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Janome vs. Viking $300-$350 range

barquesky | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

New to the group. Have read many of your postings and have enjoyed them. Despite the vast info from the group I’m still in need of guidance. Currently I have a Necchi 535A which I got from a friend. I had the timing adjusted last year for $70. Now the machine seems to be having a similar problem. Rather than invest/divert another $70 into the Necchi, I am seriously considering a new machine. I enjoy sewing (a new discovery for me) and whish to continue learning/growing. The repair shop I use is also a Janome dealer and they said Janome’s are like Hondas as far as their stability and durability (I have a Honda and love it) and Viking’s “are crap.” The Viking dealer gave a negative connotation to the Vikings in my price range by saying “those are made in the orient” vs Sweden. I have gotten books from the library in the hopes of being able to know the right choice. The Janome I’m considering is a $500 machine on sale at SEARS for $300. What do I do? Which is the smartest choice?

Edited 6/11/2004 7:25 am ET by barquesky


  1. GinnaS | | #1

    Sounds like the Janome dealer was trying to get you to not look at Vikings and the Viking dealer was trying to up sell you to a more expensive machine.  I really wish sales people would be straight when selling.

    Have you tried sewing on the machine(s) with the fabrics you use most?  You really should.  If you buy the Janome from Sears you have 30 days to make sure that you like it.   The deal at Sears is pretty good.  What warranty does the Viking dealer offer?  Does the Viking dealer offer any other perks?  Can you work with the Viking dealer when the machine needs repairs or you need other support?  Some Sears stores have experienced sewers working in them while others don't.  Can you get support from Sears personnel if you need it?  The answers to these questions will help you make a good decision. 

    Janomes in general are known for lasting a long time and needing few repairs.  I have had both brands and liked them both.  I think that I would buy the Janome but that is personal opinion. 


    1. barquesky | | #2

      Hmmmm...great points! I will go back and evaluate each based on those merits. Thanks for your feedback. I will post again once my decision is made. Thank you, thank you!

    2. EileenB5 | | #3


      I bought a Sears machine which is made by Janome and love it.  It was cheaper than the comparable Janome model sold elsewhere.  I have always found Sears service to be excellent.  I found the extra price dealers charge is really for lessons etc.  If you don't need this Sears is the way to go.  Also dealers are running their own business so eveything they do comes out of their pocket.  Sears folks are just employees, which may sound counter intuitive, but I have found more often than not a Sears employee is more willing to replace a defective item than a small business owner.

      1. barquesky | | #5

        So good to hear your perspective. Yesterday I took advantage of an additional 10% on sale items and bought the Janome 8080 from Sears. My total was $288.21 which made me happy because I stayed within my range. Also after checking out the competitor machines in my price range (Viking Huskystar 219) I realized that the Janome had more to offer. The class that the Viking dealer offered was a three-hour class to "get to know your machine" but that was it (although the salesperson did tell me I could take it as many times as I wanted). I'm excited about using it.

        Thanks for the info and support.

  2. Imzadi | | #4

    I recently bought a Janome(Sears) 8080 off eBay for $300. It was an open box return (that 30 day return policy that someone else mentioned) but was listed in the auction as in perfect working condition. I absolutely LOVE it! Oh the things I can do with it now.

    The one down side of the machine is that it doesn't have that I really wanted, (and it was listed on-line as having) is that it has a "fixed" tension presser foot, vs. adjustable. Since I do quilting & sew winter clothing with thick fabric hems, this is a "must have" that I need. Since I bought off eBay, I couldn't return it - the downside to buying there if you can't check out the machine first..

  3. DianeN8 | | #6


         I had a Viking for 25 years. It never let me down.  I've had a Janome for maybe 3 years and it always lets me down.  The needle threader doesn't work right. Unless I use all cotton thread, the thread breaks. I'm just never sure it's going to perform well. Frankly, I think it's a piece of junk that I paid a lot of money for.  I'd look for a Pfaff or a Viking next time. 


    1. TrishO | | #7

      Hi Diane,

      I'm sorry to hear you don't like the Janome.  I have 2 kenmore sewing machines and a kenmore serger all made by Janome.  Have had them for about 4- 5 years and have never had a problem.  I'm just wondering could it be the thread you're using.  I used to have a Singer and when I used the inexpensive or older threads, the same thing would happen.  Have you spoken to the dealer who sold you the machine?  Maybe they can help you out.  I hope you're able to work it out.  Not a salesperson, just a happy customer.


      1. DianeN8 | | #8

        Hi Trish,

           I'm sure many people like their Janome. I almost always use Mettler 100% cotton/silk finish thread - just what the dealer recommended. Otherwise, I use cotton Coats and Clarks, which doesn't come in many colors. I was just used to the complete reliability of my Viking, and the Janome doesn't seem to be as reliable. Maybe it does need a check up. Thanks for writing.


    2. teacozy | | #9

      I'm sorry yoou are having trouble with your Janome. I have both a Janome and a New Home machines and am very happ with both. If you are having so much trouble with thead breaking there are several things to check. The first is the tnsion, the second is if you have the machine threaded correctly.  I had similar problems at fisrt on my New Home and the dealer suggested checking both .  It seems I was missing one small step in the threading.   If allelse fails take it to your nearest dealer or certified repair person. 'there is some thing seriously wrong. 

           I have even sewn a tent roof on mine using canvas and heavy duty thread.

                                     Good Luck

    3. whimsyone | | #10

      Wow, I have had exactly the opposite experiences with both of my Janome machines. I could not be happier with them. My mom had a Viking until recently. It ran fine, but was very basic. My biggest complaint with the Viking machines (especially the newer ones) is that they don't seem user friendly enough to me. I can sit down in front of ANY Janome machine and instinctively know where all of the buttons and levers are going to be.  On a Viking, I feel like I'm always having to search because nothing ever feels like it's in the right place.  Oh well, to each their own. This is why they make different brands!

    4. IBCarolyn | | #11

      Hello, I'm also sorry to hear you're having problems with your Janome.  I just bought the new Memory Craft 6500 and love it.  I believe with the Janome, you need to use the same strength in both the bobbin and the needle.  Also, the type of thread is very important.  You want a nice smooth thread, not one with a lot of fuzzyness or little nubs.  Your time is valuable and less than good thread ( Mettler or Coats and Clark Dual Duty, for example) is really a waste of your time.  Regards, Carolyn

  4. Kiley | | #12

    Hello, I am new to the group. I also just went through the new machine search. I ended up with 2 :). I was told by my Viking dealer that their Huskystar machines are made by Janome. I also found that the Huskystar 224 is far superior than the models under it. It seems Janome also makes the Sears Kenmores but so does Simplicity and Singer and White. It is hard to know even in the sergers who makes what brand. A site on line says Juki makes the Bernina sergers. Singer has been sold so who will make theirs? For what it is worth..there are many great machines out their with many great features. Some of the newer machines seem to have some troubles. Yes my Janomes cut my thread with their needle threaders too where my embroidery machine does not.  Just try them out until you get a good one to your liking..then you have a new member of the family to last for years and a freind you can always spend time with and while being constructive and creative at the same time. No wonder we like to sew, right ladies? This is a nice group.

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