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Juki DDL8700 review

If you’re searching for a versatile heavy-duty sewing machine, then you’ve come to the right place! Choosing the best sewing machine that works for you is highly essential, especially for serious hobbyists. Thus, this article will be focused on the Juki DDL 8700’s specifications, features, pros and cons, and the overall verdict. And in order to get straight to the point, I’ll be enlightening you guys with a Juki DDL 8700 review and conclude on whether you should buy it or not. 

Overview

Key Specifications

  • Dimensions: 48 x 36 x 48 inches
  • Machine Weight: 28 pounds
  • Maximum Sewing Speed: 5,500 stitches per minute
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty

Juki began their sewing machine business in Japan during the year 1945[1]. And through innovation and technological advancement, the Juki brand has come up with numerous sewing machines fit for everyone’s preferences. Juki’s fondness of revolutionary advancements has led to the: first rotary needle thread system in 1954; first automatic thread trimmer and auto needle threader in 1978, and; the first auto thread tension system in 1985. They have manufactured tons of products which include home, industrial, straight stitch, overlock, and serger sewing machines. Juki has been a very renowned brand which is focused on technological advancement and innovations in the world of sewing machines. Thus, with high expectations on this machine, I’ll be showing you some of its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Solid Platform – This machine is an industrial and heavy sewing machine, and with a solid platform, you’ll be able to work on your projects with more stability.
  • Arm Space – Luckily, this machine has a pretty generous arm space of 11 inches to give users enough space to freely work on any project size, large or small.
  • Quite an Easy Machine – Despite this being an industrial sewing machine, this was actually designed to be easy even for beginners. 

Cons

  • Too Heavy – This is by far the biggest advantage of this sewing machine. Transporting it is even more hassle because it weighs well over 100 pounds when shipped. 
  • Enough Space – If you’re buying this machine, you should ensure that you have enough space which will fit this huge machine. Definitely think about the best spot for this machine.
  • Only Single Stitch – This was designed to provide only simple and straight stitches which means that this machine isn’t for making beautiful details and patterns on garments.

Who Should Consider Getting Juki DDL 8700

If you’re a beginner, the DDL 8700 might not be the best machine to start with. Considering its sewing capability of 5,500 SPM, this machine will be too fast for inexperienced sewists. This machine’s speed and stitch quality are a good combination for dressmakers, serious sewing enthusiasts, and professional seamstresses. And this is why these machines are mostly seen in art and fashion schools. Not only is it highly durable, but it delivers professional qualities. Not only is it used in art and fashion schools, but also for industrial purposes. This explains why it’s one of the top choices among entrepreneurs looking to start their clothing or sewing-related business. For anyone in fashion, apparel, and manufacturing, the 8700 is highly recommended. It really suits tailors, clothing shops, and anyone in the industry. It does come with a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, i’m pretty sure you’ll love it. 

This machine is ideal for a wide variety of fabrics, ranging from light to medium. This isn’t intended for heavyweight fabrics like upholstery and canvas. However, some users reported this machine to work well with upholstery fabrics, leather, vinyl, and other heavy weight fabrics[2]. And to make this possible, just simply choose the right needle thickness and presser feet for the specific heavyweight fabric you’ll be using. 

Features and Benefits of Juki DDL 8700

Fast Sewing Speed

This machine has a maximum sewing speed of 5,500 stitches per minute. And that is a very high number when it comes to sewing machines. This was intended to be a fast paced industrial machine to allow professional seamstresses to sew in large numbers. Thankfully, the stitch quality remains the same even when you’re speeding along. People with experience in sewing, or those working as professionals will get a big advantage with its high speed. 

Maximum Stitch Length

The maximum length of stitch of the DDL 8700 is 5 millimeters, or at least around 6 stitches per inch. With this feature, users will be able to customize their projects. 

Drop Feed and 4 Row Feed Dog System 

A feed dog is essentially the one responsible for grabbing the fabric and moving it along the machine for easier fabric feeding. And with not one but four feed dogs, you’ll be able to feed any fabric through the machine with ease and speed. As the needle plunges into the fabric, it creates a stitch and when the needle is up, the bottom feed dogs grab the fabric and moves it along through the machine. With a drop feed system, you’ll be able to do free motion quilting and thread art sewing

The Motor

What’s great about this machine is the ability for users to choose the motor that comes with it. You will be able to choose between a standard clutch motor or a servo motor. A clutch motor is the most common one you see in an industrial machine. It is cheaper than the servo however, you won’t be able to control your stitch speed with this machine. On the other hand, if you choose the servo motor, you’ll get 110 volts, quiet operation, speed control, and most importantly, energy-efficient. 

Presser Foot Knee Lift

This includes a presser foot knee lift to give users the ability to do hands-free-control. This is also intended for extra bulky seams. The maximum presser foot lift is at half an inch by knee lever and at 1/4 of an inch by hand lever. It’s quite identical to the DDL 8500 models, which are being replaced with the DDL 8700.

Automatic lubrication (oil reservoir)

This feature gives the DDL 8700 an advantage, due to its auto-lubrication system for hassle-free maintenance. This is made possible by the included wet bath reservoir which stores the oil. Make sure to fill the oil up to the maximum level in the oil reservoir and keep an eye on it. And remember to only use stainless sewing oil.p on this machine.

Servo Motor 110 V

The servo motor is what makes the Juki machine stand out among other industrial sewing machines in the market. This 110-volt component is surprisingly quiet and you won’t have to worry about sewing anytime of the day. Thus, the servo motor isn’t just powerful but also quieter, making it such a great industrial machine. In addition to that, you can regulate the stitching speed using a variable rheostat dial.

Included Table 

Since it’s a heavy and bulky machine, Juki has included a table with dimensions of 48 x 20 x 36 inches. This designated table is specifically for the Juki DDL 8700. Don’t worry, the machine is attached on the table with hinges for easy lifting and checking of the oil reservoir.

Thread Foot Control

This feature allows users to freely operate the machine in terms of its sewing speed. That’s why this can be very versatile, allowing you to decrease and increase the speed at your own pace. Not only that, but its full-foot feature reduces foot and leg fatigue.

What Others Are Saying

The majority of customers are disappointed with the lack of instruction manuals and tutorials on how to assemble the machine itself. Another usual concern is its weight, thus, requires two individuals to lift the machine. But on a positive note, this machine actually has a strong motor that can handle jeans and other fabrics. To make it fair though, the machine does fill the gap when it is put to work. Making it a very good option for experienced sewists with enough knowledge with straight stitch machines. Not only is it durable but also reliable due to its speed. With all that said, I can say that the machine is a combination of a hit and miss, as it lacks simple yet essential accessories like the instruction I mentioned previously.

Alternatives of Juki DDL 8700

If you’re looking for an alternative besides Juki DDL 8700, try and check out these computerized sewing machines I’ll be mentioning below.

Singer 9985 Quantum Stylist Touch Sewing Machine

This sewing machine is fully computerized with very advanced features. This can be considered as a very digitized machine. It has a large colored LCD touch screen which allows easy-viewing of designs and tutorials while sewing. One of its most important features is its 960 built-in stitches namely: 10 Essential, 21 Stretch, 212 Decorative, 13 Buttonholes, and 6 Styles of Alphabets and Numerals. It also includes an extension table to allow for small-larger projects. However, it can’t quite work with heavy-duty fabrics and multi-layered fabrics as it may damage the unit. 

Brother Innov-is NS80E Sewing Machine

This is also a computerized sewing machine, which is very advantageous when it comes to its size and weight. This machine is highly portable and compact with dimensions of  7.7″ x 16.5″ x 12.1″ and weighs only 14 pounds. It also includes a ton of features including 80 built-in stitches, 8 one-step auto-size buttonhole styles, automatic needle threader, LCD screen for easy-viewing, super bright LED light, and so on and so forth. Anyone will definitely enjoy using this machine because it’s very lightweight, making it easier to move around and store away. The only downside is its lack of features such as an automatic thread cutter, free-motion quilting foot, and inability to sew on heavyweight fabrics.

Janome Sewist 780 DC Sewing Machine

This is a fully computerized sewing machine with 80 built-in stitches, automatic thread cutter, auto bobbin winder system, needle threader, easy set bobbin system, needle up/down button, and an auto-lock stitch for precision locking of stitches and patterns. It’s also very lightweight as it only weighs 14.3 pounds. What’s great about it is it already has all the necessary features you’d want in a computerized sewing machine, plus the speed, and lightweight qualities.

Conclusion

The Juki DDL 8700 is definitely a decent straight stitch sewing machine which is highly recommended if you’re looking for an industrial sewing machine which has a reliable system and quiet performance when sewing. Based on all the features and performance of the machine, I’d think that this really works well for commercial use or sewing in bulk. Who wouldn’t want to get a high-speed sewing machine that can stitch up to 5,000 SPM? As a matter of fact, the DDL 8700 has the highest rating for a straight stitch only sewing machine. Thus, if you’re really persistent on a fast straight stitch only sewing machine, then grab yours now! Simply check it out here for more product updates and discounts. 

Resources:

  1. “About Us – Juki.” 9 Apr. 2005, https://www.jukihome.com/about-us/. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.
  2. “Upholstery Fabric – Fabric Guru.” https://www.fabricguru.com/all-upholstery-fabric. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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