76.2  The Janome Purple Thunder is a compact, lightweight, no-frills, mechanical sewing machine designed for quick projects.  It is fairly popular with beginners and is also commonly purchased by parents or grandparents for children aged 5 to 10.  In addition, a number of owners report buying the Purple Thunder to use as a second (or backup) machine.

It seems the biggest issue with this machine is that some people do not quite know what they are buying and find that after getting it home it doesn’t match their needs or expectations.  The Purple Thunder is a small, lightweight mechanical sewing machine that is very basic.  It has few stitch options, one slow sewing speed and it has no light.  It is a reasonable machine for young sewists/beginners but is likely not a good fit for an experienced seamstress.

Consumer Ratings 59 consumer ratings were found and when averaged these create a score of 76.2 out of a possible 100.  This is a far cry from the kind of figures we usually see for a Janome sewing machine but the Purple Thunder is not one of their full-size units.

Source Consumer Ratings #Ratings
 Amazon  4.1 stars out of 5  42
 Walmart  3.1 stars out of 5  15
 Joann  3.0 stars out of 5  2


Consumer Insights Consumer comments have yielded the following likes and dislikes:

- A good fit for beginners or youngsters
- Can be purchased in many fun colors
- Lightweight and compact
- Sews a good stitch
- Intuitive controls
- Includes clear instructions
- Slow sewing speed (good for kids)

- Some find it hard to thread (other don’t)
- Slow sewing speed (not so good for adults)
- Only one speed
- Foot control is really on/off switch
- No built-in light


6 fun Derby line colors
6 Fun Colors

Owners commonly refer to the machine as compact and lightweight, and they like the fun colors (it can be found in six colors: Pink Lightning, Purple Thunder, Turbo Teal, Buzzin’ Blue, Fastlane Fuchsia, and Orange Blaze).  It can easily be transported and it has intuitive controls and easy to follow instructions.  Most people also report that it sews well and makes a good stitch.  Oddly, some find threading the needle to be a simple task while others report that it is quite difficult. 


Purple Thunder Stitches
Purple Thunder Stitches

There are quite a few comments lamenting the lack of a light, and there is general consensus that this is not the right machine for handling heavy fabrics (but it will sew through several layers of light fabric).  It has a rather slow sewing speed and this has consumers at odds.  Some owners really like the slow sewing speed because it makes the machine easier for their children/grandchildren to work with, but others who purchased this for themselves feel the slow speed is a detriment.

In addition, the foot pedal is actually an on/off switch (one-speed) and doesn’t allow proper control of speed.  It is therefore hard to sew corners, etc.  Similarly the finger guard on the foot is a great safety feature for kids but can get in the way for adults.

Finally, if you are buying this for yourself and intend to have lengthy sewing sessions or do heavy duty work you may be better off with a full-size machine.  You can read more customer reviews on Amazon if you wish.

Key Specifications
- 10 stitches
- 1 buttonhole setting
- sewing speed of 350 stitches per minute
- reverse stitch for reinforcing seams
- 4 lengths for straight stitch
- 3 widths for zig-zag stitch
- free arm capable
- manual thread tension dial
- automatic needle threader
- 1 foot (standard zig-zag foot)
- foot comes with finger guard (safety feature)
- 2 needle positions: left and center
- built-in accessory tray
- see-through bobbin cover
- top drop-in bobbin system
- foot control
- 4 point feed dog system


This small sewing machine has dimensions of 10" x 9" x 5" and an aluminum frame.  It weighs in at only 5 lbs making it very portable.

Built-in Accessory Drawer

It comes with two bobbins, a needle and a needle threader.  There is also a foot controller (one speed only), a power cord and an instruction manual.  The accessories can be conveniently stored in the built-in accessory drawer.

The Janome Purple Thunder is UL listed (UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, a non-profit group that undertakes product safety testing and provides certification) and it carries a 1 year limited warranty.








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About me - sewing machine ratingsHello!  My name is Alison and I started Sewing Machine Ratings over 10 years ago. Since then I’ve reviewed scores of sewing machines. Sewing has been a hobby for me since I was a young and I love to make my own clothing.
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