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Janome 3160QDC-T Review

An easy to set up and use machine with slightly above average stitches and a high price tag
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Janome 3160QDC-T Review (This light-up screen was a big hit, with clear directions and stitch set-up.)
This light-up screen was a big hit, with clear directions and stitch set-up.
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $999 List
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Manufacturer:   Janome
By Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer  ⋅  Jun 12, 2023
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 15
  • Sewing - 45% 6.1
  • Ease of use - 35% 8.8
  • Buttonholes - 20% 6.2

Our Verdict

The Janome 3160QDC-T is an intuitive and easy-to-use computerized sewing machine with a light-up screen for easy stitch selection. Ease of use for this machine was among the highest of all the machines we tested. However, it ranked exactly in the middle of our test scores due to average sewing and lighting. Still, this is a quality machine and has enough gadgets to keep an experienced sewist or tailor happy. But if you read on and decide this is the perfect machine for you, be ready to make a serious investment.
REASONS TO BUY
Automatic thread cutter
Easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Built-in light can create harsh shadows

Compare to Similar Products

 
janome 3160qdc-t
This Product
Janome 3160QDC-T
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $999 List
$699.00 at Amazon
$260 List
$259.99 at Amazon
$650 List
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$300 List$150 List
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Bottom Line A pricey machine that is easy to set up and use with good but not great stitchingA simple to use option with lots of stitches, an excellent screen, and an affordable price, but isn't the cleanest buttonhole makerExcessive features for newbies, but a solid machine that will thrill an experienced seamstress or tailor and will last for yearsThis is a great machine for just about everyone, although a serious sewist may want a machine with better quality stitchingA beginner would really like this machine since it's easy-to-use and inexpensive
Rating Categories Janome 3160QDC-T Brother HC1850 Singer 9960 Quantum... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother CS5055
Sewing (45%)
6.1
7.8
7.8
7.5
6.8
Ease of use (35%)
8.8
9.3
8.2
7.8
8.0
Buttonholes (20%)
6.2
5.6
7.2
7.2
6.8
Specs Janome 3160QDC-T Brother HC1850 Singer 9960 Quantum... Singer 7258 Stylist Brother CS5055
# of Built-in Stitches 60 185 600 100 60
# of Buttonhole Styles 6 8 13 6 7
Computerized? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Weight 13.5 lbs 10.5 lbs 19.7 lbs 14.6 lbs 10.8 lbs
Manufacturer Stated Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute) N/A 850 850 750 750
Buttonhole Sewing (number of steps) 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step 1-Step
Maximum Stitch Width 7mm 7mm 7mm 6mm 7mm
Maximum Stitch Length 5mm 5mm 5mm 4.8mm 5mm
Thread Cutter Automatic Built-in Automatic Built-in Built-in
Automatic Bobbin Winder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cover Hard No Hard Soft No
Free Arm Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Janome 3160QDC-T is quite a sewing machine. Priced at the top of the machines we tested, this heavy machine has 60 built-in stitches and six buttonholes styles with a truly automatic thread cutter that was an absolute joy to use. It really excelled at sewing zippers as well, and doing buttonholes were a breeze. Overall, this is a great machine for someone with a lot of sewing experience who wants to buy something that will last and isn't afraid to pay for what they want.

Performance Comparison


janome 3160qdc-t - the janome 3160qdc-t has easy to use labels, simple arrow buttons...
The Janome 3160QDC-T has easy to use labels, simple arrow buttons, and a large display.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sewing


With very high scores on the straight stitch and the basting stitch, our reviewers were impressed with how evenly the stitching was on the 3160QDC-T and how clean and flat the various materials lay. Then we tested the zig-zag stitches and were very unimpressed. No matter which material was used — satin, chiffon, cotton jersey — the tension was overly tight, causing bunching and uneven stitching on the bottom side. In fact, the scallop stitching was the lowest of any score of any machine, and the blind hem wasn't much better.

But then we got to the zipper test, and all was forgiven. Super smooth and easy, the bottom stop of the zipper went right under the presser foot with no problems or hitches at all, giving a beautiful, finished product and earning a perfect score from our testers. The multi-layer denim test was also very, very good, with even and consistent stitching despite the thickness of the layers.

janome 3160qdc-t - some of the stitches on the various fabrics. this machine earned a...
Some of the stitches on the various fabrics. This machine earned a perfect score with its ability to sew in a zipper.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


With clear, clean, easy instructions, the Janome 3160QDC-T earned a high score for this metric. From the stitch set-up to the consistent needle stop position to the automatic thread cutter that really was automatic, this machine was a breeze to set up and use.

There is a very nice lit onscreen display showing which presser foot you need or which mode you are in — button, bobbin, etc. The stitches are all clearly labeled and numbered, and though there is no label for stitch tension, the average or commonly-used tensions are marked. Our testers found it all refreshingly clear and well-labeled and particularly liked the lighted screen.

But all was not joy with the Janome 3160QDC-T. We found that, though the bobbin winding and loading instructions were very clear and concise, the actual wind itself was lacking. The sewing light is also very average, illuminating only a small area with some shadowing to the left.

janome 3160qdc-t - this machine had a smaller are that was lit, and has some shadows to...
This machine had a smaller are that was lit, and has some shadows to the left of the needle.
Credit: Laura Casner

Buttonholes


A good, easy-to-use buttonhole attachment that provides you with smooth, symmetrical buttonholes can go a long way toward making up for other things that are lacking in a sewing machine. Fortunately, the Janome 3160QDC-T scored above average in both buttonhole set-up and quality. There are no colored lines to help you line up the buttonhole, and there is a plastic wall that somewhat impedes your view, but sewing the buttonhole itself is a breeze and provides a clean, smooth end product.

janome 3160qdc-t - clean, clear directions and stitch set-up.
Clean, clear directions and stitch set-up.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Janome 3160QDC-T?


It's difficult to set a value on a sewing machine because each person has specific needs and desires. Overall, the Janome 3160QDC-T scored well, and we believe that the pros still outweigh the cons. While we would certainly not recommend this sewing machine for a beginner, an experienced sewist with the money to spend would enjoy this machine for many years.

janome 3160qdc-t - with many features, this sewing machine would make someone very happy.
With many features, this sewing machine would make someone very happy.
Credit: Laura Casner

What Other Sewing Machines Should You Consider?


The Janome 3160QDC-T will not be everybody's cup of tea, but the ease of set-up, the lit screen showing how to select your stitches, the beautiful buttonholes, and the superb zippering all help make this sewing machine a great one to own if you are willing to part with the cash. If you're interested in a premium sewing machine with more stitch options, the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist has 600 different stitches to choose from and makes some of the best buttonholes we've seen. We also adore the premium-priced Juki HZL-F300 in just about every respect, with its precision stitching, automated features, and superb customization.

Austin Palmer and Ruth Bruckbauer