The Janome 8077 scored in the middle of the pack of all the machines we looked at. This particular model excelled at being easy to use and easy to set up. While this is a competent sewing machine and more than capable of handling a huge variety of projects, it wasn't quite the best we saw — in performance or in value.
Janome 8077 Review
Pros: Easy to use, alright sewing skills
Cons: Can be expensive, subpar buttonholes
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
With a visual aesthetic reminiscent of classic mechanical models, the computerized Janome 8077 did well in our tests, scoring above average in every category that we looked at. This model earned a respectable 61 out of 100, though got edged out of the award winning categories.
This machine did alright in our sewing test, earning a 6 out of 10 on this critical metric, lagging slightly behind the award winning performers in this category. We looked at each machine's ability to sew a long straight stitch, sewing on a zipper, a scallop and a zigzag stitch to assess their performance, as these are commonly used stitches and we noticed a wide variety in their quality between different machines. We noticed that this machine had a tendency to have long straight stitches that were substantially more loose than on other machines, even after fiddling with the tension settings.
This machine was also prone to bunching up the fabric when performing a zigzag stitch, by far the worst out of all the machines we tested. It did slightly above average at attaching a zipper. This machine seemed to do better at a scallop stitch on lighter, sheer fabrics, while it struggled a little on some of the denser fabrics we tested.
Ease of Use
This machine was easy to use, but with no exceptionally convenient features that stood out. It scored a respectable 7 out of 10, with the handiest feature being its bright work light. We also looked at reading and understanding the labels on each machine, the thread cutter, stitch selection, automatic sewing abilities and the needle stop position.
This machine clearly marks all the basic functions, with labels for each stitch with the required presser foot. It labels the majority of other functions with easy to understand icons, but we did find that it was unclear where to put the bobbin after looping it on the finger.
The manual thread cutter on this machine is located on the back of the machine. The 8077 does have automatic stitching, with the speed controlled by a sliding switch with arrows. One final feature that we really liked on this machine was the ability to set whether the needle always stops in the up or down position, allowing you to match it to your personal preference.
The stitch selection on the 8077 was great, and included recommendations on which presser foot to use printed right on the machine.
Ease of Setup
The 8077 was alright at setting up, earning it a 6 out of 10. To score this metric, we tried and tested how difficult it was to wind and install a bobbin, thread the machine, and thread the needle using the automatic threader. We were surprised that this had one of the more effective needle threaders, only ranking behind the fully automatic one.
This machine had a similar mechanism as other models we looked at, but we just found it to be easier on the whole to effectively utilize. This machine also did well at winding the bobbin, requiring no intervention to wind an even bobbin. Unfortunately, we found that this machine was subpar when it came to threading the upper thread and installing the bobbin. The bobbin threading directions were very difficult to see, and lacked any guides to make routing the thread any easier. It was also to get the top thread to catch the bobbin thread and pull it through the machine when first starting out.
Button work was the only category where this product really faltered, earning a score of 4 out of 10. We assessed the quality of the buttonhole produced, the ease of aligning it in the correct location, and the difficulty in setting up the machine.
This machine produces a fully one step buttonhole, stopping automatically after completing and beeping to notify you that it has finished. The 8077 produces an acceptable quality buttonhole, only struggling on fabrics that are notoriously difficult to sew on. However, we found that it was extremely difficult to line up the presser foot to make the buttonhole in the desired location, something that it critical for sewing.
This sewing machine isn't really a good or bad value. While its list price is exceptionally high, it usually can be found at a much lower price at popular retailers. This is a run-of-the-mill machine at a run-of-the-mill price.
All in all, the Janome 8077 is a mediocre machine. It performance put in the middle of the pack in our testing, with an average price. The unusually high list price of this machine allows for the possibility for the price to trend above average, and we would recommend looking at one of our higher performing models, or ones that have a better value.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer