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Juki "like Bernina" vs. Janome sergers...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am looking to buy a serger and am now looking at a Juki MO-654DE and Janome 634D. The Janome would come with 7 additional feet which is very tempting to me however ... hmmm. When I think of the fact that I have a zillion feet for my regular machine and only ever use 2 of them, I wonder how important a feature this is.

I am very intrigued by the Juki because one site says it is "like the Bernina 800DL" which I have heard/read VERY good things about... but exactly WHAT does this mean??? Does it mean like the Bernina in the sense that Coke is like Pepsi... or are Bernina's actually re-branded Jukis (or vice versa)???

Opinions on the Juki??? Or the Janome for that matter? I am going to a Janome dealer today to hopefully get a better feel for what features I really need, what I really want... the only other machine really in the running in my mind now would be the Janome 744 because it has a free arm. My regular machines don't have free arms and I would kind of like to have one... but how helpful really is a free arm in a serger??
post #2 of 18
I've heard that the particular Bernina model you mention is a rebranded Juki.
I have a 20 year old Juki that's still going strong.
post #3 of 18
I've read that Juki makes both Bernina and Singer...I've also read that Janome manufactures Kenmore. I got a Juki 644D at the end of the summer and so far I like it a lot.
post #4 of 18
I have the janome 634D and love it. I don't have anything to compare it to though.
post #5 of 18
I just bought a 634D (it'll be here Thursday - wahoo!). I ordered from sewinginusa.com, but I called instead of ordering online and it was only $288 w/ free shipping over the phone.

I talked to them a bit about Jukis and Janomes before I ordered. I was deciding between the same two models you are looking at. Their site has a category for Jukis but no machines listed, so I asked if they still carried them. The guy told me that they stopped carrying them because the "quality has gone downhill in the last 6 months" as compared to their former track record. I told him I wanted a machine that could handle several thick layers (I'm making diapers) and he said that the Janome is the way to go - great reliability record, few calls for tech support, and one of their best selling machines. He sounded sincere; he wasn't trying to push me into buying anything. And he was really nice even though I called three times in a row! :LOL

So I hope that helps. It's such a hard choice to make, isn't it? Oh, and if you haven't looked already, there are serger reviews at patternreview.com. Good luck deciding!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Jen, thanks, that is quite helpful. Wonder if they would give me that price? Any idea why it was so much cheaper to order by phone? Hmmm... perhaps I'll have to call and say "Well you sold it to a friend of mine... " tee hee.

I was looking at sewvacdirect.com and the price was a little higher.

Haven't hit up the Janome store yet. Went to look at Pfaff's today. Wow did it look nice to see two pieces of terry nicely and evenly overlocked at the edges rather then zig-zag mended all over the place looking like a blind man did it...

I am a little leary of going the Juki route based on past performance. I know that many companies *cough*Singer*cough* build this great reputation and then quality goes downhill and it takes a while for people to figure it out. So I worry about any company in that regard... Hmmm.

Well the Janome is really in the lead here. Like I have said, all those extra feet... which I will probably never use... heh. Hey did yours cokme with the extra feet??? I don't see the extra feet listed on the site you ordered from.

Now what i can't figure out is, Janome's web site claims that you can't buy a Janome over the internet... but a ton of places have them... but not the higher models like the 744... I wonder if the 634 is being phased out so they don't care so much... Hmmmmm.
post #7 of 18
I have no idea why it's cheaper over the phone. I just happened to see that little tip on another sewing forum and, as they say, the rest is history... It seems like everyone else is charging $349 which was just a bit too high for me. The only thing I can think of is maybe Janome won't let anyone publish a price lower than $349?

Originally Posted by RunnerDuck
Hey did yours cokme with the extra feet??? I don't see the extra feet listed on the site you ordered from.
You know, I never even thought about extra feet. The extra feet to my sewing machine have been in their original bag for almost 7 years now! :LOL I figure with the savings of the machine up front I can always shell out for an extra foot or two later if it turns out that I need one, right?

Originally Posted by RunnerDuck
Now what i can't figure out is, Janome's web site claims that you can't buy a Janome over the internet... but a ton of places have them...
I know, what's the deal with that? Kind of reminds me of when I was buying my wedding dress - all the manufacturers say they don't sell online but there are tons of authorized dealers with websites. Maybe they start as regular stores and then branch out to selling online? The sewinginusa.com place is an authorized Janome dealer though, so you get the full warranty and everything.
post #8 of 18
I have the 634d. Its a fantastic serger. Easy to thread and has a beautiful stitch. The only thing that I would do over would be the lack of the free arm. I just plan out my sewing so that I serge all of the pieces while they are flat. I have also figured out how to serge in a circle its just an annoying extra step. I got mine on Ebay from a dealer for $288 shipped. I think it was Easy Terms? I'm not so sure. I wonder why the price has gone up? I bought mine a year ago.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well ladies I am really feeling sold on the Janome. Now I just have to decide how important is that free arm and how important are those extra feet. Given how unusual a free arm is in a serger, I feel like that is something you can easily get by without... but like I've said (I think) I don't have one on my regular machines and it might be nice to have one. And then again with the feet... RATIONALLY I know I don't need them... heh.

Now HOPEFULLY today I will make it to the sewing store and get to look at the Janome's hands on. I hope they actually have the 634...
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sweetfeet have you ever used your serger to do gathering? I was looking at a 204D at the store today and I was SUPER impressed... especially with the fact that it would come with 5 years free maintanance... lessons... 100% trade in value... but still. It was $500. + tax. 634 is cheaper...

All I could get out of the guy about the 634 was it was last years model.

He said the 204 is gear driven and gear driven machines aren't likely to have the timing go out... I don't know if the 634 is gear driven or belt driven. have you ever had a problem with timing?

And have you used your machine to gather??? I was super impressed with how easy gathering was on the 204D... I read somewhere that the 634 doesn't do gathering well. Any input there?
post #11 of 18
All I have used my 634 for is rolled edged hems and basic serging. I use my sewing machine to gather. I've never had a timing issue. No matter what fabric or how many layers I ask it to serge it does a fantastic job without any issues. I mean I have to set the tension and such but its not hard. No problems at all. Really my only complaint is the lack of a free arm but I work around that issue.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I guess I've taken leave of my senses. I just went to LOOK at another store, hoping to see that all Janome's had that heavy, smooth feel like the 204D... so I would feel confident ordering the 634... and. Hmmm. They had the 744D for $550. And i thought Wow I can get a top of the line Janome for $50 more than a bottom of the line Pfaff. And before I knew what happened I bought it.

Eeeeeeek!!! It is WAY more machine than I need. And the place I bought it doesn't even do lessons. What was I thinking???

Oh well. Looks like I have a serger now!
post #13 of 18
WOW! Sounds awesome!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
What's awesome, the fact that I lost my mind?
post #15 of 18
Sounds like a good price on a really solid machine.
post #16 of 18
Yea for you new serger!!

So, do you love it? My 634 got here yesterday and all I have done so far is take it our of the box. I am kind of afraid of it, all those strings and dials... :LOL I hope you love it and be sure to post some pics of your finished projects.
post #17 of 18
I have a 744D and I love it -- the free-arm is actually quite wonderful for cuffs and hems. Happy serging!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'n actually shamed to say i still haven't taken it out of the box... i still feel guilty for buying it and I have been trying with no success to sell it!

Oh silly silly silly me...

re: gathering on a sewing machine... hmmmmmm. How do you do it? I have always used the long basting stitches & pulling strings method to gather and it's sooooo tedious... the guy at the machine store showed me gathering on the serger and basically it goes lightening fast because the top feeds half as slow as the bottom... but what happens if you want to gather something with a greater difference? Like I look at some dresses I have made with very full skirts and I think the skirt must be more than twice as big as the waist... I have a gathering foot for my sewing machines but I have never used them. Can you use them in this way, to make gathering go super fast??? (Back to that issue of me having all these feet I have never used, and all...)
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