How to Use or Repair an Automatic Needle Threader

Updated on April 30, 2018
QuiltFinger profile image

I am a self-taught quilter, and I've sewn seriously since I was 14. I hope I can share some of the things I've learned through the years.

To Use or Not to Use Your Sewing Machine's Automatic Needle Threader: That Is the Question!

Today, I'd like to talk about automatic needle threaders. I first encountered one of these gadgets when I got my new Brother Project Runway sewing machine last year. After I conquered my fear of this new-fangled gadget, I was like, "Wow automatic needle threaders are kind of fiddly and tedious." Once I got used it, the automatic needle threader stopped working. (How typical is that?) Then, I went back to the old way and I was like, "Wow this way is really fiddly and tedious too", so I decided to check into how this thing works and develop a repair. Now, let's take a look a how an automatic needle threader works, so you can hardness its power, and learn how to use one or fix it!

This guide is intended for new and experienced sewists who are learning to use a feature included on many new sewing machines and top-of-the-line models.

*Content in this lens has been adapted from my video tutorial, which you can find below.

Needle Threaders Step-by-Step

1. Raise your needle completely.

2. Lower your presser foot if necessary.

3. Press the needle threader lever.

4. Wrap your thread around the elbow-shaped bracket.

5. Pass the thread into the cage where the thread-catch hook is located.

6. Release the lever.

7. Pull the loop through the eye of the needle.

How to Use an Automatic Needle Threader

Key Parts of An Automatic Needle Threader
Key Parts of An Automatic Needle Threader

Understanding how this gadget works makes it much easier to use. If you look closely, you'll notice that automatic needle threader rely on a tiny crochet-hook-like mechanism reaches through the eye of the needle, catches the thread and brings a loop back through. For my machine, I need to raise the needle all the way up, so a hash mark on the hand wheel is at the 12 o'clock position.

Once the needle is in the ideal position, you need to create a little hammock by wrapping the thread around the elbow-shaped bracket on the needle threading apparatus. At the same time, you'll push the lever for the needle threader. The bracket ensures that the thread is taught, and the lever lowers the hook mechanism and allows it to rotate forward.

After the unit has met the needle, push the thread into the little cage that surrounds the thread-catch hook. At this point, if you wiggle the tail of your thread, you should feel it catch the hook. As you release the lever, a loop of thread will be pulled back through the eye of the needle. Just tug the end of the loop, and your needle will be threaded and ready to go!

Automatic Needle Threader Video Tutorial - Check out my YouTube Video to Learn How to Use or Repair Yours

Tips, Tricks and a Simple Needle Threader Repair

What To Do When Your Needle Threader Stops Working

Because automatic needle threaders rely on the eye of your needle and hook of the needle threader aligning perfectly, several things can prevent the system for working properly.

1.) If your needle isn't installed properly or if the needle is not raised completely, the system will not work. Make sure your needle is mounted securely. If it's tightened without the top of the needle being pushed all the way into the holder, the eye of the needle won't be in the right position.

2.) You might also have problem with certain needle and thread combinations. The greatest problem occurs when using thick thread with a small needle. Either thread your needle manually or use a larger needle size.

3.) The third possibility is that your needle threader is bent. The hook itself is very fragile and can be jarred easily. If this happens, the hook won't fit through the eye of the needle. Instead, it might be pushed to the outside of the needle, and you'll never get the thing threaded. If this happens, you might hear a metallic popping noise and fell that the mechanism doesn't glide smoothly. Fortunately, you can easily correct this problem without a trip to the repair shop.

Fixing a Broken Needle Threader

If your needle threader has stopped working, check to make sure that the hook is lining up with the eye of the needle. If not, you'll need to bend it back in place. I've found that a seam ripper is the perfect tool to fit in the little metal cage around the needle threader and bend the hook back into the right position. You could also use a small screwdriver to gently push the mechanism so it aligns with the eye of the needle once again. That's a nice and effective quick-fix. Now, you should be able to thread your machine quickly and easily, or at least that's the goal!

© 2013 QuiltFinger

Having Troubles With Your Automatic Needle Threader? - Share your thoughts and comments here!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      13 days ago

      Nope, none of these problems. When I pull down the threading lever the threader stops about an 1/8"inch short behind the needle. It used to work so not sure why it doesn't completely rotate now. It can be manually pushed into position & held there, but then its more difficult to use than it's worth.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      Can’t see what she’s doing even when opening up the video!

    • profile image

      Judy janis 

      14 months ago

      What if it completly broke off?

    • profile image

      Edna Fox 

      23 months ago

      I purchased a janome 49360 two weeks ago..the threader has worked only one time.. I Oder a replacement part for the threader and it still doesn’t work...don’t know what I need to do...any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated...thank you...

    • profile image

      Muriel Hunt 

      3 years ago

      I have Janome special X33 sewing machine and I need to repair the automatic metal needle Threader I have bought a replacement but it so minute I don`t I can do it myself (Poor eyesight) Has anybody how I can get over this problem ) obviously I need this to use my machine. thank you

    • profile image

      G.M. Coll 

      3 years ago

      Why no videos on the automatic threader on the Pfaff Tiptronic 1171? There seem to be videos on the automatic threaders of almost all other sewing machines.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)