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.
- Max. Sewing Speed: 5500 stitches/minute
- Max. Stitch Length: 5mm
- Unit dimensions (LxWxH): 48 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches
- Needle: DB X 1, sizes 9-18
- 110V with industrial clutch motor
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:
Maximum Sewing Speed:
5,500 stitches per minute
Maximum Stitch Length:
By Knee, 13mm
DB×1 (#14) #9～#18,134 (Nm90)
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.
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.
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.
5,500 Stitches Per Minute
While machines will vary in speed, this machine has a maximum speed of 5,500 stitches per minute.
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.
Some other features of this machine include the following:
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
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?
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.
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.
Helpful Tips for Purchasing a Sewing Machine
Buying a sewing machine, no matter if it is the Juki DDL-8700, or another, is a huge purchase. It takes a lot of intentional looking, a lot of focus, and a lot of good questions you will need to ask. We want to help you look for the best!
1. Use Swatch Samples
When you go shopping, bring along swatches (fabric samples) you use in your everyday work, or ones you hope to use, and put the machine to the test with them. If you leave yours at home, the store clerks will usually give you some to try if you ask! Spending time with the various machines, using your preferred swatches, can really help you make the decision as to which one is the right fit for you. Also, ask the store clerk what other special features are available with the machines you are interested in. Do not compromise or choose from only the first few options. Really spend your time investing in the best and most long lasting machine. There may be better options out there for the type of work you plan on doing.
2. Test It Out
The best thing that can be done when choosing your future sewing machine is actually testing out sewing with the machine you are looking to buy. As you do, ask these questions: how smoothly does it run? Is it quiet, or noisy? How much control does the feed have? Is the stitching of the fabric concise, or out of control? Do you like the level of tension, or is it too much or too little? What is the stitch quality of the finished product? How are the various stitch features and stitch options picked out, and can they be changed? Can you change the needle position manually, or is it set in place indefinitely? For me personally, knowing the machine I buy is easy to use and has the features I love, as well as has the perfect drive (almost like buying a new car!) is so important to me that it is worth spending extra money in the long run. Everyone has different preferences, so it is vital that you go into sewing machine shopping knowing yours.
3. Buy a Machine That Will Grow You
On your sewing machine purchasing journey, it is very important that you buy a machine that allows for growth. What we mean by this is, don't get a beginner machine if you want to be an expert in a few months or a year. Buy a machine that challenges you, but is also comfortable and has features that are good for future growth and current projects. We are not encouraging you to buy a machine that scares you or confuses you with all the big fancy features and buttons. Find a happy medium between the two points!
For the basics, you will want the features that naturally make sewing simpler and save you a headache in the long run. But pick a few fun features that you think you will want to get accustomed to in the future or ones that excite you to learn.
Why Use a Sewing Machine?
1. For Quick Sewing
Using a sewing machine gives you the ability to use your time wisely because you will be depending on equipment instead of using your own hands. An entire garment can be done in seconds or minutes when you use a sewing machine. Meanwhile, it would take hours or even days if you were to do it with a needle, thread, and hands.
2. To Scratch Creative Itches
You can create a totally unique piece of clothing using your own design with just a sewing machine and a creative and artistic imagination. This will enable you to scratch that creative itch, make something new to put out in the world, potentially sell, and if nothing else, you will not have to buy expensive or fancy clothes because you can create them!
3. For Savings
When you sew with a machine, you will be able to save and make money, and a machine makes this FAST. When I was just a youngin in grade school, I was able to take a sewing class. On top of this being a great skill for any person to possess at a young age, it was also incredible to learn a skill that would save and make money for years to come. I spent the years after falling in love with sewing.
This included everything from sewing up holes in pants and shirts, taking in hems, cutting jeans into shorts and sewing a neat bottom, sewing on buttons and so much more. I loved it so much that my family purchased a sewing machine for me, and this would go on to change my entire life. What an incredible money saving ability to have! My mom rarely took me shopping because I always found a way to use my needle and thread to make my clothes last.
Handmade Stitches vs. Machine Stitches
Sewing by hand can be fun, especially when you are starting out. It is a whole new world with tons to explore and learn about. But once you want to begin creating nice, wearable, or fancy pieces, you will need to have neater stitching. On top of that, you will also need to have straight and precise stitching. This is where the sewing machine comes in.
Another reason for needing a machine to do the job is the amount of time it would take you to sew an entire piece. Now, don't get me wrong. Some things need hand stitching such as fixing the seams, patching, and other things of this nature, but for the most part, in order to create full and large garments, purchasing a sewing machine is best.
There are so many reasons why you may be in the market for a sewing machine. Maybe you're a housewife/mom who just wants to make some nice pieces for her family. Maybe you are a professional in the fashion business. Or maybe you want to scratch that creative itch. No matter where you land on the sewing spectrum, good pieces are done best by machines.
Final Verdict on the Juki DDL-8700
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.