the right side of the machine. Similarly, in electric devices, because of its compact size, the balance wheel is of smaller size.

The Function Of A Handwheel

The structure and size of the handwheel or the balance wheel may be different in different types of machines. But it serves the same primary function. The use of the balance wheel comes while manually raising and lowering the sewing needle. The speed controlling can be done as per the need. Inside the wheel, a clutch is present that provides the precautionary measure. It avoids the needle from getting stuck while winding thread in a bobbin. While sewing, the wheel is turned in an anti-clock direction. With its help, the needle pierces into the fabric. Stopping the motion of the wheel stops and raises the needle from the material.

The Reasoning For A Hard Handwheel

One of the common issues a user faces is when sewing machine handwheel hard to turn. Whether you are an experienced dressmaker or a beginner, you will often come to a point when the machine will not work. Despite checking the settings and adjusting them as per requirement, at times, the sewing process does not start. One of the reasons can be with the handwheel. In most cases, the wheel will become stiff, and no movement will occur in it. It can be due to the following issues:
entangling in bobbin

  • Absence of tension: While sewing, there is a requirement of a certain amount of pressure. When the thread connected to the wheel does not receive the force to operate, the motor may not work.
  • Tangled thread: Another reason why sewing machine handwheel hard to turn is entangling of yarn in the bobbin. When the threads get twisted with one another while sewing, it can jam the entire process along with the balance wheel.
  • Accumulation of Fibers: Another reason for the hardness of the handwheel is obstruction due to blockage. When pieces of fabric fibers block the way in any part of the machine, the wheel may get jammed, disrupting the smooth functioning of the device.
  • Dust pile-up: One of the common reasons for sewing machine handwheel hard to turn can be due to the piling up of dirt and dust in the mechanical parts. Due to poor maintenance or using a machine after a long period can pile up trash rupturing the mechanism. Accumulation of dust can be the cause when the sewing machine balance wheel becomes hard to turn.

Solutions And Precautions For A Smooth Handwheel

The popularity of the sewing machine is not limited to one or a few geographical areas. As per the growing sewing demand and its related professions, sewing machines have become a part of almost every household. Because of the reasons stated above, there can be instances when the device does not function well. Every user needs to know the general quick-fix ideas to fix a sewing machine amid a crucial project. In the case of sewing machine hand wheel hard to turn, one can apply the following remedies or can use them as precautionary measures.
sewing machine handwheel

  • Dismantle: While binding the thread in the bobbin, take the handwheel out from the machine. It will prevent blockage tangling of the thread, if any. It can be possible by rotating the inner portion while holding the outer one, simultaneously. In case of thread tangling, use a scissor or a seam ripper to cut and separate the tangled part and start at fresh.
  • Direction: Always remember to start the movement of the handwheel in the course as per requirement, i.e., the exact way for raising and lowering the needle. Opposite directions can jam the handwheel.
  • Remove entangling: In case of thread entanglement, use a scissor or a seam cutter to get rid of it. The handwheel will begin to act again.
  • Force: Impart as much tension required for the wheel to start operation. Absence of proper pressure or too much of it both will make the handwheel harder to turn and may cause further damage.
  • Lint disposal: After the completion of every sewing project, it is necessary to clean up the machine thoroughly. Removing bits and pieces of fibers attached to the minute corners of the sewing machine is a must.
  • Dust removal: maintaining cleanliness shall make the machine perform smoothly. The hardness of the wheel reduces with work in progress; it will become easy to use again.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is necessary for every machinery. In case none of the above solutions is working to solve the issue of sewing machine handwheel which is hard to turn, one must immediately ask for professional help.

Sewing Machine Handwheel Hard To Turn: Final Thoughts

For every machine to work smoothly and increase its longevity, proper and daily cleaning is a must. Similar is the case for a sewing machine as well. Routine oiling of the sewing machine shall ensure its smooth activity. Irrespective of the rate of usage of the device, regular care is necessary to maintain its functioning. It can be frustrating when amidst sewing if the handwheel or any other part stops working. Likewise, there is nothing satisfactory other than a well-performing sewing machine.

nancy jenkins from get sew

Nancy Jenkins

Nancy is a retired seamstress who loves everything about crafting and sewing. When she is not at her sewing machine, you'll find her coming up with new patterns and designs for her sewing projects. Nancy likes the outdoors, meeting with friends, and cooking.