Many people who like to sew prefer mechanical sewing machines over their computerized counterparts. Mechanical machines have a reputation for reliability and durability. Let’s look at two models from world-renowned manufacturer Janome to see which one will be the best for you.
Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine with 25 Built-In Stitches and Hard Case
The Janome Sewist 500 is quiet and sturdy while you sew clothing, quilt and make decorative projects for your home. It has a large extension tableand a free arm design so you can use it for free motion embroidery as easily as you can sew a cuff on a sleeve.
Although it’s a mechanical sewing machine, it comes with a host of easy-to-use features like an automatic needle threader. Its bobbin system is top-loading and jam-proof. The transparent top lets you see at a glance if you need more thread. The jam-proofing comes from the horizontal full rotary hook inside the bobbin compartment. That keeps you from making a bird’s nest of extra thread.
If you need better control over the fabric you’re sewing, like for free motion embroidery, you can drop the feed dogs and adjust the presser foot pressure. Presser feet have three height levels to select from, and one of those is an extra quarter-inch higher so you can sew quilts and thick layers of fabric.
The Sewist 500 offers 25 stitches. That includes just one buttonhole stitch, but you can make buttonholes with just one step (unlike the 7318 machine below that requires 4 steps). You can also perform straight stitches with the needle in the right or left position. (in fact, you can place the needle in five different positions.)
There are 11 decorative stitches as well as multiple blind hem and overcasting stitches. The Sewist 500 can hit a top speed of 860 stitches per minute. The only downside to this machine is just having to adjust the thread tension manually, something that can be a challenge for new sewers. But when you’re wrapping up your project, you can tack or reverse-stitch with one touch of a lever.
More features of the Janome Sewist 500 mechanical sewing machine:
- Comes with a hard cover case, bobbins, felt, needles, screwdriver, seam and buttonhole ripper, Zipper Foot, Blind Hemming Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Overedge Foot, Automatic Buttonhole Foot, quilting guide and other accessories
- Has an incandescent work lamp
Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bundle
The Janome Magnolia 7318 is also a mechanical sewing machine like the Sewist 500, but it has fewer features for new sewers. While the controls are clearly marked and easy to use, there is no automatic threader. The 7318 takes 4 steps to sew a buttonhole instead of only 1.
There are separate controls to adjust stitch length up to 4mm and width up to 5mm. The extension table surface has handy ruler markings so you can make seam allowance measurements on both sides of the needle.
The Magnolia 7318 has an adjustable needle position that moves it from the center to the far left. That’s very nice for edge stitching. You can remove the table and the 7318 can do free arm sewing like hemming pant cuffs.
With only 18 pre-programmed stitches, there are fewer than on the Sewist 500, but still a decent variety for garment construction and some decorative projects. Again, there is only one buttonhole stitch.
More features of the Janome Magnolia 7318 sewing machine:
- Comes with 4 presser feet like general, zipper, blind hem, sliding buttonhole, as well as other accessories including a seam ripper, spool holder, bobbins, lint brush, plus bonus pack with Janome Muffling Mat and size 14 needles
- It’s possible to use some generic feet not manufactured by Janomeon this machine
- Covered by Janome’s 25-year warranty on the frame, 5-year warranty on internal parts, and 1-year free labor for adjustments
The Sewist 500 is a better choice if you are new to sewing or if you prefer making decorative projects. It has both easy to use and advanced features that make it a good choice for advanced sewers, too.
The Magnolia 7318 is a good basic machine, and if that’s what you want, it should give you years of faithful service.