Janome Magnolia 7318 Review: Does This Basic Sewing Machine Do Enough?

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The Janome Magnolia 7318 is a friendly-looking entry-level mechanical sewing machine. It’s light and portable, and has a very decent number of stitch designs for a mechanical machine. At the same time, there are plenty of similar machines that cost less. Do its features and performance justify the price tag? Our Janome Magnolia 7318 review will make the call.

Janome Magnolia 7318: Review and Analysis

janome magnolia 7318_front-on

Janome is a manufacturer of both industrial equipment and home sewing machines. They started as a sewing machine manufacturer, however, and today they’re one of the best known names in the field.

The company has a reputation for quality construction and innovation. Janome was the first company to use the round bobbin, for example. This is actually where the name “Janome” comes from. It means “snake eye” in Japanese, and refers to the appearance of their revolutionary bobbin.

Janome also produced the first computerized home sewing machine, the first professional-level home longarm quilting machine, and the first home embroidery machine.

Today’s Janome sewing machines run the gamut from very simple mechanical sewing machines for homes and schools, to top-of-the-line craft-specific computerized models. Their sewing machines tend to be well-built, durable, and focused.

About the Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine

janome 7318 throat space

The Janome Magnolia 7318 is part of Janome’s Magnolia line, which includes the 7034D three- and four-thread serger, the 7330 30-stitch computerized sewing machine, the 7360 60-stitch computerized sewing machine, and the 7325 25-stitch mechanical sewing machine.

All of the machines in this line are streamlined, with a limited number of features and an intuitive, easy-to-understand setup. Any of them, with the exception of the serger, would make a fine first sewing machine, or a sewing machine for general home use

And, given Janome’s reputation for quality construction, they would probably all provide many years of solid all-purpose sewing enjoyment.

At the same time, the Magnolia 7318 falls prey to one of our niggles when it comes to lower-level Janome machines: the disconnect between price and features. We’ll talk about that in a bit.

What’s in the box? 

janome magnolia 7318 with accessories

Accessories that come with the Janome 7318, include:

  • Bobbin 
  • Needle Set
  • Blind Hem Foot
  • Buttonhole Foot
  • Zig-Zag Foot
  • Zipper Foot
  • Janome 7318 Manual

Technical Specifications

How is the Magnolia 7318 Different from the Magnolia 7325?

You might have noticed that the Magnolia line has two mechanical sewing machines: the 7318 and the 7325. You might also have noticed that the last two digits of each of the model numbers corresponds to the number of stitch designs. The 7318 has 18 stitches. The 7325 has 25. But that’s not the only difference.

Comparing the two models, you’ll find that they’re very similar. However, the 7325 has a few features that the 7318 lacks, specifically:

  • Automatic needle threader
  • One-step buttonhole
  • Speed control slider
  • Hard cover

The speed control slider is something one doesn’t often see on a mechanical sewing machine, so we’ll not fault the 7318 for not having one. Ditto for the one-step buttonhole, though we love a one-step buttonhole.

On the other hand, neither the automatic needle threader nor the hard cover is a high-tech, or even particularly expensive thing to add on. And considering the price of the 7318, it seems almost miserly to exclude them.

On a third hand, the price difference between the 7318 and the 7325 is about the same as what you could pay for an entire sewing machine from a different manufacturer. You can purchase the hard case relatively inexpensively on its own. Is it worth paying that much more for a needle threader and a one-step buttonhole? You be the judge.

Who is the Janome Magnolia 7318 For?

Looking at the clear stitch chart, the easy-to-use dials and threading diagram, and the overall user-friendly design, it’s easy to see that this could be an excellent first sewing machine. Not only could a learner hit the ground running, but there are enough different types of stitches to keep a sewist busy for quite a while.

The generally high-quality construction of Janome machines, combined with their reputation for durability means that this one could also be a good choice for the general home sewist. You could try your hand at a number of different crafts, whip up some curtains or a tablecloth, and mend or even make clothing pretty easily.

Its light weight and portability also make the Janome Magnolia 7318 a good choice for classes and meetups.

For the occasional hobbyist, this might be the only sewing machine you’ll ever need. Though it would be nice to have a hard case to protect it during travel and storage.

What Are People Saying?

janome 7318 - side on

This is the thing: Janome Magnolia 7318 reviews are split. A lot of professional reviewers say–and we agree–that this machine is a tad overpriced for its market segment. But people who have purchased this model love it by and large. So, does it matter how much it costs relative to similar machines if purchasers are happy?

We would say no. Customer satisfaction is unarguably the most important metric.

Be aware, though, that no machine is perfect, including this one. There are quite a few complaints about bobbin thread jamming, for instance. Numerous users also mentioned a problem with raising the feed dogs once they’ve been lowered. 

However, the overall overwhelming positive response from users is a good indication that if you don’t mind paying a bit extra for a very basic sewing machine, you might be very happy with your purchase of this one.

  • Intuitive, user-friendly design
  • Nice selection of useful included presser feet
  • Good selection of stitch designs for a mechanical sewing machine
  • High quality buttonholes
  • Overwhelming number of highly positive customer reviews
  • No needle threader
  • No case or cover of any kind
  • Sparse accessories pack
  • A bit pricey

How to Buy Your First Sewing Machine

There are a lot of different kinds of sewing machines out there, and even within each category, you’ll find numerous variations. What should you look for in a first sewing machine?

Ease of Use

This is primary. If a sewing machine is difficult to set up, it’s probably going to stay in its box. And if it’s difficult to figure out, it will probably sit on your sewing table gathering dust.

Mechanical sewing machines like the Janome Magnolia 7318 make excellent first machines, because they have limited functions, and their controls are easy to understand. A beginning sewist can hit the ground running.

Room to Grow

At the same time, a learner needs a sewing machine that will gently stretch their abilities. A sewing machine should grow with you, not hold you back. A straight stitch-only machine is probably the easiest kind of sewing machine to learn, but unless you’re doing only straight stitch work, it will soon feel limiting. 

Look for a sewing machine with a manageable number of functional and decorative stitch designs, so you can experiment, grow, and have some fun.


It goes without saying that a high quality sewing machine makes for a high quality sewing experience. There are few things more frustrating than trying to learn on a cheaply made tool that doesn’t do what it’s meant to do.

A high quality sewing machine may cost a bit more, but if it performs well, it might be worth it to you. Solid construction, durability, and precision mean that your first sewing machine could provide you with many years of enjoyment–or at least that it won’t break down before you’re ready for a higher level tool.


Price and quality can be a bit of a balancing act. On one hand, a high quality sewing machine will cost more. On the other hand, you might find a bargain or two worth considering. 

Buying the least expensive machine based on price alone is a sure path to disappointment. But buying the most expensive sewing machine on the market is no guarantee of success.

Think about the features that matter to you most. Which are things that it would be nice to have, and which are absolute dealbreakers? 

The Janome Magnolia 7318: Features

Speaking of features, let’s have a look under the hood of the Janome Magnolia 7318.

janome 7318 controls dials stitch map

Stitch Selection

The Janome Magnolia 7318 has 18 built-in stitch designs. It’s a nice, manageable number. You get all of the functional stitches that sewists use most, including straight stitch, zig zag stitch, and blind hem stitch. You also get some decorative stitches that will allow you to add a personal touch to your projects.

18 isn’t a lot, comparatively speaking. A few mechanical sewing machines have twice that number. At the same time, many, many machines have fewer. In the end, though, most of us will only use a handful of designs regularly anyway.

Easy Controls

Some higher-level computerized sewing machines have a control panel that looks like an airplane cockpit. But the Janome Magnolia 7318 keeps it simple: stitch selection, stitch length, thread tension, done.

This makes it easy to start sewing right away. On top of that, with the intuitive, easy-to-understand controls, you always know where you are. The Janome Magnolia 7318 is one of the friendliest in a class of user-friendly machines.

Free Arm

magnolia 7318 accessory compartment
janome magnolia 7318 free arm

A sewing machine with a free arm allows you to remove a section of the base to reveal a smaller workspace. Why might you want less space? Well, it’s invaluable for smaller circular work, such as:

  • Collars
  • Sleeves
  • Trouser cuffs
  • Hems

A lot of sewing machines have a free arm, but plenty don’t, so it’s always good to make sure.

Extra High Presser Foot Lift

Many Janome sewing machines come with an extra-high presser foot lift. It’s not a dealbreaker for us, but it can be an excellent feature for quilting and other heavy work.

An extra-high presser foot lift allows you to work with thick stacks of fabric, multiple layers, and thick fabrics that might not fit under the presser foot of a machine without this feature.

The Janome Magnolia 7318 isn’t specifically a heavy-duty sewing machine. However, customer reviews combined with Janome’s reputation for quality construction suggest that it would be quite capable for quilting work and garment construction with thicker fabrics like denim.

What About the Competition?

As we said before, there are a lot of mechanical sewing machines on the market. It’s always wise to consider your options. Here are a few models that we consider worthy competitors to the Janome Magnolia 7318.

Bernette 35 

bernette 35

The Bernette 35 is a mechanical sewing machine from Bernette, which is part of the Swiss company, Bernina. 

As far as ease of use, the Bernette 35 is very similar to the Janome Magnolia 7318. It has four manual dials to control thread tension, stitch selection, stitch width, and stitch length. It has 23 stitches and two different presser foot heights. Importantly, it also has an automatic needle threader and a one-step buttonhole.

The Bernette 35 costs about the same as the Janome Magnolia 7318. If you like the looks of the 7318 but are holding out for the one-step buttonhole and the needle threader, then this could be one to consider.

Brother XM2701

brother XM2701_front_view

Brother is well known for inexpensive sewing machines that are surprisingly feature rich. The Brother XM2701 lives up to that reputation.

The XM2701 is a lightweight mechanical sewing machine. It has 27 built-in stitch designs and one automatic buttonhole. The needle threader is there, as well. It also comes with some nifty extras like a twin needle and six useful presser feet.

This is a lightweight machine, so it’s great for classes and meetups. Like the Janome Magnolia 7318, the Brother XM2701 has a huge number of outstanding customer reviews–with the caveat that it might not be the best choice for continuous heavy work.

But the price is really, really, really right. 

Singer Simple 3232

SINGER Simple 3232

If you are looking for a heavier-duty option, you might consider the Singer Simple 3232. Like the others, this is an easy-to-use mechanical sewing machine. However, it’s specifically constructed for heavy-duty work like thick fabrics and multiple layers. 

In addition to 32 built-in stitches, this model boasts:

  • A heavy-duty metal frame
  • One-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Extra-high presser foot lift
  • Made in the USA

Like the others, this machine has a large fan base. It costs about the same as the Janome Magnolia 7318. If you’re planning on doing heavier work in particular, this one should definitely be on your list of possibilities.

Singer CG590

singer cg590

The Singer CG590 “commercial grade” sewing machine aims to bring some of the qualities of an industrial sewing machine to home sewists — without the bulk or expense that come with an industrial machine. Some of these qualities include:

  • Max sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Speed-controlling foot pedal that can maintain a consistent stitching speed
  • Heavy-duty construction, including a sturdy metal frame and stainless steel bed plate
  • Automatic needle threader
  • 60 percent stronger motor 
  • Adjustable needle position

The price is about the same as that of the Janome Magnolia 7318, but the CG590 is faster, more powerful, and has some unique features. Serious hobbyists, people interested in heavy work, and regular sewists should take a look at this one.

Final Thoughts

janome 7318 magnolia - side on

You can do a lot with a basic mechanical sewing machine, whether it’s your first machine or your fifth. It’s no surprise that this type of machine has a large following.

When it comes to the entry-level mechanical sewing machine, we’re spoiled for choice. So it’s important to choose wisely. Know your budget, your sewing goals, and your must-have features.

A lot of people love the Janome Magnolia 7318, and there’s a lot to love, from precision stitching to ease of use to Janome’s reputation for durability and quality construction. At the same time, as with every large purchase, it’s important to balance features with price. 

The Janome Magnolia 7318 is priced a bit high, in our opinion, for the features it offers. At the same time, many, many satisfied customers consider it good value for money. Is this the mechanical sewing machine of your dreams? It could very well be.

janome magnolia 7318 reviews

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