Juki is a world leader in sewing machines for industrial use. The new Juki Exceed series makes that same industrial technology available to the home sewer with three outstanding models… the HZL 300, HZL 400 and HZL 600.
The sewing machines in this series are pretty much identical. The major difference is the number of stitch options available on each model.
The Juki HZL 300 offers 105 decorative and utility stitches; users have access to 157 stitches on the Juki HZL 400 and with the Juki HZL 600, owners have access to 225 utility and decorative stitches.
In addition, each of the sewing and quilting machines in the Juki Exceed series offers three alphanumeric fonts and 16 different professional quality buttonholes.
At A Glance
One day, I saw two seemingly identical sewing machines sitting side by side. Of course, this piqued my curiosity, and when I asked about the difference between the two, I was formally introduced to the new Exceed series from Juki.
I was first attracted to this machine by its from the clean look and sleek lines. The next thing that caught our eye was the whimsical icon above the speed control slider.
Rather than the typical one, two and three arrows indicating slow, medium and fast speeds, the machines in the Juki Exceed series sport a picture of a turtle at the point of the lowest speed setting, followed by a series of five dots leading to the picture of a hare at the highest speed setting.
Unlike many adjustable speed sewing machines I have reviewed in the past, the machines in the Juki Exceed series have 7 speed settings, not just three.
The standard features available on the machines in the Juki Exceed series include many features that are normally reserved for industrial sewing machines as well as lots of features that home sewers have come to expect when it comes to a superior quality home sewing machine.
- Start/stop button
- Large variety of patterns and stitches – decorative/utility/alphabet
- 105 – 225 decorative and utility stitch options
- 3 Alphanumeric fonts
- Large LCD display (33mm x 66mm)
- Easy stitch pattern selection
- One finger automatic needle threading
- Automatic thread trimming
- Adjustable speed slide control
- Walking foot
- Quilting foot and quilt guide
- Precision feeding system
- Immediate needle stop
- Innovative bobbin winder
- Free arm
- On board accessories case
- On board LED lights
Working on the Machines in the Juki Exceed Series
When you start out with such an easy to follow on board threading guide, bobbin winder and automatic needle threader, you now sewing will be a pleasure.
There was absolutely no question about that when I sat down to test the stitch selection process. The on board quick reference guide put all available stitches at eye level.
The LED screen not only displays a view of the stitch selected, it also shows an icon telling us which presser foot.
The screen also displays the proper tension setting to assure that I get the desired result before I begin to sew.
It made no difference which stitch option I chose, the process was fast and the stitches neat, crisp and precise.
For this review, as with all others, I sampled several different utility and decorative stitches, as well as the monogramming feature.
Combining stitches for the monogramming process was as simple as dialing up the desired letter using the conveniently situated, soft touch keypad.
One of the biggest drawing points for this series of sewing machines is the sensor buttonhole. As if being able to choose from 16 different buttonhole styles is not enough, users also have the option of selecting the width of the buttonhole opening with the unique sensor buttonhole foot.
When I first looked at it, I was not certain exactly what the people at Juki were up to… that is until I investigated further.
The sensor buttonhole foot has a short cable attached to it which is plugged into the left side of the sewing machine.
Once the machine is programmed, you will be able to make countless identical perfectly formed buttonholes … a task that in the past was not possible without access to an industrial buttonhole maker, which is normally found exclusively in factories.
For at least 50 or 60 years, conventional sewing machines have made it possible for us to come close, but without being able to actually program a sewing machine to create a series of identical buttonholes, the human factor was always at play.
Therefore, truly identical buttonholes were always hit or miss. Home sewers now have the advantage of producing identical buttonholes with any one of the sewing machines in the Juki Exceed series.
All three models have a start/stop button, a knee lift, and on board thread cutters that work either by pushing a button, or by tapping the foot pedal with your heel.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The standard accessories package included with the three sewing and quilting machines in the Juki Exceed series certainly does not disappoint.
- 16 Presser feet
- Walking foot
- Patchwork foot
- Free Motion Quilting foot
- Industrial quality sensor buttonhole
- Manual Buttonhole
- Blind hem
- Cording and embroidery
- Pearl attaching
- Open toe
- Edge sewing
- Auxiliary spool pin
- Quilt Guide
- Twin needle
- Lint brush
- Extra needles
- Spool caps 3
- Seam ripper
- Hard Cover
|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
I highly recommend the machines in the Juki Exceed series. The only choice any user needs to make is the number of stitches they think will best suit their purposes.
The oversized extension table is optional with the Juki Exceed HZL 300 and HZL 400, but is include as a standard accessory with the Juki Exceed HZL 600. The other differences between the three are as follows:
The free arm seam guides etched onto the needle plate, clear cover on the drop in bobbin and knee lift along with the box bed and other features normally available only on industrial sewing machines and with the affordable MSRP place the machines in the Juki Exceed series among the most desirable home sewing and quilting machines on the market.
These are not machines for children or for beginners. Although they are easy to operate, I feel that the machines in the Juki Exceed series should be operated primarily by people who are familiar with basic sewing machine operation and are comfortable working on heavy duty sewing machines.
If this machine were purchased for use by someone with limited sewing experience, I encourage them to take lessons from their dealer before trying to work on it on their own.
Without a bit of hands on training, they will not be able to benefit from the advantages of having a machine as sophisticated as these.
The fact that the machines in the Juki Exceed series have a maximum speed of just 900 stitches per minute is a minor drawback.
Only those home sewers who are accustomed to working on industrial machines or heavy duty home sewing machines will even notice the lower speeds.
In short, I think the sewing and quilting machines in the Juki Exceed series are among the best in their class and well worth the cost. Anyone who purchases one of these machines can count on many, many years of sewing pleasure.
- 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.
- Industrial sewing machine technology for the home sewer
- Steel feed dog/superior presser foot construction
- 16 Professional/industrial style quality buttonholes
- A bit slow … maximum speed 900 stitches per minute