Toyota STF17 is good on thick fabrics but it misses out on a lot of important beginner friendly features. It is expensive as well.
Toyota STF17 Main Features
- 17 built-in stitches
- Free arm
Toyota STF17 Review
Toyota is not a very popular sewing machine manufacturer in US. Toyota has been making sewing machines since 1946, but they don’t have a huge market share in US. They have introduced some beginner machines here, but not many made it to the top yet. Toyota has to face stiff competition from leading manufacturers like Brother and Singer in US. STF17 is an entry level offering from Toyota. This machine has 17 built-in stitches including a 4-step buttonhole. Free arm option is provided for sewing cuffs and sleeves.
Toyota STF17 weighs 15.2 pounds. It is not too light nor too heavy. The built-in carry handle makes it portable. Like all mechanical sewing machines, the stitch selection is done by turning a dial. The stitch chart is printed on the front. The machine comes with a side loading metal bobbin, which is not really ideal for beginners. Snap-on presser feet makes it easy to change the feet. The reverse sewing lever is large and is easy to engage. The motor is powerful and it can deliver 800 stitches/min.
There is no doubt about the build quality of Toyota STF17. You can trust Toyota for that. The machine even comes with a metal bobbin, though outdated is good on durability. As far as ease of use is concerned, this is not the best one. It misses out on a lot of features that beginners love, we will talk about that in the limitations section. The machine handles thick fabrics quite well.
Bobbin being side loading one, makes it difficult for beginners as you need to remove the side compartment every time you need to change the bobbin. A top drop-in bobbin would have done a world of good.
There is no automatic needle threader to assist in threading.
Beginner friendly 1-step buttonhole should have been included, instead of the 4-step buttonhole. The buttonhole stitch quality is not the best.
All the stitches have preset stitch length which you cannot adjust manually.
There is no drop feed option.
- Good build quality
- Good on thick fabrics
- No top drop-in bobbin
- No automatic needle threader
- No 1-step buttonhole
Is It Worth Buying?
Toyota STF17 is not an ideal sewing machine for beginners, as it misses out on several features which are pretty much standard on even $80 machines nowadays. Those features add a lot to the ease of use. Moreover, the machine is very expensive. If you can live with what this machine lacks, it should serve you well.
An alternative you can consider is the Singer 4423 with 23 built-in stitches, 1-step buttonhole, automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin. It is the best entry level heavy duty sewing machine. Moreover, it is way less expensive than the Toyota machine. It has a more powerful motor and great stitch quality.