Created: 18 September 2018
89.7 The Janome JW8100 is a computerized sewing machine with 100 built-in stitches. It lies at the more affordable end of the scale for a Janome sewing machine and is a good fit for beginners, but the host of features also makes it suitable for even more experienced sewists. Owners report that the JW8100 sews smoothly and quietly, and they like that it is lightweight and easy to use. It also has a good fit and finish, and comes with a hard cover and an extension table. However it does not have an automatic thread cutter, it does not include a quilting foot or a free motion foot, and the sewing area is dimly lit.
We found 38 consumer ratings for the JW8100 - see table below. When these ratings were averaged they resulted in an overall score of 89.7 out of 100 (or about 4.5 stars out of 5). This is a very good score
, although not as high as some of the other Janome sewing machines we’ve looked at. You can see the ratings for all the machines we’ve investigated over the years (since 2010) in our Sewing Machine Ratings
|| 4.4 stars out of 5
|| 4.6 stars out of 5
|| 5.0 stars out of 5
Pros & Cons
A careful review of JW8100 owner comments has provided the following pros and cons:
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to setup and to use
- Operation is quiet and smooth
- Plenty of stitches
- Comes with a good manual
- Includes handy extension table
- Includes hard cover
- Quality fit and finish
- Even fabric feed
- Reasonably priced for a Janome
- Will sometimes struggle on thick materials
- Bobbin winder can be a bit slow
- No automatic thread cutter
- Sewing area light is dim
- Does not include quilting foot or free motion foot
What Are Owners Saying?
There are a lot of good things said about the JW8100. As a matter of fact we’ve seen a number of comments like “good bang for your buck”, “amazed at what you get for the price”, “very impressed”, “this machine is a bargain”, “not too pricey for a Janome”, etc. Many of these allude to the fact that folks feel they are getting their money’s worth with this sewing machine. This is a good sign.
Owners also like that this sewing machine is lightweight. Many report taking it to classes or even traveling with it. The included hard case comes in handy when moving the JW8100. People also report that the machine feels solid and well-built, despite its light weight.
Most comments indicate that the machine is easy to use and to setup – despite the myriad of stitches and features. Controls are intuitive and overall the JW8100 is just simple to use. Some feel that this is a good fit for both the beginner and the intermediate seamstress.
The unit creates good stitches with the right tension and operation is fairly quiet and smooth. The feed dogs hold the fabric firmly and the feed is even.
Folks like that you get an extension table and a hard cover. They are also pleased that the owner’s manual is detailed, that there is a start/stop button and a speed control slider, and that the JW8100 is a good sewing machine for quilting. Lots of people seem to like to use it for quilting.
The automatic needle threader is a bit of a mixed bag. Some like it while others do not. Some say it simply takes practice to get used to it. This kind of sentiment is fairly common with automatic needle threaders on many sewing machines.
Something else we’ve seen on quite a few sewing machines is dim lighting of the sewing area. Unfortunately the JW8100 seems to have the same problem and there are several complaints about this. Fortunately this is not an insurmountable issue and there are several potential solutions – such as the product on the right.
There are comments that the bobbin winder can be slow and that the machine will sometimes struggle with thick materials or multiple layers of material (not everyone agrees with this but this issue has been written about enough times to warrant mentioning it).
Some owners also lament that lack of an automatic thread cutter and no quilting foot or free motion foot.
We have read that the Janome JW8100 is essentially the same machine as the Janome MOD100. In looking at the specifications – for the most part – that seems to be the case. The graphic design on the front of the sewing machines appears to be different but aside from that they look pretty much the same. See the two images below. Can you see any differences?
If you want the JW8100 you may also want to look at pricing for the MOD100 (see price on Amazon
- 100 built-in stitches (20 basic & fashion, 18 quilting, 27 heirloom, 7 buttonholes, 28 Home decor)
- Max stitch width = 7mm
- Max stitch length = 5mm
- Backlit LCD control panel with navigation keys
- 7-piece feed dog system (smooth, even fabric feed)
- Max sewing speed = 750 stitches per minute
- Drop feed capable (for free motion sewing)
- Free arm (just remove storage compartment)
- Manually adjustable thread tension dial
- Start/stop button (sew without the foot pedal)
- Speed control slider
- Locking stitch button
- Reverse button
- Memorized needle up/down
- Built-in needle threader
- Top drop-in bobbin
- Auto-declutch bobbin winder
- Jam-proof bobbin system
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Snap on presser feet
- Built-in accessory storage
- Hard dust cover
- Extension table (helpful for quilting)
- Pin cushion that attaches to sewing machine
Following is a stitch chart for the JW8100.
A reasonable number of accessories are provided with the JW8100. Six presser feet are included: a general purpose foot, a satin stitch foot, an automatic buttonhole foot, a zipper foot, an even feed foot, and a 1/4" seam foot. In addition, you will find both small and large spool holders, an extra spool pin, class 15 bobbins, a needle set, a lint brush, a seam ripper, and a screwdriver. There is also a foot control, a stitch card (card that attaches to the sewing machine and shows all the stitches), an owner’s manual, and a power cable.
Weight & Work Space
The JW8100 has a work space with a width of 6.7 inches and height of 4.3 inches, and it has an interior frame made from aluminum. This kind of frame keeps the machine sturdy while still remaining light weight. The entire sewing machine weighs only 12.7 lbs
. It is not the lightest machine we’ve reviewed but it is lighter than most. If you want to view lighter machines you may want to check out our list of some of the best portable sewing machines
Like most Janome sewing machines the JW8100 carries a 25-year limited warranty. This does not mean the entire sewing machine is covered for 25 years. Rather, it breaks down as follows:
- 25 Years on Mechanical Parts
- 2 Years on Electrical Parts
- 1 Year Labor
Also, consider that this warranty is for domestic/household use and it does not apply to commercial use. The JW8100 is UL listed.
Sewing Machine Manual
We’ve searched high and low for the JW8100 manual and all sources – even the Janome website – provide a manual for the Harmony 8100 (stating this is the manual for JW8100) but it doesn’t seem to be the same machine. On the other hand we have found that the JW8100 and the MOD100 are almost the same machine. As a result we are providing the Janome MOD100 Manual here
. We think this is a very good substitute for the JW8100 manual and may even be exactly the same. The manual is quite detailed, the graphics are good, and the instructions are clear. You can view a copy of it here: Janome MOD100 Owner’s Manual