How to Sharpen a Sewing Needle at Home

Working with a dull sewing needle is frustrating. It fails to make proper stitches, damages the surface of the fabric, slows down the sewing process, and wastes your precious time.

But not anymore!

How to Sharpen a Sewing Needle at Home

Today, we are going to teach you how to sharpen a sewing needle at home. You will learn easy tricks that you can apply while sitting at home. After that, you will enjoy sewing with a sharp needle.

Can you sharpen a sewing needle at home?

Yes, you can sharpen a sewing needle at home. If you are sewing needle has become dull, there are so many ways you can make it sharp at home.

You can use stuff like stone, knives, candles, soap bars, emery boards, steel wool, toothpaste, sandpaper, and coconut oil to increase the sharpness of a needle.

You probably have some if not all of the items available at home. Next, we will teach you how to use them for sharpening the sewing needles.

How to sharpen a sewing needle?

Here are the 11 best ways to sharpen a dull sewing needle at home:

1. Use a sandpaper

Take a piece of sandpaper and put it straight on a flat surface.

Now take your dull sewing needle and rub it back and forth on the sandpaper.

Keep doing it until you are satisfied with the sharpness of the needle.

2. Use coconut oil

Take a small bowl and pour some coconut oil into it.

Now put your sewing needle in the coconut oil and use your fingers to rub the oil along the sharp end of the needle.

The coconut oil polishes the surface of the sewing needle and makes it sharp. This way it moves easily through the fabric.

3. Use an emery board

Emery board has an abrasive surface that allows you to sharpen stuff like knives and needles.

Drop some sewing oil on the emery board and place the board on a flat surface.

Now pick up the dull sewing needle in your hand and rub it back and forth on the emery board. Repeat this until the needle becomes sharp.

Learn if you can use baby oil on a sewing machine.

4. Use a candle

Burn a candle and place it on a stable surface. After that, move the sharp edge of the needle back and forth through the candle flame.

Keep doing this until the tip of the needle heats up and becomes red. Now, wait for it to cool down.

Take a brick and hit it three times on all sides of the needle. (Avoid hitting on tip of the needle and making it bend).

5. Use a soap

Take a soap bar and run the needle back and forth through it.

The rubbing will make your needle sharp. You can test the needle on fabric and if it is still dull, you can repeat the process until you are satisfied with the sharpness.

6. Use a toothpaste

Put some toothpaste on your finger and apply it to the dull needle.

Now rub all sides of the needle thoroughly. The abrasives present in the toothpaste will help make the sewing needle sharper.

7. Use a nail cutter

Your nail cutter also got an emery board.

So, open the nail cutter and rub the dull sewing needle on its emery board.

The emery board has an abrasive surface and it will make your needle very sharp.

8. Use emery cushion

Emery cushion is an excellent option for sharpening dull sewing needles.

First, put your emery cushion on a flat and stable surface.

Now take your sewing needle and insert it inside the emery cushion. Turn the sewing needle multiple times and then take it out to check if it has sharpened or not. If you are into sewing, you should buy an emery cushion as it will help you a lot.

Read if it is okay to use quilt fabric for cushions.

9. Use steel wool

Steel wool is used for cleaning dishes and polishing metallic surfaces.

Put the tip of your needle inside the steel wool and rub it for some time. The steel wool will clean the surface of the needle and make it quite sharp.

10. Use a stone

Take a nice and smooth stone.

Place the needle on the stone and move it back and forth quickly.

This fast rubbing against the stone will sharpen your sewing needle.

11. Use a knife

If you don’t have any of the items mentioned above, you can use a knife from your kitchen.

Rub your sewing needle or move it up and down against the sharp side of the knife and it will become sharp.

Please do it carefully and don’t end up injuring yourself. You can read these safety precautions to protect yourself from an injury during sewing.

Does a sewing needle become dull?

Yes, a sewing needle can become dull.

When you use the same sewing needle for a prolonged period, it eventually becomes dull. The sharp tip of the needle becomes dull when it continuously moves in and out of the fabric.

How to know if a sewing needle has become dull?

There are many ways you can find out if your sewing needle has become dull:

1. More noises

If your sewing machine is making unusual noises while sewing, it is a symbol that the needle has become dull.

2. Skipped stitches

When you use a dull needle, you begin to skip stitches while sewing.

If that is what happens to you, then it is time to replace the needle.

Is your sewing machine not stitching? Read the reasons why.

3. Puckering of fabric

A dull needle can cause the shedding of thread and puckering of fabrics.

It is a symbol that you should sharpen the needle.

4. When the needle catches

Try poking your skin gently with the sewing needle. If it does not cause any pain, it means the needle has become dull and should be sharpened.

If the sewing needle has become dull and you cannot replace or sharpen it, read our guide on how to sew without a needle.

When should you sharpen the sewing needle?

There is no fixed time for sharpening a needle. It depends on how much you use a needle.

The best option is to keep inspecting the needle regularly and if you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should sharpen the sewing needle.

Benefits of sharpening a sewing needle

Here are the perks you can enjoy after sharpening your sewing needle:

1. Better stitches

A dull sewing needle struggles to move in and out of the fabric. It not only damages the surface of the fabric but also gives poor-quality stitches.

A sharp needle will pierce through the fabric in no time and help you make high-quality stitches.

Learn if a sewing needle is better or a piercing needle.

2. Save money

By following our tips, you can sharpen the same sewing needle again and again.

This way you can save money that you would spend on buying new sewing needles.

Want to save more money? Read if sewing clothes is cheaper than buying them.

3. Less fatigue

When you sew with a dull needle, you will have to exert more energy to push the needle through the fabric.

It will make you tired and slow down the sewing process.

On the other hand, you can sew very fast with a sharp needle and that too without getting tired easily.


Sharpening a sewing needle at home is simple and super easy. Just follow our instructions and enjoy sewing with a sharp needle. It will save you time, energy, and money.

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