The Janome MOD-50 is an easy to use, entry level computerized sewing machine with some excellent features for the everyday home sewist. You can also find it quite reasonably priced. But Janome machines tend to be expensive. Is this lower-priced Janome a good bye? Or should you walk on by?
About Janome and the Janome MOD 50
Janome sewing machines are renowned for their quality build. The company has also been responsible for numerous innovations in the field of sewing machine manufacture, from inventing the round bobbin that most machines use today, to bringing the first longarm quilting machines and professional grade embroidery machines to home users.
Today, Janome produces a wide range of sewing machines for quilters, home embroidery enthusiasts, everyday sewists, and more.
The Janome MOD-50 is an easy to use computerized sewing machine that’s fit for a variety of uses, from garment making to housewares and more.
Who is the Janome MOD 50 For?
We think there are two different types of sewist who could make great use of the Janome MOD 50: the everyday crafter and the new sewist.
The MOD-50 has a great assortment of features that make it a good choice for a variety of crafts and household sewing tasks. Whether you want to try your hand at quilting, garment making, or whipping up a quick set of curtains, the Janome MOD-50 has what you need to do it.
It’s quite easy to use, too. The MOD-50 has a small number of intuitive controls, so a new sewist could potentially start sewing right out of the box. It’s also quite lightweight–just a pinch over twelve and a half pounds. Between this and the convenient carry handle, this could be a great model to take to sewing classes and other activities.
To sum it up, this could be a great learner machine that could potentially take you through your sewing career.
How Does the Janome MOD 50 Stand Out?
Like its little sibling, the Janome MOD-30, the Janome MOD-50 can be excellent value for money, if you shop around.
Janome sewing machines tend to be on the expensive side. The build quality, in many users’ minds, is well worth the price. However, some lower-level Janome machines skimp on conveniences like the needle threader, in order to keep the price low.
The Janome MOD-50 doesn’t. It has just about all of the conveniences and essentials that a sewist could wish for. We’ve seen this machine available at a very wide range of prices. At the lower end of the spectrum, it’s quite good value for money. At the upper end of the spectrum…not so much. So do your research to make sure you get the best available price.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the Janome MOD-50, include:
- Buttonhole Foot
- Open Toe Satin Stitch Foot
- Overedge Foot
- Seam Ripper
- Zig-Zag Foot
- Dust cover
- Decent stitch library
- Three one-step buttonholes
- Free arm
- Needle threader
- Drop feed
- Push-button lockstitch
- Variable speed control
- Seven piece feed dog
- Can be good value for money
- Miserly accessories pack
Choosing a Basic Computerized Sewing Machine
So you’re looking for an easy to use sewing machine for everyday home sewing. Great! But if you’ve never bought a sewing machine before, you might wonder what to look for. Here are some of our must-have features.
The stitch library of a computerized sewing machine can vary from just a handful of stitches to over 1,000. For a basic computerized sewing machine, look for 30 to 60 stitch designs. These should include the essentials, such as:
- Straight stitch
- Zig zag stitch
- Blind hem stitch
- Overcasting stitch
There should also be a good selection of decorative stitches to play with.
Computerized sewing machines generally have a one-step buttonhole. The onboard computer generally means that you can have multiple buttonhole designs, too. Most basic computerized sewing machines have between five and ten buttonhole designs.
Once upon a time, most parts of a sewing machine were made from metal. But over the years, manufacturers replaced metal parts with plastic ones. In some cases, for example buttons and the outer casing, plastic doesn’t make a lot of difference. In fact, plastic can make a machine lighter and more portable.
Some parts, however, should never be plastic. These include the bobbin box, levers, presser feet, and the internal frame. Look for solid construction in any machine you’re considering.
The feed dogs sit below the fabric and move it forward (or in reverse) through the machine. This keeps the stitches evenly spaced and uniform in size. Sometimes, though, you want to move the fabric at a different pace, or in a different direction. A drop feed “drops” the feed dogs out of the way so that they don’t interact with your fabric.
If the machine you’re considering doesn’t have a drop feed lever, though, don’t worry. You can get the same effect by covering the feed dogs with a darning plate. In fact, many machines without a drop feed come with a darning plate so that you can do just that.
Most home sewing machines come with either a top-loading bobbin or a front-loading bobbin. Neither will affect the quality of your stitching, however, some sewists find a top-loading bobbin a bit more straightforward to deal with.
Variable Speed Control
Variable speed control is like cruise control for your sewing machine. It sets a maximum sewing speed that’s below your machine’s top speed. This can come in handy for sewing tricky bits like curves and corners, as well as for free motion sewing.
One of the advantages of a computerized sewing machine is push-button and automated functions. Computerized machines can come with a variety of push-button functions, including:
- Machine start / stop
- Thread cutting
- Automatic thread tie-off
- Automatic lockstitch
A free arm is a smaller, circular workspace that is hidden beneath the base of many sewing machines. To get to it, you simply slide off part of the base. The free arm makes it easier to sew smaller, circular things like collars, cuffs, trouser legs, and handbags.
Most sewing machines come with a free arm, but some don’t, so be sure to check the specs carefully, if you think this is a feature you will use.
A needle threader is an inexpensive, low tech gadget that can make a big difference in terms of frustration and time savings. Instead of jamming a fuzzy thread end through the tiny eye of a sewing machine needle, the needle threader makes threading a matter of flipping a switch.
Most sewing machines have one, but this is one thing that is, unfortunately, often left off of budget machines in order to bring the price down.
Features and Benefits of the Janome MOD 50
The Janome Mod 50 has quite a lot going for it. Here are a few of the things we like the best.
Decent Stitch Library
The Janome MOD-50 has a library of 50 built-in stitch designs. It’s not excessive, but it does have all of the essentials, plus several fun decorative stitches.
Three One-Step Buttonholes
The Janome MOD-50 has three one-step buttonhole designs. Combine this with the included buttonhole foot, which customizes the size of your buttonholes to the exact button you’re using, and the creative possibilities are practically limitless.
The Janome MOD 50 has a free arm, which will come in very handy for sewing those circular and difficult to reach pieces.
Yes, this model also comes with an automatic needle threader.
The Janome MOD-50 has a drop feed, which is a great find at this price point.
The lockstitch button allows you to easily lock off your stitches at the beginning and end of your stitching row.
Variable Speed Control
Easily set a maximum speed for your sewing machine using the variable speed control slider.
Seven Piece Feed Dog
Feed dogs come in a number of configurations. Seven pieces means seven contact points with the fabric. And this means more control during sewing.
Can be Good Value for Money
As we mentioned before, we’ve seen this machine for sale at a wide variety of prices. At the lower end of the range, the Janome MOD-50 is an exceptional deal. At the higher range, it can verge on being overpriced. So be sure to research thoroughly to find the best price.
Alternatives to the Janome MOD-50
The Janome MOD-50 is an excellent machine in our opinion. However, there are lots and lots of basic computerized sewing machines on the market, and each has a slightly different array of features. It’s possible that one of these comparison models might suit your needs better.
The Janome MOD-30 is the MOD-50’s little sibling. You may be wondering why we’re suggesting a machine with a slightly lesser set of features. The answer is: price. It’s rare to find a budget Janome that isn’t completely stripped down, but the MOD-30 is one. In addition, it has these excellent features:
- 30 built-in stitch designs
- 3 buttonhole designs
- Drop feed
- Needle threader
- Free arm
- Internal heavy duty metal frame
- 7-piece feed dog
If you research carefully, you can often find the Janome MOD-30 at the lower end of the budget price spectrum, which is to say, for a bit less than the Janome MOD-50.
Brother makes a wide array of budget machinery with nifty features. The Brother XR9550 is one of them. This one tends to fluctuate in price, from extraordinarily reasonable to mid-range. If you can find it in the budget range, it’s a great deal. Its features include:
- 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 quite a bit less than, to about the same price as the Janome MOD-50.
The “ST” in this machine’s model name stands for “strong and tough.” The Brother ST250HDH is made for heavy work like denim, but it can also handle your average and delicate tasks with aplomb. Its features include:
- 50 built-in stitch designs
- 5 buttonhole designs
- Heavy duty internal metal frame
- Needle threader
- Push-button lockstitch
- 7-piece feed dogs
This could be a good choice for regular sewists, as well as sewists who work with heavier materials.
Should You Buy the Janome MOD 50?
This could be a great choice for new sewists, or for people who would like a well-built machine to have on hand for household sewing and crafting. It could also, for the right price, be great value for money.
Have you used the Janome MOD-50? We’d love to hear your experience!