Janome 525s Review

Janome 525s is like your lost love. It is a sewing machine that beginners would love to own, but its availability in US is a big question mark.

Janome 525s Main Features

  • 24 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Top drop-in bobbin
  • Automatic needle threader

Janome 525s Review

Sewing Machine Reviews Recommendation Level : HIGH

First of all, let me tell you one thing. Janome 525s is not that popular in US. Only a handful of stores have this machine for sale in US. However 525s is a very popular sewing machine in UK. It has made its name there. Going by the features, it is very clear that this is a machine for beginners. So expect its price to be similar to that of a typical Janome beginner machine sold in USA. The reason I am saying this is because this machine is not widely available, so some stores may put a heavy price tag on it.

Coming to the features, Janome 525s comes with 24 built-in stitches including a 1-step buttonhole. 525s is a mechanical sewing machine, so stitch selection is done by turning dials. The stitch chart is provided on the right hand side of the machine. Stitch width can be set to a maximum of 5mm. Stitch length is also adjustable via the dial just below the stitch selection dial (max 4mm). The machine is equipped with an automatic needle threader to save eye strain.

The reverse sewing lever is also placed in an easy to access location. The presser foot pressure is adjustable. It can be adjusted by turning the knob on the side of the machine. This is a feature that you may not find in all beginners’ machines. It has a top drop-in bobbin, which makes it easy to change bobbin. The clear cover also lets you keep an eye on bobbin thread supply.

Janome 525s comes with a built-in work light which illuminates the work space reasonably well. There is a built-in storage compartment to store your accessories. You can remove the storage compartment and use the machine for sewing circular areas like cuffs and collars (free arm mode). The snap-on type presser feet is easy to change. Drop feed dog switch can be used to do free-motion works. A manual thread cutter is provided to cut the remaining thread.

Janome 525s weighs close to 15 pounds, which is a clear indication that less plastic is used for its construction. The build quality is very good. The machine can do twin needle sewing as well. To make it portable, there is a built-in carry handle. The motor is powerful and can deliver 820 stitches/min. 525s comes with a hard cover as well.

Usability

Janome 525s is a very quiet machine. In fact it is one of the quietest Janome machines I have ever come across. The needle plate markings take out the guess work. While sewing thick fabrics like denim, make sure that you use the right needles. The machine performs very well with multiple layers of fabric. I have sewn up to 6 layers of upholstery fabric and it went through effortlessly. 8 layers of denim won’t be a problem as long as you use the right needle. 6 layers of fleece was a breeze. Overall, I am very much impressed with the variety of fabrics it can handle. The stitches are not only tight but also consistent. As I have said earlier, the build quality of this machine is very good. The machine is not too light or not to heavy (still there are some plastic parts).

Limitations

The automatic needle threader may require couple of attempts to get used. It is an easy job once you get the hang of it.

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Excellent stitch quality
  • Good performance on multiple layers
  • Quiet machine

Cons

  • Tricky needle threader

Is It Worth Buying?

Now I know why Janome 525s became so popular in UK. It is a machine that oozes class. Unfortunately, the machine is not widely available in US, which is a shame. Even if you manage to find one, watch the price and make sure that it is not over priced. If you can’t find a reasonably priced Janome 525s, then the best alternative I can suggest is the Janome 7330, which has 30 built-in stitches. It may be slightly on the expensive side, but the quality is rest assured.


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