Sewing Machine Needle Stuck In Down Position- Simple Guide Needle Problems

Image of sewing machine needle here's what to do when Sewing Machine Needle Stuck In Down PositionYou are always excited about a sewing project until the needle gets stuck. Oops! What a frustrating occurrence as it leads to lost morale and stagnating projects. In addition, a stuck needle may even make you not want to work on the project again. So, let’s discuss what happens when you have a sewing machine needle stuck in down position.

You don’t have to cancel your project because the needle is stuck. Uninstall it and then reinstall it using the correct procedure. Plus, if the needle is bent or broken, get a new one and set it again. In addition, improper threading may lead to a stuck needle. So, unthread the sewing machine and thread it correctly.

A stuck needle is not a big deal and should not compromise your project goals. Follow through this article for more tips on handling the situation.

What Do You Do If Your Sewing Machine Needle Gets Stuck?

Once you notice that the needle is stuck, the first place to check for issues is the needle area. Therefore, identify and solve the needle issues. It would help if you unscrew the needle holder and release the needle for careful examination_then check for bends and broken ends.

However, if the project is urgent and you do not have enough time to assess the needle, get a new one. But ensure that it is the right type and size.

In addition, ensure that you adopt the correct procedure as you reinstall the needle. Push it upwards and screw the holder for enhanced needle security. Also, make sure that the needle is at the farthest end of the fabric and test it before resuming the project.

We also have other reasons for stuck needles that have nothing to do with the needle’s shape and positioning. Therefore, consider the following troubleshooting guidelines.

  • Unthread the machine and re-thread it properly. Also, position the thread spool and check for areas where the thread may not move smoothly and freely.
  • Unwind the bobbin thread using the user manual’s instructions. Then, thread the bobbin on a medium tension and ensure that it feeds well through the tension slots. Also, avoid leaving the thread beneath the faceplate as it causes machine jamming.
  • Assess the machine parts and clean them—regular cleaning and maintenance help remove dirt and build-up that compromises the unit’s functionality. So, use a cotton swab, paintbrush, isopropyl alcohol, or tweezers to do the job. In addition, coat machine parts with crystals with machine oil. The practice softens them to allow you to remove the dirt easily.
  • Ensure that you regularly oil the sewing machine. However, follow the manual’s instructions because overhauling can cause stains and leaks on the fabric.
  • Work with enough upper thread tension and check for thread tangles in the bobbin. Also, always re-thread if you observe that the thread does not work as expected.
  • Check the feed dogs and clean them if you see any dirt accumulation.
  • Get a good quality thread for your projects. A poor thread will fray and lead to accumulated lint that affects the sewing machine’s movable parts.

Why Is My Sewing Machine Needle Stuck Down?

In most cases, the sewing machine needle gets stuck because of general needle issues such as incorrect insertion, breakage, or bending, and when the needle does not go further up the holder.

For example, if needle insertion is not correct, it will get stuck in the machine and even lead to a pulled fabric. Also, if you use the wrong needle, the upper and lower threads miss during stitching.

On the other hand, if the needle does not go further up the holder, you will have the incorrect shaft length. Besides, you cannot prevent the excess needle shaft from sticking downwards on the machine.

Other needle unrelated causes are as follows.

  • A sewing machine that needs oiling is prone to having a stuck needle. Thus, if the unit’s movable parts cannot move freely, you will experience excess friction that leads to jamming.
  • A dirty sewing unit has a high chance of messing up your needles. Also, if the bobbin section holds so much lint, the gravitational force pulls debris downwards from the fabric. So, if the debris mixes with machine oil, you will be dealing with a huge issue.
  • Even though the bobbin appears to be very easy to thread, improper threading also leads to stuck needles.
  • If you do not thread the machine properly, you will experience too loose or too tight tension. This situation eventually results in thread tangles and knots that lead to a stuck needle.

How Do You Remove a Stuck Needle?

Removing a stuck needle is very simple, but you need to be careful. First, loosen the screw that holds it and try removing it with needle-nosed pliers. Then, grasp the needle with the pliers and pull it downwards.

How Do You Realign a Sewing Machine Needle?

Most sewing machines allow the user to adjust the needle placement. Therefore, you should not stress when you tamper with the needle position accidentally. In addition, if the unit is set to make zig-zag stitches, the needle does not start at the center to allow for side-to-side motion.

It would be best if you had a screwdriver for the realignment process. Then, remove the sewing machine cover and assess the cause of the problem. This examination will help you determine the best move that will get the needle in the correct position.

Turn the screw that moves the needle until it rests in the middle. Also, ensure that you keep your eye on the groove because it will help set the needle correctly.

How Do You Unjam Fabric from a Sewing Machine?

You will encounter a jammed fabric on the sewing machine in the course of your projects. So, you need to know how to handle the situation once it occurs.

  • First, stop the sewing unit immediately and turn it off. Then, remove the needle, the presser foot, and the presser foot holder.
  • Lift the fabric and cut the threads underneath. Also, if you can remove the fabric, remove it and proceed with the other steps.
  • Cut tangled threads and remove the bobbin and its case. Then, use a vacuum cleaner or cleaning brush to remove dust from the area.
  • Loosen the needle plate’s screws, lift it slightly, and remove it. In addition, remove the fabric and threads from the needle plate for a thorough job.
  • Remove threads in the race and around the feed dogs.
  • Next, turn the handwheel and raise the feed dogs.
  • Ensure that you align the two screw holes on the needle plate with those on the mounting base and fit the plate onto the machine.
  • Finger tighten the screw to position it properly and then use a screwdriver to secure them more firmly.
  • Assess whether the feed dogs move smoothly by turning the handwheel. Then assess the bobbin case for scratches and attach it once you deem it fit.

NB: A scratched bobbin case tangles the thread and leads to needle breakage and poor sewing machine performance.

  • Finally, attach the needle plate cover.

How Do You Unlock a Sewing Machine?

First, it is prudent to ask ourselves why the sewing machine gets locked up. Mostly, you find that the issue results from broken parts and hook assembly and bobbin problems. Also, wrong lubricants gum the machine and harden into crystals, and thus, locking the unit. Therefore, dirt removal is crucial in handling bound-up machines.

In addition, regularly lubricating machine parts keeps the shafts rotating smoothly. So, how should one go about fixing a lock-up sewing machine?

  • Remove the bobbin and bobbin carrier. Also, remove the hook assembly if possible and try turning the handwheel. If it is loose, the issue is in the bobbin assembly. Thus, clear any debris.
  • Take off the covers: bottom covers, top covers, and side covers. Then blow out the sewing unit using an air compressor as you look for threads wrapped in parts. Also, brush away encrusted debris and oil the machine appropriately.
  • Turn the handwheel, and if you don’t get satisfactory results, release the belt or drive from the handwheel. Sometimes the tensioner, belt, drive mechanism, and pulley assemblies freeze up. So, once you release them, turn the handwheel. There should be progress.
  • Additionally, once you finish cleaning the sewing unit, drive the handwheel forward and backward to loosen any stuck parts. Then, spot resisting areas and work on them until they move freely.
  • It would be best if you use solvents and let the machine dry. Also, apply heat to specific machine areas using a torch or soldering iron. However, in extreme cases, you can strip the head of plastic and electronic parts. Then, soak it in a strong solvent.

How Do You Unjam a Brother Sewing Machine?

  • The first step is to stop the Brother’s sewing machine and turn it off. Then, remove the needle. Also, turn the handwheel to remove the fabric before uninstalling the needle.
  • Remove the presser foot and its holder. Next, lift the fabric and remove it if possible.
  • Uninstall the needle plate cover and cut the tangled threads.
  • Remove the bobbin and the bobbin case.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner or a cleaning brush to eliminate loose threads and dust from the race.
  • Uninstall the needle plate and remove the fabric and any threads. Also, if you cannot remove the fabric, it would be best if you contact your dealer.
  • Remove any threads around the feed dogs and raise them.
  • Once you finish cleaning, install the needle plate and tighten the screws. Then turn the handwheel to assess whether the feed dogs move smoothly.
  • Reinsert the bobbin case and the tabs on the needle plate cover. Then, slide the cover.

Why Won’t My Sewing Machine Sew Straight?

Sometimes the sewing machine does not make straight stitches. This scenario occurs if you do not push the bobbin-winding spindle to the left for sewing. Also, if it is not in the correct position, the sewing machine needle will not pick the bobbin thread. Thus, crooked stitches.

In addition, when you do not lift the presser foot when setting the thread through the upper tension, you may get crooked stitches.

When Should I Replace My Sewing Machine Needle?

Experts recommend replacing your sewing machine needle after about eight sewing hours or at the beginning of every project. On top of that, you should never work with a bent, dull, or broken needle. So, whenever you observe needle breakage or damage, replace it as soon as you can.

A broken needle is not the best accessory for your sewing project. It leads to broken or shredded threads and puckered fabrics. You will also observe uneven threads and skipped stitches on your work.

In addition, a broken needle produces an annoying sound as it hits the needle plate, hook or machine. Therefore, replace the needle when necessary and avoid the frustration that comes with a damaged one.

How Do I Fix The Timing On My Sewing Machine?

The hooks and the needle are the most common parts that alter the sewing machine’s timing. Therefore, the first step is to check the needle placement. Ensure that it is at the center and aligns correctly with the groove.

In addition, assess the direction of the hook’s rotation. If it turns clockwise, the needle should move to the far right. On the other hand, if it turns anticlockwise, move the needle to the far left.

If the issue persists after the above adjustments, get the following tools.

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Flashlight or lamp
  • Sewing machine oil
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Marker

Once the tools are in place, turn the handwheel and lower the needle slightly. Then, raise the needle 2.4mm and adjust it to ensure that it goes 2.4mm below the hook’s point. Also, it would be best if you mark the machine to enhance your accuracy.

Adjusting the hook varies for various sewing machines. Thus, it would be wise to consult your owner’s manual as there may be specific model alterations.

Use the handwheel and lower the needle bar and then loosen the base gears. Then, make adjustments until the hook and needle are in their ideal positions. Also, depending on the sewing machine’s unique prescriptions, the distance may vary from 0.04 to 0.1mm.

Retest the timing to confirm that you have set things in order. So, replace the thread and continue with your sewing. In addition, remember to keep the bobbin exposed so that if the problem persists, you can make additional adjustments.

On top of that, always double-check the machine’s timing before you begin sewing. Ensure that you get the right thread and needle to avoid minor machine issues. Also, keep the machine unplugged as you make the adjustments and follow the manual’s instructions.

Finally, if the process is too complex for you, please get a technician to help with the repairs. Also, it would be wise to recheck your warranty as you may be eligible for free repairs from the machine’s company.

How Do I Know If My Sewing Machine Timing Is Off?

There are various timings in a sewing machine that need to be in place for a perfect sewing session. However, hook timing is a common problem that occurs all the time.

Hook timing refers to the relationship between the needle eye and the hook tip. If the hook tip passes below or through the needle eye, the sewing unit’s timing is off. Also, if the tip passes above the needle’s eye but extends past the needle slightly, then the timing is off.

What Are the Symptoms of Bad Timing?

The obvious symptom of bad timing is horrible stitches. In addition, if you can no longer sew because the hook timing is out and the unit does not pick up the bobbin thread.

In addition, when you have a jammed needle and thread, then the sewing machine timing is off.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Timing On a Sewing Machine?

You can easily fix the sewing machine timing. All you need is to follow through with the service manual and have your unit up and running.

However, the service guide is quite expensive and may cost you approximately $700. It will give you all the information you need to fix the machine.

The guide also provides a step-by-step procedure on how to sort every machine part. Therefore, you will eventually fix the machine’s timing. But you need to ask if it is worth it and whether you would want to get a maintenance specialist instead.

Fortunately, you can save yourself some money and outsource sewing machine repairs for about $50 and $80. Furthermore, the fee will vary depending on the required repairs and where you live.

In addition, you will not feel good if you find out that your mistake was installing the wrong sized bobbin in the machine. So, ensure that you avoid simple mistakes and oversights as they can cost you more than necessary.

What Tension Should My Sewing Machine Be On?

The bobbin machine tension is always at the factory setting. Therefore, we only focus on the top thread tension to make tension adjustments.

The tension dial settings range from zero to nine, with 4.5 as the default position for regular straight-stitch sewing. Also, the setting is perfect for most fabrics. However, zig-zag stitches or stitches with width may require a different setting.

Additionally, if you notice raised stitch sides or bunched-up fabric, loosen the tension to about three or four. Then, the fabric will be flat, and you can work on the stitches as a feature.

NB: Tension settings vary from machine to machine. So, it would be best if you work hand-in-hand with the buyer’s manual.

How Do You Fix Common Sewing Machine Problems?

Sewing units are excellent appliances that help you creatively express your ideas. They are also beneficial in the sewing industry as they allow users to execute their embroidery visions and designs practically.

In addition, if you maintain them properly, they will serve you for an extended duration. So, you can be sure that you will not spend much money on repairs.

However, if you use the unit regularly, minor machine problems are inevitable. So, please follow the guidelines below to troubleshoot your machine.

  • Change the needle frequently as they make up 50% of the seam. Also, needles are the cheapest and easiest parts to replace. Therefore, ensure that you get a new needle for every damaged one.
  • Clean the machine regularly to remove fluff and lint from the throat plate. Use a Q-tip or brush to go about it and add an oil drop to keep the unit parts moving freely.
  • Assess the top threading and if there are loops on the fabric, re-thread the machine. In addition, set the thread in the grooves firmly and follow the threading procedure to the letter.
  • Get a quality thread for your work. Also, since the thread constitutes a significant seam percentage, it would be best if you invest in getting the correct one.
  • The bobbin has its tension, and thus, please ensure that you balance it for even stitches. In addition, ensure that the bobbin thread ‘locks’ into the bobbin tension for accurate stitching.
  • Get the correct bobbin for your sewing machine, and if you are unsure of which one to pick, confirm with your local sewing machine service center.
  • Ensure that the needle is in its correct position. If not, then the needle is not high enough, and you should adjust it. If you are not sure if it is okay, loosen the screw and gently lift the needle. Also, you can check whether it is in the right place by using the on-built needle threader. The threader should line up with the needle’s eye for a smooth sewing session.
  • Match the needle and the thread. For instance, use a smaller thread for a smaller needle. So, check the needle’s groove down to its front and get the most suitable thread. Also, small needles and thick threads are the worst combinations in sewing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Do I Do If My Needle Bar Does Not Move Up or Down?

Lowered feed dogs and a zero stitch length usually cause needle bar issues. Therefore, check the position switch, raise the feed dogs, and lengthen the stitch length on the machine to sort the issue.

In addition, make sure that you set the right presser foot on the unit and check if the thread has tangles. You can also check the handwheel pulley by turning it in a clockwise direction.

If the thread has tangles, remove the needle plate and bobbin cover to remove it.

  • Does the Needle Type Affect the Stitch Quality?

Yes. The needle that you use affects the kind of stitches the machine will deliver. Moreover, the thread and needle usually work together to contribute more than 50% of the stitch. Therefore, if you use the wrong needle, you are m0re likely to get poor quality stitches.

In addition, various fabrics require you to use different needles. For instance, if you work on sturdy fabrics, thicker needles will deliver the correct stitches. On the other hand, it would be best to get smaller needles if you have soft fabrics. 

  • How Do I Learn More About Needles?

You can learn more about needles by reading manuals as they provide sufficient information about the unit in question and which needles work well with it. They also help you to get the correct needle installation procedures. Thus, you will avoid many needle-related issues.

Also, you can get more information on the internet. The ‘University of YouTube’ provides users with unlimited content on various topics. So, you can check out the tutorials and guides that we have on social media platforms.

On top of that, the internet allows you to interact with other sewists, and you can have discussions on sewing unit accessories and how to shop for them.

Finally, you can consult sewing machine experts on which sewing machine needles are appropriate for various sewing and embroidery projects. These professionals will also guide you in determining the best course of action if the selected needle does not deliver. Therefore, consider asking them questions before making a move and prevent silly mistakes.


Sewing is a fun craft, and minor hiccups should not discourage you. In addition, sewing unit models have easy-to-follow manuals that provide detailed procedures for solving various machine issues. We also have detailed tutorials and product guides on how to identify and solve sewing machine problems. Therefore, you should not panic when you have a…

Sewing Machine Needle Stuck In Down Position.

The needle gets stuck in the down position because of incorrect placement and wrong machine threading. Also, if you work with a damaged needle, whether bent, blunt, or broken, expect some hiccups.

Fortunately, the above instances are easy to deal with and correct as soon as you identify them. So, ensure that you go through this guide and your unit’s manual the next time the needle is stuck.

Leave a Comment