Juki HZL Exceed HZL 300, 400 and 600 Series Review

Juki HZL Exceed HZL 300, 400 and 600 Series Review
Juki HZL Exceed HZL 300, 400 and 600 Series Review
Author
Users
  • Stitch quality
  • Speed
  • Ease Of Use
  • Maintenance
Beginner
Beginner: Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
Intermediate: 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
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.

Introduction

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.

Juki Exceed series Machine

Juki Exceed series Machine

In addition, each of the sewing and quilting machines in the Juki Exceed series offers three alphanumeric fonts and 16 different professional quality buttonholes.

Pros

  • Industrial sewing machine technology for the home sewer
  • Steel feed dog/superior presser foot construction
  • 16 Professional/industrial style quality buttonholes
  • Ability to cut thread with foot pedal or push button
  • See through bobbin cover
  • Seam guides etched onto needle plate

Cons

  • A bit slow … maximum speed 900 stitches per minute

At A Glance

On a recent visit to Ace Sewing and Vacuum Center in Pompano Beach, Florida, we saw two seemingly identical sewing machines sitting side by side.

Of course, this piqued our curiosity, and when we asked about the difference between the two, we were formally introduced to the new Exceed series from Juki.

We were 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.

Whimsical icon above the speed control slider

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 we have reviewed in the past, the machines in the Juki Exceed series have 7 speed settings, not just three.

Features

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 we sat down to test the stitch selection process. The on board quick reference guide put all available stitches at eye level.

On board quick stitch reference guide

On board quick stitch reference guide

The LED screen not only displays a view of the stitch selected, it also shows an icon telling us which presser foot.

LED screen show view of selected stitch and icon of presser foot

LED screen show view of selected stitch and icon of presser foot

The screen also displays the proper tension setting to assure that we get the desired result before we begin to sew.

It made no difference which stitch option we chose, the process was fast and the stitches neat, crisp and precise.

For this review, as with all others, we 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.

Conveniently situated, soft touch keypad

Conveniently situated, soft touch keypad

A sample using monogramming feature

A sample using monogramming feature

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.

The sensor buttonhole

The sensor buttonhole

When we first looked at it, we were not certain exactly what the people at Juki were up to… that is until we 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.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

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
    • Standard
    • Overcasting
    • Blind hem
    • Zipper
    • Cording and embroidery
    • Appliqué
    • Binder
    • Pearl attaching
    • Open toe
    • Patchwork
    • Edge sewing
  • Auxiliary spool pin
  • Quilt Guide
  • Twin needle
  • Screwdrivers
  • Lint brush
  • Extra needles
  • Bobbins
  • Spool caps 3
  • Seam ripper
  • Hard Cover

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

We 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:

Model STITCHES MSRP
HZL300 105 $1750
HZL400 157 $2295
HZL600 225 $2795


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, we 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, we 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, we 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.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you Vernelle for your indepth reviews. They are so helpful.

  2. I love my juki. it does everything I want it to do and does it well. My only problem is that I cannot remember what size bobbin to buy and I don’t want to pay for that simple information.

  3. Elizabeth -

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    My first instinct was to advise you to simply check your owner’s manual to find the bobbin size. I was quite surprised to learn that everything is there except that basic tidbit.

    I phoned my friends at Ace Sewing and Vacuum Center, where I reviewed the Juki Exceed machines and learned that they take class 15 plastic bobbins. They also use standard Janome bobbins as well.

    Happy Stitching.

  4. I have the Juki Exceed 600. This is a fabulous machine. The stitch quality is second to none. The machine is solid and purrs along. I have had Janome machines in the past which give good quality stitching, but they are not in the Juki league. I would highly recommend this sewing machine to anyone

  5. I really can not recommend this machine. It is louder than my old Brother sewing machine. It makes a klunk sound when sewing simple 4 patch with nesting seams. I have cleaned, changed needle. I have only used one bobbin, just put in my second.I have tried to fill 3 bobbins it filled 2 . It stopped winding the third one half way. Needless to say I am so not impressed with this machine.

    • Trudy -

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      Have you tried taking it in for a once over by a sewing machine repair professional? It might need a minor adjustment.

      How long have you had your Juki? Even when computerized sewing machines are not used, they should be taken in for tune-ups at least once a year.

      Did the retailer you purchased it from give you any training on operating and maintaining it? If you have been accustomed to working with mechanical sewing machines, an then switched to a computerized machine, even after sewing for many decades like me, you should take time with an expert to learn the subtleties of performing small, seemingly simple tasks such as winding bobbins on the more sensitive computerized machine.

      This is not to say that your problem is user error, but many of long time home sewers believe we should be able to resolve any issue with our machines. That was often the case with the older mechanical machines, but not so with the newer models.

      I sincerely hope your problem is resolved soon. Please let us know how you make out.

      Happy Stitching.

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