Everything You Need to Know and More
Are you getting tired of your mechanical device and are looking for something more cutting-edge?
I’ve met many people with this desire, and the number one challenge they faced was finding the right “transition” machine; something that wouldn’t be too difficult to learn, yet having all the benefits of a computerized model.
Well, I think I’ve discovered a machine that’s both user-friendly and very high-tech at the same time, and its name is Juki HZL-F300.
This model is the perfect first computerized sewing machine for folks who’ve only worked with mechanical ones.
Now, what’s so great about this model is that you don’t need to be tech-savvy to learn how to operate it.
Also, sewers and quilters of all levels will be able to use this device and, hopefully, grow their skills with it.
It’ll provide you with loads of useful features that mechanical machines don’t have, while at the same retaining most of the core characteristics of sewing machines that you’re familiar with.
Ideally, HZL-F300 should be a tool that drags you just one step out of your comfort zone, and we all know that leaving one’s comfort zone is a good thing, right?
OK, enough philosophy. It’s time to get you more acquainted with this machine from Juki.
Juki HZL-F300 Quick Preview
If I could present all the essential features of this model in a table, here’s how it would look like:
|Juki HZL-F300 Review|
|Value for money||4.5/5|
In case these numbers don’t mean much to you, I invite you to read on and find out more about this machine.
Dissecting Juki HZL-F300
In the following sections, I’m going to scrutinize this machine and leave no stone unturned in order to give you my clear opinion about it. Let’s dive in!
Appearance and What’s Inside
Juki HZL-F300 is a part of the HZL-F series and it looks nothing out of the ordinary. It has a pretty standard design which could be described as a regular sewing machine with a calculator built into its side. By calculator, I’m of course referring to the display and control buttons.
Here’s an overview of the machine:
This is not a big contraption as its dimensions are 17.5 x 11.4 x 8.2 inches (44.45 x 28.95 x 20.8 cm), which places it among the mid-sized models. Also, the machine isn’t too light, nor too heavy with its 21.6 pounds (9.7 kg) of weight.
Is it portable? Well, it’s not advertised as such, but I would see no problems with carrying it around if it was necessary.
When it comes to build quality and performance, one could say that this machine is heavy-duty, and here’s what makes it so:
- It is rather heavy for its size, which indicates that sturdy materials were used to construct it.
- The machine can sew both light and thick materials with ease.
Keep in mind that this model isn’t as “heavy-duty” as others that you can find on the market, and if you need a machine for super-high volume work, then you should look elsewhere.
The easy-wind bobbin system is definitely one of the best I’ve seen so far. It’s so simple that it’s nearly impossible to make an error with it. Place the bobbin on the pin, wrap a bit of thread around it, step on the foot pedal, and there you go. After that, put the bobbin in the compartment located next to the needle, and you can start sewing.
The working area of this model is pretty spacious and will give you a lot of room for maneuvering. Free-arm sewing is also available, and you can do it by removing the auxiliary table (which doubles as a storage compartment).
One of the main benefits of HZL-F300 is the number of stitching patterns that it has - 106 total.
This is a vast variety that you can choose from, but that’s not all - you can do all kinds of cool stuff with the computer.
For example, you can select a pattern, sew it, and then mirror it to get a symmetrical stitch. People who do decorative stitching will love what it has to offer.
The stitching speed is adjusted using a slider neatly located on the head of the device, and you’ll recognize it by the turtle and rabbit images printed on its sides. Right next to it, you’ll find the start/stop button, the reverse sewing button, and the needle position (up/down) button.
Speaking of speed, it is important to mention that HZL-F300 is not a very fast machine, as the best it can do is 900 stitches/minute. All in all, this machine offers a lot of versatility but not a lot of speed, which is the direct opposite of models like Juki TL2010Q.
What’s Good to Know + Useful Advice
OK, this section is intended for anyone using this machine for the first time, especially those who feel a bit intimidated by it. By the end of the article, you’ll see that it’s really not that complicated if you follow the advice that I’m about to lay down.
Since the display and keyboard use usually presents the biggest mystery to those who never worked with computerized machines, let’s start from there.
You’ll primarily be using them to select your stitch patterns set their width/length, which, as you’ll find out, isn’t very complicated. For example, I'll explain how to choose a pattern.
First, you’ll click on the pattern selection key (it has a hand with numbers printed on it), then choose between practical patterns, buttonhole patterns, quilting patterns, and decorative patterns using the two arrow keys. Select them using the “OK” button, and you’ll be ready to go.
You can check the manual for more detailed instructions.
The display will show you which presser foot to use with each pattern, and you’ll be able to set the width and length before starting your sewing.
Another fantastic feature is the lettering, meaning that you can stitch down letters and write something! How cool is that? If you’re writing the same thing frequently, you can save your lettering pattern and simply load it every time that you want to use it.
There are plenty of other options hidden in the computer, but these would be the ones that I wanted to outline.
You can find out more about the computer here:
As with many other Juki machines, the stitching speed is not controlled by the pressure put on the foot pedal, but by a lever. Besides the pedal, you can also start sewing by pressing the start/stop button.
If you’re looking for the tension adjustment dial, you’ll find it under the cover. You’ll see that it is set on “Auto” which works fine for many materials, but you can increase or decrease it if necessary.
When it comes to threading, I have to say that this is one of the most user-friendly machines that I’ve ever used. To thread it, just follow the guides printed on the casing, and it can be done in a few seconds. Also, the automatic, single-button needle threader is very helpful here.
Here’s how threading looks like:
Now, what’s important to know is that the machine has to be turned off during the following operations:
- Replacing the needle
- Replacing the presser foot
- Threading the needle
- Preparing the bobbin thread
Please make sure that the power is off or else you might hurt yourself.
Besides this, keep your hands away from all the moving parts of the machine. This is done to avoid injury as well as to keep the device functioning properly. The parts that I’m talking about include the thread takeup mechanism, the needle/presser foot, and the dial on the side.
I’ve mentioned that the HZL-F300 has an automatic thread cutter, but I’d like to point out that this isn’t the only way to trim thread. As a matter of fact, there are three ways to do it:
- Press the thread cutter button.
- Press the back of the foot pedal with your heel.
- Program the computer to cut the thread at the end of the desired operation.
If you’re up for some free-motion sewing, make sure to drop the feed dogs beforehand so the fabric can be moved around effortlessly. This option will be utilized a lot by quilters and folks who have to stitch around the edges of irregular shapes.
A preview on how to set the feed dogs:
The final tip for today is regarding the thread spool size. If you’re using a large spool, make sure to place the spool cap with the wider side facing the thread. When you want to switch to a small spool, the spool cap should be facing the thread with its narrow side.
Most Prominent Features of Juki HZL-F300
OK, now it’s time to take a look at the highlights of HZL-F300.
There are many great things about this machine, but we have to start with something, so I’m going to talk about it’s stitching patterns first. As I’ve said earlier, it has 106 patterns, 3 lettering fonts, and 16 buttonhole stitches.
One of the things that set HZL-F300 aside from its competition is the ability to set the width of the buttonholes to match different kinds of buttons. The buttonhole electronic presser foot is equipped with sensors which ensure super-precise stitching.
Take a look at how to use the buttonhole presser foot:
Another fantastic option is the automatic needle threader, which will do the job for you every time — no more squinting and straining your eyes!
The fact that thread cutting can be done in three ways is a positive thing in my eyes as it only adds to the machine’s versatility.
The presser feet included in the package are:
- Zig-zag foot
- Overcasting foot
- Zipper foot
- Blind stitch foot
- Manual Buttonhole foot
- Auto Buttonhole foot
Check out the overcasting presser foot in use:
All in all, the machine is ideal for decorative and free-motion stitching, but it does impeccable straight stitching too.
Extras That are Included in The Package
The accessories that you’ll get with the machine are the essentials such as needles, cleaning brush, screwdriver, and a seam ripper.
You will also get the basic parts regarding the thread, including four bobbins, as well as small, medium, and large spool caps.
Many optional accessories can be bought separately, and I’d like to highlight the extension table as a particularly useful addition.
What I liked and what I disliked
- Simple to use (for a computerized machine)
- Large working area
- Many different stitching patterns
- 16 (adjustable) buttonhole stitches
- Reasonable price
- Relatively slow (900 stitches/min)
- Doesn’t include many extras
My Final Words on Juki HZL-F300
Juki HZL-F300 is, in my opinion, one of the best sewing machines for transitioning from mechanical to computerized. Besides, it’s just a great computerized machine for anyone who likes quilting and decorative stitching.
Even though I feel that it’s more suitable for intermediate/advanced sewers, beginners will also be able to find their way around it due to its ease of use.
Tech-savvy or not, if you are a sewer who focuses on creativity and free-motion stitching, you will most likely enjoy working with Juki HZL-F300 computerized sewing machine.