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86.1 The Janome 128 is a very simple and basic sewing machine with only 8 stitches.  It is also relatively inexpensive.  Janome often refer to the 128 as a “value-priced” sewing machine.  Owners like the unit’s ability to tackle thick materials, its light weight, and its ease of use.  It is popular for taking to classes, and the compact size, aluminum frame, and built-in carry handle make it very mobile. However, some folks have had issues with thread jamming and inconsistent stitches.  Many owners are also disappointed that it does not come with a built-in thread cutter.

 
Consumer Ratings
A thorough investigation of Janome 128 ratings from a host of retail outlets has provided the following information:
 
Source Consumer Rating # Ratings
Amazon 3.9 stars out of 5 7
Overstock 4.6 stars out of 5 8
Sewing Machines Plus 4.5 stars out of 5 2
QVC 4.0 stars out of 5 2
Walmart 5.0 stars out of 5 1
 
We have applied a weighted average to the above twenty ratings to get a score of 86.1 out of 100 (or about 4.3 stars out of 5).  This is a reasonable score for a sewing machine, but it is not stellar and is not as high as scores for some of the other Janome sewing machines we’ve looked at in the past.  You can see all of our sewing machine reviews and scores in the sewing machine ratings table.
 
Janome LogoWhy Buy Janome?
We have noticed over the years that Janome sewing machines often get very good owner ratings.  So we decided to look back over our past 10 years of sewing machine reviews and do some calculations.  We have reviewed almost 100 sewing machines and for each and every machine we have posted a score.  The score is determined by looking at real owner ratings for each sewing machine, typically from multiple online retail outlets.  These ratings are averaged (using a weighted average) thus providing a score of x/100.
 
If we look at the average score for the most popular brands on our site we find the following:
 
Brand Average Score
Janome 92.9
Juki 92.2
Brother 90.2
Singer 79.7
 
 
Sewing Machine Brand Scores 
As you can see in the chart above, Janome sewing machines - on average - get the highest scores from actual owners.  Juki and Brother also score fairly high, but Singer is a very distant fourth. 
 
The lowest scoring Janome we have reviewed was the Janome Purple Thunder (part of a group of colorful, inexpensive machines).  It received a score of 76.2/100.  In terms of the Singer sewing machines we have reviewed, the lowest scoring was the Singer QuickFix which scored 52.4/100 (there are three Singer machines scoring in the 50’s).  Brother fared the best in this department with the lowest scoring machine at 81.9 – see table below.
 
LOWEST SCORING SEWING MACHINES BY BRAND
Model Score
Brother XL3750 81.9
Janome Purple Thunder 76.2
Juki HZL-K85 74.9
Singer QuickFix 52.4
 
Janome posted the highest scoring sewing machine on our site with the Janome Magnolia 7360 – see table below.
 
HIGHEST SCORING SEWING MACHINES BY BRAND
 
All-in-all Janome, on average, produces a very good sewing machine and when purchasing a Janome the odds are that you will be satisfied.
 
What Are Janome 128 Owners Saying?
We’ve scanned online retailers for ratings and reviews about the Janome 128.   Following is a list of the machine’s pros and cons as well as owner insights.
 
PROS
- Reasonably priced
- Compact
- Lightweight
- Uncomplicated and easy to use
- Handles thin and thick materials well
- Good for travel and classes
- Fairly easy to thread
 
CONS
- Issues with thread jamming/tangling
- No thread cutter
- Sometimes has inconsistent stitches
- No automatic needle threader
- Few features and stitches
- Bobbin doesn’t always wind evenly
 
Janome 128 from back
 
For the most part we have found that owners like their 128.  They find it very reasonably priced and they like the light weight.  Many take it to classes or even on trips/vacations.
 
Another facet of this machine that owners like is that it is very easy to use and operate.  It is a basic machine with few features and some feel that this simplicity is the key to it being such a good choice for the beginner.   One owner stated that they “love it because it is not complicated”.
 
Despite not having an automatic needle threader, many people have reported that the machine is still quite easy to thread.  Folks also like the power of the 128 and feel that it is strong enough to sew through thick materials.
 
Janome 128 Needle Plate
 
On the downside, some folks report issues with thread jamming while others have had issues with the bobbin, stating that it winds thread unevenly which (they believe) effects stitch quality.   Others also report issues with stitch quality so this concern has been raised by more than one consumer.
 
In addition, folks are somewhat disappointed that the machine does not come with a thread cutter or an automatic needle threader.
 
You can read more Janome 128 owner comments on Amazon.
 
Key Specifications
- 8 stitches (stretch and utility - selected by a dial)
- 1 four-step buttonhole
- Adjustable thread tension
- Auto-declutch bobbin winder
- Free arm
- Manual thread tension control (dial)
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Top loading bobbin
- Sewing speed = 650 stitches per minute
- Maximum stitch width = 5mm
- Maximum stitch length = 4mm
- 3-piece feed dog system
- Electric lamp for illuminating sewing area
 
As this is a very basic machine there are a number of features it does not have.  Some of the missing features that you may want to be aware of include:
 
NO drop feed
NO automatic needle threader
NO thread cutter
NO locking stitch button
NO knee lift
NO twin needle guard
NO foot pressure adjustment
 
Stitch Chart
The stitches are shown in the image below.  All the stitches are printed on the side of the sewing machine for easy reference.
 
Janome 128 stitches
 
Accessories
The 128 comes with a number of accessories including three presser feet: General purpose foot, ¼ inch foot, and buttonhole foot.  You also get a pack of size 11 needles, a seam ripper, a screwdriver, spool pin felt, class 15 bobbins, and a foot control.  In addition, a power cord (3 ft) and instruction manual are provided.
 
Janome 128 Accessories
 
Most accessories will fit in the on-board storage compartment.
 
Weight
This is a lightweight sewing machine in part due to its compact size and also due to its aluminum frame.  The 128 weighs in at only 11 lbs.  As a result it is a good machine if you want mobility.  It also comes with a built-in carry handle.
 
Warranty
The Janome 128 carries a 25-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.  This does not mean you have a 25 years warranty on all features/components/labor.  What it means is the following:
 
25-years on mechanical parts
2-years on electrical parts
1-year on labor
 
 

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About me...
About me - sewing machine ratingsHello!  My name is Alison and I started Sewing Machine Ratings about 9 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.
 
My website should help you find the best machine for your sewing needs. In addition to reviews, I gather owner ratings for each machine and calculate a score. So you can quickly compare one machine to another and also see how others feel about their sewing machine before you buy.
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