My 6 year old daughter was taking weekly classes over the summer and found her teacher’s machine to be user-friendly and fun to use. For a beginner, especially a young one, it was helpful to have a machine that was so easy to use that it didn’t create any stumbling blocks during projects that ranged from customized t-shirts to little handbags.
Although my kiddo stuck with easier projects, it was clear by looking around her teacher’s sewing studio (think Lion King headdresses, life-sized puppets, ballet costumes), that the Janome HD 1000 is capable of sewing magic.
Although most of us aren’t creating costumes for the local theater, there are plenty of heavy duty uses for a domestic machine. If you are looking for this kind of versatility, the Janome HD 1000 is worth consideration. (Bonus – with sewing machines flying off the shelves these day, I’ve seen several Janome options still in stock!)
In this review, we analyze the Janome HD1000 pros and cons after going through its features. Additionally, we will measure it against a couple of of its competitors to see how it holds up. Keep reading to find out if this is the right pick for you.
Let’s review the specs and then get into why we like this machine.
Janome HD1000 Overview
The HD1000 is a mechanical heavy duty sewing machine that comes with 14 built-in stitches – not a huge number compared to computerized machines but it covers most domestic sewing needs. Stitches include a 4 step button hole, straight, zig zag, elastic, stretch blind hem, standard blind hem, stretch, rick rack, feather/briar (used often in quilting), overcast and blanket stitches. The length and width are adjustable with a hand-controlled dial.
The machine also offers a built-in needle threader and snap-on presser feet.
Most importantly, the Janome HD1000 is marketed as a heavy duty machine with means it can handle heavier / denser fabrics like denim and leather. I’ve read through countless reviews of this machine and it seems that many people find it to struggle with heavier fabrics. This was not my experience at all. I watched as it easily sewed through 8 layers of denim – which is approximately the equivalent of a side seam of blue jeans. I’ve also seen it sew through upholstery fabric (with appropriate needle and non-stick foot use) without a hiccup. We also used it all the time in my daughter’s class so it gets a thumbs-up from me in terms of an HD option.
Before we proceed with our breakdown of the Janome HD1000, it’s useful to take a quick look at its specifications and features.
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Dimensions: 18.25 x 8.5 x 15.25 inches
- Electric: Yes
- Stitches: 14 built-in
- Maximum Sewing Speed: 840 Stitches Per Minute
- Warranty: 25 years
- 14 Utility Stitches
- 4 Step Button Hole
- Built-in Needle Threader and Thread Cutter
- Reverse Stitch Lever
- Manual Thread Tension Control
- Drop Feed
- Detachable Free Arm
- Adjustable Stitch Length
- High Presser Foot
- Auto Bobbin Winder
The HD1000 comes with additional accessories. Alongside the sewing machine itself, you will also find a bunch of items in the box. These include bobbins, felt, extra needles, two screwdrivers, seam ripper, a zipper Foot, hemmer Foot, buttonhole foot, a hem guide and a soft cover.
On Amazon, you can find an option that includes a bonus package with additional feet and needles or a pretty carry case so make sure to look at what’s available and figure out if the “extras” are worth any additional costs.
You may also have seen the Janome HD1000BE which stands for Black Edition. This machine is a beautiful black color that has more of a classic, antique look to it. Besides the sleek look, the Janome HD1000BE is essentially the same as the standard Janome HD1000 in terms of features and capability.
Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the basics of the machine, we can talk about what makes the Janome HD1000 a great pick.
Janome HD1000: In Praise of Mechanical Sewing Machines
You may be wondering why you should purchase a mechanical sewing machine such as the Janome HD1000 when there are plenty of computerized alternatives.
One of the major reasons to choose a mechanical sewing machine is the user friendliness. Automated machines usually have a large array of buttons, instructions, and a lot of (overwhelming) features. If you are a beginner sewing enthusiast and are looking to purchase a machine with an uncomplicated, user-friendly design, then mechanical machines such as the HD1000 are a great way to go. Less electronics mean less of a learning curve… and sometimes also means there are less things that can break!
Even if you are an intermediate sewist, mechanical machines have all the features you would need. The Janome HD1000 itself has the most commonly used stitches across all sewing – straight, zigzag, and buttonholes.
Janome HD1000 Pros
Extra-High Foot Presser Lift
The extra-high foot presser lift is an especially helpful (and necessary) feature for HD machines. Since you’ll be able to lift your presser foot higher than the norm, you’ll have more room for layers of thicker fabric, like the 8 layers of denim I mentioned earlier. If your sewing projects require work with thicker fabrics like leather or denim, you will get a lot of use out of this feature.
The Detachable Free Arm
If you are sewing around narrow projects, then you will be thankful for a free arm. Simply remove the accessory tray to reveal the free arm. This is particularly useful when hemming sleeves or the bottom of pants. You can rest assured that your fabric won’t get caught under the needle and you won’t sew over other parts of the garment accidentally.
Manual Stitch Length and Thread Tension
Even though at first glance you may think that pre-programmed buttons of automatic sewing machines are better, the Janome HD1000 will prove to you that its analog dial holds up just fine. The simplicity of these manual controls not only makes the machine very easy to use, it also makes you have greater control over your projects.
Since you can manually select the length of the stitches and also adjust the thread tension by using sliders, knobs and dials, you can exert complete precision when working on your garments.
You can control the thread tension by using the dial at the top of the machine. This dial can tighten or loosen the tension according to your needs.
Janome HD1000 Cons
The first con is something we’ve touched on before. The HD1000 does not have a large number of decorative stitch choices. The stitches it has covers your bases but if you are looking for extra decorative options, this won’t cut it.
Although it is a heavy duty machine, it doesn’t handle emblems or patches well. If you have lots of patches to sew, you may want to consider taking it to your local alternations shop where they have access to an industrial sewing machine.
The Janome HD1000 is often marketed as an all metal machine. Not true. Although it has an aluminum frame, it also has hard plastic parts on the outside and inside. These parts stand up but the idea that the entire machine is metal is simply wrong. In fact, I don’t think there are any domestic machines on the market that have zero plastic parts – that’s just not the world we live in.
We also think the HD1000 lacks certain features which would’ve made it phenomenal for beginners.
The first is the presence of a speed control slider. Although the foot pedal works fine in terms of adjusting stitching speed, it’s always great to have a speed control mechanism in case your foot slips accidentally.
We tend to prefer top loading bobbins for beginners. This machine has a front loading bobbin. Not a deal breaker, but not as simple to see and access as the top loading option.
All in all, the “cons” are not reasons to skip this machine. The Janome HD1000 is an affordable, reliable machine that handles a variety of projects.
What Fabrics Can I Work with Using the Janome HD1000?
The HD1000 can easily work with a variety of fabrics. Lightweight fabrics are a breeze with this machine but most people consider the HD when they plan to work with denim, leather and upholstery. The Janome HD 1000 easily sew through these denser fabrics as well. Please always make sure you are using a needle that is strong enough for the fabric you are sewing and you should be fine.
As we have mentioned above, the extra-high foot pressure lift is a fantastic feature for working on layered fabric. This gives the machine an advantage because with the extra lift you have the space to work on thicker stacks of fabric.
Is the Janome HD1000 Easy to Operate?
We think the HD1000 has a very easy learning curve. My 6 year old jumped right in and had no problems working with is.
The addition of the two instruction manuals is fantastic. We always recommend reading through the manual to make sure you’ve read through everything your machine can do.
Janome HD1000 and its Competitors
Janome HD1000 vs Singer 4423
Janome HD1000 and Singer HD 4423 are two machines that come to mind for budget-friendly, entry-level heavy duty machines. Both these sewing machines have a tough metal frame, and can work on thicker fabrics.
Here are the major differences for your quick reference:
- The Janome model offers 14 stitches while Singer offers 23.
- Janome HD 1000 offers a 4 step button hole while Singer 4423 offers a one step option.
- Janome has a front loading bobbin as compared to Singer’s top drop-in bobbin (which we find to be easier for beginners).
- Janome is 16.8lbs vs Singer at 14.5 lbs. If weight and portability matter to you, the slight difference may be important.
- Finally, the Singer 4423 offers a foot pressure adjustment that Janome doesn’t. All in all, you get a bit more beginner-friendly features with the Singer 4423 machine.
For more information on this Singer machine, check out our 4423 review.
Janome HD1000 vs Janome HD3000
Both are heavy duty domestic machines, so how does the HD 1000 fair as compared to its older sister the HD 3000?
- The hd1000 offers a front loading bobbin vs the HD3000’s top loading bobbin.
- The maximum stitch length of the HD1000 is 5 mm vs the HD3000’s 6.5mm.
- The HD1000 has 3 piece feed dog vs. HD3000’s 5 piece feed dog system.
- HD1000’s has 14 stitches vs the HD3000’s 21 stitches.
- Finally the HD3000 is about 2 lbs heavier which may affect portability for some people.
For a deeper dive, check out our Janome HD3000 review.
Janome HD1000 Final Thoughts
All in all the Janome HD1000 gets a thumbs up from us. If my 6 year old can jump right into sewing with it, then it ranks high for user-friendliness and overall ease of use.
It can manage a variety of fabrics and is relatively quiet which makes it a great option for a domestic machines that can tackle a wide range of projects. Hemming jeans, sewing upholstery, and costuming are all things I’ve seen happen with ease on the Janome HD1000.
With so many Brother and Singer machines out of stock these days, its great to have another brand to consider for home sewing. We highly recommend checking out this model.