Janome MOD 30 Review: Mechanical Sewing Machine For The Masses?

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Mechanical sewing machines are often the first choice for new sewists because they’re easy to use. But computerized machines come with extra features and conveniences that a mechanical machine just can’t match. And some of them are super easy to use, too. The Janome MOD-30 is a user-friendly mechanical sewing machine with some great features.

Could it be just what your sewing room needs?

About Janome and the Janome MOD-30

When a lot of people think of Janome, they think of quality and innovation. It’s true. Janome produces machines of exceptional quality. What’s more, in its more than one hundred year history, the company has been responsible for numerous innovations in the field, including:

  • The round (“snake eye”) bobbin
  • The first professional grade home embroidery machine
  • A longarm quilting machine for home users
  • One of the first computerized home sewing machines on the market [1]

Today Janome makes a wide range of equipment for home crafters, from quilting machines to embroidery machines to all levels of sewing machines.

Their products have been sold under their own name, as well as under the brand names of Elna, Necchi, and New Home.

The Janome MOD-30 is an easy to use basic computerized sewing machine.

Who is the Janome MOD-30 For?


There are two natural markets for a basic computerized sewing machine like the Janome MOD 30.

First, its ease of use makes it a great choice for a new sewist.

The Janome MOD 30 has a simple, uncluttered interface with a small number of clearly marked controls. It’s easy to see at a glance what each one does. A new sewist could be up and running very quickly.

On top of this, the Janome MOD-30 is quite lightweight – just over twelve and a half pounds. It comes with a convenient carry handle, too. This means that it would be easy to move from place to place, as well as to take along to sewing classes and meetups.

Another market for this model is the general purpose home sewist. The MOD-30 has a great complement of features that equip it for a variety of crafts and household sewing tasks. Moreover, its heavy duty metal internal frame means increased durability. It’s a machine that you can use again and again. In fact, it might be the only sewing machine that you’ll ever need.

How Does the Janome MOD-30 Stand Out?


Three words: value for money.

Janome makes expensive sewing machines. Generally speaking, they’re quite well made. Many Janome owners would agree that their machines are worth it.

The Janome MOD-30 is that rare Janome that you can sometimes find at a bargain price. What’s more, while quite a few Janomes at the budget level are stripped down, this one has all of the convenience features a general sewist could want, and a few more besides.

And the large number of very positive customer reviews only reinforce our opinion of this model.

It doesn’t get more user friendly than this, and, if you choose your retailer carefully, you can often get a great deal.

What’s in the box? 

Accessories that come with the Janome MOD-30, include:

  • Buttonhole Foot
  • Overedge Foot
  • Satin Stitch Foot F
  • Seam Ripper
  • Zig-Zag Foot
  • Zipper Foot

Technical Specifications

  • 30 built-in stitch designs
  • 3 one-step buttonholes
  • Automatic stitch length and width
  • Drop feed
  • Heavy duty internal metal frame
  • Variable speed control
  • Needle threader
  • 7-piece feed dog
  • Free arm
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Minimalistic accessories pack

How to Choose a Basic Computerized Sewing Machine

A basic computerized sewing machine won’t have as many extras as a higher-end machine. But it should have everything that a sewist needs to do most tasks. What are those things? We’re glad you asked.

Stitch Library

One advantage of an onboard computer is a larger selection of stitch designs. While mechanical sewing machines may have between one and three dozen stitches, a computerized machine can have over 1,000. These may include essential stitches, such as:

  • Straight stitch
  • Zig zag stitch
  • Blind hem stitch
  • Overcasting stitch

They may also include decorative stitches, and special stitches like eyelets or a darning program.

At the basic level, look for 30 to 60 stitch designs, which should be plenty to get you through both work and play.


Mechanical sewing machines can have either a one-step or a four-step buttonhole. Computerized sewing machines almost always have a one-step automatic buttonhole. Moreover, they often have several designs to choose from.

At the basic level, look for a handful of different buttonhole designs.

Push-Button Features

While mechanical sewing machines have knobs, wheels, and sliders, computerized machines have buttons. They also have extra features. You might find buttons for:

  • Stitch selection
  • Stitch width adjustment
  • Stitch length adjustment
  • Reverse stitching
  • Thread cutting
  • Locking off stitches

And more.

Speed Control

One feature that you’ll find when you upgrade to a computerized sewing machine is variable speed control. This is sort of like cruise control for your car. Variable speed control allows you to set a maximum speed that’s below your machine’s top speed. It can come in very handy when sewing tricky places like corners and curves.

Drop Feed

The feed dogs sit below the fabric and move it forward (or backward) through the machine. This helps to keep your stitches uniform and even. Sometimes, though, for example during free motion sewing, you might want to move the fabric in different directions or at a different pace.

The drop feed lever “drops” your feed dogs out of the way so that they don’t interact with your fabric. This is very convenient. But if your machine doesn’t have one, don’t worry. Machines without a drop feed often come with a darning plate that you can use to cover the feed dogs to get the same effect.

Needle Threader

A needle threader is a low tech and inexpensive convenience feature that can make a world of difference in terms of your frustration level. It makes the business of threading your sewing machine needle as easy as flipping a switch.

Free Arm

A free arm is a small, circular workspace that sits beneath the base of some sewing machines. When you want to sew small, hard to get to places like cuffs or trouser legs, you remove part of the base to reveal the free arm. Most computerized sewing machines have one, but occasionally you might find a model that doesn’t, so always check.

Features and Benefits of the Janome MOD-30

The Janome MOD 30 has a lot to recommend it. Here are a few of our favorite features:

30 Built-in Stitch Designs

30 stitches isn’t an extreme amount, but all of the essential stitches are there. You’ll also find a nice assortment of decorative stitches to play with.

Three One-Step Buttonholes

The Janome MOD-30 has three one-step buttonhole designs.

Automatic Stitch Length and Width

Each stitch design is set to the optimal length and width for that stitch. However, if you want to adjust either of those parameters, you can do so easily with the convenient push buttons.

Drop Feed

The Janome MOD-30 comes with a drop feed.

Heavy Duty Internal Metal Frame

The Janome MOD-30 comes with a heavy duty internal metal frame. This not only equips the machine to work with a wider variety of fabric and project weights, but also lends stability when sewing, and makes the machine more durable.

Needle Threader

The Janome MOD-30 has a convenient and easy to use needle threader.

7-Piece Feed Dog

Sewing machine feed dogs can vary in terms of the number of contact points. The more points of contact with the fabric, the greater control you’ll have for fabric handling. A seven piece feed dog has seven points of contact, which ensures excellent control.

Free Arm


The Janome MOD-30 has a free arm, so you’ll be able to sew those small and difficult to reach bits easily.

Easy to Use

The Janome MOD-30 has a small number of well marked controls. You won’t have to log much time at all with the manual. In fact, many sewists should be able to start sewing right out of the box.

Lightweight and Portable

The Janome MOD-30 weighs just over twelve and a half pounds, and has a convenient carry handle. This means that most sewists should have an easy time moving and transporting it.

Great Value for Money

We’ve seen this model for sale at a variety of price points. If you do your research, you should be able to find the Janome MOD 30 for about the same price as other budget sewing machines. Which means you’d be getting a great deal.

Alternatives to the Janome MOD-30

We love the Janome MOD-30. However, there are quite a few similar machines on the market, and each one has a slightly different assortment of features. Here are a few others to consider.

Brother C7000X


Brother makes a variety of budget priced sewing machines, and many of them have excellent features, as well. The Brother C7000X is a follow-on model to the wildly popular C6000i. It, too, has an outrageous number of highly positive reviews, as well as the following features:

  • 70 built-in stitch designs
  • 7 one-step buttonholes
  • Needle threader
  • Free arm
  • Variable speed control
  • Needle up / down
  • Metal internal frame
  • Included hard protective case
  • Included extension table

On top of all of that, it comes with a hard protective case and an extension table for quilters. It costs about the same, or slightly less than the Janome MOD-30. 

If you like features, and you like them at a bargain price, the Brother CS7000X should definitely be on your radar.

Singer 7258


The Singer 7258 is an easy to use computerized sewing machine with a huge fan club and an array of excellent features, including:

  • 100 built-in stitch designs
  • 6 one-step buttonhole designs
  • Heavy duty metal internal frame
  • Needle threader
  • Variable speed control
  • Twin needle
  • Free arm

The Singer 7258 may cost about the same or a pinch more than the Janome MOD-30, depending on your retailer.

Brother XR9550

Brother XR9550PRW

Another budget Brother machine that could be worth your attention is the Brother XR9550. This one tends to fluctuate in price, from extraordinarily reasonable to mid-range. If you can find it in the budget range, it has a variety of features that may surprise you, including:

  • 165 unique stitch designs
  • 9 one-step buttonhole designs
  • 1 sewing alphabet
  • Hard protective cover
  • Extension table included

If you do your research, you can often find this model for about the same price as the Janome MOD-30, and if features are your game, then this model could be a great choice.

Should You Buy the Janome MOD-30?


The Janome MOD-30 is a terrific machine with some excellent features. Moreover, it’s very well made – a fact to which its large number of highly positive customer reviews can attest.

If you’re looking for a basic computerized sewing machine for a new sewist or for general home sewing, this is definitely one to consider.

Have you used the Janome MOD-30? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author:
Jess Faraday

Jess Faraday learned to sew as an act of teenage rebellion. Her mother always hated to sew, so Jess took up the hobby to prove a point! It has since turned into a satisfying lifelong hobby. When not sewing, Jess enjoys trail running and martial arts. She’s even written a novel or two!

  1. Janome | The Founding Of A New Home | https://www.janome.com/about-us/history/

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