Sewing Your Way to Success
I was once asked by my niece, who is now a teen: “How would you describe sewing in three words?”
The question got me by surprise; I knew that a good answer could possibly be a cue for her to continue my tradition and become interested in learning how to sew (I would be more than eager to teach her).
So, I answered: “Can I tell you what I like the most about sewing instead? Three words aren’t enough to describe it”.
Being able to make your own clothes exactly the way you want it to be made, which includes getting lost in limitless rainbows of threads, textiles and embroidery patterns in your favorite colors.
This answer led us to sewing dresses for my niece’s dolls, but that’s a story for another post.
All of that is impossible without the help of a perfect sewing machine, and today I’m here to help you with this issue.
Another machine that I investigated for you is Juki DDL 8700 - an option that stands out if you’re looking for a reliable tool for your mass production and home or semi-professional business and shops.
Juki is a global company established in 1983. Since then, they have expanded and manufactured a wide array of quality sewing machines. They are famous for both household and industrial machines (our model, Juki DDL 8700, is somewhere between the two, slightly inclining towards the latter), as well as electronic and industrial equipment.
To learn more about this heavy-duty machine, read the rest of the post. There will be its main features to consider before the purchase, as well as some tips for using it.
The Assessment of Juki DDL 8700
Before the detailed account of this machine and its features, have a look at the grading table to quickly find out how satisfied I was with its performance.
|Juki DDL 8700 Review|
|Value for money||4.75/5|
These are just the final grades; before giving them, I went over everything that this machine has to offer and then put it into practice.
Scroll down and see all of it!
Conducting Research: Juki DDL 8700 Put to The Test
As always, I thoroughly examined the machine and tested whether everything it has to offer in practice lives up to its promise in theory.
You’ll read about physical and software features that I liked the most, and also learn some tips and tricks along the way.
Prominent Physical Characteristics
As for this machine’s length, width and height, they are as follows: 48 x 20 x 48 inches (121 x 51 x 121 cm).
Don’t let the shipping weight (125 pounds/56 kg) fool you - the unit itself weighs around 28 pounds (8 kg). So, while you might need some help with carrying the package, you’ll quite easily move this machine around.
It does take up more space than some other machines, but it comes fully assembled, attached to the table that you get with this purchase (you cannot use the machine without it). Thanks to this, it is ready to use the moment you bring the huge package inside your house and plug it in.
The power is 110V, so you can plug it into a standard wall outlet.
Speaking of the design, the machine is white, and the table is light grey, but the part that accounts for the main source of uniqueness and power of this machine is the servo motor located under the table along with the oiling pan.
The servo motor (that also brought to this machine the attribute “industrial”) is the main upgrade of the previous versions, as it is extremely fast and quiet - sometimes I even forget the machine is on!
The speed of the motor can also be manually adjusted by using the built-in knob. The slow speed will work very well for more precise projects, although you need to get accustomed to this machine before you can perfectly control it.
You will find the reverse lever for stitch length adjusting (from 0.5 to 5 mm) on the right side of the machine.
The presser foot lift is 1.5 inches (2.54 cm) high.
Useful Advice to Step Up Your Sewing with Juki DDL 8700
First and foremost, in order not to repeat the mistakes I made, you should equip yourself with a set of helpful hands when the machine arrives.
The shipping package is quite hefty although the machine itself is not as heavy as it is, so you might need some help, much like I did, so bear that in mind.
The instruction manual that you get with the purchase is not exceptionally elaborate, but it is enough for learning the ropes.
In its essence, this machine is very quiet, and there shouldn’t be any noise when it’s being used. Once it has occurred to me, I realized it was low on oil.
Here is the tutorial I found useful for getting to know the machine. You can also hear how quiet it is:
So, although this machine auto-lubricates, you have to make sure to fill the oil up to the maximum level (the “high” mark) in the oil pan and keep an eye on when it will decrease to the minimum amount to refill it.
Always use stainless sewing oil (initially, you will get one with the purchase).
See the tutorial for threading the machine here:
Juki DDL 8700 is made for light and medium weight fabrics, but here is what I learned.
Although it is not recommended for use with leather, upholstery and denim, denim and leather projects turned out quite satisfactory to me with this machine. However, I do not suggest working with slippery materials (these did not).
If you want to try out some slippery materials, though, I suggest that you use a size 9 needle.
To adjust the machine for the heavier fabrics (such as vinyl and canvas), you should experiment with thicker needles, and this machine will successfully do the task.
The Most Distinctive Attributes of Juki DDL 8700
Without further delay, let me tell you what I found to be most particularly striking about Juki DDL 8700 and why I enjoyed it as much as I did.
Although I'm a seasoned veteran when it comes to sewing, I find it delightful that some machines can still surprise me in a major way.
One of these delightful surprises with this machine was its speed, so I am going to cover that first.
Don’t say I didn't warn you - you really need to take your time with this machine in order to learn its ropes inside and out. Once you do, you will have the power of fantastic 5500 stitches per minute at your disposal, which is, when you consider it, exceptionally significant.
Secondly, now that I have the issue of speed covered, the next logical subject of praise would be the before-mentioned servo motor.
I have to admit - I had my doubts about this machine, I really did. Just thinking about all that damned noise made my skin crawl.
Another treasured surprise is that the machine is quiet, contrary to my initial belief. Quiet, as in, a baby could sleep next to it. And it's all because of that 110-volt motor. So, you really needn't worry about neighbors complaining about loud noises, waking up your children or your pets.
With the power of the two exquisite features combined, Juki DDL 8700 delivers clear-cut, precise, perfect stitches, which is basically what all of us truly care about.
If you are worried about constant oiling, stop right here. This machine is equipped with an auto-lubricating ability, which takes your mind off of constantly having to think about adding oil.
What you should keep an eye on are the oil levels from time to time in case it needs to be refilled, but apart from that, it doesn't give you any headache.
Have a glance at the speed and quietness of the motor:
Last to be mentioned but equally important is the fact that this machine comes to you ready for work. Upon delivery, you will find yourself ready to begin sewing. It requires very little actual set-up, and is basically saying: "I've been expecting you".
I truly had the feeling that this machine was a godsend, since I had to start sewing right off the bat, and this feature alone was enough to blow me away.
Incorporated Accessories & My Take on Them
To make this machine even more appealing and interesting, the company delivers it completely assembled, as I previously mentioned - accessories included.
This complete, assembled version of the machine includes the following: a table, the powerful and durable servo motor, machine head, a storage compartment (sewing drawers), a stand and a sewing light.
The package includes a bobbin winder accompanied by six bobbins and a pack of machine oil. These accessories mean you can start using the machine right away.
There is, of course, an instructional manual included as well.
To Sew It All Up…
- Its laudable speed and 5500 stitches per minute
- The quality of the stitches is outstanding
- Quiet, due to the servo motor
- Neat and compact appearance
- Great for both industrial usage and household necessities
- Comes completely assembled
- Great value for money
- A reliable and durable, heavy-duty machine
- Both suitable for beginners and the industrial environment
- Can handle a variety of light and medium materials
- Auto-lubricating, no need for constant oil-changing
- Low maintenance
- Thread cutting is not automated
- Not easily portable
- Not suitable for heavier materials
- One stitching, no zig-zag
- Large size, requires a permanent working space
- You cannot adjust needle positions
My Counsel for Your Sewing Journey - Is Juki DDL 8700 a Worthy Purchase?
I know how important it is for you to find the perfect sewing machine. It is just as important as having a warm, friendly and welcoming environment at work, a pleasant group of coworkers that don't drain your energy, and of course, doing what you love.
Back to my promise at the beginning of this article, I am here to lead you, guide you and advise you in your search for the perfect sewing machine.
If you are looking for a sturdily built, effective and reliable machine, then this is the one for you.
Simply put, Juki DDL 8700 is there to do the job. This isn’t a high-maintenance machine, as it demands only that you infrequently pour the oil; other than that, it auto-lubricates and takes your mind off of having to monitor it.
I have previously mentioned that this machine is both suitable for a home-working environment, whether you’re a sewing hobbyist or an occasional dabbler, but if put into the professional environment, it will perform more than satisfactorily.
Once you master how it works, it will not fail you. The servo motor will guarantee you that there are no annoying noises or loud sounds while you work, so you will actually be able to hear your thoughts while you sew!
To conclude, I personally believe that if you are looking for a machine, Juki DDL 8700 is a not only the solution where you get great value for money, but you also get to see its quality in your work.
With its incredible 5500 stitches per minute, you won’t even blink before you have your product before you.
Its demerits, such as the limitation of heavy fabric usage, can easily be overlooked for the sake of speed, durability, reliability and perfect stitch execution.
My warmest recommendations go to Juki DDL 8700!