A little while ago, I wrote a review of the machines in the Juki Exceed series. At the time, I actually did a hands on assessment of just one machine in the series – the HZL F400.
Now, three years later, I came across the updated Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special while visiting Stuart Sew and Vac in Jensen Beach, Florida. Since writing that first review, the Exceed series has proved to be one of the most popular sewing machine lines that Juki has produced for home use.
At A Glance
On the surface, all of the machines in the Juki Exceed Series look exactly the same. If you do not take time to actually read the label, you truly cannot tell one machine from another.
Each machine has a series of function buttons that give the user immediate access to start/stop; needle up/down; thread tie off and cut; variable speed control slider; numerical keypad for stitch selection; on board stitch selection guide; LED lighting, bright back-lit monochromatic LCD screen with adjustable lighting levels; and stitch memory.
Each machine is also equipped with a knee lift; seam guides on both sides of the needle; on board accessory storage and ruler; free arm; drop feed; threading and bobbin winding guides; automatic needle threader; adjustable stitch length and width; reverse stitch; and a foot pedal that can also cut thread.
For the most part, the differences are all ‘under the hood’. The most obvious difference between the machines reviewed three years ago and the machine that I reviewed recently is the number of stitch options available to those who purchase the HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special.
Of all the machines in the Juki HZL Exceed series, the F600 is the only one with a light between the needle and column, giving the user the maximum amount of light on the work surface.
Although, the difference appears to be slight, the assembly beneath the needle is also somewhat different for the F600.
- 625 decorative and utility stitch options
- 16 One step electronic buttonholes
- 4 Alphanumeric fonts
- Direct pattern selection
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Independent bobbin winder [wind bobbins while sewing]
- Advanced thread trimmer on foot pedal
- Automatic/manual tension adjustment
- 7 Point feed dog system
- Memory – store up to 70 stitch combinations in up to 10 on board folders
- Variable needle positioning
Working on the Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special
Using the on board guides greatly simplify both the threading and bobbin winding processes. The independent bobbin winding motor makes it possible to wind bobbins while sewing, making the Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special one of the most time efficient home sewing and quilting machines on the market.
However, that benefit is somewhat offset by the fact that the drop feed control button is under the accessory case. If there as anything good about this, it is the fact that it is on the front of the machine and not the back. In my opinion, however, this is still a waste of valuable time and energy.
The on board stitch selection guide simplifies the stitch selection process and the easy to use numerical keypad is just an added benefit for fast and efficient stitch selection.
When choosing a stitch, it is first necessary to use the menu button to identify the section in which the stitch is located, then dialup the stitch number on the keypad.
Once the stitch is selected, it appears on the LCD screen where adjustments to the length and width can be made before starting to sew. The quality of the stitches made on the Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special remain true to the name.
Each one of the stitches I sampled were professional in every way… well formed, secure, balanced and stable. The Juki HZL Exceed F600 is extremely quiet, very well built and even when sewing at high speeds, there is no vibration whatsoever.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 11 Snap on presser feet
- Automatic buttonhole
- Manual buttonhole
- Blind stitch
- Walking foot
- Patchwork foot
- Open toe foot
- Edge sewing foot
- Quilting foot
- Smooth foot
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- 3 Bobbins
- 3 Spool caps (1 small/1 medium/1 large)
- Quilt guide
- Auxiliary spool pin
- Eyelet punch
- Twin needle
- Package of extra needles
- Hard carrying case
- Owner’s manual
- Knee lifter
- Extra-large extension table
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
For the most part, Juki sewing machines designed for home use have all of the same high standards and workmanship that Juki industrial sewing machines and sergers are known for.
The Exceed series is a clear example of the Juki reputation and high standards of excellence. It is well built, quiet and ergonomically sound.
In my opinion, there are only two truly effective ways to save time and energy when choosing a stitch… a numerical key pad which simply requires that the user touches a few buttons the same way you would dial a telephone number to gain access to a desired stitch option as with all of the sewing machines in the Juki HZL Exceed series, or a basic rotary dial which is found most often on mechanical sewing machines.
I clearly understand how and why some people prefer to use a stitch selection process that requires users to use a stitch menu button to identify a section where the desired stitch might be located and then toggle through the menu until the desired stitch appears on the LCD screen.
The Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special is a wonderful choice for the intermediate to advanced home sewer. I hesitate to recommend it for beginners, solely because it has so many features.
There are, however, people – even some youngsters – who are capable of working on a sewing and quilting machine as advanced as this with ease.
This is definitely not a sewing machine that should be used by children in elementary school. With all of its benefits and features, this is not a sewing machine that I would consider to be kid friendly at all.
The Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special is best appreciated by someone who has been sewing long enough to be able to truly appreciate the workmanship that went into making it.
The user friendly features and design are ideal for individuals who have been sewing for many decades and are in the market for an updated sewing and quilting machine.
The extra-large extension table is ideal for working on very large, cumbersome sewing projects like quilts, coats, and slipcovers. It is strong enough to handle those heavy duty jobs, yet capable of handling those delicate tasks like lingerie, dainty blouses and baby clothes with equal results.
In addition, with more than 600 stitch options, there is no possibility of getting bored or tired of using the same stitch sequences and/or decorative stitches over and over.
Embellishing and monogramming sewing projects on the Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special is as simple as using the memory/sequencing function and pressing the start/stop button.
My only real complaint about this machine is the placement of the drop feed control… but then, I am one of those old line people who insists upon having every control function at my fingertips.
Having to remove the accessory case in order to get to any function control is in my opinion a design flaw.
Even with this in mind, I must admit that the Juki HZL Exceed F600 Quilt & Pro Special is one of the best sewing and quilting machines I have reviewed.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it for anyone who might be in the market for a new machine to add to their sewing room.
I encourage anyone who may be shopping around for a new sewing and quilting machine to visit their local Juki dealer and ask for a demonstration of all of the machines in the Juki HZL Exceed series, including the F600 Quilt & Pro Special.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Solid construction
- Easy touch stitch selection
- Placement of drop feed control