87.2 The Janome 5812 is a “no bells & whistles” mechanical sewing machine. It has 12 stitches and is lightweight, reliable and sturdy. It is easy to use and is a good fit for purists, but folks who want more features – like an automatic needle threader or needle up/down – may be disappointed. Consumer ratings are good and owners highlight the unit’s ability to successfully sew through very thick fabric as well as its quiet operation. It is also reasonably priced for a Janome.
A total of 19 consumer ratings were found at three different retail outlets and these are shown in the table below. When averaged these result in an overall score of 87.2 out of 100. This is a good score but not exceptional. To help with perspective you may wish to compare it to the scores of other sewing machines in our sewing machine ratings table.
|Amazon||4.3 stars out of 5||16|
|Overstock||4.5 stars out of 5||2|
|HSN||5 stars out of 5||1|
A thorough review of owner comments provides the following insights.
- Simple and easy to use
- Not too heavy
- Sews through tough fabric
- Top drop-in bobbin
- Good instruction manual
- Not too expensive for a Janome
- Few features
- Material doesn't always feed well
- Dim sewing light
Most owners agree that the 5812 is a simple machine that is very easy to use. Some also think it is a good fit for beginning sewists. Given the “bare bones” feel of the machine some folks advise potential buyers to think carefully about their sewing needs and expectations before making a purchase. The 5812 has few bells and whistles.
There are many comments about how “solid” the unit feels despite it being rather lightweight. Of course lightweight when speaking about a Janome may not necessarily be lightweight with respect to some other brands. You may want to view our list of lightweight/portable sewing machines. This Janome would not make the list cut off – which is about 12 lbs.
Consumers have highlighted that they like the top drop in bobbin and that they are pleased with the 5812’s ability to make good-looking buttonholes (despite them being 4-step). The unit is also reasonably quiet and is known for its ability to sew though thick, tough materials while still being able to handle delicate fabrics.
Concerns relate to a few areas. As mentioned, the 5812 has few features and the lack of an automatic needle threader and no needle up/down has some owners flustered – although these are inconveniences and don’t seem to be deal breakers for most. Others have pointed out that the sewing light is a bit dim (needs to be supplemented with external light) and the 5-point box feed system does not feed that well. With respect to the box feed system there are a few comments about this but many owners do not highlight this as an issue.
- 12 stitches and 39 stitch functions (6 basic stitches & 6 stretch stitches)
- Top loading, drop-in bobbin
- Auto declutch bobbin winder
- Free arm (for cuffs, hems and sleeves)
- Manual thread tension control
- Reverse sewing lever
- One 4-step buttonhole
- Maximum stitch width = 5mm
- Maximum stitch length = 4mm
- Manual thread cutter
- Extra high presser foot lifter (good for allowing thick fabrics or multiple layers of fabric)
- Snap on/off presser feet
As can be seen above, this is a fairly simple machine with a limited number of features. Features of note that are absent include the following:
- No locking stitch button
- No knee lift
- No drop feed
- No foot pressure adjustment
- No automatic needle threader
- No needle up/down (must use flywheel)
Having said that, what the 5812 does it does well. Stitch quality is good and the machine is popular for quilting, alterations, home decor, scrapbooking and more. Stitch selection is by dial which you can see on the front of the machine (dials shown below).
You will also find stitch options printed on the front panel (see image below).
You do get some accessories although not a large number. 3 feet are provided: zipper foot, sliding buttonhole foot, and blind stitch foot. There are also bobbins, needles, small & large spool holders, a seam ripper and a screwdriver.
The 5812 weighs in at 14.5 lbs. This is not too heavy but we have reviewed lighter Janome machines such as the Janome New Home 720, the Janome Jem Gold 660 and the Janome 3128 (as well as a few others). But at 14.5 lbs the 5812 is still somewhat portable.
The warranty provides:
- 25-years on defective materials and/or workmanship
- 5-years on electronic component parts
- 1-year on labor
Sewing Machine Manual
Like most Janome sewing machines, the 5812 has a good manual. It is well written, has lots of illustrations and covers a number of topics including Names of Parts, Getting Ready to Sew, Straight Stitch Sewing, Zigzag Stitch Sewing, Utility Stitches, Decorative Stitches, Stretch Stitches, and Care of Your Machine (which includes maintenance and troubleshooting). You can view the manual here: Janome 5812 Sewing Machine Manual.