Juki DDL 8700 Review

A good sewing machine is an absolute staple for crafters, tailoring professionals and home apparel repairs. Juki is a brand that more and more people are turning to as an alternative to more expensive, yet still less efficient big brands. They offer top quality sewing machines for all skill levels, with price ranges for any budget too. For this review, we’re taking an in depth look at the Juki DDL 8700, and everything you should know about it.

Juki DDL8700

Pros

  • Solid construction that makes it very sturdy
  • Comes fully assembled so you can get started right away
  • Good speed - up to 5,500 stitches per minute
  • Can be used with so many different materials

Cons

  • Not as good with thicker materials
  • Quite heavy and bulky
  • Takes up a considerable amount of space

The Juki DDL 8700 is marketed as an industrial sewing machine, but there’s much more to it than just that. We’ll answer all the questions you can possibly think of, and then some! What do you need to know about this model? Let’s dive in:

The Juki DDL 8700 is marketed as an industrial sewing machine, but there’s much more to it than just that. We’ll answer all the questions you can possibly think of, and then some! What do you need to know about this model? Let’s dive in:

What materials can you use?

There are some conflicting opinions on this. However, we’re going to give you the clearest answer: just about anything. That said, Juki does specify that the machine isn’t designed to handle the thickest materials like leather and vinyl. Rather, it’s designed to perform best on light to medium thick materials.

While it may not have been designed for thick materials, that doesn’t mean it can’t do it. Of course, you’ll need to change your needle for something more heavy duty, and switch your presser feet. Those are fairly small adjustments for the versatility you gain, though.

How fast is it?

The Juki DDL 8700 is much faster than typical sewing machines. If you turn it to top speed, you’ll get an impressive 5,500 stitches per minute. Thankfully, the stitch quality remains the same even when you’re speeding along. Depending on the motor you choose, you’ll either have one speed, or adjustable speed. People with experience, or those working in the professional field will get a big advantage with the high speed the machine produces.

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The Motor

Another unique feature of this sewing machine is the ability to choose the motor it comes with. You can choose between a standard clutch motor or a servo motor. Clutch motors are standard with industrial sewing machines more often than not, but they are quite noisy. They are also slightly cheaper, but you also can’t control your stitch speed with a clutch motor.

On the other hand, if you choose the servo motor, you’ll pay slightly more. However, it’s not a significant difference in price. With the servo motor, you get 110 volts of power, quiet operation, and speed control. Simply turn a dial to raise or lower your stitching speed. Not only that, the servo motor is more energy efficient, which can help cut costs for really productive crafters and tailors.

It’s also worth mentioning that clutch motors are somewhat heavier. Servo motors tend to be more lightweight. If the machine’s overall weight is a concern for you, the servo motor might be the best option.

What about maintenance?

Maintenance is often one of the biggest concerns for people buying a sewing machine. These machines do need lubrication, oiling, and a little tune up from time to time. However, it’s a necessary task if you want your machine to last and keep performing well.

The 8700 is extremely sturdy and durable. With high quality parts and all metal gears, there’s very little (if any) part replacements to worry about. When it comes to lubrication, you don’t need to worry about that either.

It’s a self lubricating machine, so that’s one less thing on your to-do list. Overall, maintenance on the 8700 is about as easy as it gets. All in all, this sewing machine lasts a very long time, with very little effort on your part.

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What does it come with?

This sewing machine comes with everything you need to get going. What’s our favorite part?

It comes fully assembled. Yes, you can more or less take it out of the box and start sewing.

The cord works pretty much anywhere, since it’s just a regular three prong plug. The sewing machine also comes with a table, and a convenient storage drawer for keeping all your supplies in place. Naturally, it also includes the motor, machine body (or head, if you prefer), and a stand for the machine. It also comes with a sewing light, which quickly became one of our favorite added features. It’s not hard to lose track of your stitches when you’ve been working a while, and a good light makes all the difference.

Pros of the Juki DDL 8700

Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about the real winning features of the 8700.

First, it’s a very high quality sewing machine. It’s easy to see the quality of the make once you start using it, but it’s extremely solid and sturdy too. We also really like that you can choose which motor you want it to come with. While the clutch motor may be ideal for professionals or experts, crafters and hobbyists love the servo motor. If you choose the servo motor, the machine is lighter overall, quieter, and you can adjust your speed as needed.

It also comes with everything you might possibly need to start sewing immediately. Not only that, it’s fully assembled upon arrival. That alone is a huge pro in our book. It’s a self oiling machine, adding even more convenience.

The 8700 reaches speeds far exceeding the majority of sewing machines. It’s not easy to find a machine that delivers up to 5,500 stitches per minute without any reduction in quality. This one does exactly that. While we’re on the subject of stitches, we found this Juki machine makes straight, even stitches all the way through, no matter the material you’re sewing. 

Another winning feature is how the machine can be adapted to different materials. As we mentioned before, it isn’t designed for heavy duty material, but with a few adjustments, you’re good to go.

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Cons of the Juki DDL 8700

While there aren’t as many cons as pros, there are still some things to consider before you make the leap and order the machine. We’ll start where we left off in the pros. It’s not designed for heavy, thick materials. Yes, you can change the need and presser feet to make it work. However, beginners may find this process confusing if they’re not yet sure how everything works.

On that note, there’s also a slight learning curve with this machine. While it isn’t anything drastic or complicated, it’s still something to consider.

The next con has nothing to do with performance, and everything to do with size. It’s a strong, sturdy machine, but it has the weight and bulk to prove it too. You’ll need to make room for this machine. The table alone has a surface area of 48 x 20 inches, and is 36 inches tall. Put the sewing machine on it, and that’s 48 inches tall.

Next, we’ll talk about the weight. Some sites have the weight mislabeled, which might make you think it’s a dainty little machine of about 20 lbs. Not so. Altogether, it’s about 125 lbs (table and accessories included), while the machine head is around 62 lbs. Of course, for the performance it gives, it’s easy to see why it weighs so much. You’ll still want help moving it, though.

In short, make sure you have space and a helping hand before the delivery arrives.

Who Should Use Juki DDL 8700

This sewing machine is great for a variety of uses, but it may not be a fit for everyone. Who should use it? The DDL 8700 is perfect for people that will wear out other machines over time. It’s a sewing machine you may never end up replacing, so consider it if you need a long term option.

For anyone involved in fashion, apparel, and manufacturing, the 8700 is a solid bet. It’s really recommended for tailors, small couture and clothing shops, and anyone in the industry. It does come with a bit of a learning curve, although people that already know their way around a sewing machine won’t have an issue.

The Juki DDL 8700 is also ideal for students, since it can take them through their schooling, and seamlessly into their professional careers. Likewise, it’s becoming more popular as a fixture within the fashion schools themselves, since it’s so durable.

Basically, if you’re making garments, and sewing more often than not, this machine gives your reliability, power, and speed. If that sounds like you, this just might be the last sewing machine you buy.

Conclusion

The Juki DDL 8700 is just one of their many sewing machines, but it stands out a lot for everything it packs into one machine. We’ve found that not only is it fast and efficient, it also produces professional quality stitches. It’s a hard worker, making it a favorite for professionals and people serious about turning about apparel. While it may not be the ideal fit for every single person, it’s certainly versatile enough to satisfy most.

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