Sewing Machine Sounds Weird? (10 Sounds Explained)

Sewing machines can make strange noises, but these noises often do not mean that there is something wrong with the machine.

Even if you have never heard a sewing machine sound before and are concerned, realize that odd sounds from a sewing machine can still result from a setting or damaged fabric, and the sewing machine may still be functioning normally.

1. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Clunking Sound?

In some cases, the sewing machine will make a clunking sound as it’s running.

Several factors can contribute to this, but the most likely cause is that the machine needs to be oiled. You can solve this problem by removing the bobbin case and inserting a drop of sewing machine oil into its holes.

Another possible cause is thread tension issues. Too much tension on the lower thread can cause clunks as it passes through the machine.

Again, you’ll want to adjust your settings to be more appropriate for your fabric and pattern type.

The sound you hear can also result from your sewing machine’s needle bar being in the wrong position. The needle bar is the metal piece that holds the needle up and down, allowing it to move as you sew.

If it gets stuck or is knocked out of place, it can cause your machine to make a clunking sound as it attempts to move its needle without actually moving anything.

To fix this problem:

  1. Turn off your machine and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Open up the casing on your machine, usually by removing screws from around the edges, then lift the top cover to reveal what’s inside.
    • This will vary based on which kind of sewing machine you own.
  3. Ensure that nothing is tangled around or under any parts of your machine that can cause damage if not removed immediately.
  4. Find where the needle bar should be positioned inside your machine and ensure it’s there.
    • If not, gently move it back into place with your hands.
  5. If that doesn’t work, try using tweezers or pliers but only if necessary.

2. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Buzzing Sound?

If your sewing machine is making a buzzing sound, it could be due to various factors. Here are some common causes:

Broken needle:

Check to see if the needle is bent or broken. If so, replace it with a new one and sew on a scrap piece of fabric until you’re sure the stitch works properly.

Loose Tension:

Adjust the tension on your sewing machine as needed. You can do this by turning a screw on the top of your machine or turning a dial on the front panel (depending on which model you have).

If you have an older model, check that nothing has become detached in your bobbin case—if so, reattach it securely.

Worn Out Gears: 

If none of these seem relevant to your situation, there may be something wrong with your gears inside the machine itself.

Out of Alignment:

The sewing machine needle should be straight and centered, but it can cause a buzzing sound when you sew if the needle is crooked.

To fix this:

  1. Turn off your sewing machine and pull out the bobbin holder.
  2. Look at the top of the needle and make sure that it is aligned with the center of the sewing machine head.
  3. Turn on your machine and try to sew again.
    • If this doesn’t work, check the screws on your sewing machine head; they may need to be tightened or loosened slightly to correct any alignment issues.

3. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Knocking Sound?

Your machine probably needs oil.

The knocking sound is caused by the lack of lubrication on your machine, and you can fix this by adding just a few drops of sewing oil between the bobbin case and the presser foot.

You may also have an issue with your needle, thread tension, or both.

Check both needles and threads for damage to see if that’s causing the noise; if not, try adjusting these settings for yourself or ask someone at your local sewing store.

4. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Clicking Sound?

If your sewing machine is making a clicking sound, it can be caused by several things.

When sewing, make sure to use the right thread for your machine. Different types of thread require different tension settings, and if you’re using the wrong kind (for example: using polyester thread when you should be using cotton), this can cause the needle to hit the wrong part of the bobbin case, which makes a loud clicking sound.

Try cleaning out your machine’s bobbin area with compressed air if this is not the issue. The dust bunnies can get caught on something and cause friction, leading to noise.

Finally, check whether there’s anything loose inside your machine’s cabinet where it sits on its base or tabletop. For example, a loose screw or wire could be causing friction.

5. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Banging Sound?

When your sewing machine makes a banging sound, it’s usually because the needle hits something.

If the machine is making a banging sound when you’re pressing down on the foot pedal and moving the fabric around, it’s probably hitting the underside of the presser foot.

This can result in broken needles, so check to ensure that your presser foot is not bent or warped. If it is, replace it.

If the machine continues to make this noise when you’re using it but stops once you remove your fabric and stop moving around, it may be hitting another part of itself. If this happens at certain points in your sewing process, try adjusting your tension dials.

If this does not solve the problem, check for any loose parts or pieces of thread hanging down into the machine and causing it to hit something else inside itself.

6. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Grinding Sound?

If your sewing machine makes a grinding sound, it could be a mechanical problem.

If the needle plate or bobbin case is dirty and has built-up lint or thread around it, clean these parts with an appropriate cleaning product and dry thoroughly after cleaning.

If the tension dial is set incorrectly, it will cause too much or too little tension on the sewn fabric. Adjust according to your owner’s manual for your sewing machine model, and make sure that the needle bar moves freely without sticking during operation, especially when changing stitches.

If this still doesn’t work, then it’s likely that something else needs to be addressed, such as replacing parts like bobbins, needles, etc.

7. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Jackhammer Sound?

When your sewing machine makes a jackhammer sound, it’s usually either the needle or the motor. The needle is the part that punctures through the fabric to make the stitches.

If it’s bent or broken, you’ll hear this noise. To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace your needle.

The motor is what runs your machine and causes everything to move. If it’s making a banging sound, there’s likely something wrong with it. You may need to replace your motor altogether or clean out any debris that has built up inside of it.

Also, your sewing machine makes the sound you hear because it’s working too hard. When you’re sewing with thick materials, your machine has to take on the extra weight and push through more material than usual.

If you don’t have a high-quality machine, this can cause extra strain on your machine’s internal parts, leading to a breakdown or other damage.

To prevent this, try sewing with lighter fabrics like cotton or silk.

8. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making High-Pitched Noise?

If your sewing machine is making high-pitched noises, you might be experiencing a timing issue.

This can occur when the timing belt slips or breaks. The time to replace this part is when it begins to make a noise or if the stitches are uneven.

If your sewing machine makes a high-pitched noise, the upper thread may not be threaded properly. To fix this, you will need to check the threading on your sewing machine. First, make sure that the tension is set correctly.

If the machine tension is too tight, it can cause the machine to vibrate and make this noise.

Next, check that the upper thread is threaded through the tension disks and then into the bobbin case. Also, ensure that the bobbin case is properly installed in its holder.

If these steps don’t work, try cleaning out any lint or dust from the inside of your machine. This might help clear up the problem.

9. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Humming Sound?

If your sewing machine is making a humming sound, it could be caused by various things.

Here are some common causes:

The Needle is too High:

The needle is not lowered far enough into the fabric.

Most machines have an auto-lower feature that will raise the needle after each stitch but lower it until you hear it click into place if you’re manually lowering the needle.

Thread in the Bobbin is Stuck:

The thread may be caught on something in the bobbin case or underfoot of the machine.

Open up your sewing machine and check these areas for something that might be stuck there. If you find something, remove it with tweezers or pliers.

The latter only if there’s no chance of damaging any part of your machine.

If none of these things fix the humming issues, check your presser foot and see if there’s anything loose or broken on it. This can cause a humming sound!

10. Why Is My Sewing Machine Making a Beeping Sound?

The needle might be stuck in the fabric.

You’ll need to unthread the machine and remove the needle from the fabric to fix this. If there’s any thread caught on the underside of the needle, you’ll need to clean that off as well.

Your bobbin case might be empty, or you’re trying to sew with an empty bobbin case. You’ll need to replace your bobbin case with a full one or load up another bobbin with thread and put it in your machine before you can continue sewing.

Finally, you might be using too much tension on your sewing machine. Try adjusting the tension setting and see if it helps resolve your issue.

Sources: – Noise – loud or high-pitched

Singer – Noisy sewing machine? You may have overlooked these 2 things.