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Juki Sewing machine

Ocrafty1 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I have an opportunity to look at/ buy an older Juki industrial sewing machine & table for (I think) a great price. I don’t know anything about these machines….can someone give me advice QUICKLY?  I’m supposed to go and look at it tomorrow afternoon and don’t want to loose out on this if it is worth buying. 

She only wants $75 for the machine and table.  She says that she hasn’t used it in over 12 yrs., but that it has everything…all feet, etc.  Her parents owned a clothing manufacturing business in Canada…and she’s moving back; and doesn’t want to lug this with her.  I could use any information that anyone could give me….What kind of needles does it use?  Will universal needles work???  This lady can’t remember much about the machine…its been covered and not used…but she’s promised to show me the basics if I buy it.  I know it will need a good cleaning….but sounds like a good investment to me….Can anyone give me ANY info????




  1. zuwena | | #1


    I've called a friend to get some info for you because she uses an industrial Juki in her personal business.  I'll get back to you if I hear from her.  In the meantime I can tell you that the industrial Juki is mostly what the Fashion Institute of Technology uses in its classrooms for the students.  I don't know how old the machines are but it seems to be the standard in the industry.

    With everything that comes "as is" you need to try it out and make sure it runs, how it runs, and make sure that all the feet and parts fit and work.  With regard to feet there should be a special screw that holds them in place.  These machines also need a special bobbin and bobbin case.  Besure you have these. Check the electrical connection on the table to make sure it is in good condition and when you run it check the motor.  After twelve years or more, this may be where a problem lies and it may not be possible to get a replacement if anything more than oiling is required.  Z


    1. Ocrafty1 | | #2

      Thanks for the info!  I'll definitely have a trial run and see if things sound like they should. I did find out that they use special needles and bobbins...so hopefully she'll have those and I found a site online that I phoned and found out that I can get needles and bobbins/cases if needed...once I have the model#.  I'll be checking back to see if you get a reply from your friend....

      Thanks again!


      1. zuwena | | #3

        Just got a call back.  Apparently there is a "universal" needle that all Industrial machines use--emphasis here is on industrial according to my friend.  Didn't get a chance to talk with her but she left that message for me.  Z

      2. kathleen_f | | #5

        Even if the motor is toast, this sounds like a steal (you don't oil a motor). The belt probably needs replacing or should be. They're cheap. Industrial machines cost so much less than home machines to repair and maintain, parts are dirt cheap in comparison ($5-$7 for feet for example). Without knowing the model number, I can't say whether it takes a "special" bobbin and bobbin case. If it's your standard straight stitch, the bobbins will likely be the same as other models from comparable brands. These are designed to be interchangeable btwn manufacturers. Our machines are much more standardized btwn brands. No one wants to buy a machine with proprietary parts. There are three parts to a machine. The head, table and motor. I'm guessing this has a clutch motor. If it needs replacing, you can buy a new one for $65-$85 (also interchangeable btwn brands). If it were my money, I wouldn't replace a clutch motor, I'd put on a servo. These are electronic and more wonderful than I could convey in a few sentences. Those cost...$150? I doubt more than that. Things I would look at:
        I would be more concerned that it has a reverse depending on it's age (it probably does). Rust, does it have any and if so, where? Don't worry that paint is worn away (it will be). Run a sample seam, how's the stitch formation? If it's wonky, can it be fixed?Are the feed dogs working properly? Bobbin case: I'd check it to see if there were dings in it, whether the needle had been hitting it frequently, you want to make sure nothing costly to repair is bent.Switch out some presser feet. You want to be sure that the screw is not locked in there (metal grows together, seriously it does, molecules migrate if not disassembled). If you can't remove this screw easily or it feels dicey, the machine is worthless to you. The last thing I'd caution you on is never unthread the machine. Cut off the thread and tie the new one on the way you change thread in an overlock. If it has an oil pan, make sure there's oil, a wick and the oil filter screen is not clogged. Otherwise, you're likely due for years of sewing pleasure. Once you sew on an industrial, you never go back :). It's not the speed, it's the stitch quality and control.

        1. Ocrafty1 | | #6

          Thank you all for your info and advice!  I will check it out z thoroughly as I can  tomorrow afternoon and let you know what I decide....with all the appropriate comments.....This could be a wonderful find...or a total bust!  

          I'm sure if I buy it I will have lots more questions......so please be ready  :)

          Thanks again!


          1. Ocrafty1 | | #7

            Well, although I know absolutely nothing about industrial machines, I bought a Juki DDL 5550..for $70. DH said we've wasted more than that on stupid things before, and if we can get it running, I'll have a real gem!

            The gal told me that it was new 12 yrs. ago,  less than 50 hrs., when her father sent it with her from Canada to IN. Her family owned a clothing manufacturing company that made melton wool coats and 'spring type coats.'  She has not used since she got here.  I could not try it out, she had no oil in the pan...it was shipped that way; but everything was clean inside the pan and the filter is pristine.  There was some mouse 'dody' , and a few spider webs on the table, but that was easily removed.

            It needs a new Bobbin Winder, the right side of the bobbin/plate/cover, and a thread holder/carrier.  I think it will be OK once I get the parts and give it a thorough cleaning.  The lady that sold it has MS and it is beginning to affect her brain/memory.  She had some needles and 2 extra bobbins. She also threw in some fancy S curves, about 8 different sizes/styles and some pieces of high quality fabric....a total of at least 15 yds of several types. One 6 yd. piece is a gorgeous navy/white floral chiffon.  She had gone to a fashion design school, but can no longer even sketch her designs.  I can't imagine loosing the ability to even try to do something that was your passion! Poor thing had trouble remembering how to remove the bobbin case...but it was quite easy to accomplish.

            I found a website that carries sewing supplies and parts for Juki.  It also has lots of pattern making supplies...with discounts for students. They are based in LA, and after reading their info, they seem to be reputable. 


            I'm going to call them tomorrow and inquire about getting the parts I need. If anyone knows about this company or has a suggestion about who else to contact about getting parts I'd really appreciate the info.

            Another question I have is about feet.  She only had the one that was on it. (Yes, it will come off easily) What other feet would I need to buy? This machine is made for medium to light weight fabrics (seems perfect for me) but the lady kept mentioning that it would need different feet for lighter weight fabrics.  Could she possibly mean different feed dogs? 

            Are there any other questions that I should be asking?  Any info that I should know???

            Thanks for all your help!



          2. marymary | | #8

            Deb, if you do a search on Juki DDL 5550, you will see that you got an incredible buy.  You will love it. 

            I have a Juki DDL 9000SS. I have bought feet and accessories from sites on the Internet and have sometimes been disappointed.  The quality was not always what I wanted and sometimes the parts just didn't fit.  The problems were with parts that were not Juki, but cheap feet from China.  My dealer is a day trip away, so thought I was saving by using the Internet.  I think you will be fine dealing with an Internet dealer who also sells machines.  The place where I bought the disappointing feet sold only feet.  Singer makes really, really good industrial feet that I think will fit your Juki.  They do mine.

            If I were to buy a machine with a clutch motor, the first thing I would do is replace it with a Servo motor.  My first industrial was a Singer with a clutch motor that vibrated the entire house so much that I almost didn't buy another industrial.  I had to sell the Singer because of a move and didn't know about Servo motors until later.

            The kind of feet you will need will depend upon what type sewing you do.  I use the 1/4" compensating foot for quilting, a tiny SS foot for intricate work, a regular SS foot with a finger guard, and the list goes on.  What you will find is that the cost of the feet is less than for a home machine.

          3. kathleen_f | | #9

            Congratulations, this was an excellent buy! On par with my $400 purchase of a brand new (still in the box) Adler (the "bernina" of industrials). Atlas Levy has a mixed rep but generally favorable. In the future, I suggest moving off the beaten path of your usual suppliers who, while they may have a few industrial parts, don't specialize in it. My preferred supplier is SouthStarSupply.com. I can't claim no affiliation (I dedicated my book to southstar's owner) but I stake my reputation on theirs. They aren't the cheapest supplier but they'll take time to answer your questions thoughtfully and won't sell you crappy products. I second the opinion to get a servo motor. Okay, maybe that's self serving since I suggested it first but it's not mandatory at this point. Become acquainted with your new machine first. I guess you'll need to buy sewing machine oil first. You can't buy the quantity you need at the store. If you're not in an industry area, I suggest calling around to some drycleaners, upholsterers, shoe repair shops or local awnings makers to see if they have a half gallon they can sell you. About the oil, I've included links to two photos that will help you:
            http://designer-entrepreneurs.com/blog/illustrations/wick_oilfilter.jpgI pulled these from my forum, a member had a question about sewing too slowly for the oil to splash.Feet are so cheap, just get a selection. A cording foot (yeah, there's many to pick from), a zipper foot, a narrow foot, etc. Have fun and play with it. I think you will be quite pleased.
            ~Nurture people, not products~

          4. MaryinColorado | | #11

            WOW!  What an incredible deal!  My heart goes out to the lady who has lost so much due to MS.  It's a reminder to me, to appreciate the things I am able to do and not be so frustrated with my limitations which are scant in comparison with hers.  I imagine she and her family found comfort knowing the machine will be well loved and put to good use by you.  Enjoy your new machine!  Mary

          5. GorgeousThings | | #12

            Wow, that is an incredible steal! You are going to love your Juki. I have the next generation (DDL8700) and I adore it. It makes the best quality stitch around. It takes a little getting used to the speed, but once you do, you'll never believe you were able to get along without it. I've bought things from Atlas Levy and they are great. If you can, try to find an industrial sewing machine dealer in your area and get to know them. The guys at my dealer are a wealth of information and love to share it with anyone who comes in.

          6. KharminJ | | #13

            Congratulations, Deb! I was just at my repair guy's place Friday, and a sewing teacher was dropping off a Juki - what an intriguingly different looking machine! She teaches sewing at a local HS, and said "The students just love these machines, and they're practically bullet-proof!"

            Have fun - and Happy Sunny Sunday!Kharmin

          7. Ocrafty1 | | #14

            I ordered parts from Southern Star, as per Kathleen_F's suggestion. (Thanks again, Kathleen!)  The people there are absolutely wonderful about helping. They are so knowledgable and treated me like I was a big customer, instead of this gal in Indiana who knows nothing about what I'm ordering. They also answered all of my questions about the machine and gave recommendations of how to do certain things with it. They actually called while I was writing this to tell me that I should receive my order today or tomorrow. 

            I'm not quite ready to move it to my sewing room...things have been hectic with planning our Harley trip to Alaska.  DH had been told that he'd be on shutdown from Delphi all of this week, but they told him they needed him to work....good news for us...and he should be on shutdown beginning next week for a month.  We're hoping to leave next Wed/Thurs. and should be gone til around the 4th of July.  So I'll be offline for a while....probably won't even get a chance to try out the machine til we get back...and I'll be exhausted by then.  It will be about 2400 miles to Anchorage, AK, then the trip back....and I still have to plan the return trip route and do all the tweeking to get to the sites he wants to hit.  So I may not have a chance to get back to this site for a while....I'll really miss chatting...but this is going to be a real ADVENTURE! 


            PS......OOPs....just got info that the order from Southern Star was damaged during shipment....called Southern Star and they are re shipping my order today!  :)  They are really great to work with!


          8. miatamomma | | #15

            Hope you have a wonderful trip.  My son and DH were to Alaska many years ago in a VW bug.  They were gone for a month and went as far north as the Artic Circle.  Put car and themselves on a steamer and came home via the Inland Passage.  They had a fantastic time so hope you enjoy it as much as they did.  We will miss you.

            Be safe,


          9. KharminJ | | #16

            Ooh, That sounds like a grand adventure! Have fun ~ and congratulations to you DH on getting an extra check before you leave!

            We'll look forward to hearing all about it when you get back!

            Bright Blessings and Happy Trails! Kharmin

          10. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #17

            WOW.....speechless here...I am just soooo jealous, tee hee. Shiny Side Up! ;) Cathy

          11. KathleenFasanella | | #18

            South Star Supply :) http://www.southstarsupply.com. You can find a less expensive supplier but if you need education and advice (old fashioned customer service) you can't do better. The thing I like about small fourth generation industry suppliers is they don't push you to make a sale. It's all about YOU. They won't sell you something you don't need so you save money by avoiding a bad buy. They take the time to hear what problem you need solved and to recommend appropriate products.FYI: they sell things (scissors etc) that are 1/3 to 1/2 the price at home sewing retail stores (nancy's notions, fabric stores etc). NN & Clotilde buy some of their products from SouthStar if that says anything. There's this embroidery adhesive I've seen at the fabric store, a tiny little can (8oz?) for @$9.00 and SouthStar sells a better product (evaporates in 24 hrs, doesn't gum up needles) in a 20 oz can that costs $4-$5. I love this stuff, best product that comes in a spray can ever. Another thing home sewers would like is spray silicone. It will dramatically improve skipped stitches if you have that problem. However, I recommend buying two cans. Mark my words. Your other half will steal your can (it's premium grade) and you'll never find it again. In short, there is NO reason you shouldn't use commercial grade products at home. They're better and cost less.

        2. MaryinColorado | | #10

          Thank You so much for sharing this valuable information!  Mary

  2. undecided | | #4

    I use an industrial Juki and I love it! I bought it at a little place in Arizona and they've been really good about shipping me feet and accessories for it. I actually had them ship the machine to me and my husband put it together when it arrived. The shop is called Ed Raichert, Inc and they're located in Phoenix, AZ (602) 272-2301.

  3. Johalsingh | | #19


    I agree with this on so many levels! 

    During a late night, semi-sewing-emergency, I made the mistake of buying one of those cheapo  best singer sewing machine, and I will regret it until the day the nearly worthless thing dies, and I have an excuse to throw it out!

  4. Johalsingh | | #20


    I agree with this on so many levels! 

    During a late night, semi-sewing-emergency, I made the mistake of buying one of those cheapo  best singer sewing machine, and I will regret it until the day the nearly worthless thing dies, and I have an excuse to throw it out!

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