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Thread: Bernina vs. Janome...a new twist....

  1. #1
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    I see lots of questions on board right now about embroidery machines. I'm questioning just "regular" machines. I've searched the threads and read everything I can get my hands on about both Bernina and Janome.

    Here's my story, though. I'd love to hear your input!

    I have two dealers in town. One sells Bernina, one sells Janome. I originally wanted the Bernina so have been there twice to test drive and talk to the salesperson. I have a dislike for the store in general, just due to some past experience I've had there, but I guess the Bernina employees solely handle the Bernina part and you don't have to deal with the "regular" personnel. I thought I had decided on the Aurora 430. It did concern me that I went 2 days in a row and talked to 2 different people, the first of whom really wasn't impressive.

    Today I went to my "favorite" quilt shop to look at Janomes. The owner herself sat down with me and spent a good 45 minutes going over the 6600P and letting me test drive it. She was very nice, answered all my questions, just had customer service down pat.

    So, my question is, looking at the whole big picture, which machine do I go with? Figuring that this is a major investment and that I will likely have dealings in the future with them, having the machine serviced, etc, makes me want to go with the Janome just because I like the people better. In addition, I take quilting classes there and likely buy most of my fabric there.

    But, will I regret not getting a Bernina while I had the chance??? I guess I have just not heard one single bad thing about Bernina, while there seem to have been a few glitches with the Janome....

    Thanks for sticking with me and reading through all this! I'd love any input at all you can give me...

  2. #2
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    I love my Bernina and wouldn't give it up for anything. Any issues I had were, as the sales lady jokingly (and correctly) stated "Located between the seat and the machine" :-D .

    My favorite lqs is also a Janome dealer and I know she really believes the Janome is a better machine, but for me there is only the Bernina.

  3. #3
    CrystalKicks's Avatar
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    I love my janome and have yet to have an issue with it. (6600P) If it were me I would look at the features of the machine, they probly have a few things different about them and go with the one that you really want. Just because that Bernina dealer is not very user friendly does not mean that you couldnt find another shop that is. Even if it means a drive, because thats an investment worth making.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    What features does the Aurora have that the 6600P have that the other doesn't? And vice-versa? I've never had any problems with my Janome. I think if you look for problems you'll find them with ANY brand, including Bernina and Janome.

  5. #5
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    you said you were looking for an embroidery machine. i am wildly in love with my Janome 6600p, but it doesn't do embroidery. there are some letters built in for monogramming, but no embroidery.

    you sound to me as though you've already decided which machine you want. you are now trying to choose between the people who sell them. neither of them is coming home with you to be a part of your family and sew with you as the years roll on.

    if the Bernina is the one that makes your heart go pitty-pat and you can afford it, then that's the one you should get. just make sure to tell the sales people they almost lost the sale and why. their next customer might benefit from your input.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If the shop you buy from happens to close, which has the closest dealer to go to? That would be one consideration. Bernina's have a great reputation. I haven't heard one negative about any of their machines. Janome is a great brand too but I think Janome manufacturers in mass quantity compared to the Bernina so some glitches will be in more machines. It would be a hard decision but one I don't the opportunity to make!

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for your input so far. In actuality, I am not looking for an embroidery machine. First and foremost I am looking for a machine for quilting, and I'm not sure how much I would use the embroidery features. The Bernina has lots of embroidery features on it, which is a bonus if that's what I decide I like doing, but that's an unknown for me now....

    Ugh...decisions decisions...it's kind of like trying to choose between the red or black car :)

  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    do they both have the different kinds of feet that you would be interested in?
    are any additional parts comparable in price? can the dealers supply them for you?
    how long does it take to get parts? i ask this because on the viking, the dealer i use says he gets the parts from europe and they take forever to get here.
    i don't believe the first part, but i do believe the second part. (i only needed a foot pedal. i burned out the first one and the viking has a special one, of course)

    do they both have differential feed? test drive them a lot and see what feels good.

  9. #9
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    if you're truly on the fence, i would go with the janome.

    the main reason being the economic recession and since you love that shop you might want to support them during these difficult times.

    the other reason would be if you don't plan on using the embroidery features that often it at all why pay the extra money for it.

    i don't know what the prices you were quoted for both machines and if there is a big difference in the price point.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think I would go with the Janome. I would feel better buying from a shop I feel at ease in.

  11. #11
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have 4 Berninas. Two sewing machines a serger and an embroidery machine. I purchased my 1260 while I was an employee of a Bernina dealer. I had to have the computer replaced about 5 years ago but the machine certainly doesn't owe me anything. I like having a seperate embroidery machine first because it was less expensive, it is basically a Brother machine as they held the patent when it was made. I can also be running something on it while I am sewing on the other machines. I also hate having to dismantle parts of one machine to make it do other functions. That is the reason I spent more for a serger that would also do the rolled hem with just the push of a button rather than changing the plates etc. I am not interested in a Bernina that sews and embroiders even though it would be able to do the 7 inch designs. The decorative stitches that came with my machine are more than I can ever use now.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    No matter which machine you decide to buy, make sure you will be happy with it's features in a year. If you can upgrade to next model, few more stitches or what not, you will be happier in the long run. Buy the best you can for the money you want to spend.

  13. #13
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    You have to also look at the different features that come with each machine, is a walking foot included or how much do it cost separately? I like the Janome, personnaly. I have an older model. Is easy to work with and you can find different feet and accesoraries on line at a good price. I also have a Brother Quatro6000, and embroidery machine, and a small 11 pound Brother, which is great for classes. But you have to decide for your self, we are only adding our 2cents worth of information.

  14. #14
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    As tough as it might be, I would recommend considering the machines themselves and try not to think about the personalities of the salespeople. Companies go out of business, sell, or retire. Sales people come and go, and people sometimes move and take their machines along so that store relationship is less important than the machine. If you honestly evaluate machines, learn all you can, youíll feel confident about the choice you make.

    How much will you use your new machine for embroidery and how long would you like to be able to use the machine before you have to replace it?

    Embroidery puts machines through a lot of use. A design with 5,000 thousand stitches is a small design. It's common to run designs of 20,000 stitches and easy to do 50,000 and more for a single design. It doesn't take a lot to run the total stitch count of a home sewing machine into millions of stitches a year. So how much use are home machines intended for? Real commercial embroidery machines such as Tajima or Barudan are designed to run reliably all day long for years with minimum maintenance. They are able do this because their moving parts are metal. So take a clue from their design, metal lasts and plastic fails over time.

    The hook mechanism is the heart of the embroidery system. Take a look at what each brand offers, especially how easy it is to disassemble and clean the hook assembly area. I have not seen a Janome, so I canít tell you whatís in there. Bernina caught my eye initially because itís hook mechanism compares favorably to commercial embroidery machines that I run. I have a Bernina 630 as my home sewing machine, it has the same hook mechanism as the 430 you are considering.

    Also, look at embroidery design stitch counts. You can see many designs, including their counts on the internet at various vendors. Think about what you'd like to be able to make over the years. Those stitch counts start adding up, and donít forget to add in the regular sewing you also expect the machine to do and it becomes a lot of use. One machine may have a lower price initially, but if it is made of parts that wear out then low price turns into high cost.

    Good luck and happy stitching with whatever choice you make!

  15. #15
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    I would not trade my Janome 6600 for any other machine on the market..mine doesn't have any glitches..i paid $1500. for mine. came with the extension table,white, and a cloth like cover,feet etc...I think one of the main things to consider when buying any machine, is your dealer..mine is wonderful..
    how to the "feet" prices compare? check that out..

    www.patternreview.com
    has owner pros and cons and prices they paid for thier machines, tons of makes and models..and that part of the website is free.

  16. #16
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    You can buy the BSR (Bernina stitch regulator) for the 430. The Janome doesn't have one. That would be the deciding factor for me.

  17. #17
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    I had a Janome before I bought my Bernina 440 this last spring and before that I had a Bernina 930. I would never give up my Bernina. I don't miss the Janome at all. I figured I have never had a problem with my Bernina the 25 plus years I had it. My store wasn't very helpful either, but I have talked with other dealers and they have all been very helpful. Actually the person I bought mine from is a lot better now. I guess we just needed to get to know each other. I am in the process of buying the laptop I need for the 440QE. Can't wait, because there are many quilting and embroidery stitches I can utilize in my quilting.
    I would go with the Bernina myself. PS I still have my 930 and would not give that one up either.

  18. #18
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    I have had my Janome 4800Quilter's Edition since 2001~love it. Never a problem.
    I just bought my daugher a Janome Magnolia at a local shop where she lives so that she could have service,etc. and got her all the extra feet.
    I've been very happy and never considered anything else.

  19. #19
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    What are the prices of any accessories/feet? I have the Janome 6600 and love the extra wide throat space. I don't know if the Bernina has that. Since I bought my machine, I have only been back to the dealer once or twice, and I bought it about 3 years ago.

    I also found a group on Yahoo just for owners of the Janome MC6600 and have found useful tips there. Usually any glitches are operator error.

    Either machine would probably do what you want them to once the final decision is made.

  20. #20
    lanagan's Avatar
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    Why don't you compare warranties and how well their service departments work. That might help you with your decision.

    I'm a Bernina girl myself.

  21. #21
    Senior Member beginnerquilter's Avatar
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    My friend has a Janome and she can do everything with hers including Quilting and Embroidery both. She loves her and I love her Janome. I wish I had one and she has all the feet to go with hers too. Hers even has a button that you push to make the needle stay in your material so you don't lose your place when you stop. :)

  22. #22

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    I would go with your favorite shop .. and good service. I have two Janome 6600's .. one on the west coast and one on the east coast (I spend about 4-5 months back east). I love the 6600 .. best machine I have ever had. Does everything I would need. A work horse.

  23. #23
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    One thing to consider is that Bernina have special feet. If you want to purchase an open toe foot (for example), at your fabric shop, it won't fit on the Bernina unless you have a special attachment to attach to the foot itself. I sew on a Bernina at my job and know this to be true. The other day I was having trouble with fabric sliding and making a bubble at the end of a long seam. I don't have a walking foot at work, but do at home. I had to bring the curtain home to sew that seam in, on my home machine. Bernina is a good solid machine though.

    Where would you be going for service on the Janome? Is that location local for you or a long drive? That would be a cosideration to think about too, as you'll probably bring your machine in at least once a year for routine maintenance.

  24. #24
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Who will offer classes, what is the warranty like for each, who will you want to deal with later down the road should you want something?

    I have a Janome 6600 P and love it. It came with all kinds of feet of which I have used all, buttonholer which is the easiest one I have ever used, I do alphabet embroidery, has a walking foot, an extension talble which I love, and many other features. I got mine on sale a year ago for around $1200.

  25. #25
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    I have a Bernina 730 with embroidery unit and the Janome 6600P - I can tell you from a quilting standpoint only, the Janome is my preference. It sews like a workhouse and is made just as good as the Bernina.

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