Janome MOD-19 Review
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|Pros||Top-load bobbin with printed instructions, great needle threader||Good sewing performance, easy to use, high value||Easy to use, notably good zigzag stitching, free-foot sewing option||Excellent lighting, clear and easy stitch selection, very easy buttonhole set-up||Excellent straight stitching on cotton jersey, very easy to get stitches set up|
|Cons||Plastic bobbin winder with plastic clip, subpar bobbin winding||A bit harder to set up||Buttonholes on light to medium fabrics aren't ideal, subpar bobbin winding||Trouble with the bottom of zippers, basic side-mounted manual thread cutter||Lacks a needle up/down button, no presser foot lock, trouble with bottom strap of average zipper|
|Bottom Line||This average sewing machine has a higher price tag, but it's good for those who like to take their time with things||A great machine for the price and a good bet for both beginning and seasoned users||A great machine that leaves something to be desired in creating buttonholes on lighter fabrics but overall provides excellent features for the price||Good for those starting out, but advanced users will get better performance out of other machines||Great machine for a beginning sewer, but lacking a few helpful computerized features|
|Rating Categories||Janome MOD-19||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother XR9550||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055|
|Ease of use (35%)|
|Specs||Janome MOD-19||Singer 7258 Stylist||Brother XR9550||Brother CS6000i||Brother CS5055|
|# of Built-in Stitches||19||100||165||60||60|
|# of Buttonhole Styles||3||6||8||7||7|
|Measured Weight||11.8 Ibs||14.6 lbs||12. 1 Ibs||9.4 lbs||10.8 lbs|
|Maximum Sewing Speed (stitches per minute)||800||750||850||850||750|
|Buttonhole Sewing (number of steps)||4-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step||1-Step|
|Maximum Stitch Width||5mm||6mm||7mm||7mm||7mm|
|Maximum Stitch Length||4mm||4.8mm||5mm||5mm||5mm|
|Automatic Bobbin Winder?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Janome sewing machines have been around a good number of years and have a loyal following among sewers. The Janome MOD-19 will have a loyal following, too, thanks to its above-average sewing results. However, some other things will leave many Janome brand lovers shaking their heads.
Our test team put the MOD-19 sewing machine through its paces. From the basic straight stitch all the way to the scallop stitch, everything was tested, measured, and reported. Overall, the MOD-19 came out slightly above average for this metric. The tension was a little tight, causing a lot of bunching with chiffon, but satin, silk, and cotton jersey all looked pretty good. Some little bottom threads popped up here and there, but nothing that would cause big problems.
Then we came to the zigzag stitch. People tend to overlook this stitch, thinking that they'll never use it. But a zigzag is the foundation of many decorative stitches, not to mention buttonholes, which is why we test it so thoroughly. Overall, the MOD-19 did pretty well with the zigzag stitch, although it did have some bunching problems with chiffon. But almost every machine has some bunching problems with chiffon, so we consider that too. Overall, the MOD-19 scored slightly better in our sewing tests than the other Janomes we tested but lower in some other categories. Our sewing tests comprise 45% of the final score for each machine.
Ease of Use
A sewing machine will not be fully enjoyed (or even used) if the process is overly difficult. We place 35% of the total scoring on how easy each machine is to set up and use. We look at different areas: stitch setup, bobbin, threading the needle, the thread cutter, lighting, and needle stop position. Overall, the Janome MOD-19 did exceptionally well at threading the needle and very well with the thread cutter and lighting. The other areas were below average, with the needle stop position being far below average.
As it turns out, the MOD-19 doesn't have a complicated list of stitches, but there is no clear explanation on the machine for what any of the numbers or symbols on the dials mean. That said, the instruction manual explains how to set the machine up and how to use the dials, so once you've done it a couple of times, you'll be fine. And the bobbin has clear directions on it for how to insert it into the bobbin holder once it's wound.
Ah, buttonholes. The bane of many a sewer. Some will even go to great lengths to avoid putting in a buttonhole. But a clean, neat buttonhole goes a long way toward a beautifully finished garment.
This sewing machine was the only one we tested with a 4-step buttonhole process; the others all have a 1-step buttonhole. But all is not lost because the 4-step buttonhole is easier than average to set up and use. However, it can be tedious as you'll have to lay the button on the garment, mark the top and bottom, then add some length so the button can go through. Our testers recommend drawing your line on the back side of your garment — you'll likely need to practice a bit before you get the hang of doing it. It's not a terrible process, and it even works better than some of the 1-step buttonholes we tested. And as one of our testers noted, "It gets the job done."
Should You Buy the Janome MOD-19?
Well, we tested other sewing machines that were easier to set up and use and also cheaper. We do not think that the MOD-19 would be a good beginner sewing machine, nor is it for everybody, especially those who always want the latest and greatest. But it may be a good fit for a veteran sewer who has the money and isn't afraid to take the time to figure things out.
What Other Sewing Machines Should You Consider?
If you are a Janome fan, both the Janome MOD-50 and the Janome 3160QDC-T performed better in our tests. You'll have to shell out a little more, but you'll likely be much happier in the long run. If you are open to other brands and don't mind spending a little bit more, the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist is excellent in every metric.
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