While visiting Factory Sew-Vac in Lantana, Florida, I came upon a pair of Husqvarna/Viking Emerald electronic sewing machines. One was a 116 and the other, a 118. I learned that there is also a third machine in this series… the 122.

The only perceptible difference between these three machines is the number of stitch options and a few other features, so I reviewed only one – the 116. The differences between the two machines can be found in the ‘Features’ section of this review.

At A Glance

Both the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116 and 118 have an emerald green motif, and dials to adjust the stitch length and width as well as a dial to select the stitch options.

Viking Emerald 116

Viking Emerald 116

The stitch selection guide slides out from the lower right corner of the machine, putting all of the stitch options at the user’s fingertips at all times.

Dial to select the stitch options

Dial to select the stitch options

There is also an on board ruler, a free arm and an automatic needle threader as well as a drop feed and an oversized reverse stitch button on the column.

There is an on board accessories case that, when removed, reveals a convenient free arm and a drop feed lever.

The drop in bobbin cover is a great feature since you can see exactly how much thread is on the bobbin without having to remove it.

The fact that the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116 and 118 have a drop in bobbin is an added advantage when it comes to saving time and energy when it is necessary to rewind the bobbin.

Taking it out and putting it back in place is much easier simply because all you need to do is lift out the clear cover and pop it back when you are done.

Features

  • 16 decorative and utility stitch options (116)
  • 18 decorative and utility stitch options (118)
  • 22 decorative and utility stitch options (122)
  • Needle up/down (118 and 122)
  • Variable speed control (118 and 122)
  • One step buttonhole
  • Adjustable stitch length and width
  • Built-in handle
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Thread cutter
  • One-step buttonhole
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Built-in ruler
  • Drop feed
  • Rotary hook system
  • On board accessories storage case
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Drop feed
On board accessories case

On board accessories case

Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116

Threading the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116 and winding the bobbin are uncomplicated and very easy for a beginner to master. I have no doubt that a child in elementary school will be quite adept and performing these tasks after just a few closely supervised attempts.

The convenient stitch selection guide

The convenient stitch selection guide

Once the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116 is threaded, selecting a stitch option is as easy as sliding out the convenient stitch selection guide from beneath the column or referring to the stitch selection table at the top of the machine head.

Selecting the correct stitch was as simple as turning the dial to the assigned stitch number. I found that sewing on the Emerald was pretty much a piece of cake.

The stitch selection process is only the beginning. As I sampled various stitch options, I discovered that all of the stitches I tried were perfectly executed… evenly spaced, well-formed and sturdy.

Perfectly executed, evenly spaced, well-formed and sturdy stitches

Perfectly executed, evenly spaced, well-formed and sturdy stitches

Fabrics

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

Accessories

  • 8 snap on presser feet
  • Seam ripper
  • Lint brush
  • Needles
  • Quilting guide
  • Screwdriver
  • Owner’s manual
  • Sewing guide/reference chart
  • 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

The Husqvarna/Viking Emerald is a jewel of a machine. It is a great choice for beginners of any age. This machine is easy to learn to operate and easy to maintain.

It is permanently oiled and therefore, doesn’t require any lubrication. It is necessary, however, to take it to an authorized service provider for cleaning and maintenance at least once a year.
The Husqvarna/Viking Emerald is an electronic sewing machine that is ideal for working with fashion fabrics and light to medium weight wool, upholstery fabric or denim.

Although I recommend this machine for use by beginners, the Emerald is also a good choice for the home sewer who is in the market for a new machine.

It is solid, quiet and there is absolutely no vibration at all. My only criticism of the Emerald is the placement of the drop feed lever… on the back of the free arm.

In my opinion, this control should be on the front of the machine. It seems to me that the drop feed lever should have been placed on the front of the machine – perhaps near the reverse stitch button or near the stitch selection dial.

Having it on the back of the machine is very awkward if you are attaching buttons, darning or performing other tasks that require the feed dogs to be disengaged and reengaged frequently.

Even with that in mind, I readily admit that I overall, I like the Emerald. I like the way it feels when I am sewing on it. Although it is a portable sewing machine, it handles like a larger, much heavier, machine.

Solid construction and the excellent stitch quality

Solid construction and the excellent stitch quality

The solid construction is, no doubt, attributable to the Swedish ingenuity that the Husqvarna/Viking brand has been known for over past 140 years.

The Husqvarna/Viking Emerald is affordable and one of the most user friendly machines I have seen in the current Husqvarna/Viking inventory. I like the ease with which it is set up and the stitches selected and changed.

I like the way it feels when I am working on it and I especially like the fact that the Emerald is quiet and there is no vibration.

This solid construction and the excellent stitch quality are the two most important factors any home sewer looks for in a sewing machine. Because of that, I encourage everyone to take a look at this affordable electronic sewing machine.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the three machines in the Husqvarna/Viking Emerald line, make a point of visiting your local authorized Husqvarna/Viking dealer and asking for a demonstration.

I believe it is an excellent choice for anyone whose sewing projects are primarily clothing and accessories and small home décor accents.

Husqvarna/Viking Emerald 116 Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
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
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.
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • Good choice for beginners
  • User friendly
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Manual tension adjustment
5.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (118 Votes)

9 Responses

  1. Petera

    Hello Vernelle,

    I am about to buy a new sewing machine. But can‘t make any choice betwen pfaff ambition 4.0 , pfaff select 3.0, or a juki hzl F300 or juki hzl 210.

    I am an intermediate sewer but i hope to do more. I want a robust one but can’t get out of any choice. Can you help me please.

    Thank you,
    Petera

    Reply
  2. wendy

    I wpuldn’t recommend this machine at all. I have constant problems with mine. I’m about to take it in for repair… again.

    Reply
  3. walt

    I am thinking of buying the Huskqvarna/Viking 116. I just want to repair clothing and do some other heavier work with canvas and light leather or nagahide (Spelling). Would you recommend it? I want to maybe do some upholstery for a wagon I have or repair wagon covers. Just personal use

    Reply
    • Mary

      Dear Walt,
      I would recommend a more robust machine for sewing leather, canvas, upolstery, vinyl etc. The Brother, Juki, Janome all have straight stitch machines that are semi professional.

      Reply
    • Vernelle

      Hello Wait –

      Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

      Since you say you will be working with a lot of heavy fabrics – canvas, leather and naugahide, I think you might be better off with a sewing machine that was specifically designed for heavy duty work. You may want to consider a lightweight industrial sewing machine or a heavy duty machine like the Janome HD 1000 or Janome HD 3000.

      Reply
  4. Jeffrey Wong

    Hi,
    I’ve been lucky with this machine. It occasionally birds nests, but usually, I just rethread and it behaves. I didn’t buy the 118 because the only useful feature it added was needle down for $150 more. That said, it’s impossible to reliably nudge the foot pedal so that the needle moves from up to down. The review is right on the money wrt sewing through thick layers: it likes to stop and take a nap instead of working. Oh yes, it does bounce around a bit when I go for speed.

    Stretch stitches actually work unlike my Pfaff 2023 Classic Style Fashion, which sucked the fabric down through the pressure plate. The Viking bobbins have much more capacity than the Pfaff, too.

    Reply
    • Tea

      Jeffry, I am thinking of purchasing the 116 model as well. I’m a sort of a beginner. This machine reads to be a pretty good sturdy model. At least I hope it is. But I also want to sew with denim. Would this machine easily handle that?

      Reply
      • Jeffrey Wong

        I bought the116 after they demonstrated how it would run over denim. I don’t know if they had a needle with a diamond tip (if any such thing exists), but I have always had to help the machine going over a thick seam. I try to use new needles but I don’t always remember.
        The machine also has a tendency to vibrate and bounce around on the table when I need maximum Stitch speed.
        If I could get a do-over would look for a machine made before 1980. A PFAFF 130 might fit the bill.

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