Review: Janome MC6300 sewing machine

Way back in January, the folks at Janome sent me one of their sewing machines (on loan) to use and review.  I’ve spent 6 months sewing on the Janome Memory Craft 6300, learning the ins and outs of this machine and becoming familiar with its features and functions. 

You can get the exhaustive list of features/functions from the Janome site, but I’ll give you the scoop on the features that stood out to me.

Consistency in tension and stitch.  I’ve used this machine several times a week during the past 6 months, and in that time I’ve seen nothing but consistent, pretty stitches.  I’ve had no problems keeping the tension adjusted. 

Size and weight.  When I first cracked open the box and saw it sitting there, my first thought was , “Man, this is BIG!”  That thought was immediately followed by “..and heavy!” as I pulled it out of the box and on to the table.  While the size and weight of this machine mean that this isn’t the model that you’d pack up to take to a friend’s house or a sewing class, it does mean that it’s a pretty heavy duty machine.  And 9” of sewing space accommodates larger projects (hey, quilters!).

Automatic thread cutter.  Push the thread cutter button, and the machine snips your threads for you.  Honestly, I don’t use this feature as much as I thought I would.  Most of the time, I prefer to just cut the threads myself using the thread cutting blade at the back of the machine. 

The auto thread cutter snips the thread close to the fabric, but not flush.  The short little threads can get jumbled up into the stitching on the back on the fabric.  It still looks nice and neat on the front, but it’s not as pretty on the back.  Snipping the threads myself means I can snip flush to the fabric and avoid that.  On the other hand, I do find that this feature is REALLY helpful when I’m doing a lot of stopping and starting in the middle of a large piece of fabric – like when I’m free motion stitching.  Rather than having to remove the work from the machine each time I need to start a new line of stitching, I can just hit the thread cutter button and move to the next piece of stitching.

Adjustable pressure on the presser foot.  (Try saying that 5 times fast!)  This is a nice feature when sewing on stretch knits.  Being able to lessen the pressure helps keep the knit from stretching as it goes under the presser foot.  It’s not a make-or-break feature for sewing knits, but every extra bit of control over the stretch helps.

Clear window over the bobbin.  No more wondering how much bobbin I have left! 

Speed control.  This is a nice feature.  The speed control is like a governor for your sewing machine; it sets the maximum speed that your machine can go.  I tend to sew fast, and sometimes I get cocky and think that I can stitch faster than I ought to.  When I’m sewing long, straight seams  you better believe that I have it set to all-out full speed.  But on tricky curves or times when I need to be more careful, I can lower the max speed so my stitching stays neat.

All those feet!  I was thrilled to see how many feet came with this machine.  I use the standard foot most often, but I was sooo happy to see that it comes with a free motion foot and a walking foot as well.  (These are just a couple of the feet/accessories included with this machine. Check the specs for a full list.)

Free motion stitching.  I was pleased with how well this machine handles free motion stitching.  This is important to me, as I do a lot of raw-edge appliqués with tight corners and curves.

Strong motor can sew through thick fabrics.  Up until now, my experience has been that newer machines can’t handle thick fabrics as well as older ones.  I’ve been proven wrong.  At one point I had a project that required me sewing through 12 layers of quilting cotton.  The machine didn’t so much as hesitate.

Stitch controls.  There are more than 60 stitches and 4 buttonholes to choose from.  Most of the time, I use either a standard straight stitch or a zig zag.  I can appreciate that the process for choosing the stitch pattern and setting width/length is straightforward (no complicated menus and submenus), but on the other hand it does involve a lot of button pushing.   

The pattern selection buttons increment through the stitches in ascending order only.  They do divide them between four buttons (1-15, 16-33,etc.) but if you miss your stitch you have to go all the way through the sequence to get to it again.  In order to change the stitch width, you push another button to increment either up or down.  Same for the stitch width.  And every time you switch between patterns or turn off your machine, the settings revert back to their defaults. 

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really a big deal.  In fact, I suppose if I set a timer, I’d see that it takes no more than 30 seconds to choose a stitch and adjust the length and width. 

The manual.  I know, I know.  Who reads the manual, right?  I DO!!!  (Might have something to do with the fact that I used to write user manuals and online help systems for a living…)  The manual is accurate, but seems a bit sparse.  Specifically, I would have liked to have see more context about when or why to use special functions of the machine.

Now that I’ve given the long version of the review, let’s get to just the facts…

Sewing machine:  Janome MC6300  Get the specs.

List price:  $1399

Overall impression:  Good machine!  Sturdy, reliable, easy to use.  Features and functions are ones that you’d want to use.  Great set of accessories that accompany the machine.

Good machine for:  Serious home sewists and professionals.  The price tag makes this more appropriate as an investment in a serious hobby, rather than a “let’s see if I like sewing” machine.

[photos from Janome]

Comments

  1. says

    I have a Janome DC 2030, it has almost all the features mentioned in the review, it has less stitches. In my experiences it is a GREAT sewing machine, very nice stitches, and I am amazed about the foots, they are so many, so useful.
    I liked this review, I think is fair, Janome is a very good quality sewing machine and the price is afortable.

  2. Anne Voss says

    I have never had a bad day with any of my Janome machines, and I “ride them hard, and put them away wet”. As I upgrade,the machines get passed on to others, and they are still going strong and true.

  3. Lisa E. says

    Uh oh…I have a Mmeory Craft 1500 (circa 1995) which I love, and which works great, but now I have machine envy…..

  4. says

    I have an online baby boutique and my machine seized up on me last week! I am going crazy bc now I am actually faced with having to buy a new one!! (exciting but oh so stressful!) I have been looking online at the MC6300 mainly bc I like the strong motor (I sew for hours daily) and the 9″ sewing space for all my home dec projects, blankets & such. But…am wondering what a good alternative would be and if I could spend less? Any info would be helpful!!

  5. says

    I just ordered one today!! I am so excited. I feel like this is going to be the reliable workhorse machine I really need.

  6. Michele says

    WOnderful machine. You can watch the online vendors and get a good deal with some on a return. I bought this machine last month and am trying to get enough sewing time to really find out how capable it is – so far it does really nice FMQ, and the next thing is to sew a cover for it that is nicer than the plastic one it came with, and then to sew a shirt or something to see the garment capabilities. I love my Janomes, and this one is no exception! Great machine without all the stuff I do not need.

  7. Sherry says

    I bought this machine a couple of months ago. I absolutely love it! My second Janome machine & I highly recommend them. This was purchased mostly for machine quilting. I have another Janome to do my piecing & machine applique. This has been a dream to quilt on – very nice stitches & no tension problems. Lots of nice features. A SUPER machine!

  8. Diane says

    I’m trying to decide between the Jenome 6300 and the Babylock Melody. Having a very difficult time making up my mind. Has anybody ever used both of these, and can give me a reason to buy one over the other.

  9. Donna says

    I just ordered the Janome 6300 for aprox $1,200.00 after taxes and shipping from HSN today. I am a dedicated home sewer and I wanted to upgrade from my Singer Fashion Mate starter machine I purchased 2 yrs ago. I am starting to get intimidated by the Janome 6300 and it isn’t here yet, seems like a lot to learn. I love making quilts, hopefully this will be my last sewing machine. Everyone on other review websites have complained about Janome’s manual and the lack there of with needed information.I am learning many things just researching on the web before my new baby gets here.

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