We all know the pangs of sewing machine anxiety – the fear of pricking your finger while sewing. If you’re a beginner at sewing or teaching your teenage children to use a sewing machine, you may be interested in installing a finger guard.
What is a finger guard? A finger guard is simply a little device that is placed on the presser’s foot bar that helps prevent you from accidentally pricking your fingers against the needle. Although it might seem unnecessary, these products are actually pretty handy when used correctly.
In this article, we will tell you all about finger guards and how you can use them to protect yourself while sewing.
What Are Finger Guards?
Finger guards act exactly as they are named – they are designed to protect your finger from getting hurt when you sew. This is a pretty useful tool for beginners, as they can also help guide the fabric as you feed it through the sewing machine.
Although finger guards are usually not sold along with the machine, they are actually pretty inexpensive and very easy to install. Finger guards are small pieces of very strong and sturdy metal that can easily snap in place, and they usually work with most single-needle and double-needle sewing machines.
Some industrial and commercial sewing machines do differ in terms of presser foot design, so just to be sure, you should always check the make and model of your sewing machine before purchasing a finger guard. That way, you can always find the ones that are the most suitable for your sewing machine.
Finger guards are very friendly to beginners, young people learning how to sew, and especially people who love sewing but are intimidated by the fast-moving needles. These small tools can add a lot of reassurance to the sewing process, and the right needle guard can even make sewing easier for you.
How Does A Needle Guard Work?
Needle guards are not complicated tools. Essentially, a needle guard forms a protective barrier around the presser foot, keeping your fingers from getting too close to the needles as you work.
This is especially useful if you are a beginner or if you are teaching young people to use a sewing machine since it can ease some of the anxiety of working with a sharp, fast-moving needle.
Needle guards can be easily installed in your sewing machine by snapping on and off the presser foot or by screwing the needle guard on the machine. Either way, the needle guard is always secured around the presser foot, providing that protection without blocking your sewing process.
Since needle guards are easily removable, you can install a needle guard when you feel that it is needed and remove it when you are more confident in your sewing abilities.
This is also pretty convenient if multiple members of your family are sharing the same sewing machine – you can snap on a needle guard when your teen is using the machine and remove it when it is your turn.
For some sewers, needle guards are also helpful guides when they feed the fabric through the machine. It adds as a useful guide around the presser foot to keep your fabric straight and tidy as you work.
However, this is certainly not guaranteed for every type of needle guard. Depending on the design of the needle guard you use, some needle guards can actually block your vision when you try to follow the fabric. For this reason, a lot of experienced sewers find needle guards unnecessary.
Fortunately, you can find needle guards in many different designs and at a very low price, so you can always try out different designs to settle on one that works best with your skill level and abilities. Testing the product with your specific type of machine is a great way to try out for yourself and see whether a finger guard will benefit your sewing.
Why Finger Guards Are Important
There are numerous ways to prick yourself with a needle while you’re sewing, and a finger guard can prevent these unnecessary injuries.
There are a wide variety of finger guards available in the market. Some are designed to work seamlessly with most sewing machines, while others are designed to be fitted with specific makes and models.
There is no single design for finger guards, but they essentially serve the same function: preventing your fingers from getting jabbed while you’re guiding the fabric through the sewing machine.
Some finger guards have a special design that is neatly wrapped around the presser foot. These guards can provide another function – to help guide your fabric through the machine with ease.
Safety Guides When Using Needle Guards
One thing that we should note is that finger guards protect your fingers, not the needles. There are certainly many issues with sewing machine needles, and these finger guards won’t prevent your needle from bending or breaking if you are not using your machine correctly.
When installing finger guards, your sewing machine should always be off or even unplugged. Sewing machines are pretty dangerous, especially if you are not careful when working with them. You should always make sure that you don’t actually move the needles while you are installing or adjusting anything around the presser foot area – you can end up hurting yourself.
Finger guards are not obstructive when you are threading the machine or switching out the presser foot. Since they are pretty easy to install or remove, you can easily get them out of the way when you need to adjust anything around the presser foot area, although this is not always needed.
After installing the finger guard, you should also make sure that it is properly in place before sewing. Improper installment can cause more harm than good, especially with a fast-moving needle. If you need to, you can start sewing in small lines or at a lower speed first, just to make sure that the finger guard is secure before going ahead.
Although finger guards act as a layer of protection for your fingers while you sew, it doesn’t mean you can be careless with your fingers while sewing. You still need to pay attention to your finger and your fabric to make sure that everything is in place and that you don’t injure yourself in the process.
Best Finger Guards For Sewing Machines
If you are convinced that you need this useful tool, let’s take a look at some needle guards that can work with your sewing machine.
1. EverNice Finger Safety Guard – Commercial Sewing Machines
Protect your fingers while sewing with this Iron finger guard for standard high shank sewing machines, which includes most commercial sewing machines from prominent brands like Brother, Singer, and Juki.
This safety guard is a must-have accessory if you want to protect yourself from the fast-moving needle while you sew.
Made from hardened iron to ensure safety and longevity, it can be easily installed in seconds on the presser foot of most major brands of commercial sewing machines.
Thanks to the elegant design, this safety guard won’t obstruct your view of the presser foot and the needle while protecting you at the same time.
This means you can still easily see the fabric as you feed it through the foot pedal, as well as thread the machine without having to remove the finger guard.
2.EverNice Finger Guard – Industrial Single Needle Machines
This finger guard slips behind your machine’s presser foot to protect your fingers and hands from sharp needles as you sew.
This is especially important for industrial sewing machines, as their presser feet provide less protection than decorative sewing machines.
This finger guard slips right onto the screw that holds your machine’s presser foot, so it’s super easy to install. While this finger guard is designed for industrial sewing machines, it actually works for most types of single needle machines, especially from prominent brands like Brother or Singer.
This finger guard is made from rust-proof stainless steel, designed to last in your collection for a long while.
The design of this finger guard allows it to form protective barriers around the needle, but it doesn’t actually block your view, which is a huge plus when you need to thread the machine or when you feed the fabric through the machine as you work.
3. DreamStitch Safety Needle Guard – Viking Sewing Machine
The DreamStitch safety needle guard is designed to ensure that your fingers do not come into contact with the needle of your sewing machine.
This needle guard has a very similar design to other types of needle guard, so it’s simple enough to use, but this one has an additional rubber layer, which adds yet another layer of protection to reduce the risk of injury.
This additional rubber layer is red, which is very prominent, allowing you to always know where your hands go while you feed the fabric through your machine.
This needle guard is suitable for Viking sewing machines, as well as most other types of single needle machines.
It can be secured to your machine using an included screw, which allows the needle guard to perform well while you sew.