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Brand Janome /Elna comparable to?

Lucylou | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Has anyone used a Janome 4618LE model?  Is this brand comparable to a Viking or Elna.

I was also told Elna was a good brand.  I can’t tell the difference between all these machines. Thanks


  1. Betakin | | #1

    Janome has made many Elna sewing machines for years and is now the head of Elna USA. Janome also makes Sears Kenmore models and used to make the Huskystar models for Viking that were made in Taiwan. Huskystars are now made in China and I don't think Janome makes them any longer. Janome also made the Pfaff Grand Quilter and Viking Mega Quilter. Most Janomes have a 7 piece feed dog system and wide 7 mm stitches and have lovely deco stitches and feed well on almost any fabric.

    Viking has several different models of machines. Vikings more expensive models are made in Sweden with the less expensive models being Swedish designed but made in other factories.

    I own a computerized Janome made Kenmore, a computerized Viking and a mechanical Pfaff. All of my machines have different features. I use them for different projects but they are all used constantly. I suggest to purchase a machine you feel comfortable in using, has the features you need and the price fits your pocketbook. I hope you find a machine you love.

    1. Lucylou | | #2

      Thank you!

    2. Crazy K | | #3

      Boy!  As I read the different threads I am really getting an education!  I started sewing as a child and young adult (when my kids were little) and then due to lots of life issues (jobs and many other things!) I took a break from a few years but since I bought my first serger and bought a good sewing machine (a little MemoryCraft 3500 by Janome) I've started again and haven't stopped!!!  Too much fun.  Anyway........I am surprised to learn all these things about what company makes what machines.  You ladies are much more knowledgeable about those matters than I am.......and of course, the dealers don't tell all............only what they think you want to hear!!  I have had several Janome machines.  I gave my 3500 to a friend who needed a machine.  I now have a Janome 9000 and two Designer SEs.  I agree that each brand has it good features.  I hope more is written about the origination of some of the machines...........I find it very informative and interesting..........



      1. Betakin | | #4

        I find the sewing machine stuff interesting also and I too was away from sewing for a number of years. I have always had a fascintation with sewing machines. It was not so much the recent shock seeing the many features on new computerized machines but the shock of the price. Sheesh..$7000 for one that I thought looked nice. My car cost me less sevral years ago.

        With Singer,Viking, Pfaff now being lumped together and with Martha Stewart becoming involved, it will be interesting to see the changes that take place in this huge company. I think the new big Viking Sapphire models are nice and we shall see if Pfaff will also make a large model like them. I guess VSM also think the Sapphire models are special with their international press releases about the machines. 

        I also wonder if other brands of machines will have the dual feed since Pfaff's patent expired. Janome calls theirs Acufeed in the model 6600 . We shall see if Janome makes more machines with Acufeed or if some other brand comes out with dual feed.

        I know that many could care less about the brands origins and ownerships, or where the machines are made but I find it interesting. It is rather like one's own geneology or family history.I really get into it. I like to know where things came from and how they evolved. This sort of let's me how how things are going now or maybe how things will end up. 

        1. Crazy K | | #5

          I agree that it will be very interesting to see what happens with this big company merged and then Martha Stewart mixed in there too.  It would be great it they could take the best of the best features from each and make a 'hybrid' machine!!  We could get all of the best features in one.  I know Pfaffs are good..........had one that was my mom's........new in the early 50's.......it was a wonderful machine but only did straight and zig-zag (also had cams which I never could get to work!)......Janome makes good machines and I dearly love my Designer SE's.  The Janome has some  good features and the SE others, but I find myself using the SE because of the automatic presserfoot and the thread cutter.............It has made me very lazy! 

          I don't seem to receive all these 'special bulletins' from the different companies but I do get a newsletter from HVS and got the big blub about the Martha thing..........hopefully I can learn more...............interesting stuff!


          1. Betakin | | #6

            The new Viking Sapphire miodels have the sensor pressure foot. I found not having a presser foot lifter bar unusal but got quite used to it in my testing of the machine. I tried one yesterday. The are very large machines and very nice. They work much the same as other computrized Viking models with the stitch advisor and similar features. I think both models come with the button hole sensor foot also. The 850 has many more stitches than the 830 including an extra alphabet, larger screen and only $200 more. The dual lighting is good but also needed for the huge arm.  The prices are good too compared to other TOL Vikings.

          2. Crazy K | | #7

            I have not seen the Sappire yet. I enjoy the sensor foot and the sewing advisor but the biggie is the extra power of the motor (for sewing over heavy things) and the lights on the SE...........they are like airstrip landing lights and awesome!  I had a D-1 first and traded up when the SE came out.  I can't say I have been sorry but yes, they are expensive.  Sewing and embroidery are my hobby.......my only hobby.....and I have lots of family (22 grands) to lavish with gifts.  I am fortunate to have a hubby all in favor of my doing this and he is the one the pushes and prods to get what I want.  nice, huh?  Yes, I am appreciative.  We owned businesses and worked very hard and are now retired.  I guess he feels that I've earned my pleasure.  Neither of us has other hobbies that cost so this is IT for me. 

            I'm so glad I stumbled on the threads forum........I do so enjoy reading all the entries and have learned lots of little tidbits so far.


          3. Betakin | | #8

            You can check out the pretty new Sapphire models on the Viking website if you haven't already seen them and want to. We have the same hobbies. I am also retired, no DH but I have 26 grands and 6 are grt. grands. I love sewing for them. There are 5 or 6 birthdays this month to make presents for and some months have several DGK's birthdays that are the same day and some that are 4 days in a row. It really does make life more fun.

          4. Crazy K | | #9

            Thanks!  I just might do that........not that I need another machine though!!  Two SE's and the Janome 9000 are enough to keep my out of trouble.....most of the time!  We have many months with multiple birthdays but none on the exact same day.  Yes, it does keep life interesting.  We have finally typed up a family birthday list and add names to the calendar each year so we don't forget to remember each on their special day.  I am now in the process of making a valance embellished with dragon embroideries for a grandson in Texas.  We're leaving this week to go down for the big event and to see the family while Dad is home on leave from Iraq.  I have been nursing a strained neck/shoulder (do not know what I did to it either!) for the past two weeks so sewing has slowed to a snail's pace.  We also have a 4 yr. old grandson staying with us while his mom and dad have been on vacation.  That tends to put a crimp in my style, too, but I love having him here. 


  2. tmorris1 | | #10

    Hey Lucy, I have the Janome Decor Excel 5018 which looks like it is almost exactly the same machine. I love it!!! The one step buttonhole feature is a dream, and the overcast stitch saved me from having to buy a serger right away. I sew a lot of jeans on my machine and it has all of the power I need. The machine I have has about an extra 1/2" lift on the presser foot as well so I can sew over a double welt seam with ease. The last feature I will rave about is the stitch selector. I love how the machine gives you all of the parameters for each stitch selection as you turn the selector dial. This has made my sewing so much better so fast, my stitch length and tension are always perfect. Oh and can I just tell you quickly about the bobbin winder...the minute that you push the empty bobbin over to its position, the machine automatically re-clutches. I never hear that whir of the empty needle because I forgot to flip that little switch on the side of the machine. I realize that the machine doesn't begin to tap the realm of features that are out there, but for under $600.00 (Canadian) I have found the machine to be well thought out, very user friendly, powerful, and (for once) everything that the sales person promised me that it would be. Hope this helps your decision.

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