All the Information You May Need
If you have, by any chance, decided to become a designer, tailor or an artisan, props to you.
These are some of the most gratifying professions in existence.
Working out your hobbies, creating your pieces and earning money? I mean, what’s not to like?
Well, all of the activities above are heavily limited by the tools you are using.
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You may be talented and you may be inspired. But if you are constantly struggling to put your ideas into existence in spite of your best effort the things tend to get frustrating very quickly.
This is the time to make an upgrade.
I’m telling this because I know how hard it is to constantly knock your head against the wall. When I made my first artisan steps, I spent months upon months making no progress, thinking I am doing something wrong.
It turned out, however, that my sewing machine, the crown piece of my tool collection, was pretty slow and underpowered. I was putting an effort, but the device was not up to the task.
Things changed only when I invested money into something that would allow me to move on to more serious projects.
If you want to avoid my mistakes, provide yourself with the means to become a great tailor, and you are not afraid to spend a bit more than usual, you've come to the right place.
Today, we’ll take a look at JUKI TL-2000Qi.
JUKI TL-2000Qi as Described by Numbers
Ok, are you impatient to see my final thoughts about this neat piece of tech? Here is my final scoring table:
|JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing Machine Review|
|Value for the money||4/5|
JUKI TL-2000Qi – An Honest Look at All the Bits and Pieces
And now let’s take a look at how I feel about this machine in more detail. I’ve spent quite a few pleasant days with it, and there is much to talk about.
The Design and General Specs
If I could point one of the things I was immediately turned down when I opened the JUKI TL-2000Qi's package, that would be the product’s overall visual impression.
You see, with its rather bulky dimensions of 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches (45 x 21 x 13.8 centimeters), sturdy body (38 pounds/17 kilograms) and bland 80s look, the machine does very little to raise the user’s excitement.
But, as I started using it, I figured out that this look makes a lot of sense.
JUKI TL-2000Qi is not a particularly versatile or feature-rich piece of tech.
It is, however, an incredibly powerful workhorse that works fast and precisely. Putting things in this perspective, I actually quite buy the utilitarian vibe the manufacturer went with.
Now, let’s examine this durable piece of hardware more closely.
First of all, the machine scores some pretty strong specs. Some people even go as far as to call it a semi-industrial piece of hardware. No wonder, with the powerful motor and stitching speed that goes all the way up to 1500 stitches per minute (regular sewing machines rarely go past 750spm), the unit is geared up for steady and robust performance.
And then, there is the pretty spacious (13-inch) detachable extension table that suits this powerful core performance like a well-tailored glove. Not only you are capable of plowing tougher and layered materials - you will also be able to stitch them in one run.
This story is helped by the fact that you get to choose between a couple of different feet:
- A straight stitch foot
- A quilting foot
- A walking foot
- A darning/free motion foot
All of them are capable of handling the materials of different thickens and density. They also do a great job at improving the versatility of this otherwise pretty straightforward unit (more on that in a second).
The rest of the package consists of a pretty useful knee lever that allows you to adjust the presser foot hands-free without having to stop the machine and a couple of free bobbins. They are cute but pretty useless.
This package carries quite a hefty price tag, and a couple of bobbins will do very little to justify the price.
Finally, the machine is operated by the good old mechanical dial, which is both a blessing and a curse.
On the more positive side, if you want to master your craft and learn how to become a good tailor without the help of smart features, this is the way to go. Progressing to units with more features will be much easier if you master these basics.
Also, the traditional mechanical machines are far easier to maintain and repair (most of the common failures can be worked around at your home) than their techy cousins.
On the other hand, this type of controls is admittedly harder to master and almost exclusively means you won’t have too many features to play with. (You can already see where I’m going right?)
Does JUKI TL-2000Qi Have Some Standout Features?
Well, it all depends on your perspective. JUKI has managed to equip some pretty neat features, but they are far from standout. More of something we are quite used to see in this price range.
For instance, TL-2000Qi comes equipped with a pretty neat and powerful LED light which allows high visibility even if you are working in pitch black conditions. Not something you are going to use very often, but it's still a welcome companion for long evening hours.
Then, you have your always reliable needle threader. You can write volumes of books on just how much frustration, and time-wasting is this simple feature moving off the table.
The same can be said about the automatic thread cutter located at the foot pedal. Once you are ready to break the thread, just press your foot, and you're done. Of course, this placing opens up the possibility for some unintentional cuts, but what to say – practice makes everything perfect.
While all these features are primarily aimed at improving TL-2000Qi’s convenience, some other mentions produce a real impact on the performance.
So, let's mention needle up/needle down controls - a real joy for all the quilters out there. What makes this setup so special is the fact that the controls are entirely automatic. You don't need to waste your time adjusting the needle manually – just turn the corners as usual, and the stitching will seem even regardless.
To other feature that plays well into this story is the ability to raise and lower the feed dogs. Some softer materials like silk can be easily damaged if they are run through dog grooves. Here, this problem can be lowered out of the way resulting in a genuine drop feed performance - nice.
Bottom line, all these things are useful. But, the machine can still work with or without them. However, if JUKI somehow missed the opportunity to include stitch length adjustment, they could’ve easily dragged this whole package into oblivion.
So, what’s the problem?
Well, JUKI TL-2000Qi is a machine that features only one stitch. In the world of affordable smart-capable units that offer tons of different features and options, this is absurd. Even if we take into account the industry-grade specs that can comfortably sit at the top of the sewing machine food chain.
This way, with the ability to adjust the stitch length between 1 and 6 for the length of 6 millimeters, you at least get a decent amount of versatility which makes living with TL-2000Qi as the primary unit much more manageable.
You will still be stuck with one type of project, but you will be able to experiment with the stitch lengths and tons of different materials. Taking into consideration the sheer power the machine packs, it is a decent bargain.
How did I feel About JUKI TL-2000Qi’s Performance?
Ok, you’ve covered by now what you can expect from JUKI TL-2000Qi, what are its main strengths, and what are the limitations. It is finally time to put this bad boy into action and see how it performs.
And you know what? After countless of hours in the chair and every sensible material that came to my mind, all I can say is that using TL-2000Qi was a blast.
First thing I want to point out is that the performance feels very powerful, precise, and virtually vibration-free. The entire central unit is built from metal rather than plastic, and this choice truly delivers in real life. You can simply feel the motor easily plowing through poor fabrics below the needle.
Any vibrations on you can find at lower speeds (the bane of neighbors and family members) are kindly neutralized by the unit’s steady aluminum arm and bed.
The sewing quality is simply excellent. You will never miss a single stitch, and the final results look beautiful and orderly. Alas, if we could just get more than one stitch.
That aside, these were still one of the best stitches I’ve seen in years - a far cry from similarly priced and far more gimmicky-oriented Singers and Brother. If you are into quilting, you will hardly find a better option.
At least unless you add a couple of hundreds of bucks on top of the already large pile of money you are asked to pay.
As far as the controls go - trying to perform any kind of complicated maneuver with the dial-and-pedal combo will, at first, feel like trying to fly a plane with chopsticks. (Of course, only if you have no previous experience with this setup).
Still, the controls kinda grow on you and become more intuitive as time goes by.
JUKI TL-2000Qi – Tips and a Trick
While I was using the machine I’ve noticed that some of the times my threads were so tense, they caused slight performance issues. Fortunately, this fault had nothing to do with the very machine. If you encounter the same problem, you will just need to take out the bobbin case, and slightly adjust the tension adjusting screws.
See the whole official tutorial here:
Also, I’ve heard a lot of people who bought this unit never learned to use the needle threader, which is such a shame. I already pointed out just how useful this feature can be.
Anyway, if you have a problem using the threader, follow this short instruction. Bring the thread to the needle and push the threader down. Once you are done, you will see yet another hook under which you can pass the thread appearing. Do exactly that and hold the thread in place while you are gently letting go of the threader.
And that’s pretty much it.
The official threading tutorial can be found here:
Finally, the fact that TL-2000Qi relies so heavily on mechanical parts and controls means you will need to put some effort into maintenance and frequent lubrication. Fortunately, all the vital parts are easily accessible by removing the panels located at the bed, at the bottom and at the top of the machine.
The official maintenance tutorials can be found here:
JUKI TL-2000Qi – The Wins and Sins
And now, let's try to summarize everything I've written in a couple of simple pros and cons.
- Powerful performance
- The speed of 1500 stitches per minute
- Excellent stitch quality
- Low vibration performance
- Neat features like LED light, automatic needle threader, and automatic thread cutter
- Large work area
- The controls need some getting used to
- Only one stitch
- Not the most affordable machine on the market
My Final Thoughts about JUKI TL-2000Qi
When all is said and done, I’ve spent quite a pleasant time while reviewing JUKI TL-2000Qi. It was sort of therapy for the traumas from the distant past when my machines weren't able to cut through any slightly tougher material.
Working with JUKI TL-2000Qi is something completely different. The amount of power, speed, and precision you will be able to squeeze out of the unit is truly unparalleled in this price range.
You also get enough freedom to moderately expand your sewing skills.
As for the manual controls - if they don't kill you, they will definitely make you tougher.
That said, it is hard to escape the feeling the unit is a one-trick pony, as insanely powerful as it is. If you are content with the limited set of projects the machine can pull off, JUKI TL-2000Qi is a dream come true.
If you, on the other hand, aim for precision and versatility rather than speed and power, you'll find more luck elsewhere.