On the surface, the Janome 8077 looks like any other entry-level computerized sewing machine. It has a limited number of stitch designs, a friendly, intuitive interface, and the extra features you’d expect when upgrading from a mechanical sewing machine. But many Janome 8077 reviews ask, why the high price tag? We wondered too.
- Manageable selection of useful stitch designs
- 6 one-step buttonholes
- User-friendly interface
- Start/Stop button
- Locking stitch button
- Reverse stitching
- Speed control
- Extra-high presser foot lift
- Stitch quality isn’t consistent
- Not optimal for heavy work
- User complaints about buttonhole quality and consistency
- Janome 8077 accessories pack is a bit stingy
- Thin on features for the price
- No case or cover of any kind
The Janome 8077: Reviews, Analyses, and History
The Janome Sewing Machine Company has been leading the home sewing machine market in innovation for nearly one hundred years. During that time, they’ve produced a huge number of market “firsts,” including:
- Round sewing machine bobbin (1931)
- Programmable computerized sewing machines (1971)
- Domestic computerized machines (1979)
- High-level embroidery machines for home use (1990)
- Long-arm quilting machines for home quilters (2003)
Their machines tend to be pricey. Moreover, when it comes to features and accessories, the company philosophy appears to be less is more. On the other hand, their products are renowned for quality construction and durability. Many Janome owners would say that pricey or not, their Janome machines are worth every penny.
Nonetheless, the company has, in recent years, produced some less expensive models, and some of them are quite similar to the 8077. The Janome C30 and Janome 6050 are almost identical in features to the 8077, yet will cost you about a third less. The Janome TS200Q is significantly more feature rich than the 8077 and still costs less.
Who is the Janome 8077’s Target Market?
An entry-level computerized sewing machine is well suited to a couple of different types of sewists.
First, this type of machine makes an ideal first sewing machine. An entry-level computerized sewing machine is typically ready to go straight out of the box. They generally have a user-friendly interface and a short learning curve. They have enough stitch designs for a learner to have some fun, but not so many as to be intimidating.
This kind of machine is also great for general-purpose home sewing. If you want to do some occasional mending or whip up a quick set of curtains, this is the kind of machine you want.
Finally, if you’re stepping up from a basic mechanical model, and looking for a sewing machine with a few more features and functions, an entry-level mechanical sewing machine might be just the ticket.
But there are so many sewing machines in this particular class. And you can get a top-of-the-line model for half the price of the Janome 8077. So, what gives?
Reasons a Sewing Machine May Be More Expensive
If you do enough market research, you’ll find that there are quite a few sewing machines that seem to have a disconnect between price and features. Sailmaking machines, for example, can run more than a thousand dollars while only performing a straight stitch.
Turns out there are a few reasons a deceptively expensive machine may actually be worth the price.
Some sewing machines are built to do one thing, and to do it consistently and well. This is the case, for example, with sewing machines purpose-built for sailmaking.
Sailmaking requires a straight stitch and sometimes a zigzag. The machine also needs to be able to handle as many as seven layers of thick canvas sailcloth. On top of that, it’s desirable for a sailmaking machine to be portable–a tall order when you’re talking about a heavy, metal-framed piece of equipment.
This sort of machine typically has a sturdy all-metal frame and a powerful external servo motor. It’s made for constant hard work that would kill most home sewing machines. For these reasons, a sailmaking sewing machine can be extremely expensive.
Heavy Duty Construction
Some home sewing machines are made specifically for heavier work. They can handle multiple layers of fabric, as well as materials like leather and vinyl, which can be too much for many all-purpose sewing machines.
Heavy-duty sewing machines often have sturdy metal frames, and sometimes their internal motors are more powerful than those of other home machines. Companies will advertise these machines as “heavy-duty,” and often, the words “heavy-duty” will appear in the model name.
Heavy-duty home sewing machines typically cost more than their everyday-duty counterparts.
Home sewing machines generally perform a variety of tasks. They often have a decent selection of stitch designs, and may come with accessories for quilting, embroidery, or other crafts.
Professional sewing machines perform one task, perform it consistently, and are made to work all day long. Some examples include professional straight stitch machines, professional longarm quilting machines, and professional embroidery machines.
In addition to sturdy construction, professional sewing machines are often extremely fast. The average speed of a home sewing machine is 850 stitches per minute. But a professional straight stitch machine may give you several thousand stitches per minute. Many pro machines also have an external servo motor to handle the volume and intensity of work.
Where Does the Janome 8077 Stand?
The Janome 8077 is a very decent entry-level computerized home sewing machine. Buyers seem to like it well enough, though there have been some complaints about buttonhole quality and performance of heavy work. It has all of the necessary features and a few extras. But is there any outstanding quality to justify the higher price tag?
We’re still looking.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the Janome 8077, include:
- Zig-Zag Foot
- Sliding buttonhole foot
- Satin stitch foot F
- Spool Stand
- A Janome 8077 manual
- 25-year limited warranty
So You’re Thinking About Buying an Entry-Level Computerized Sewing Machine
If you’re one of the three types of sewists we described above — a new sewist, a home sewist working on simple projects, or someone upgrading from a simpler machine — then an entry-level computerized sewing machine like the Janome 8077 could be a good choice for you.
These are a few of the features you should look for.
For us, this is an absolute dealbreaker. Many mechanical sewing machines have a four-step buttonhole. Making a four-step buttonhole is a lot of starting, stopping, and adjustments, and it can be difficult to get consistent results.
A one-step buttonhole does the entire job in one go. You simply choose the design, set the buttonhole foot, and press a button. If you use the automatic buttonhole foot, you can even tailor the hole to the exact size of your button.
The Janome 8077 has six one-step buttonhole designs, which is more than enough for most home sewists.
Most of us use the foot pedal to start and stop the sewing machine, as well as to control the speed. But not every sewist can use the foot pedal. For those sewists, the start/stop button is a vital accessibility feature.
Combining the start/stop button with the one-step buttonhole function takes the guesswork out of finishing the buttonhole. And if your machine has a programmable needle, you can stop your needle in either the up or down position. The Janome 8077 has both of these important features.
One of the features that distinguishes most computerized sewing machines from most mechanical ones is a speed control mechanism. The speed control function is like cruise control for your sewing machine. It sets a maximum stitching speed.
This can come in handy during tricky work when going too fast could cause you to lose control of your stitching. The Janome 8077 has an easy-to-use speed control slider.
The number of decorative stitches is probably the most noticeable difference between basic mechanical sewing machines and computerized ones. Mechanical sewing machines generally have a handful of stitch designs, which a clever sewist can tweak and alter to resemble other designs by using manual length and width controls.
Computerized sewing machines generally boast a large number of built-in stitches. Some have several hundred designs. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9980 has 820 built-in stitches, for example.
The Janome 8077 sewing machine has 30 stitch designs. It’s not a lot, comparatively speaking. But you do get a nice assortment of functional and decorative stitches that will keep plenty of home sewists busy. And really, when it comes down to it, how many of those decorative stitches will you really be using regularly, anyway?
Features of the Janome 8077 Sewing Machine
There’s a lot to like about this machine. In addition to the qualities we discussed above, here are some of the features that make the Janome 8077 a solid choice.
Extra-High Presser Foot Lift
When you’re working with multiple layers, such as with quilting, you might need to lift the presser foot a bit higher to accommodate your work. A lot of Janome sewing machines come with an extra-high presser foot lift, which makes this easy. The Janome 8077 is no exception.
Locking Stitch Button
Making a lockstitch is one way of securing your rows of stitching at the beginning and end. You might have learned to lock your stitches by reversing over the last few stitches you made then stitching forward over them again.
A lockstitch button does the same thing, but with the push of a button. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s quite convenient.
Easy-to-Understand User Interface
We really like the look of the Janome 8077’s user interface. The stitch map is well organized and easy to read. Two buttons allow you to navigate through the choices, while a third helps you to alter length and width. No fuss, no muss, and no fooling around.
Some Things We Think Could Be Better
We looked. We really did. But if pressed, we’d find it difficult to say that anything about the Janome 8077 justifies that much of a higher price tag. It’s not a bad machine, not at all. In fact, the majority of buyers appear to be pleased with their purchase. But the fact is, this machine simply doesn’t stand out from an already-crowded field of much less expensive machines.
Here are a few improvements that, if addressed, might make it better value for money.
Light on Features
This machine has an OK selection of features for its class. 30 stitch designs and 6 buttonhole designs are par for the course for an entry-level computerized sewing machine. But the fact is, you can get a fine, name-brand entry-level computerized sewing machine for a fraction of the price of this one.
A few more stitch designs could make it stand out a bit. A heavy-duty frame could, as well. Monogram fonts aren’t common in entry-level machines, but a lot of sewing machines at this price point do have them. Some extra features could go a long way.
The Janome 8077 accessories pack is really stingy. It includes three presser feet. Three. And, aside from the zigzag foot, they’re not even any of the ones a lot of crafters seek out. On top of that, there’s no protective cover–not even a soft dust cover. If I were to spend that much on a sewing machine, I would want a hard cover to protect it.
One common way to increase value for money is to add an accessories pack targeted at a specific craft. Including an extension table and a handful of useful quilting feet, for example, as well as a quilting guide could make this machine more attractive to quilters. The company could also include extra needles and multiple bobbins.
Again, Janome makes high-quality sewing machines, and user feedback suggests that the 8077 is a decent representative of its class. But we just don’t think the high price tag is justified.
Alternatives to the Janome 8077
So, which sewing machines might suit your needs better? Here are a few:
The Janome TS200Q is a powerful yet easy-to-navigate computerized sewing machine. It has all of the features that we love about the Janome 8077, plus a few more, including:
- 200 built-in stitches
- 12 one-step buttonholes
- One alphabet stitch
- A quilting package including extension table, quilting feet, quilting guide, needles, and more
Although it costs a bit more, of the two, this is the model we’d choose.
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is not an entry-level computerized machine. It’s a semi-professional machine aimed at quilters. It’s on our list, because we wanted you to see how much more you could get for about what you might pay for the Janome 8077. Some of its features include:
- 600 built-in stitches
- 13 one-step buttonholes
- 5 alphanumeric fonts
- Easy-to-read LCD screen
- A gigantic accessories pack, including an extension table and 18 presser feet
It’s a lot of machine. And to be honest, beginners might not make use of its immense number of features. At the same time, serious learners and intermediate sewists will be delighted by the way this machine will grow with you in your craft.
You might be familiar with Brother as a manufacturer of printers and office equipment. They also make a variety of highly-rated, feature-rich, affordable sewing machines.
The Brother XR9950 is a budget computerized sewing machine that can do everything the Janome 8077 can do, plus a bit more. Check this out:
- 165 built-in stitches
- 8 one-step buttonholes
- One alphanumeric font
- Included wide extension table
- 8 presser feet
- Hard protective case
On top of that, the Brother XR9950 comes in at roughly one third of the price of the Janome 8077.
The Final Analysis
It might sound like we’re down on the Janome 8077. We’re not. It’s an easy-to-use entry-level computerized sewing machine with a decent selection of stitches and functions. Users, by and large, love it. But in this class of sewing machines, there’s a lot of competition.
Frankly, you can get a lot more machine for a lot less money.