Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Blown away by solid performance for so little money
on January 16, 2013
I love, love, love, this machine. I see that the price has risen from the $114 that I paid weeks ago, but it is still a bargain. Its performance rivals machines at 4 or 5 times the price.
I've been sewing for more years than I care to remember on everything from a treadle, to mechanical, and top-of-the line electronic and computerized machines. Yet, lately, I've been wanting a relatively inexpensive, reliable, lightweight, portable, 3/4 mechanical machine to take with me places. I've been looking at this Juki model as well as others for months. I couldn't make up my mind until a huge price drop convinced me to give it a try.
I am not disappointed. This is a solid machine. The first thing that I noticed was the power of the motor. It is fast, goes through multiple layers of fabric and yet is soooo quiet. The footprint is small yet it feels solid and stays put even at the fastest speeds, which is amazing considering it weighs only 13 pounds.
It has box feed on seven feed dogs which makes for very comfortable sewing. There are more than enough speciality and decorative stitches and while their quality is acceptable, they are not outstanding. This machine is for utility not beauty. Straight stitches are fine. The built-in needle threader is one of the simplest I've ever used.
There is a 4-step buttonhole which leaves a lot to be desired. There's a way to fiddle with it to get an excellent buttonhole but beginners would not be able to suss this as easily as I was. Neither the manual or the accompanying video would show you either.
I have this thing about "perfect" stitches. It bothers me when they don't form perfectly in the center of the fabric. I did need to fiddle with the tension (including the bobbin case tension screw) which was annoying but once completed, the straight stitch quality was quite good. I compared it to my Janome 6600P and they were identical. This kind of fix would be out of the question for a beginner.
There is a manual in three languages (English, Spanish and Russian). It's okay but relies on pictograms rather than extensive descriptions or photographs. The video is basic but useful. It is clearly meant for absolute beginners but it does show and explain the bobbin winder and threading path in excellent detail.
This machine is a good choice for a beginner, in a dorm room, for someone who does utitlity sewing, or for someone like me who just needs a portable machine to take places.
It comes standard with only just two presser feet: standard and buttonhole foot so I purchased a set of generic low-shank presser feet for under $10, all of which fit perfectly and gave me a blind hem, rolled hem and zipper foot among others. At minimum, every gament sewer needs a zipper foot. The feed dogs do not drop but you can buy a cover plate if you want to try free motion quilting. The quality of stitching is okay but nothing special. The straight stitches are fine. Stitch tension can be adjusted but unless you are familiar with how to coordinate the stitch tension with the bobbin screw tension, it can drive you nuts. The dust cover is kind of a joke. You can either make your own or buy a cover or carrying case.
Regardless, I'm hoping they drop the price again because I'm going to buy another as soon as they do.