Sewing machines buying guide

We examined three machines at different price points to see what you get.
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06.Ease of use

Ease of use and portability

Decision guide

If you’re planning to transport your machine around a lot, a low-end model is likely to be lighter and more compact, while mid and high-end machines can be more cumbersome to transport. However, as they’re heavier, they’re also sturdier while sewing and better at sewing thicker fabric. Our experts found both the mid and high-level machines very smooth and comfortable to sew with, using a variety of stitches and fabrics.

Janome 525SJanome Sewist 525S

This is the lightest of the machines at 8.5kg, though the handle is small and less sturdy than on the other machines. Our testers found it fairly comfortable to sew with, though one commented that it shook and bounced on the table while sewing.

  • Sewed well on basic stitches and all the fabrics supplied.
  • Lightweight.


Janome 4900Janome Memory Craft 4900 QC

This machine is slightly heavier than the low-end machine at 10.7kg, but it has a large, sturdy handle. One expert described it as powerful, with great capabilities and a good-sized platform.

  • Sewed very well on a variety of stitches and through all the fabrics (including thick fabrics).
  • Quiet and sturdy during use.


Janome 9700Janome Memory Craft 9700

This is the heaviest and least portable at 13.7kg but has a large sturdy handle. It sewed very well.

  • Sews very well with a variety of stitches and through a variety of fabrics (including thick fabrics).
  • Quiet and sturdy during use.

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