Janome Magnolia 7318 Review
Pros: Adequate buttonholes, average to use
Cons: Hard to set up, expensive for its performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
While having a flowery appearance to match its name, the Magnolia 7318 fell flat when it came to our tests. Earning a run-of-the-mill score in sewing, ease of use, and ease of setup, the only metric that this machine did above average in was button work. While important, button work only made up 10% of the total score, and wasn't enough for this machine to redeem itself.
The Magnolia 7318 scored average on sewing performance, scoring a 5 out of 10 in our tests. We compared this machine's performance on long straight stitches, scalloped stitches, zigzag stitches and tacking on a zipper. This machine had a few tension issues when it came to sewing a long straight stitch, but after several subsequent trials we managed to produce an acceptable stitch. The zigzag stitch was nice and even, with good stretch and tension, but did bunch up several of our test fabrics.
We did notice that the thread got a little weird and bunchy around the endstop on the zipper. The scallop stitch performance seemed poor across the board, on all of our test fabrics.
Ease of Use
The Magnolia 7318 scored acceptably well for ease of use, earning a 5 out of 10 in our test. We analyzed how clear and understandable the printed labels were, the worklight, and other features to make your life less difficult when sewing.
We found the directions to wind and thread this machine somewhat confusing. It also was similarly unclear on how to thread it to wind a bobbin. The stitch selection is clearly labeled on the machine, but there are no on-machine recommendations for which presser foot to use for different stitches. A standout feature of this product was its worklight — by far the brightest and best out of all the machine we tested.
The Magnolia 7318 has the standard manual thread cutter located on the back of the machine. Being a mechanical machine, this model lacks the capabilities for automatic sewing, as well as an adjustable stop position.
Ease of Setup
Before beginning any sewing project, there is a certain amount of setup that must first be completed. This can consist of winding the bobbin, threading the machine and needle, and installing the bobbin. The Magnolia 7318 delivered a paltry performance in our tests, earning a 4 out of 10 in this category.
Threading the bobbin was simple enough once you figure it out, but the thread kept bouncing off of the winding thread guide in our tests. We also found the bobbin to be bottom heavy.
Threading the machine was pretty standard, as well as installing the bobbin. It was a little difficult to remove the bobbin cover than the apparently identical style on other Janome models, but this may have been due to a manufacturing error. This machine does not have an automatic needle threader, requiring you to manually thread it.
The final rating category that we analyzed, button work made up 10% of the total score. Surprisingly, the Magnolia 7318 did alright in this category, meriting a 6 out of 10. This is surprising, as this was the only machine we tested that has a 4-step buttonhole, compared to a 1-step. This means that it is a little more involved on the user's end to make a buttonhole, but the end quality will be comparable to a 1-step machine.
While we did struggle a little with the process, when done correctly it yields a quality buttonhole that will not unravel, especially if the final locking process is adhered to per the manual's instruction. It was also extremely easy to line up the buttonhole in the correct location. The main problem with this machine was that it is prone to human error, leading to an unraveling buttonhole.
The Janome Magnolia 7318 is a basic, entry-level mechanical sewing machine, and performs as such. Unfortunately, its price does not reflect this, and many higher-scoring machines cost significantly less. Low scores coupled with a high price make this machine a poor value.
Throughout our testing, we found that the Magnolia 7318's performance fell short of what we would expect based on its price. While this sewing machine would be a good entry-level machine that can accommodate a variety of sewing projects, there are definitely other models that performed much better on our tests. In addition, those better-performing models cost significantly less, thus, we would caution against purchasing this model and instead seek out alternatives.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer