Have you been thinking about acquiring an industrial sewing machine for your sewing room? Industrial machines aren’t for everyone. They’re heavy, have a large footprint, and can be prohibitively expensive. Yet many home sewists who have taken the plunge swear they’ll never go back to a regular sewing machine.
The Juki DNU-1541S is an industrial sewing machine. How does it measure up?
About Juki and the Juki DNU-1541S
The history of the Juki Corporation dates back to 1938. At that time, a group of machinery manufacturers in Tokyo, Japan, came together to form the Tokyo Juki Manufacturers Association. They released their first home sewing machine, the HA-1, seven years later, and shortly after that, began to export their machines abroad. 
Juki’s first industrial sewing machine came out in 1953. And in the following decade, Juki expanded its operations, manufacturing a wider range of equipment, including computer peripherals, electronics, and industrial knives.
From the 1970s to the 1990s, Juki rapidly expanded its home sewing machine offerings, releasing the market’s first electronic sewing machine and home serger. Later, they would bring out a coverstitch machine, a home lockstitch machine, an embroidery machine, and many more.
Today, Juki produces a wide range of both industrial and home sewing machines for sewing, quilting, embroidery, serging, and more.
Who is the Juki DNU-1541S For?
The Juki DNU-1541S is an industrial lockstitch machine. It sews a single stitch: the lockstitch (or straight stitch).
Industrial sewing machines are made for factory work. However, some home users, particularly people with home-based businesses, really love an industrial machine’s power, reliability and speed.
There are a few things that make the Juki DNU-1541S a possible choice for a home user.
First, its speed, 2500 stitches per minute, though well within the speed range for an industrial machine, is toward the lower end of that range. That’s not to say it’s slow – the average home sewing machine sews at a speed of around 850 stitches per minute – but many industrial machines can sew at 5,000 stitches per minute, and that can be hard to handle.
High speed sewing can be dangerous, especially if one isn’t used to it. So the DNU-1541-S’s safety features, including its thread tangling safety mechanism, are important.
This isn’t a beginner’s machine, though, despite its single stitch. Industrial sewing machines are very large and heavy. The machine head of the DNU-1541S alone weighs more than 80 pounds (36.5 kilograms), and industrials almost always come mounted on their own tables. Industrial sewing machines also have an external servo motor, and keeping them lubricated can be complicated.
A learner would do much, much better with a regular sewing machine, if for no other reason than a regular machine is more portable and more affordable.
But advanced users who have been thinking about acquiring an industrial machine should definitely have a look at this model.
How does the Juki DNU-1541S Stand Out?
The Juki DNU-1541S stands out in a few ways.
First, industrial sewing machines are meant for a single type of sewing. You’ll find lockstitch machines, zig zag only machines, machines rated for light work, machines rated for heavy work, and so forth.
While the Juki DNU-1541S is a lockstitch-only machine, it’s rated for a wider variety of fabric types than many industrials. It’s especially well suited for heavy fabrics and multiple layers.
As we mentioned, the Juki DNU-1541S has an average speed for an industrial sewing machine–and is three times as fast as most home sewing machines.
What’s in the box?
Accessories that come with the Juki DNU-1541S, include:
- Your Juki DNU-1541S industrial sewing machine
- Knee lifter
- Machine table
- Sturdy construction
- High speed stitching
- Knee lifter
- Safety clutch
- Finger guard
- Adjustable vertical walking foot stroke
- Rectangular fabric feed
- Simplified lubrication
- Complaints about poor quality table
- Concerns about servo motor quality
Do You Need an Industrial Lockstitch Machine?
Some sewists swear that once you try an industrial sewing machine, you’ll never go back. Industrial machines are powerful and fast, and they’re made to operate continuously, day in and day out.
On the other hand, industrial machines are super heavy, and they take up a lot of room. Once you’ve put it into place, you’re not going to want to move it again. On top of that, they’re expensive, and rarely do more than one single task.
There are a few types of sewists who can really benefit from an industrial machine, including sailmakers and small business owners.
Sailmakers’ primary sewing task involves heavy canvas sailcloth and sturdy construction. An industrial machine’s external servo motor means that the machine can eat heavy fabrics for lunch, while those same fabrics could destroy an inexpensive home model.
Business owners need a machine that can do one thing, do it perfectly, and do it all day long. This is the very description of an industrial sewing machine.
For the rest of us though? A high quality home sewing machine can deliver the necessary performance at a fraction of the price.
Do you need an industrial sewing machine? This video may help you to answer that question.
What Makes a Great Industrial Lockstitch Machine?
So you’ve decided that you need an industrial machine. Now you need to know what to look for. Here are a few things to consider.
The average home sewing machine stitches at a speed of around 850 stitches per minute. Many go even slower than that. Industrial machines, on the other hand, start at around 1,500 stitches per minute, and many models can go three times that rate or even more.
High speed sewing comes with its own set of hazards, so many industrial sewing machines have safety measures to make operation safer. Here are a few you might find.
Even a machine rated for heavy work can still become overloaded. Machines that have a safety clutch will stop when the hook is overloaded. This can help to prevent the needle breaking, which can be quite dangerous when sewing at speed.
Have you ever sewn over your finger with a regular home sewing machine? Imagine doing so at three times the speed. Ouch! A finger guard keeps your fingers clear of the needle during sewing.
Because industrial sewing machines operate at high speeds, they need to be lubricated copiously and often. Some machines are self-lubricating. Others have simplified lubrication systems that make this chore easier.
Most home sewing machines have an internal 0.7 to 1.5-amp motor. Professional sewing machines have external motors that are orders of magnitude more powerful than that.
Features and Benefits of the Juki DNU-1541S
High Speed Stitching
The Juki DNU-1541S stitches at a speed of 2500 stitches per minute. This is respectable for its class, and three times as fast as the average home sewing machine.
The Juki DNU-1541S comes with a knee lifter, for hands free presser foot raising and lowering. This is a convenience feature in a home sewing machine. In an industrial sewing machine, it’s also a safety feature.
The Juki DNU-1541S has a safety clutch, which stops the machine in the event that the hook becomes overloaded. This can prevent needle breaks and other unsafe situations.
The Juki DNU-1541S also comes with a finger guard, to keep your fingers safe during operation.
Adjustable Vertical Walking Foot Stroke
You can adjust the angle of the walking foot’s vertical stroke. This helps to prevent seam gathering, and makes the machine fit for a variety of fabric thicknesses.
Rectangular Fabric Feed
In Juki’s home machines, this feature is called the “box feed.” The feed dogs run in a rectangular, or box-shaped motion, rather than in an elliptical motion. This increases the contact between the feed dogs and the fabric, which gives you more control over your fabric.
The lubricating mechanism of the Juki DNU-1541S uses a centralized oil wick. This makes oiling the machine faster and easier.
Alternatives to the Juki DNU-1541S
Are you still on the fence about whether the Juki DNU-15412S is the right choice for your sewing room? Have a look at some of these other models. It’s possible that one of these may suit your needs better.
The Juki DDL-5550 is another Juki industrial sewing machine. Its features and operation are a bit different from those of the Juki DNU-1541S. Check this out.
- Stitching speed of 5500 stitches per minute
- Knee lifter
- Finger guard
- Bobbin thread sensor
- Fabric edge sensor
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
It’s important to note that the Juki DDL-550 is a straight stitch machine, rather than a lockstitch machine. Although the stitches are similar and can be used for similar purposes, if you’re looking specifically for a lockstitch machine, this isn’t it.
But if you think an industrial straight stitch machine could fit your needs just as easily, then the Juki DDL-5550, which costs about half of what you’d pay for the DNU-1541S, could be a good choice.
The Juki DU-1181N is a walking foot industrial lockstitch machine similar to the DNU-1541S, but it has a few differences. Its features include:
- Top and bottom dual feeding mechanism
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Low vibration and low noise
- 2000 stitches per minute stitching speed
- Knee lifter
- Extra throat space
On top of this, the Juki DU-1181N comes in at around half the price of the Juki DNU-1541S. If you have your heart set on a Juki industrial for your sewing room, this could be an excellent option.
If you need a lockstitch machine with a bit more oomph than your home sewing machine, but you’re not quite ready for an industrial sewing machine, a semi-professional lockstitch machine like the Juki TL2010Q may fit your needs quite nicely.
The Juki TL2010Q delivers high speed performance and durability without the bulk and ordeal of factory equipment. Its features include:
- 1,500 stitches per minute stitching speed
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Knee lifter
- Extended throat space
- Foot pedal and push button thread cutter
- Heavy duty die cast aluminum construction
The Juki TL2010Q costs about one-third what you’d pay for the Juki DNU-1541S, and delivers superior performance for quilting, garment making, and other types of straight stitch sewing.
Should You Buy the Juki DNU-1541S?
To be honest, we think you can do better.
There are numerous industrial lockstitch machines on the home market, and many of them are less expensive than the Juki DNU-1541S, have better consumer ratings, and, most importantly, have more and better features.
Have you used the Juki DNU-1541S? What did you think? Tell us about it in the comments!
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- JUKI | JUKI History | https://www.juki.co.jp/en/company/history/