I had an opportunity to review Juki’s brand new affordable serger, the MO 51e while visiting Gold Coast Sew and Vac in West Palm Beach, Florida. To date, the MO 51e is the most affordable serger produced by Juki.
With the Juki name behind it, I was anxious to see if this serger could maintain the Juki reputation for excellence and be economically accessible to a greater number of people at the same time.
At A Glance
One of the first things I noticed on the Juki MO 51e was the cute fuchsia colored flower at the directly above the looper door.
More important, however, were the bright primary colors on the tension controls, and the lay in threading system.
When I opened the looper door, I could see that the folks at Juki had the beginner in mind. The Juki MO 51e has possibly the most uncomplicated threading system I have ever seen on a serger.
There is a very easy to follow diagram which displays the step by step threading process, and an on board storage compartment on the left side of the machine, next to the differential feed control, which gives the user the advantage of having all their serging accessories and supplies at their fingertips.
The stitch length control dial and on/off switch are located on the right side of the machine along with the hand wheel and power cord connection.
- Lay in threading
- Six essential stitch options
- 4 thread overlock
- 3 thread narrow overlock
- Frill 3 thread rolled hem with differential feed
- 3 thread Flatlock
- 3 thread overlock
- 3 thread rolled hem
- Adjustable lower knife
- Retractable upper knife
- Adjustable stitch length
- Differential feed
- Automatic lower looper threading
- Finger guard
- Bright LED lighting
Working on the Juki MO 51e
It takes a little bit of time to get the hang of threading the Juki MO 51e, but once you get the hang of it, threading this portable home serger is quite easy indeed.
In order to thread the Juki MO 51e, you must first follow the thread guides at the top of the machine, near the tension dials in sequence, starting with the upper looper, the second position from the right.
Threading the lower looper is simplified with the addition of an automatic threader to help the user navigate the steps required to send the thread through the eyes buried inside.
Once the lower looper thread has passed through the easy to reach guides, the automatic threader takes your thread inside through the final, most difficult to reach position.
Threading the needles is easy enough for a child to accomplish. Even without the detailed instructions provided in the owner’s manual, anyone familiar with the operation of sewing machines can easily figure out the process for threading the needles by simply following the on board guides.
After the Juki MO 51e is threaded, selecting the proper stitch option is easier to accomplish than threading the machine. The owner’s manual very clearly describes the steps necessary to achieve each of the six stitch options with ease.
For this review, I sampled the four thread overlock stitch option. The results were perfect. Each stitch was perfectly spaced, well-formed and secure.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- Hexagonal wrench
- 4 spool caps
- 4 thread nets
- Lint brush
- Waste collector
- Extra needles
- Oil dispenser
- Dust cover
- Instructional DVD
- Owner’s manual
- Snap on presser feet
- Piping foot
- Gathering foot
- Taping foot
- Elasticator foot
- Beading foot
- Universal blindstitch foot
|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
The Juki MO 51e is an excellent choice for someone who has never used a serger before. The easy to use threading system is ideal for the beginner.
Following the user friendly instructions for setting up the machine for the six different stitch options are so simple and well written that a child in middle school would have no difficulty in navigating through the necessary steps.
The on board accessories case is a definite plus. Several of the newer sergers are now equipped with this feature. I cannot help but wonder what took manufacturers so long to figure this out.
For quite a few years now, on board accessory storage was standard on sewing machines. It has only been relatively recently that you can find a serger with the convenience of an on board accessory storage compartment.
While lots of sergers came with space inside the looper door to hold the most essential serger supplies such as tweezers, needle threader, spare needles and lint brush, having a separate space to hold all of your accessories makes so much more sense.
I am not altogether thrilled with the placement of the differential feed, perhaps because I have become accustomed to finding it on the right side of the machine, where you can still find the stitch length adjustment dial and of course the hand wheel.
It’s not often that we use the differential feed, but in my opinion, I like having all of my controls in the same place. With the differential feed on the left side, an adjustment to the way we function in the sewing room is necessary.
With this machine, the user must remember to reach to the right to adjust the stitch length and to the right to change the differential feed setting.
Even with this small adjustment, I feel that anyone who uses the Juki MO 51e would be very happy with the way it is handled and with its performance. Its user-friendliness is ideal for the beginner as well as the home sewer who has been sewing for a very long time, but still new to the use of a serger.
Although there is a finger guard, I do not recommend the use of the Juki MO 51e or any other serger by children younger than ten years of age. As far as I’m concerned, no child at the elementary school level should ever be allowed to operate a serger.
Even with the closest adult supervision, it is possible for little fingers to get in the way of the upper knife. With this in mind, I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending the Juki MO 51e for use by a child in middle school.
The maturity level and ability to pay closer attention to what they are doing makes all the difference in the world between a child in the second or third grade and one at the sixth grade level.
The user friendliness of this machine makes it the perfect learning tool for a young person who is learning the art of sewing and serging.
It is also lightweight, making it easy to transport to class or to the college dorm and even to take on vacation if you are one of those people who cannot bear to be away from your sewing machines.
Anyone who wants the convenience of a serger without a lot of the extra bells and whistles that come with a combination serger/coverlock machine would be more than satisfied with the Juki MO 51e.
This lightweight portable serger is not only user friendly and an ideal teaching tool, it is also one of the most affordable high quality sergers on the market.
Despite its affordability and portability, the Juki MO 51e feels like a much large serger when it is in use. There is very little noise and practically no vibration at all.
The Juki MO 51e comes with all the great workmanship and the outstanding reputation of the Juki tradition. An internet search revealed that the Juki MO 51e is available at authorized independent Juki dealers as well as select internet dealers.
Anyone familiar with reading reviews on this site already knows my position on purchasing sewing machines and sergers online.
While you may be able to save a few dollars by purchasing a serger or sewing machine though the internet, you will not have the advantage of personalized customer service, someone to call when you have a question, hands on training and on-site service.
In my opinion, those intangible assets are well worth the additional cost of purchasing a machine from a brick and mortar store. My very strong recommendation is that you visit your local authorized Juki dealer and ask for a demonstration of the Juki MO 51e.
You just might be surprised at the true value of every dollar you spend with someone you can actually look at, put your hands on and talk to when you need them.
- 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.
- User friendly
- Good for beginners