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Thread: Juki F600 or Janome 6500/6600 or Janome Horizon 7700

  1. #1
    Member azure68's Avatar
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    Juki F600 or Janome 6500/6600 or Janome Horizon 7700

    Hi all,

    I apologize in advance that this post is so long. I just wanted to provide some background regarding my skill level and what I am looking for in a machine. I was wondering if I can get some help on deciding on my next sewing machine.

    I am a total beginner in the sewing world. Right now, I have a vintage Singer Featherweight 221. I am ready to add another machine that will do a bit more. I will be sewing some garments, hemming, decorative pillows, tactical bags made of heavy canvas, and plan to totally dive into quilting, especially free motion quilting.

    I don't want a "throw away" cheapy machine, so I have narrowed it down to either the Juki F600, Janome 6500 or 6600, and the Janome Horizon 7700. DH wants me to choose a machine that will make me happy and something I can totally grow into. I've been reading and searching forums till my eyes are crossed and it hasn't really made my decision any easier. I do know that I want to get a Sew Perfect table, since the table height is adjustable.

    I was very interested in the Juki F600 since it can go through many layers of denim, but the only authorized Juki sewing machine dealer in town hasn't gotten really great reviews. I want to be able to trust my sewing center when I need to bring the machine in for servicing. The Janome dealer here in town has always gotten great reviews, so I do feel confident when I need to utilize their service.

    I've heard a lot of great things about the Juki, so I was wondering if I should take my chances and just go for that one. Or play it safe and get a machine in which I know will have good local service support.

    And...to make the decision even harder...DH is telling me for the price of a Horizon 7700, I can get the Juki F600 and the Janome 6500 or 6600 and have 2 machines. I know I would love to have a free arm, so the Juki or the Horizon falls into play. The large harp space on the Horizon is 11", which would be great to doing large quilts. But am also wondering if the Horizon 7700 would be too much machine for me. He's given me a nice budget to work with, but that doesn't mean I want to spend it all on one machine either.

    Would a 9" harp or throat space work for doing a queen sized quilt? Another alternative for doing large quilts for me is take a class on the long arm and then rent out time on the long arm machine at the LQS if I even need to quilt anything large down the line.

    Is there a huge difference between the Janome 6500 vs. 6600? For someone with my skill level, will I even know the difference? I know the 6600 has the Accufeed system. Some people love it and some people hate it. I'm guessing since I really have no prior experience, I really wouldn't have anything to compare to. I do know that these machines do not have a free arm, which is something I would really like.

    I know this post may sound like I'm overthinking it too much, but I do want to try to make the right decision on my purchase, as I really want a machine that will be with me for a long time.

    Sorry again for the long post. Any thoughts from you experts are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

    Peggy

  2. #2
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    I would go for the Janome 6600 over the 6500. The Janome 7700 is a beautiful machine and I guess you could "grow" into it, so to speak. I have had the 6600 for 7-8 years now, and I love it. I have quilted many a king size quilt on her. I am not gentle with my machines, I work them hard. After all the time I've had her, she decided she needed a break in March this year. She had only been serviced once since I got her, and that was just for a good cleaning. In March, I had to take her back in. It turned out to be a fuse had blown, so $100.00 later, she was cleaned, oiled and ready to rock. I know nothing about the Juki machine, but if your budget will cover both, then I would suggest the Janome 6600 and the Juki F600. I did a search on the Juki F600 and it doesn't look that much different that the Janome 6600, so, to me it didn't offer much more.
    But, like buying a car, you will get a hundred responses and all of them different. And in the end, it will be your choice. I love my Janome 6600 and really have no desire to upgrade to the Horizon 7700, mainly because of the price.
    Test drive both if you can and good luck with your decision.
    Quilting is my PASSION not my pass time.
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  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    If it fits your budget I would recommend going straight to the 7700.

    I love my 6600. I don't plan to upgrade. However, if I planned to start garment sewing again I would absolutely make the investment. The free-arm makes garment work so much easier. I can think of many ways in which it would be useful to quilting, too. The added bonus of two more inches of harp for quilting would "seal the deal."
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

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  4. #4
    Junior Member Quiltlove's Avatar
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    I have the Juki 2010Q and if any other of my machines quit on me, I would go right out and purchase the Juki F600. I purchased my 2010Q from a dealer in Arizona and I live in Maine. I purchased sight unseen and have never regretted it. Most machine dealers/repair people will be able to fix any problem. But the chances of having a problem are nil. Juki's are great machines and you would be pleased with the F600 without a doubt.
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  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    As Quilterella said, skip the 6500 ... there's so many more features in the 6600 over the 6500. I considered it when I bouight my 6600, and as soon as I saw the differences, I never even gave it a consideration. I love my 6600. One being the AccuFeed system ... you won't want to miss out on that!

    I don't know the 7700 well ...as you mentioned it does have the extra 2" throat space, and it seems the free arm is important to you though, which as you know is not in the 6600. Take a good look at the options of the two .... I know there are a few things that are on the 6600, that are NOT on the 7700, that to me, steered me from the 7700. One I seem to recall is something about the thread ... perhaps, does not hold 2 spools? or does not allow for larger spools? Sorry, by I can't 't remember what! There's a good comparison chart re features on the Janome site.

    As for the Juki ... sorry, I know nothing about it! However, to me, service is all important!!!!!!

    Another consideration ... the Janome1600 is known to be a true workhorse for seamstresses. It only goes forward and backwards, no fance stitches, and I'm sure it has the free arm. So perhaps the 6600 and 1600?

    It looks like your husband is giving you a nice budget to pick your "forever" machine(s)!! Take your time, compare the specs of each of the machines .... and go on in and do some test drives. And no, you are not overthinking. Rather you are shopping wisely.

    Good Luck! .. and Have FUN!!!
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  6. #6
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    I have a Janome 6600 and also the Juki f600. Hands down, my preference is the Juki. The 6600 is in a closet. I also have a Janome 1600p. If you are spending enough to get a Horizon, and if you have enough room, consider getting the 1600 along with either of the other two models....HTH

  7. #7
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    Go for the 7700 you will not be sorry

  8. #8
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    I don't think you are overthinking the issue--I think you are being wise. I was in your position this time last year, and researched thoroughly before buying. I already had a Kenmore (made by Janome) that had served me well, but wanted an upgraded machine with more bells and whistles, and one more conducive to FMQ. After extensive research, I decided on Janome...and narrowed it down to two machines--the 6600 and the 7700. The 7700 is a great machine, but it would not fit in my cabinet (which is perfect for my studio, and I didn't want a new cabinet). So I got the 6600 AND got a 350E embroidery machine. I was able to get both machines for slightly more than the cost of the 7700. The extra 2" of harp space would be nice, but I haven't had any problem with the 6600 (in fact, I made king-sized quilts with my old Kenmore, which has much less harp space than the 6600). The free arm was not an issue for me since the Kenmore has a free arm. All in all, the 6600 is a wonderful machine, and I am thrilled with it...and with the embroidery machine. Good luck and happy sewing/quilting!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    I am going to throw my vote for the Juki F-600. Go to pattern review and read about this machine. There is a reason so many people love it. For one the motor is many times more powerful than any other brand. I feel fine saying this as I've owned just about every machine out there, including the Janome. I had the Viking Diamond, The Pfaff Creative Vision, Babylock Ellisimo, Babylock Quest Plus, etc. I now sew with the F-600 and a Juki 98TL. You cannot beat the strength of the motors. I sew Vera like bags. These are the only machines that will go thru 8 layers of double sided quilted fabric. You might not use the strength all the time, but when you need it it is good to have.
    Judi in Ohio

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi in Ohio View Post
    These are the only machines that will go thru 8 layers of double sided quilted fabric. You might not use the strength all the time, but when you need it it is good to have.

    I can't speak from experience though my understanding is that the Janome 1600 will go thru layers and layers ... as another option.
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  11. #11
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I have the 6600 and love it. Whatever you decide on, make sure you can get good service close to you. Buy from a reputable dealer. I also have the Brother 1500 which does amazing straight stitch only and is wonderful for machine quilting. It is pretty near exactly like the Juki 98q. I use both machines a lot and by the way I love the Accufeed on the 6600. You may want to join the Janome 6500/6600 Yahoo group. Tons of info and discussion there.

  12. #12
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    the 6600 has a lot of nice features and is a proven work-horse. The Elna 7300 which is now called the 720 is the SAME machine w/ a few added features. You may find it it is less $$ than the 6600 or it may be the reverse but its nice to shop around for pricing. If budget allows, maybe you could consider the Juki 400 which is much like the 600 and I believe there is another model below that one that has most of the same features. This would give you a nice compliment to the 6600 with free-arm.
    mea

  13. #13
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Stop everyone now I want a juki f600, seems people love theirs, you guys are enablers

  14. #14
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I have the Horizon 7700 and love it. I have another smaller and older Janome, and a few vintage machines, but the more I use my Horizon, the more accustomed I get to it's little extras. It's like having a vehicle with power locks, windows, doors, etc and going back to manual. When I use my take to class machine, I sure miss the thread cutter The 7700 also has the Accufeed system, and it has no problem going through layers of denim - I've done it. If you seriously plan to do more quilting, you'll love the extra harp space. If in doubt - try them out. Go to the dealers and play with the machines. A good dealer will let you get a feel for the machine before you buy it. (especially the higher priced machines!!)
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  15. #15
    Member azure68's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. I still have not decided yet. I can't believe how drained I've actually been from trying to make this decision. I know this is suppose to be fun, but there's a part of me that is worried that I will make the wrong decision. And another part of me is I usually feel guilty about spending $$$ on myself. I know, it sounds crazy.

    I wanted to find out more about the Juki, as there is an authorized dealer here in town. They have gotten really bad reviews and I can see why. First, they quoted me a overinflated MSRP, but was willing to knock it down to their "special" price (which is above what the real MSRP really is). They told me if I didn't purchase my machine from them, they will not do any warranty work on it. Really? They didn't even seem to care that I am able to find the same machine at a much better price (less than half of what they are willing to offer it for me). In fact, the woman on the phone sounded pretty aloof about the whole thing. They will never get me as a customer and I plan to contact Juki about my experience with them.

    I did some more calling around to other sewing centers. Eventhough they are not authorized to carry Juki's, they can still repair them. But those places were more interested on trying to sell me the machines that they carry. The Janome and the Baby Lock dealers did that to me. They were trying to talk me out of a Juki, asking me why I would even want one.

    Since I'm about 4 hours from San Diego, my husband and I have decided to make a drive over to San Diego this Saturday and visit the Sewing Machines Plus store in San Marcos. They have the Juki's and the Janome machines that I'm looking at. I have no problem at all driving a few hours to make a purchase of I can't find a local company who will give me good customer service. I've done it in the past when it came to purchasing a car. I can do it again for a sewing machine.




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  16. #16
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    I scanned the prior responses but don't think I saw this - forgive me all if it was there.

    I don't believe the Janome 6600 has a free arm, which for me was a deal breaker since I do some garment sewing. As a new quilter, you might find the 9" harp confining. I quilted a large lap quilt on my Horizon 7700 and found it difficult but it was the first I'd ever done. Of course, it probably gets easier with experience. I like the Accufeed which both have.

    One thing to consider is buying a vintage heavy duty machine for sewing layers of denim, assuming you would use basic stitches. You could probably find one very reasonably which would allow more of a budget for a new machine.

    JMHO.

    Good luck,
    Cathy

  17. #17
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi in Ohio View Post
    I am going to throw my vote for the Juki F-600. Go to pattern review and read about this machine. There is a reason so many people love it. For one the motor is many times more powerful than any other brand. I feel fine saying this as I've owned just about every machine out there, including the Janome. I had the Viking Diamond, The Pfaff Creative Vision, Babylock Ellisimo, Babylock Quest Plus, etc. I now sew with the F-600 and a Juki 98TL. You cannot beat the strength of the motors. I sew Vera like bags. These are the only machines that will go thru 8 layers of double sided quilted fabric. You might not use the strength all the time, but when you need it it is good to have.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but my 6600 will sew through 4 layers of fabric that is quilted to heavyweight fusible fleece with no troubles ever! The 6600 is a workhorse and the accufeed system is wonderful.

  18. #18
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    I was in the same situation you are not too long ago and yes it can be a draining process trying to decide what will best work for you and your budget. I went with a Juki Exceed F600, bought it on-line as the only dealer near to me (about an hour away) couldn't match the price altho he said he would be happy to service it if it ever needs anything. (and I will be happy to take it to him as I don't like the local Janome/Singer guy) It was here in 3 days, I set it up and away I went, I didn't need lessons and I barely look at the manual it is so easy to use and understand. I do a lot of garment sewing and also make roman blinds, cushions, slipcovers etc and this machine rolls over all of it as good as my old Singer 15-91. I am in the process of reorganizing my studio and there will be a place for a Juki TL2010Q quilting machine.

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    You can do a queen size quilt on a machine smaller than the 7700, but it isn't as fun...

    The 7700 was $3000 when I looked at it. I've heard it is about $2000 now. If it was that when I was looking, I'd own one for sure. I LOVE the machine I got- but the harp space is amazing, and its features are really nice. I don't like that the 6600 doesn't have a freearm, that is a must for me. I did have problems with the 7700 going through many layers of denim- I had to slow down my stitching, my current machine will do it at full speed without blinking...

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    I would go for the 7700. I cannot gush about it enough.

  21. #21
    Member azure68's Avatar
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    Have any of you ever bought a machine based on the great reviews out of state eventhough there isn't good local support? While the Juki is suppose to be a really great machine, I'm just worried that if the time ever arrive that something needs to be repaired, it will be more of an ordeal. Or should I just be playing it "safe" with a Janome? Mind you, from what I've read, these are all great machines in themselves, so I'm sure I'd be happy with either one of them.

  22. #22
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I bought a 7700 earlier this year for quilting, and love it. However, for your purposes, the one thing that I've found disappointing is that it doesn't cope well with several layers: I tried to quilt a top with some bulky seams and my machine didn't like it at all: I ended up with a broken needle and eventually had to use my Singer 201. So if you frequently need to sew several layers, I would definitely test drive this machine before investing such a serious amount of money.

  23. #23
    Member azure68's Avatar
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    That's good to know, annesthreads. I will be trying out several machines this Saturday when I make my trip to the sewing machine dealer. I love the harp space of the 7700, but also love the strength of the Juki F600. I do plan to have more than one machine down the line, so perhaps I can always add another high power machine for the bag making purposes. I plan to do a lot of quilting and the 11" harp space on the 7700 sounds quite enticing, as I would rather try to do my own quilting instead of bringing it to a long armer.

    Have you had any issues going over bulky seams when it came to quilting with the 7700?

  24. #24
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Don't know a thing about the Juki, but I LOVE my 6600 ... and don't even consider the 6500, the 6600 has a lot more to offer and for only a little more $.
    I've heard good things about the 7700 but unless you HAVE to have a freearm, you'll be VERY happy with the 6600. Ive sewn denim quilts, outdoor cushions, boat bags etc w never a problem. If you have a cabinet or custom table, be aware the 7700 is a larger machine, and won't fit in most.
    Last edited by TexasGurl; 06-14-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  25. #25
    Super Member dmyers's Avatar
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    Wonderful thread...I've been researching these two brands to replace my beloved pfaff 7570. Thank you all for your opinions.

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