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Juki DDL-8700 Industrial Lockstitch Machine Review

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The Juki DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine is a single-needle, straight stitch lockstitch machine that is built for both industrial and residential use in mind. Juki began production in 1945, with the first home sewing machines being manufactured in 1947. These machines were marketed not only in Japan but countries worldwide. While the company began with home sewing machines, Juki began selling industrial sewing machines in 1953.

The company later opened their first offices in the United States in 1974. From there, Juki continued to develop not only their home technology but their industrial machines as well. The company is now known as a world leader in the industry. Juki’s DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine is engineered for reduced vibration and noise and is optimized for comfortable operation.

Juki ddl-8700

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Juki DDL-8700

The Juki DDL-8700 sewing machine is a basic machine. It is the ideal machine for light to medium weight materials and is suitable for garment construction and alterations. There is nothing really fancy about this machine, as it doesn’t come with features such as an automatic thread cutter, foot pivoting or a needle positioner.

Below are some of the key specifications of the Juki DDL-8700 industrial sewing machine:


Application: Medium-weight
Maximum Sewing Speed: 5,500 stitches per minute
Maximum Stitch Length: 5mm
Presser Foot: By Knee, 13mm
Needle: DB×1 (#14) #9~#18,134 (Nm90)
Weight: 62lbs
Throat Space: 10 inches x 5 inches

Top Features of the Juki DDL-8700:

While the Juki DDL-8700 industrial sewing machine may be considered a basic, “plain jane” machine, it does come with some features that both sewing students and professionals love. Below, we have listed only a few of the features of the Juki DDL 8700 that users enjoy.

1. All Metal Construction:

While the all-metal construction may be a turnoff for the sewing hobbyist, those who are either design students or professionals often prefer a machine built to last. Plastic machines, while lightweight, tend to not only feel cheap but tend to bound around and simply don’t do the job.

This all metal construction will ensure that users not only feel comfortable while working on their projects, they will also have the confidence of knowing that their machine will hold up to the task at hand.

2. Lubrication Method:

This unit is considered a semi self-lubricating model. This means that the user will still have to place a few drops of lubricating oil into several holes of the machine to keep it functioning correctly. There is, however, an oil reservoir that will automatically lubricate the essential parts of the machine.

3. 5,500 Stitches Per Minute:

While machines will vary in speed, this machine has a maximum speed of 5,500 stitches per minute.

4. Adjustable Motor:

The adjustable motor on the Juki DDL-8700 allows users to pick the speed at which their machine will run. For some projects, slower speeds may be desired, while those more skilled in the profession may be able to run the machine at a higher speed. It all comes down to how familiar the user is with the machine and how skilled they are at the higher speeds.

Other Features:

Some other features of this machine include the following:

  • External lighting
  • Manual needle threader
  • Manual needle positioner
  • Independent bobbin winder
  • Bottom-Feed
  • Hook Type: Bottom-loading rotary
  • Reverse Type: Push Lever
  • Rear Thread Cutter
  • Single lay-in tension

Same Model, Two Motors – What’s the Difference?

The Juki DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine has two different motor options that are available to consumers and picking the right one really depends on the individual.

Two Different Motors

Standard industrial motors

Servo Motor

While traditional DDL-8700 machines come with a standard industrial motor, consumers do have the option to upgrade to a Servo motor. What’s the difference between the two motors? Standard industrial motors tend to be louder, and in this case, doesn’t have an option to control the machine’s speed.

The servo motor, however, offers users a few upgraded options. The first is that this motor is noticeably more powerful and durable. For those with more experience on an industrial machine, this is no problem. For those who are more used to smaller, home machines, it may take some practice to get used to.

Even better, there is a speed control dial that is located on the servo motor, just below the table that users can use to either slow the motor down or speed it up. Another way users can gain better control over the speed of the machine is to position the foot pedal better so that it is within easier reach. This way users don’t have to overextend themselves to reach it, or accidentally slip and press down on it when trying to move it.

Yes, the servo motor does cost a little extra, but many find that the better speed control and the quieter motor are well worth the extra money.

Who Is The Juki DDL-8700 Built For?

sewing a dress

With a name that includes the word “industrial,” some may believe that this machine is intended for the professional. While the speed and quality of the stitching produced by this machine is of top quality and ideal for the professional seamstress, beginners and hobbyist alike can all benefit from this machine.

The Juki DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine can seem a little intimidating to those first starting off in the hobby. However, after a little time and practice, and of course time familiarizing themselves with the machine, even students just learning can use this machine.

In fact, many educational environments use this machine as a means of not only introducing students into sewing and creating garments, but it is also used in many top post-secondary fashion design programs.

What makes this machine so desirable for those learning to create garments is the fact that it is designed to handle lighter fabrics, which many just starting out will feel more comfortable working and learning with. The fact that it is not only a reliable machine but also created by a notable company is a big reassurance, especially when it comes to dropping a few hundred, sometimes closer to $1,000.00 for a machine.

What Users Think of the Juki DDL-8700:

The Juki DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine has quite the fanbase. However, there are some complaints against not only the machine, but the company’s customer service.

Because the company is known worldwide, it is more trusted amongst not only a hobbyist but, as mentioned above, amongst professionals and educators alike. With any product, there will be those that love it and those that only find fault.

That being said, let’s take a look at what consumers have to say about the Juki DDL-8700 Industrial sewing machine.


  • Durable unit
  • Quite unit thanks to the servo motor
  • A greater flexibility in stitching speed
  • Little to no assembly required
  • High-quality build
  • Great for beginners and professionals


  • Very Heavy
  • Large footprint for the table and machine
  • Not portable
  • Only allows for straight stitching, no other options available
  • Difficult to have repaired
  • Poor customer support
  • Not ideal for very thin or slippery materials or leather, upholstery or other thicker materials


When it comes to the Juki DDL-8700, users had plenty of positive things to say.

First and foremost, users loved the durability and reliability of the unit. Yes, it is a rather large machine, but what else would be expected with an industrial machine. The fact that this machine is built of metal and that it is very sturdy gives it a big boost when compared to more traditional home machines. Home machines tend to be made of plastic and are much lighter in weight. This makes them have a tendency of bouncing around, resulting in uneven and sometimes undesired stitching.

Another reason many fell in love with this machine was the fact that there is little to put together on receiving it. In most cases, the unit comes fully assembled, table and all. Other customers reported that they had to assemble a few pieces, but nothing major. Moreover, while some even reported that they didn’t receive a manual for their machine, copies are readily available online.

The servo motor was another well-appreciated aspect of this machine for those that chose to opt in for it. Despite it raising the price of the machine, users found it well worth the money. Even some of those that originally bought their machines without the servo motor decided to upgrade the motor after the fact once they found out about all the perks that it provided. The fact that the speed is adjustable and that it is super quiet makes it desirable not only in educational and professional settings, it is also a big perk in residential settings for those who are extreme hobbyists or who work out of their home.

Finally, the fact that this machine is easy to understand makes it an ideal machine for those just learning the craft and for those with years of experience. The simple single-stitch feature makes for easy practicing, but also provides professional quality, making it a great option for dressmakers and others in the profession.


There is no such thing as a perfect product, and the Juki DDL-8700 is no different. Despite all the love that this unit receives, there are still some that found fault with not only the unit, but with the company and its customer service.

One of the biggest complaints that the Juki DDL-8700 received was the fact that it isn’t portable due to its large footprint and the fact that it is a very heavy machine. The unit’s dimensions (LxWxH) are 48 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches, and thanks to its all metal built, it is quite heavy. That being said, this is not the machine for those that want to travel with it. This irked many users because of the fact that they couldn’t take it with them to their group settings or to and from educational settings.

While this unit is an ideal one for those using light to medium weight fabrics, it doesn’t fare so well with heavier materials, such as leather, or silkier materials. This machine is specifically designed for the use of light to medium weight fabrics, so this can be limiting to some. Many users have found ways to use their machines with heavier materials and have used alternative needles, footing and peddle to do so. However, it is important to remember that using a machine in a way it isn’t intended could void any warranty provided by the manufacturer.

Final Verdict on the Juki DDL-8700

scissor and dress

Based on what consumers have had to say about the Juki DDL-8700, this machine is an ideal one for those looking simply for a sturdy home hobby machine, or for the professional who needs a heavy-duty workhorse.

While there are a few things that some users didn’t quite like, most of the negatives against the machine are things a consumer knows very well before going in and purchasing it. So while this machine may be a bit large and not portable, it is a machine that will not only get the job done but one that will get the job done right.

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