How to Change a Sears Kenmore Sewing Machine Needle

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Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine needle

  • Small screwdriver

Changing a needle takes just a minute.

Without a needle, a sewing machine is a useless appliance. Using the correct needle makes sewing easier. Broken needles, specific fabric requirements and routine maintenance all may require installing a new needle in a sewing machine. While there are minor differences in the needle-holding mechanisms of Sears Kenmore sewing machine models -- ranging from vintage rotary models to modern automatic machines -- the procedure for changing the needle is essentially the same.


Step 1

Check to make sure the new needle is the right size and type for the machine and for the fabric by reading the information on the package.

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Step 2

Turn the hand wheel on the right side of the machine until the take-up lever reaches its highest position.

Step 3

Loosen the needle clamp screw just above the presser foot, using a small screwdriver if necessary, while holding the needle. Slide the needle out, noting the direction of the flat side of the needle.

Step 4

Insert the new needle, orienting the flat side of the needle in the same direction as the needle that you removed, into the slot that contained the old needle. Push it up as high as it will go.

Step 5

Hold the needle in place and tighten the needle screw clamp firmly.


In an older machine, the flat side of the needle often faces the needle screw clamp. The needle in a newer model often faces the back


Turn off or unplug the sewing machine while changing needles or performing any maintenance.


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