Forum Home | Choosing a Janome Machine


By: Metrix
Posts: 2

I have written a "reply" to a person inquiring about the Janome HD 3000 on another post.

I'd like to have my own platform to write what I'm about to write.

Janome has lied to me. Let me explain (before CherylAnn comes in here and beats me over the head with how Janome didn't lie, the dealer did).

I bought an HD3000 thinking, from all of the shopping network and advertising that I was getting a solid, dependable sewing machine. And I will admit, it makes a nice stitch, sews through a pair of jeans just fine, and is smooth. What it won't do? Sew through 8 thinner layers of stretch denim. Used stretch denim at that.

That needle (which was a proper, brand new Schmetz denim needle, and correct Gutermann polyester thread with the correct tension, presser foot pressure and bobbin type sank into the fabric, and would not come back up without my cranking the wheel to do so.

Now, to be fair, when I hand cranked the remainder of that seam stitch, the stitch was perfectly uniform, neat, and decent quality.

I took this job over to a 1985 model Kenmore (Janome re branded) 0.7 amp motor machine, and it sewed through the rest of that layer without so much as breaking into a sweat.

So I thought the machine might have a problem. I searched the web, and I kept coming across people complaining about a motor swap.


So, I read a little. Apparently, Janome, in their great and unquestioned wisdom had explained that the machine was redesigned to work with a motor that is half the amperage, gives the same level of stitches as the 1.0 amp motor (this new miracle motor...the same old 0.5 amp motor they've been putting into machines since at least 1985, with the EXACT same model number stamped to the foil data sheet on the motor's can), and achieves nearly the same torque and heavy duty characteristics as their old HD3000/5000 models (I don't know anything about changes to the HD1000).

I could go into a very long story, but suffice it to say that this poster knows a thing or two about the old Kenmore/Janome line up. That little (and it is, make no mistake, little) half the amperage of the original HD aforementioned series of machines is fine to make clothing, do a little LIGHT quilting or sew some embroidery.

That is where it ends.

This motor is anemic, runs a little hot when pressed to the wall and generally needs a lot more polishing of the commutator than the average 0.7 amp motor. This is due to the commutator heating up a little in heavier sewing action or faster speed being needed via a lead foot.

While that motor is reliable by all counts, it was never regarded as anything but a general purpose motor.

So how did Janome soup this thing up?

I decided to void my warranty, and I tore into the HD3000. I will re post what I wrote on the other reply below if you are interested in knowing what Janome did to upset it's customers.

Well, just to give you a taste; Janome took almost all the machine's available power, siphoned it into this motor, and then took that motor, modified the trusted and incredibly reliable aluminum cast flywheel that both balances the motor, as well as cools it, and replaced it with a (I kid you not) wafer thin plastic flywheel. This enables the machine to run much faster with this motor as it runs now at nearly twice the speed it was originally designed to. And, it also now runs hotter as well.

OK, please read below. It's an interesting bit of reading, and I plan to let the planet know (if you want to know how, go and see Dave Carroll's "United Breaks Guitars" video, and then all of the news media frenzy that United Airlines had to deal with on the fallout. It's amazing what one determined person can do to get the message out there when they feel they are being cheated/slighted/ignored or just plain ripped off. And I, indeed, am feeling ripped off.

I will repeat, the machine sews well, quietly and with a quality stitch. But this machine will not last like it's predecessors did. Read below and find out why.

Thank you for your time.

(in response to a query on a different part of the blog space)

I have one for you all to read here. I bought what I thought was a Heavy Duty machine too. I decided a week ago that I was being conned. So I tore my "HD" 3000 apart and voided my warranty...on purpose.

Guess what? It runs as many stitches because Janome took out the original motor, which was 1.0 amps (and made it IMPOSSIBLE to buy one anywhere), replaced it with the CHEAPEST motor they had in their inventory, the 0.5 amp, took out the sturdy aluminum cast flywheel and replaced it with a wafer thin plastic flywheel.

This type of plastic, BTW, is the type that breaks down with heat or exposure to U.V rays. Now, what do you think a motor running twice as fast as it was designed to is going to do when that occurs...heat up, that's right folks. So, this motor was designed to "emulate" the original motor, but it was also designed to fail within a decade (at the most).

As well, they put a Christmas LED (the WORST and most anemic light source in sewing machine history) in the machine so that almost all the power coming out of your power cord goes into that motor, to make it run super fast (and when that plastic fails, it will become literal shrapnel inside the sewing machine motor can, taking out the soft copper windings, then Bye Bye Motor!. That Christmas LED bulb cannot be replaced. And LED bulbs fail here and there. That wiring harness costs a king's ransom to replace.

They put a circuit board in there that I had three electrical engineers look at, and it's a very poorly built and cheap electronic version of a transformer, which allows almost all of the voltage to go to the motor. I've also had this machine put up against a motor that was 2 amps more powerful, and it kicked the living daylights out of this pile of garbage by a very wide margin in terms of torque.

That motor is no more powerful than it was in a 1990's Kenmore/Janome machine. It's fine for embroidery or dress making, but it is anything but heavy duty, and it is anemic when compared to a motor just two amps more powerful. So, imagine what another three amps that you, I, and every single person that bought an HD3000/5000 would have given these machines.

To top it all off, they took the main wheel, changed the design, and disguised their handiwork. That hand wheel is made of very very thin and soft nylon. That hand wheel has a much heavier now automatic bobbin winder now SMACKING up against it everytime you wind a bobbin, instead of the older design with a much stronger plastic and the pull out knob in the middle with a lighter weight bobbin winder frame. How long do you think nylon, especially nylon so thin you can see light through it will last with a heavy piece of metal literally KICKING the side of it every time it engages. Another cracked part within ten years.

In fact the machine has a number of parts that were swapped out. Where stronger, more durable plastics were used in high stress areas of the machine, now thin nylon is being used. Janome might have you believe that this is to lighten the load for the under powered motor, to give it more "punch". That is a load of B.S. These parts are designed to crack and fail under stress within a certain number of cycles. They are so far inside the machine that replacing them would be more expensive than buying a brand new machine.

Janome thinks you'll buy more of theirs once this hits the wall and dies from their planned obsolescence. Clearly, they have taken a page out of Samsung's book and decided that ripping off their customers to force them to upgrade only requires them selling substandard equipment that once was decent quality.

How do I know all of this? I am pretty well versed in the older Janome/Kenmore mechanical machines. I've torn them down to the frame and rebuilt several of them. The frame and mechanicals, for the most part, haven't changed much in the last 35+ years.

The only things that have changed with this machine is that in 2018, the Janome HD3000/5000 ceased to be a model. Sure, the machine still has that printed on the literature and on the machine, but the model tag, where half of the amperage that people were CONNED into buying, thinking it was twice as powerful no longer has any form of the machine's HD model information on it. In fact, that model tag ends with an LE. It stands for LED I'm guessing, but in my opinion, it means Light Edition, as in, it won't do what it once did without failing at a much faster rate.

The cam stack mechanism is failure by design nylon, the elbow that connects the cam stack to the lower shaft is also designed to fail frail nylon. The motor cog is made now of that same plastic that gets brittle over time and disintegrates (just like the flywheel that balances the motor internally, and is supposed to cool it off), and most alarmingly, so is the top gear of the timing belt.

So, the machine has now been engineered to self-destruct after XYZ number of cycles. If it lasts you a decade, I'd be surprised. Now, while I cannot do anything about the cam stack or it's other mechanism (just irks me that there is metal interacting with that junk, it will die sooner rather than later, thanks Janome), I can replace pretty much every other part within this machine. And I will, make no mistake, replace all of these designed to fail parts with older, QUALITY parts.

For a manufacturer that costs, literally, hundreds of dollars more than their direct competition, you'd think they would have more respect for the high dollar amount we all have to pay them to buy these machines. But folks, they don't respect any of you at all. In fact, they think you're all a bunch of fools and patsies, waiting to be fleeced.

I was, and I'm angrier than angry. And I intend to continue spreading the word of what Janome has pulled here. My dealer WILL NOT answer any of my emails. Janome has also ghosted my queries, as has Janome Japan.

I'm certain this post will vanish in short order, as Janome cannot have people bashing their product.

It's sad, because they deliberately bashed my wallet, my confidence, and my trust in them.

I may as well have bought a Singer and been ripped off right up front. At least I know they sell garbage that dies within a year.

I know three different people that bought Janome DC series machines, and are angry as the machines are barely capable of sewing through layers of quilting materials.

I also know that so far, four people have thanked me for informing them of the bait and switch, and are going to find old Kenmore's from the seventies and have them refurbished rather than buy a new Janome.

My advice to anyone wanting to buy this machine...DON'T. It makes a nice stitch, is a smooth sew, don't get me wrong, and it will sew a set of drapes for you. But this machine will self-destruct in a given amount of time, and you will be stuck with a paperweight that barely sews through heavy layers without risking it's infrastructure.

IF you look for a good used HD series machine, buy one that is made before 2018. THEY are the actual real deal, and deserve the HD in the model number.

Shame on you, Janome. I'm thoroughly disgusted with your "HD" LE (as in Lie Edition)!

BTW, if anyone wants photographic proof of the "New" build quality, please do not hesitate to ask. I'll happily (and am, blob by blog, site by site) share photos of the junk I found living inside of this expensive mechanical mistake I once was so proud to own.

AVOID HD machines. That now means "Hidden Destruction".

  1. RE: HD3000?

    You have written far more than anyone cares to read. You are taking up your problems with the wrong group. Janome doesn't monitor this forum and also doesn't contribute to it and hasn't for years. You would be better to do your complaining on a Janome Facebook Group. Janome is actually represented there.

    You won't get any sympathy either, as if you check through this forum you will only find complaints, because those and that is the most of us are quite happy with our sewing machine so will be happily sewing rather than bothering to be here. I try to pop in now and again and hopefully help a few folks, obviously you are not one of them. I'm now sure why you don't take your problems up with you dealer and if you don't have a dealer - SHAME ON YOU.

    As for sewing machine needles, Janome recommends their branded Janome needles which are made by the Organ company. Having said that I have used both Janome and Schmetz needles and have had no problems with either, ever, when sewing, as long as I use the correct needle for the job ie: ballpoint or stretch needles for knits and Universal or microbes for ovens.
    Number 16 Denim needles I find work best for denim.

    Posted: Dec 15 2022 By: CherylAnn
  2. RE: HD3000?

    I have a new HD-3000 that was manufactured in 2020. I bought it to make jeans. --Am learning how to use it this week.

    While I appreciate the time & energy it must have taken to write a critique of this machine, I must admit that I don't have the technical background to understand it.

    I came away from this post thinking that I should have bought a used HD-3000 machine as the quality after the year 2018 has declined significantly.
    Posted: Jan 16 2023 By: Judyfischer
  3. RE: HD3000?

    How is your machine working for you? I it does what you need then you didn't make a mistake. Michael Smith posts about this machine on the Janome Life Blog from the website. You can go there and see what he has to say and ask him questions. He is very good about answering them and it an almost immediate time frame. I'm sure he is more knowledgable than Metrix, even though he decided to "tear" his machine apart. I believe that IF someone wants a machine to sew at the "industrial" level that is what they should purchase. I've never had a Janome that wouldn't sew what I needed it to and I've sewn Jeans and I mean the thickest of those seams on my little 760 Platinum when in a sewing class. I take it carefully but it did it.
    Posted: Jan 16 2023 By: CherylAnn
  4. RE: HD3000?

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    Posted: May 09 2023 By: Manazo
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