Janome Magnolia 7318 Review

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Janome Magnolia 7318 Review
Bottom Line

It doesn't have the bells and whistles of the computerized machines in its price class, but that makes the Janome Magnolia 7318 easy to use and highly durable, say users. Janome is a top brand in sewing machines, and the Magnolia 7318 will take you from beginner to advanced sewing projects. At 17.6 pounds, it's a bit heavy, but has a handle for portability. The pink flower decals turn some off.

ProsPowerful, Wide sewing surface, Even stitching, Intuitive controls, Handles heavy fabrics; layersConsFlower design and pink lettering may not suit everyone

Breaking it down

Performance

Smooth and powerful. The Janome Magnolia 7318 is a manual (or mechanical) sewing machine, which many experts prefer to computerized machines. Manual sewing machines tend to be powerful and consistent, and experts say the Janome Magnolia delivers on that perception. In expert testing, the 7318 was the smoothest performer out of a number of comparable machines, even some costing quite a bit more. It does well at all tasks, reviewers say, but it gets particular raves for its performance on heavy duty fabrics and when sewing multiple layers. It has a four-step buttonhole feature and 18 different stiches that users say work flawlessly. They also love the foot control, which many say they prefer to chassis-type speed controls because they feel it gives them a smoother start.

Ease of use

A simple star. Plenty of first time sewers say they were stitching simple patterns five minutes out of the box with the Janome Magnolia 7318. The four-step buttonhole feature is not as convenient as one-step buttonholers, but users say it's super simple to master in spite of the extra steps. They also say the controls are very well-marked and intuitive, making them very easy to adjust -- many particularly praise the handy knob for controlling the stitch width. It also includes onboard storage for its many accessories. The bobbin is a drop-in, top-loader that's much easier to use than the bottom loading bobbin found on many machines. One of user's favorite features on the Magnolia, though, is the extra-wide sewing surface and large ruler marks. Some say they outgrow this simple machine fairly quickly, though, and opt to upgrade to a computerized machine with more bells and whistles.

Durability/noise

A sewing machine for life. One of the reason many experts like manual sewing machines -- even if they aren't beginners -- is because they are so sturdy and durable. The Janome Magnolia 7318 doesn't disappoint in this area. Even at top speeds and when sewing heavy fabrics or through multiple layers the Magnolia doesn't wobble, bog, or bounce. We did see a couple of recent reviews about feed jams; that may be a production issue in a recent batch, and the machine is covered by a one-year warranty. Still, those complaints are in the minority and the Magnolia is a popular choice even among advanced sewers who want a sturdy machine for sewing thick items like diapers. The one thing many reviewers would change is the very "girly" pink and flower design. Quite a few say they'd prefer something more gender-neutral, or at least not quite so cutesy.

Our Sources

1. TheSweetHome.com

The Best Sewing Machine for Beginners, Christine Cyr Clisset, March 16, 2016

In this comparison of the best sewing machine for beginners, Christine Cyr Clisset ultimately chooses the Janome Magnolia 7318 after extensive testing of 11 sewing machines. She says the manual Janome offers a good combination of value and features and is very easy to use.

2. Amazon.com

Janome Magnolia 7318 Sewing Machine, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2016

More than 160 owners weigh in on the Janome Magnolia, giving it an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. They say it performs very well and is easy to use. There are a few recent reports of feed jams that we don't see in older reviews; a few also say they outgrew the sewing machine fairly quickly and upgraded to a computerized model.

3. PatternReview.com

Sewing Machines, Contributors to PatternReview.com, As of July 2016

At PatternReview.com, members post reviews of their sewing machines, giving an overview of how they use them, any pros and cons, and if they would recommend them. The Janome Magnolia 7318 gets a few individual reviews, though only ones posted in the last six months can be seen without a free site membership.