Created: 16 February 2020
93.2 The Janome 3160QDC is a lightweight, computerized sewing machine. It is more affordable than the popular 4120QDC and is a great fit for quilters, home crafters, and those who want a portable machine for classes, sewing groups, etc. The 3160QDC is also very easy to use and a good choice for the beginner and even the more advanced sewist. It sews smoothly, includes many useful features, and comes with a host of built-in stitches. However, there are some complaints that the lighting is a little weak.
3160QDC or 4120QDC?
The two sewing machines are quite popular and very similar, but there are some key differences
. The Janome 4120QDC
comes with 120 built-in stitches and 7 one-step buttonholes while the 3160QDC has 60 built-in stitches and 6 one-step buttonholes.
The 4120QDC, weighing in at 14.3 lbs, is also heavier than the 3160QDC which weighs 12.6 lbs (so if you want portability the 3160QDC may be a better choice). You will also pay more for the 4120QDC. See the latest prices below.
Fifty-seven owner ratings for the 3160QDC were found online at a number of popular retailers – see table below. When we averaged the ratings we found that the Janome 3160QDC had a score of 93.2/100. This is a very good score.
It is not as high as some of the other Janome machines we’ve looked at (see all Janome reviews
), but it is very good nonetheless.
||4.7 stars out of 5
||4.4 stars out of 5
|Sewing Machines Plus
||4.5 stars out of 5
||5 stars out of 5
Pros & Cons
A thorough analysis of owner comments has provided the following pros and cons.
- Very easy to use
- Handles both thin and heavy material
- Produces great looking stitches
- Automatic needle threader works well
- Folks love the thread cutter feature
- Great for quilting
- Includes extension table
- Lighting is dim
- No knee-lift
- No walking foot
What Are Owners Saying?
There are many comments about how easy the 3160QDC is to use. Also, plenty of owners say the ease of use makes it a great machine for beginners.
When reviewing Janome sewing machines we often see buyers commenting upon previous Janome machines they’ve owned. It is, in our opinion, a good sign that previous owners are continuing to buy the same brand. We have noticed this trend with 3160QDC owners (they often refer to other Janome sewing machines they’ve owned).
Another common theme with Janome sewing machines is the high praise for the owner’s manual. Janome manuals tends to be very comprehensive, detailed, and come with high quality graphics/images. The 3160QDC manual is no exception (it is also provided at the bottom of this article).
Several folks have reported that they love the automatic needle threader and the thread cutter. These seem to be two very popular features. In addition, most owners seem very pleased with their purchase and we’ve seen such comments as “heck of a machine for the price”, “a workhorse”, “super easy to use”, “great for quilting”, “well-made”, “great value”, etc.
Folks also like the quality of the stitches and they feel that the unit sews smoothly. Finally, the light weight makes this sewing machine popular for portable endeavors.
If there is one area where owners are negative it is the lighting. There are quite a few comments that the lighting is too dim and people are saying that it needs to be supplemented unless you are working in bright daylight.
- 60 built-in stitches (decorative, hemming, darning, quilting, eyelet, applique, buttonhole)
- 6 one-step buttonholes
- Automatic needle threader
- Backlit LCD control panel with a host of features
- Jam-proof, top loading, full rotary hook bobbin
- Auto-declutch bobbin winding
- Thread cutter button
- Reverse stitch button
- Lock stitch button
- Needle up/down button
- Memory for needle positions
- Start/stop button
- Adjustable stitch width with max = 7mm
- Adjustable stitch length with max = 5mm
- Manual tension dial
- Max sewing speed = 820 stitch per minute
- Speed control slider
- 7-piece feed dog
- Drop feed capable (with lever)
- Free arm capable
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Variable foot pressure
The following diagram shows the 60 built-in stitch patterns. Also note that the stitches are imprinted directly on to the side of the sewing machine for easy reference.
Weight & Other Features
The Janome 3160QDC is a lightweight sewing machine. It weighs 12.6 lbs
. It is not quite light enough to make our list of the best portable sewing machines
(must be 12 lbs and under), but it is very close. Some of the weight savings are the result of the die-cast aluminum frame.
An extension table is also provided. If you haven’t got a sewing cabinet, an extension table can be very handy and it provides a larger, flat sewing space. This machine also includes a hard cover which is useful for both storage and when taking the machine to classes, etc.
Janome reports that the 3160QDC has bright LED lights that illuminate the work area but we know from repeated owner commentary that these lights are simply not bright enough. A popular solution is a sewing machine LED lighting kit and a reasonably good one (that is not too expensive) is shown in the ad below:
The machine comes with a large number of accessories including quite a few presser feet: blind hem foot, buttonhole foot, sliding buttonhole foot, ¼ inch seam foot, satin stitch foot open toe, satin stitch foot f, overedge foot, and zig-zag foot. You will also find bobbins, spool pins, a spool stand, a set of needles, felt, both large and small spool holders, a lint brush, a seam ripper, and a screwdriver. In addition, there is a power cord, a foot control, and an owner’s manual.
Many of the accessories (but not all) can be stored on-board the sewing machine (see image below).
The 3160QDC carries a 25 year limited manufacturer warranty. This does not mean the entire machine is warranted for 25 years. What this means is as follows:
- 25 years on mechanical parts
- 2 years on electrical parts
- 1 year parts and labor
Sewing Machine Manual
Like most Janome sewing machine manuals, the 3160QDC manual is lengthy and detailed
. This is a 48 page document that covers such things as: Getting ready to sew (which walks you through all of the machine features), Basic sewing, Decorative sewing, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting. You can view a copy of the manual here: Janome 3160QDC Manual