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Do not oil Janome Computr Sewing Machine

lennie77 | Posted in General Discussion on

When I purchased my new Janome Computer Sewing Machine about three years ago, I took the free hour lesson on how to use it.  To my surprise I was told to NEVER OIL THE MACHINE.  Whew! I’m glad I found out that information because there was NO WHERE IN THE WHOLE INSTRUCTION BOOKLET that warned me not to oil the sewing machine.  I had considered skipping the free lesson because I had to take the sewing machine with me down a flight of steps, drive across town with it, unload it and take it to the sewing machine store and at the time, my health was not good.  I’m better now. I’m so glad I did not skip the lesson if oiling the machine later would have ruined it. Is this true of all computer sewing machines or just Janome and I wonder why the instruction booklet does not mention this important fact.


  1. Alexandra | | #1

    My Janome is my first computerized machine and I was instructed not to oil it.  I never did.  Because of this edict, I never had it serviced either, cause hey, you can't oil it.  Well, the stitching deteriorated and I went shopping for a new machine and found a great deal on a Husqavarna.  Just before I purchased the Husq I had the Janome serviced and it worked like new.  I went ahead and purchased the Husq and also kept the Janome.  This way I'm never without a machine when one is being serviced.  The Janome quilts better than the Husq.  I can also have 2 projects on the go with each machine threaded for use.  Well, I rather went off on a tangent, suffice it to say, no oiling doesn't mean no servicing.

    1. lennie77 | | #2

      Hi Alexandra,

      I just went to Hancock's and asked the Bernina Demonstrator if Bernina sewing machines need to be oiled.  She said, "Yes, they need to be oiled and lubricated, and that instructions are included with the machines to indicate that".  She added that any machinery with moving parts need oiling.  I'm wondering if when you had your Janome serviced, they oiled it!  I wonder if Janome can answer this question for me.

      I'm glad you ended up with two good working machines all ready to go.

      Thanks for your response.


      1. Kiley | | #3

        Machines that are enclosed units do not require oiling because they have oil emitting bearings. When the machine is used the molecules warm up and force the oil out to lubricate. When not using the machine the oil then returns to the part. Top loading bobbin machines might need only one drop of oil in the wick centered in the bobbin case if the machine becomes noisy.

        1. lennie77 | | #5

          Thanks for the information, Kiley.  I tried to contact Janome through their web-site but they only send you to the dealer or their FAQ Library.  Well, I wanted a little assurance from the folks who manufactured the machines.  You really sound like a knowledgeable person and that makes me feel a lot more secure.  I appreciate such expertise very much.

  2. sewstudent | | #4

    I have a Sears Kenmore 10000 which is a Janome computerized embroidery/sewing machine. Only thing is=you don't get Instruction and the book that comes with it is written badly. I've had to try to experiment with this machine and have had some poor results - and no one to ask because Sears doesn't have knowledgeable support in any of their stores near here.  They really shouldn't sell sewing machines, as far as I am concerned.

    1. lennie77 | | #6

      Hi Sewstudent,

      I was so discouraged with the instruction book that came with my Janome Memory Craft 4800 because it was so hard to find what subject I wanted so I went through the instruction book and went into Lotus 123 on my computer and put each topic in Alphabetical Order.  I created my own Table of Contents with the proper page of where it was found.  Wow!  What a blessing that turned out to be because there was no Table of Contents and things were not even written in an orderly fashion.  I have to remember that the instruction books were probably written by people that do not speak English as their native language so that causes problems.  I don't know why Janome doesn't hire experts in the field to go behind them and rewrite portions that need to be explained more clearly and include a Table of Contents.  I also have a Euro-Pro Serger that has such poor illustrations on the How-To's that I had to try "this and that" and make phone calls for help and finally got it to work, I then redrew the illustrations to show me what to do so that if I did not serge for a while so I wouldn't have to go through the agony of defeat in using it figuring it all out. I do think the Janome and Euro-Pro sergers are fine machines....just poorly written instruction booklets.  I noticed that Wal-Mart sells sewing machines too and there are no sewing machine instructors there either.  The prices are probably less expensive, but if a person is a beginner, it may be worth paying more from a sewing store that has professional instructors.



      1. Kiley | | #7

        My Janome made Kenmore 19365 is much the same machine as yours. It did come with a video and a very well explained instruction book..but the is in several languages as is several table of contents. It would be nice to be tri-lingual.

        1. lennie77 | | #8

          Hi Kiley,

          Years ago, I used to watch "Mission Impossible" on TV and saw foreign signs here and there and I thought to myself.  All I ever see in our country is English.  It seems so exotic and interesting then.  Now when I charge something, I have to choose whether I want to use English (for Heaven's sake)!  It seems as if that should be expected in America by now.  Well, how things have changed!  I think a person should be able to choose an instruction booklet written in the language they want instead of the author trying to cover all those different languages and they usually make the print real small to get it all in. The only other language I've ever studied was sign language and I don't even know a deaf person! 

          Kenmore seems to be a good brand.  My Brother-in-law used to work at Sears and those products seemed to last years and years.  So I guess if you can manage to figure it all out.  Wait a minute....maybe you could enlarge the pages on a copy machine that match your machine and language and make your own personalized instruction booklet.  I know you should not have to do this, but life goes on and things are made with planned obsolesce.

          I read about a light bulb that has been burning for 60 years and is still on.  The trouble is that company went out-of-business.  If you make a product that that doesn't wear out, you will not get repeat business.  Now how did I get off on THAT?  LOL  :)

          It is GREAT that you got a Video though.  I think that would be most helpful. 

          Thanks for writing.



          1. Kiley | | #9

            I love Sears Kenmore products and have owned many of them. Kenmore products  seem to throw in an extra feature apart for the original Whirlpool model or Janome machine etc. But now that KMart owns Sears there have already been some changes. I have seen some Kenmore items on KMart shelves. The Sears website now carries Singer. Singer's holding company now owns Pfaff/Viking. Things ARE changing. I wonder where that 60 year old light bulb is???? LOL. 

          2. lennie77 | | #10

            The 60 year old light bulb is hanging in the Livermore Fire- Department. Type "60 year old light bulb" in Google to read the details. I suppose that means Livermore, CA, but I'm not sure.  I wonder which one is now the owner of Pfaff/Viking. Isn't KMart owned by the Japanese?

            I was bragging to someone about what an old reliable company Singer was when a Sewing Store Manager told me that Singer went bankrupt in 1999, and was divided into about three different countries, one in Taiwan, on in Vietnam and I don't know where the third is.What happens when a part goes up and the company is in a foreign country and the sewing machine has been discontinued? Whoa! That's what happened to a lady who called into a local Sewing Machine Store. She was looking for a part for her six year old Pfaff sewing machine that cost her about $3,000. She had been calling every sewing store in the states trying to locate the part she needed. Pfaff said that had none and would not be making any more. The local Sewing Store Manager here in Maryland just shrugged and said, "She should buy a new machine". When I heard that, I said to myself, "I don't think I'll invest in a real expensive machine if future support is not going to be there".

          3. Kiley | | #11

            Some of the top of the line machines cost as much as houses did when I was young and they cost more than I paid for my car. It blows me away.

          4. lennie77 | | #14

            Wow!  I know what you mean.  The problem was that salaries were awfully low too way back then.  My Grandson asked me if the world was in "black and white" when I was young.  I replied, "No, the cameras just did not know how to take photos in color back then!"  It would have been kind of bland, wouldn't it to have just been in black and white?


          5. Kiley | | #15

            So cute of your DGS to think that ..LOL ...I think the world changed from black and white to technical once Dorothy arrived in Oz. Remember that? If your DGS saw the picture maybe that is why he wondered if the world was in black and white at one time.

          6. lennie77 | | #16

            I'm sure he probably saw the Oz Movie, but I think he may have been influenced by my photo albums since my child-hood photos are all in black and white except for a few I hand-painted when I was a kid.  My Dad bought me a photo coloring kit and I can't believe how the colors have held up all these many years.  

          7. MaryinColorado | | #28

            Alot of critics say that black and white is more dramatic.  You lose so much of the depth from the light and shadow with color.  I never really gave it much thought, other than thinking I preferred living color......

            then a "friend" showed me his "dark room technique" in his black and white lab at his house....more than film developed from there............we have been married for 30 years!!!  Mary

            I have three Husqvarna/Vikings and love them all.  Once a year I take them in for a check up and let the shop take care of the oiling, except for the serger which I put sewing machine oil in all the moving parts.  The Singer and Necchi need to be oiled.  I think each machine has unique needs that we need to be aware of.

            Edited 8/28/2006 12:49 pm ET by MaryinColorado

          8. lennie77 | | #35

            Hi Mary,

            What a romantic story -- as a result of "black and white" photo lab -- 30 years -- Wow-- GREAT!

            I agree that each machine has unique needs that we need to be aware of.  That's why I'm concerned with the lack of directions concerning the need NOT TO OIL the machine.  I need to let Janome Company know about this oversight, but the web-site only let's a person go to a sewing machine authorized dealer.  They are not the ones who wrote the book.




          9. busybee | | #12

            Hi Jennie,   I Have really enjoyed readinh all the e.mails about oiling machines.

            I have an Elna which I believe is a Janome and I'm not supposed to oil that. Can I mention that your type size is very large - please tell me if mine is - I think its called shouting. Perhaps reduce it a bit and tell me what size mine is too??!!    Busybee

          10. lennie77 | | #13

            Hi Busybee,

            I think your font size is 1.  Mine is 3. The sizes go all the way up to 7.  Hmmmm....I wonder what THAT LOOKS LIKE.  I have a little trouble seeing small print, but I'll try to reduce the size before I post it.  Glad you're enjoying the discussions.



          11. busybee | | #17

            Thanks - mine was actually two I've found out. Your  @ that looks like@ is that sixe on the thread so its pretty big !!  lol Busybee

          12. lennie77 | | #21

            I'm using size two now and I can see that without eye strain.  I'm glad somebody let me know about this font size problem!

          13. LizBarefoot | | #30

            Lennie, I have a son-in-law that is profoundly deaf and very near blind.  I got an email from an older Florida friend that told how to enlarge the print.  Hold down the control key and rotate the wheel on your mouse.  I was so thrilled with it, I sent it to Johnny, my son-in-law.  He immediately wrote me back saying he had known that for years and it not only works with email, it also will work on the internet!

            Also, it isn't 'shouting' to have a large size print.  It is 'shouting' when the print is in capital letters.  There are a lot of us older people that has a problem with the eyes not doing as well as they have been.  I appreciate the larger print myself.  Not so much the capital print, just the larger print.  But I know now how to make it larger.


          14. lennie77 | | #36

            Thanks LizBarefoot,

            Wow!  There's so much one can learn on this thread on many subjects -- even more than oiling a sewing machine!



  3. zuwena | | #18

    This has been a most interesting discussion because of the breadth and tangents where it went. I have been interested in getting a new computerized machine but was put-off by the cost and my concerns with the "built-in obsolencence. Now, based on the discussion I know that I will have to be very judicious in my selection. I simply cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for something with a limited shelf life. My current machine is the present I bought myself upon graduation from college and it is 45 years old; like me it is still running. I certainly hope the manufacturers have representatives reading the gathering forum so that they can take heed. I'd like to get a computerized machine, in a mid prize range, that will bring me into the 21st century--a few special stitches, maybe a little embroidery but nothing that will require purchasing high cost discs, etc. I welcome all recommendations.
    PS It is my understanding that "shouting" on the computer is not a matter of font size; rather, it is when all the lettering is in UPPERCASE or capitals.
    Thanks all. It's such a pleasure reading the responses and communicating with you. From the great city/state--New York

    1. LizBarefoot | | #31

      You mentioned that you wanted to look at new computerized machines, with an eye to buy one.

      Talking to my Janome dealer, he told me that the sales for the TOL Janome is way off.  Since Janome invented the embroidery only machine and then the quilters machine (6600), people are saying thousands by buying these two machines.  And that is exactly what I would do, if I wanted a new machine.  Especially with the Janome, you get everything and don't have to pay as much plus you can sew and embroidery at the same time!

      One other thought on dealers.  I recently bought a Singer serger.  It is TOL.  I paid something like $900 for it.  I could have easily gotten it from the internet for $600.  However, not having a dealer is a nightmare if something goes wrong.  I have the Janome CompuLock serger.  It has been to the factory twice.  Had I bought it on line, I doubt it would have gone the first time.  And I had to pay the freight which was $76.  That was not a good thing.  And when I got it back, I started to serge on it, and it did the same thing I sent it back for.  I immediately called my dealer.  He said to make sure all the doors are closed on it.  He was right!  I closed the doors a little more securely, and it worked like a charm.  Why in the heck didn't he tell me that before I sent it the third time for $76?  I think I know, I don't think HE knew that is what the problem was!

      Ok, bedtime, thanks for the conversation!

    2. stitchintime | | #32

      Hi Zuwena,

      Just wanted to let you know that I have just entered the 21st century with my purchase of a Janome 4900QC. I'm not that interested in machine embroidery but I wanted some of the features on the newer computerized models. All I can say is that it's great fun and I love to use the machine.

      I've also been sewing everything for the past 35 years on my Singer Fashion Mate 252. I bought some new attachments a few years ago to update it somewhat but it doesn't compare with the new machine.

      One of the best features for me on the Janome is the on/off button and automatic speed setting (cruise control). I can sew without having to push on a foot pedal so it's much easier on my back. I thought I'd have trouble with a computerized machine but I followed the directions in the instruction booklet one step at a time page by page (I'm only half way through, having just bought the machine last week) and so far so good.

      My technically advanced 14 yr old son wanted to start at the back of the book and jump right into the embroidery and memory programs. LOL. So we monogrammed his name and now he wants to embroidery it all over everything he owns!

      I'm grateful for the warning on this thread not to oil the machine. The care and maintenance section of my instruction booklet just says to clean various parts with a lint brush and soft dry cloth so I guess that's all I have to do.

      Do some homework before you buy a new machine. Figure out what your sewing interests are (home dec, garment, quilting) and what types of fabrics you like to work with or what you would like to be able to do with a new machine. Go to different dealers and check out what they have. Read reviews of machines you're interested in. Take your time. Go with a sewing buddy if you can. It's nice to be able to discuss things with someone other than the dealer/salesperson.

      Good luck.

  4. lilah | | #19

    I have two Pfaffs that are computerized and they only need oil on the bobbin mechanism, where the bobbin case rests.  I've had no problems with either of them.  I love Pfaff machines and I had worked briefly for a Pfaff dealer.  The books that come with the Pfaff machines is thorough, but not well written.  You have to flip from section to section or even from book to book to find what you need. Also, the photos in the instruction book show only German on the screen of the machine, so using the photos as a gude is difficult.  I realize the company wants to save costs in printing, but why can't they have several language versions available and you can choose when you purchase or register the machine?  

    The old Singer machines are a good example of a product that was made well.  The machines are workhorses and much simpler to use than the ones made now.  The feet for an early 1900's model would still work for a late 1960's model.  Although they would only do a straight stitch, there were attachments that moved the fabric to achieve zig-zag stitching to produce buttonholes and embroidery stitches.  Even now, if I have to make ruffles or do something that I don't have the right foot for one of the Pfaffs, I will get out my Singer machine and attachments.  And the books were very clearly written and have good illustrations.  I collect and read a lot of the Singer books on dress-making and have learned so much from them.  I'm so glad that sewing is making a real comeback, because we are getting more and more quality books and products than has been available for the past two decades.    

    1. lennie77 | | #20

      I suppose since the Pfaff machines are made in German, they don't know how to express the directions clearly in English.  There is a website that we use when we get orders from foreign countries.  On this web-site, they translate various languages into English and the capability of translating from German to English is one of them.  It's free of charge and works very well for us.  Maybe you could type the German page into it and translate the pages in question. You can input up to 150 words at a time.  Here's the website: http://babelfish.altavista.com/translate.dyn

      I worked briefly at at sewing store myself to find out what types of designs people wanted to buy.  While I was there, one of the employees had purchased a Pfaff because this store owner was also an authorized Pfaff dealer.  The employee told me that she thought it was one of the finest machines made, capable of making the person using it able to do their own designing (more so than other machines)  She said that it was a real quality machine and that the Germans are famous for making things very well.  She said however, that the instructions were not "user friendly" at all and it made it so difficult for her to learn how to use the machine.  I noticed that this particular sewing store is no longer an authorized Pfaff dealer, but I don't know why.  I suppose it could be the difficult to understand instruction book.

      I had an attitude that people wanted "far out, different, unusual, never-seen-before, wildly-colorful designs" (maybe that's because I liked hard-edge double-image, colorful designs myself) and instead the customers constantly choose old fashioned favorites....typical country-type designs...many in subdued colors.  Around Christmas time, it was snowmen that were just the same style of snowmen that had been out for years....and so on.

      Well, since I want to design patterns that people like, I changed my designing to pure simplicity with minimal sewing required, and that certainly caused my sales to increase.  I know Picasso may have been brave enough to stick to what he wanted to do, but I want to earn some money so I want to design what the folks like, and guess what....I'm starting to like those types of designs myself.  Oh, I still do some of the challenging unusual designs for my own enjoyment here and there, but strangely enough, the simpler the design, the greater my sales. 

      Since this is an "Oiling your Sewing Machine" discussion, is it OK to mention other sewing projects....like the fact that I made dish scrubbies from an old orange vegetable bag (one of the strong stiff ones).  I cut a rectangle and ran a row of Dental floss down the center so it would ruffle.  It wears like iron, but I've noticed that a lot of the veggie bags are now flimsy and weak and would not do well at all.

      I'm very new at being in a Gatherings Discussions so I hesitate to put in the above link, but hope it's OK.

      Here's one more question.  If I am in the middle of writing a thread and get interrupted, is there a way to temporarily save it and come back later and finish it or must I copy it and paste it somewhere else and repaste it into the thread area?



      1. MaryinColorado | | #29

        Lilah, I minimize the screen and then go back to it.  If i started at my email screen, i minimize that too.  Then I can come back later to this page and finish writing/reading... hope this helps, Mary

  5. Alicia | | #22

    Hello lennie77

    I have a Janome Memory Craft 7500.  You can tell by the number it is not a new machine, but it has never given me any trouble and I have never oiled it.  I just checked my booklet.  At the top of the section "Care of Your Machine" in the first paragraph it says "The machine never needs oiling".  I take it to a sewing machine repair "Sawyers" in Victoria and they give it a good going over about every 4 years... Hope you find a similar paragraph.  Rest easy and enjoy.  Take care and I hope you continue to have good health.  

    1. zuwena | | #23

      Re OilingAs part of my search for a "moderately priced" computerized machine I visited a sewing machine store recently. With regard to "oiling" a machine, the owner said that the key issue is what are the parts made of: older machines where the bobbin mechanism (and I suppose other key parts) is made of metal need to be oiled whereas in the newer machines these parts are usually hard plastic--these should not be oiled. Hope this helps in the understanding. Zuwena

      1. lennie77 | | #25

        Thanks, Zuwena

        I didn't know that.  It's just that I was planning to give the machine a "good oiling for good measure" when I read the booklet and saw nothing saying to oil or not to oil.  I'm just glad that I decided to go take a "Get acquainted lesson" first because I did not dream that there existed a sewing machine that needed No Oiling!

        I'm from the Old School, where I not only oiled my three other sewing machines and even lubricated the motor in back that makes the cams work on my old 1953 model so I'm a person who hates squeaks.  Would you believe I even took WD-40 down to my little local Post Office and oiled their squeaking door and the squeaking slot where you throw in the local mail

        Oh, I waited a couple weeks to give them time to take care of the matter and when they didn't -- I did! Ahhh --- blessed relief!  I doubt if they even knew they had the problem because they are very busy working in the back area.

        Recently, they had a black smear from a Sharpie permanent marker that someone had made right on the front of their clear plastic postage stamp display.  They did not know how to remove the mark so I took a bottle of alcohol and a rag from home and cleaned it for them because it's not all that "permanent".  I remembered hearing a nurse (years ago) say that she accidentally wrote information on the dry erase board with a Sharpie Black Permanent Marker instead of a black dry-erase marker by mistake so she used alcohol to remove it.  That old info came in handy because the Post-mistress told me that I would not believe how many times she had used Windex to try to get off that black mark.



        1. zuwena | | #26

          I feel like I've found a real kindred spirit. I've done all of those same things, only in a few different places, for instance, my neighbor's squeaking door, etc.
          My motto, Everyday can be a learing experience! Keep sharing. Zuwena

          1. lennie77 | | #33

            Thanks Zuwena,

            You are "Right On!"



        2. Kiley | | #27

          Remember way back on my first post I posted that machines that are enclosed units don't have to be oiled because when the machine is used the oil emitting bears force the oil out into the parts of the machine as it warms up and when the machine is not used the oil returns. If your machine seems a bit dry you might want to just give it a  run for a minute or two with no thread to get the oil from the bearings to go through the machine. On machines that need no oil...if the wick under the top load bobbin is dry you can place 1 drop of sewing machine oil there on the wick.  

          1. lennie77 | | #34

            Thanks Kiley,

            The informtion is so helpful.



      2. grrmaryp | | #40

        I see Janome is slowly increasing its trust, that is good. In affordable price, you get good sewing machine from Janome.

    2. lennie77 | | #24

      Hello Alicia,

      When I read your post, I thought "Good Grief" maybe the "Do Not Oil" directions were there all the time.  I hurried to my instruction booklet and read and reread the "Care of Your Machine" section, but there was not one word about the "Do Not Oil" directions.  When I was creating my Table of Contents since there was none, I went over every direction I could find because when I want to review How to do this or that, I get impatient if I have to turn the pages this way and that in order to find the directions. 

      My health is much improved, but the thought of falling with my wonderful Janome machine is too much for me when I'm in the process of carrying it up and down a flight of steps.  Sometimes, the Sewing Store in Salisbury, MD provides the sewing machines for lessons.  I plan to only attend when they take care of that.

      Thanks for your post and your kind words.


  6. MNSEW | | #37


    Every sewing machine needs oil.  The reason you are told not to oil it is because some like to get " a little crazy " with it and if your sewing machine is a computerized model that does not loke oil on it's boards.  Brad ~~

  7. SurjeetSingh | | #38

    Janome has no recommendations for oiling but I know that you can oil the wick which is located beneath the bobbin case. I always recommend that you contact your Janome dealer for mantenance recommendations. They may say that a regular yearly maintenance check is all that is needed to keep your Janome going...

  8. AlliK02 | | #39

    Janome Sewing Machine Reviews

    You can read reviews on Janome Sewing Machine here http://usemyreviews.com/top-janome-sewing-machines-reviews-2212-8077-computerized-vs-hd1000-magnolia-7318/

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