Janome has been innovating household, and commercial sewing for 90 years. It all starts with the name! “Janome” means “eye of the snake” in Japanese. The company earned this this name after they did away with old-fashioned “shuttle” bobbins and replaced them with the round metal bobbins used by every company on the market to this day!
This guide will introduce you to all our favorite models from this innovative company. We’ll talk about the differences between the company’s offerings and those of competing brands, and help you get a sense as to whether you should shop Janome for your new machine!
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Best Janome Sewing Machine Reviews
1. Janome 7330
We’ve been fans of Janome’s Magnolia lineup for years. These aren’t the fanciest workstations on the market, but they’re made solidly and designed simply. When it comes to keeping it simple, Magnolia’s are by far our go-to machines. Our favorite Magnolia is the computerized 7330!
This computerized home sewing machine can handle just about any task you throw at it. (Sadly, it will only handle your sewing tasks — not the dishes!) While newer computerized models might have more stitches onboard or fancier functions, they can’t compete with the Magnolia for build quality or reliability! And since it’s simple, it’s very easy to use, making it great for beginners.
This thing is one of the only computerized machines on the market that you can actually describe as “built like a tank”. Simply use the LED screen to select a stitch, and you’re on your way! It’s steady, reliable, and straightforward.
Unless you’re prepared to spend more than a grand for a premium computerized Memory Craft model, we think this is the ultimate Janome for most folks.
- The Janome 7330 is a simple computerized machine with a bright LED display. It’s been on the market for a while, but it still feels easy to navigate. In fact, the simplified design makes it one of the better models out there for younger and older sewists who may not be as familiar with fancy new touchscreens.
- The detailed manual is easy to understand, too. However, if you’ve been sewing for some time already, you won’t use it much because of Janome’s straightforward design! Everything is right where you’d expect it to be.
- You can set your needle stops manually, and the machine will repeat your preferred settings every time. A convenient memory button tells it to stop in an up or down position, depending on your preference.
- The speed control slider works like a dream to ensure uniform stitches on any project. It’s one of the best features on the Magnolia! You can keep the machine going at exactly the speed you want it.
- As with many other machines that feature speed sliders, you can use a start/stop button to control your stitches in addition to the pedal.
- There are a total of 30 built in stitches. That’s nothing compared to a lot of Brother’s these days, but it’s as much as most of us will actually get around to using. You’ll have all the essential utility options, plus some decorative choices.
- On top of that, it features six one-step buttonhole styles to fit any project or garment. They’re features which haven’t been outclassed by even the best new machines on the market!
- Stitch width and length are easily controlled by pressing the “+” or “-” button. The machine will not allow the user to select a setting that is not optimal for the current stitch selection, so you never have to worry about messing up.
- An automated thread tension selector makes for smooth, even stitches every time. Unlike nearly every Brother or Singer we’ve reviewed, the Magnolia’s tensioner stays dead-on every time.
- More advanced sewists can also tweak the tension manually to create complex designs.
- You can use the adjustable foot to optimize the machine for fabric thickness. The three settings available are down, up, and extra-up.
- General purpose, zipper, satin stitch, and automatic buttonhole feet are included in the package.
- We really can’t compliment the Magnolia’s build quality enough. It’s not technically a heavy-duty machine, but this thing is rugged as hell. It has a sturdy cast iron frame, and an impeccable reliability record.
2. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Mechanical Sewing Machine
The Janome HD3000 is even simpler than the Magnolia. It’s not the most versatile thing on the market, but when it comes to rugged performance, it can’t be beat. The HD3000 is a workhorse that you’ll find in countless classrooms, costume shops, and other heavy use environments. Its solid build quality is legendary in the sewing world, and what’s under the hood is just as impressive!
We suggest the HD3000 for anyone who’s sick of the rickety plastic machines sold these days by Singer and Brother. It’s the furthest thing from them! The Janome is nearly all metal, including the housing. It stays firm while you sew thick materials, and it will last for years of service.
If you sew at any kind of quantity, or for work, and don’t need anything fancy, this one’s for you!
- You can’t beat it for build quality. While the HD3000 doesn’t use the same cast iron materials as the older Magnolia’s, it’s still almost entirely metal. The frame and body are aluminum, as are most of the mechanism components.
- Having such rugged construction comes in handy in a number of ways. For one thing, the whole machine stays much steadier as you sew. That makes for straighter stitches on all your projects. It also flexes less with heavier fabrics! Most importantly, it holds up under wear and tear for longer.
- This machine has a lot of storage! It has a storage compartment on the top, as well as within the removable free arm. You can easily fit all your essentials inside the machine, so you can save space in your drawer!
- While this is a manual sewing machine, it’s still quite versatile. You can select from 18 stitches. There are all the usual suspects here, from utilities to a few typical decorative patterns. This is definitely a utility machine, but it allows for some finesse and personalization too!
- The HD-3000 makes buttonholes a lot easier than most other heavy-duty models. It has a one-step auto-size buttonholer setting. The machine automatically tweaks the stitch dimensions to suit the exact buttons you’ll be using!
- You don’t have to ditch all your creature comforts for sturdy build quality! There’s an automatic needle threader on this one. It also has a built in thread cutter.
- There’s lots of room for adjustment. You can manually adjust the stitch width (up to 6.5 mm), stitch length (up to 4mm), foot pressure, and thread tension. While this is certainly accessible to beginners, it also suits someone who knows exactly what they want!
- The cover of the upper storage area flips up to display a convenient guide explaining which feet to use with each stitch selection. It’s a nice way to get the quick info you need without having to dig out the manual.
- This is an old-fashioned machine in several ways, but the bobbin system is totally modern. The HD-3000 has a top-loading, jam-proof bobbin compartment. You’ll also love the convenient auto-declutch bobbin winder.
- The transparent bobbin plate helps you know when you will need to rewind.
- The superior feed system (parts: feed dog, feed hook, jam-proof bobbin) ejects scraps of thread from the bobbin case. It also handles thickness changes while you sew. Overall, it’s a surprisingly convenient feature for a manual machine!
- The feed dog is comprised of seven parts, compared to average four-part feed dogs. This allows the machine to run through a wide variety of fabrics without getting bogged down or causing inconsistencies.
- Feet include: satin stitch, zig-zag, hemmer, buttonhole, overedge, and adjustable blind hem foot.
- Accessories include: seam ripper, lint brush, large and small screwdriver, spool pins with felt, large and small spool holders, needle set and four bobbins.
- You can use the built-in, fold-down carrying handle, and hard cover to take projects with you!
3. Janome 2212
The Janome 2212 is a basic mechanical machine suitable for new sewists and experienced enthusiasts who don’t do anything too complicated. This sturdy machine comes at a comfortable, and surprising, price-it’s by far our least expensive Janome recommendation for the average user!
The 2212 may lack some of the fancy features and stitch patterns you get on the more sophisticated Janome’s, but proves to be a reliable machine for everyday use. The low price, accessible design and reliable functions make this a great starter machine for newcomers. It’s also an affordable choice for people who sew often but can’t justify a more expensive machine.
- You’re not going to find anything too fancy on the 2212, but you get all the basic functions you need. You can choose from 12 utility stitches, for all the essentials. This one’s good for people who are more concerned with mending and simple crafts than complicated projects.
- Like the HD-3000, the 2212 has manual adjustment options for stitch width and length.
- You don’t get too much that’s automatic on this one, but it does help you out when things get tricky. The 2212 has a four-step buttonhole setting.
- It has a front-loading bobbin. This may be awkward for less experienced users, who are used to top-loading bobbins. However, the Janome is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it. Plus, all the components are well-made, so it can handle the learning curve comfortably.
- A manual thread tension adjustment wheel will help you develop your own intuition as you work. The helpful manual talks you through using it, if manual tensioning is new for you. At this price, we actually prefer manual tensioning, since automatic tensioners aren’t any good on inexpensive machines.
- Even though there aren’t many extras, the 2212 proves to be a versatile little machine in practice. Its drop feed, and free arm are helpful in tackling a wide range of apparel and craft projects.
- There’s a convenient built in thread cutter, so you spend less time searching for scissors after each stitch.
- This one’s super portable. It only weighs 13 pounds, making it easy to move to a new workspace.
- The Janome 2212 is vastly more sturdy and reliable than other basic offerings on the market these days. Stacked up against a comparable Singer or Brother, there’s simply no competition. These last for years, while you’d be lucky to get more than a few months of use out of a simplified Singer.
- The machine uses snap-on feet. The Janome 2212 includes: a standard foot, zipper foot, sliding buttonhole foot, and blind hem foot.
- The package also includes: three bobbins, one small screwdriver, one seam ripper extra needles, a soft dust cover, and easy-to-follow manual.
- You can keep most of your accessories in the onboard compartment:
- You must manually thread the needle. However, the machine is relatively simple to thread. Watch this video for a tutorial on how to thread the needle.
for quilting and straight-stitching
The Janome 1600P-QC Straight-Stitch Machine is our favorite from the company when it comes to quilting on a large scale. This is a straight-stitch model, so it won’t do anything elaborate. It’s ideal for covering lots of ground fast, though! The 1600P-QC is rugged, reliable, and intuitive–everything you expect from a Janome! Quilters and folks who do straight utility stitching should have a look at this one.
for the passionate or professional needleworker
We’ve recommended the computerized Magnolia as our top pick for the average home needleworker. If you’re a professional or ambitious home craftsperson, though, you might want something a bit sleeker and sexier. If that’s the case, look no further than this Memory Craft model!
The Memory Craft is a fully-loaded, top-notch machine for the most demanding needleworker. It’s as fast as most straight-stitch machines, but as versatile as any computerized model out there. It has almost infinite stitch options, plus tons of convenient and automatic features to please daily users.
Janome: The Brand
After 90 years, Janome is still considered the top brand in sewing innovation. They were the first machine manufacturer to build a research facility, and they continue to innovate. A lot of other manufacturers take their design cues and new features from this company’s models today. The company has proven their dedication to the worldwide community by consistently introducing advanced, and long-lasting products on the market!
The reason we love Janome is that they offer something for practically every needleworker. If you want something completely manual, you can find a model for you. If you want the latest software and automatic features, there’s one for you as well! While most companies tack to either the modern or classic side of the market, Janome cuts right down the middle!
Here is a list of Janome’s favorite accomplishments:
“We were the first to develop a computerized machine for home use (the Memory 7, in 1979), the first to offer professional style embroidery to the home market (the Memory Craft 8000, in 1990) and the first to offer a long-arm quilting machine for home use (the Memory Craft 6500P, in 2003). The long-arm quilting machine has also evolved to the fourth generation with the introduction of the Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP, which features 11 inches of arm space, removable AcuFeed Flex dual feed, and a high resolution LCD touch screen with jog dial control.”
Janome is a leading brand in the industry but its main competitor is Brother — who also has a stellar reputation. If you haven’t found what you’re looking for from our Janome reviews, take a look at our top Brother recommendations or read on our Reviews on the Best Sewing Machines for 2017 at sosewreviews.com/best-sewing-machine or visit Amazon’s best selling Janome Sewing Machines!