92.2 The Janome Sewist 721 is a reasonably affordable mechanical sewing machine. It is a good fit for both the beginner and the intermediate sewist. The 721 sews smoothly and is quiet. Owners like that the unit is fairly lightweight, making it a respectable choice for taking to classes or sewing events. It is also easy to use and the manual is well written and easy to understand. However, there is a lot of plastic in the 721 construction and the unit has a limited number of features.
Owner ratings for the 721 were found at a number of established online retailers (see table below). When we applied a weighted average to these figures we got an overall score of 92.2 out of 100. This is a pretty good score – not stellar but still quite good. One of the reasons the score was not higher was that people occasionally received sewing machines that were broken upon arrival (we saw these instances on Amazon). It didn’t happen often but enough to drag the score down.
You can compare the score of this Janome sewing machine to that of all other sewing machines on our site in the Sewing Machine Ratings table.
|4.6 stars out of 5
|Sewing Machines Plus
|5 stars out of 5
|5 stars out of 5
|5 stars out of 5
Janome Sewist 721 vs Janome Sewist 725S
The Sewist 721 is a very similar machine to the Sewist 725S with a few key differences.
|One 4-step buttonhole
|One 1-step buttonhole
As the 725S is slightly more feature rich, it typically costs a little more.
Pros & Cons
An analysis of owner comments has provided the following pros and cons for the Sewist 721.
- Operation feels smooth
- Detailed, easy to understand manual
- Includes hard cover
- Fairly lightweight (and thus mobile)
- Not too noisy
- Easy to load and view the bobbin
- Needle threader works well
- Fair bit of plastic in machine construction
- Few features
- Limited number of stitches
What Are Owners Saying?
Most owners report that the machine sews very smoothly and that it is also quiet – both nice sewing machine characteristics. Most people also find the unit easy to thread although some report that you really should read the manual carefully before threading. Failure to do so can lead to jamming and nesting of thread.
The needle threader works well but it may take some fiddling to get the hang of it. Some folks report having to do a little trial and error to get it right. The majority of owners state that the Sewist 721 is a good sewing machine for the beginner or budding sewist. It is mechanical and not too complicated, but it still has enough features to allow for a range of projects.
There are quite a few comments from people who are happy the 721 includes a hard cover. However, it should be pointed out that this is a “cover” and not a “case” – it has no bottom.
Like many of the Janome sewing machines we have looked at over the years, the 721 has good documentation. The manual is well written, easy to understand and quite comprehensive. Quite a few owners have highlighted this.
The machine is also reasonably lightweight and this makes it a candidate for taking to classes or sewing gatherings. The 721 is light enough to be portable but not so light that it moves around while you are sewing. It seems to hit the sweet spot. It also has effective LED lighting that illuminates the sewing area well.
While the 721 has the basics, it will fall short for those looking for a machine with lots of stitches and features. It really is a simple, mechanical sewing machine. A pro for some and a con for others. It also is not a heavy duty machine and it is not designed to sew through thick materials such as tough leather or heavy denim.
In addition, the unit is at the more affordable end of the Janome scale and some owners are disappointed with the amount of plastic used in the machine construction.
Other Affordable Janome Sewing Machines
Other affordable Janome sewing machines that have scored well include the following.
- 19 built-in stitches
- 1 four-step buttonhole
- Stitch selection dials
- Extra high presser foot lifter
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Snap-on presser feet
- 4-piece feed dog system
- Built-in needle threader
- Drop feed capable
- Free arm
- Max stitch width = 5mm
- Max stitch length = 4mm
- Max sewing speed = 820 stitches per minute
- Auto declutch bobbin winder
- Jam-proof horizontal rotary hook bobbin system
- LED lighting of sewing area
- Reverse button
- Manual thread tension control
Some Features You Will Not Get
It is sometimes important to point out some of the features that you will not get with a particular machine. The list below is not exhaustive.
The 721 has no:
- Needle up/down
- Locking stitch button
- Twin needle guard
- Knee lift
- Speed control slider
The machine has zigzag stitches, overcast stitches, stretch stitches, and a 4-step buttonhole. See the stitch chart below.
Other Features & Characteristics
The 721 has a respectably large workspace: 6.5 x 6.5 x 4.3 inches (where 4.3 inches is the height). It also has a die-cast aluminum interior frame which provides stability and durability.
The unit is fairly lightweight at 14.8 lbs. There are lighter machines out there if you really want a less heavy unit for taking to class (see our list of portable sewing machines). The 721 also has a built-in carry handle on the top. In addition, the handle folds down so it is non-intrusive.
Other features include a top loading clear bobbin cover, a thread cutter, and it has built-in storage for the accessories. One should be aware that this is not a dual voltage (80V to 240V) sewing machine. The Janome Sewist 721 is a single voltage machine and is designed for 110V to 120V.
A host of accessories are provided with the 721 including 5 presser feet: general purpose foot, blind hemming foot, sliding buttonhole foot, zipper foot, and button sewing foot. You will also find 3 plastic bobbins (class 15), an assorted needle set, a seam ripper / buttonhole opener, a lint brush, a screwdriver, a felt cushion, a large spool holder, a small spool holder, and an extra spool pin. These accessories can be placed inside the built-in accessory storage. In addition, there is a hard cover, a foot control, an operating manual and a power cable.
The Janome Sewist 721 carries a manufacturer's 25-year/5-year/1-year limited warranty. This means:
25-years on defective materials and/or workmanship
5-years on electrical components
1-year on labor
This kind of warranty is sometimes simply stated as a 25-year warranty. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the entire machine is warranted for 25 years.
Sewing Machine Manual
The 721 manual has good illustrations and covers everything well. You will find information on the essential parts of the machine, all of the different sewing machine features, basic sewing, using the utility stitches, using the decorative stitches, as well as machine care and maintenance. You can view a copy of the manual here: Janome Sewist 721 Manual