There are actually two kinds of sewing machine that can be considered to be hand sewing machines. The first type will be sewing machines that can actually be used when being held in one hand, or are small enough to be carried from place to place easily. The second kind of hand sewing machine can be considered to be the regular portable sewing machine. This is actually a full-sized sewing machine without a cabinet. Unlike the smaller hand sewing machines, these machines can be moved from place to place, but their weight means that they will have to be supported by a table in order to be used.
The real hand sewing machine is a device that you will most probably use for simple repairs. It is so lightweight and small that it makes an excellent travelling companion in case your clothing becomes torn or damaged while on a trip. At times, just the bustle of travel can result in a seam tearing out, usually at an inconvenient time. If you have packed a hand sewing machine along, rather than having to go out and buy a new garment, you will simply be able to make repairs. This can save you both time and money and allow you to continue your travel without interruption. This will be especially handy for the business traveller, and a man can learn to use one of these as easily as can a woman.
These small hand held sewing machines are usually powered by one or more batteries, so it would be a good idea to make sure that the batteries are fresh if you are going on a journey. Some of the more substantial of these small machines will use household current. A hand sewing machine can be just as convenient to use around the house as it will be on a trip. You can make a spot repair on your clothing, particularly a hem repair, without removing it. A rip in your curtains or drapes can be fixed without having to take them down first. The light weight of most of these hand sewing machines makes them even easier to use.
Also considered to be a hand sewing machine is the familiar portable sewing machine. It is impossible, obviously, to use this type of hand sewing machine to fix torn drapes while they are still hanging up, but the portability of these machines can make them easier to use than a cabinet model. Because they can be carried from place to place by hand, these machines can be lumped in with the smaller, hand-held sewing machines. This type of hand sewing machine is more suited to steady household use than is the small hand-held variety.