Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: February 28, 2021
Can't decide between Janome and Brother? We compared them for you.
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When it comes to sewing machines, there are several major brands that stand out above the rest. Brother and Janome are two fine examples. They have some similarities, like the fact that they’re both Japanese companies and both are dedicated to the creation of high quality, reliable, sturdy sewing machines for use on both consumer and industrial level. But how they compare when stacked up against one another?
This guide will pit Janome vs Brother, highlighting the major differences between these two brands, as well as looking at some of their most popular models, side by side, to see which one is right for you. We hope that this comparison will make it a lot easier to answer those common questions like “Who makes the best sewing machines our of Brother and Janome?” and “Should I buy a Janome or a Brother sewing machine?”
First, let’s start off with some brief introductions of both brands. Janome, also known as Janome Sewing Machine Co. is a Japanese company focused entirely on the production of sewing machines. It has plants around Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, and was founded way back in 1921, in Tokyo, Japan. It has grown from humble beginnings into a globally recognized brand, selling its machines far and wide in over 100 countries globally.
Brother, meanwhile, also known as Brother Industries, is a Japanese company that makes a wide range of electronics and electrical appliances, including everything from printers and desktop computers to tools and, of course, sewing machines. It was founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 1908, making it older than Janome. Like Janome, Brother is a major global brand and a huge player in the sewing machine industry, in particular, selling its products worldwide.
When it comes to choosing between Janome and Brother sewing machines, there are many different factors to consider. Durability, for example, is always a key factor to think about when buying sewing machines, and many experts agree that Janome makes the more durable machines as it often uses metal, whereas Brother uses a lot of plastic.
You also need to consider stitch options and variety, and this is where Brother usually takes the crown as its machines are known for coming with dozens or even hundreds of built-in stitch designs, far more than the average Janome model. Then, you have to think about the quality and precision of the stitches themselves, and this is an area where both Janome and Brother are quite closely-matched.
We can’t overlook other important factors either, like the warranty policy and average price of each sewing machine. Interestingly, in terms of warranties, Brother and Janome are more or less identical, with both companies offering 25-year warranties as standard on their products. When it comes to prices and affordability, however, Brother takes the win as it offers a great range of budget-friendly models and beginner sewing machines.
Janome vs Brother: Comparing popular models
Comparing Janome and Brother in terms of quality, price, warranty, and general product range is a good way to get an overview of these two companies, but to really see how they stack up to one another, we have to look at some examples. Here, we’ll take some of the most popular Brother and Janome sewing machines, placing them side by side in direct comparisons to see which brand comes out on top.
In our first comparison, we have the Janome HD3000 and the Brother PQ1500SL. The first area of comparison is sewing speed, and we can immediately see that the Brother model can achieve a far faster speed of 1500 stitches per minute, as opposed to the 860 spm speed of the Janome model. This means that the Brother PQ1500SL is better-suited to those who want to speed through their sewing projects or take on bigger projects without being delayed.
Next, we have to look at the number of stitches. Surprisingly, even though Brother has a reputation for offering more stitch types and a greater number of built-in options on its models in general, it’s actually the Janome HD3000 that wins this category, offering an impressive array of 21 different stitch types, while the Brother PQ1500SL offers just one. So you’ll get more variety and flexibility out of the Janome model, in this comparison.
In terms of stitch size, both of these heavy duty sewing machines from Brother and Janome give us some similar options. The Brother machine lets you make stitches of 5mm in length and 7mm in width, while the Janome offers stitches of 4mm in length and 6.5mm in width. This doesn’t make either machine better than the other, but some users prefer larger stitches, while others prefer when the stitches are smaller in general, so it’s a very subjective issue.
Next, we can look at the main key features of each model. Both of them feature free arms, which allows you to sew with larger and thicker materials more comfortably and can be very useful for bigger projects like quilting. The Janome model comes with a buttonhole option, while the Brother does not, so this gives the Janome a small edge and allows the user to make buttonholes, if desired.
For those who enjoy modern, high tech devices with fancy screens and futuristic functionality, the Janome HD3000 is the clear winner as it comes with an LCD screen. The Brother PQ1500SL, on the other hand, does not feature an LCD screen. Many sewing machine users enjoy the idea of having an LCD screen, as this allows them to quickly, easily, and conveniently switch between different stitch types, adjust stitch lengths, and simply use the machine more easily in general.
Our last categories are weight and warranty. Both of these machines are quite heavy duty sewing machines, designed with big projects like quilting in mind. They’re both made with heavy duty plastic shells and the Janome HD3000 actually comes in quite a few pounds lighter than its Brother counterpart. The Janome model weighs in at 18.7 lbs, while the Brother weighs a total of 24.2 lbs. This means that the Brother is more difficult to lift and carry around in general.
In terms of the warranty, as mentioned earlier, both Brother and Janome seem to have the same basic policy in this respect. Anyone who buys either the Janome HD3000 or the Brother PQ1500SL will be able to enjoy 25 years of limited coverage, so the manufacturer will be able to cover the repair costs if your sewing machine suffers some kind of fault or failure during this time, or they’ll give you a replacement. This can help to provide a lot of peace of mind to owners.
Overall, in this Brother vs Janome comparison, we can see that there is one clear winner in most of the categories. The Janome model stands out for being lighter, more portable, having more stitch types, coming with an LCD screen, and the fact that it comes with an option for buttonhole stitching too. The only real advantage of the Brother model in this particular side by side comparison is that it sews at a much faster rate.
So which machine should you buy? Well, if you appreciate having lots of stitch types and the unique advantages offered by an LCD screen and buttonhole stitching, the Janome is the clear favorite of the two. However, if you’re simply looking for a heavy duty quilting machine that can get through projects as quickly and efficiently as possible, the speed advantage of the Brother model might be enough to make it the better option for you.
For the next comparison, we’re going to take a look at a couple of computerized sewing machines from Brother and Janome: the Janome 4120QDC and the Brother CX155LA. Both of these machines are designed with intermediate sewers in mind, offering more options than the basic entry-level models and coming with some great extras and unique features too. How do they compare? Well, let’s take a look at the main features listed in the table above to find out which one is the best.
Again, we’re starting off with sewing speed. In this particular comparison, we can see that there’s not a lot between these two machines. Both the Janome 4120QDC and the Brother CX155LA offer similar sewing speeds of over 800 stitches per minute. The Janome model achieves a maximum speed of 820 stitches per minute, while the Brother model is just a little bit faster at 850. That might not sound like a big difference, but it can help to speed up some of your bigger projects.
Next, we come to the number of stitch types, and this is where we see the Brother model really start to shine through and show off its superiority. As stated earlier, Brother is generally well-known and highly regarded among the sewing community for the sheer quantity and variety of stitches it can offer in its machines, and the Brother CX155LA is a great example of that, providing users with no less than 155 different stitch types.
The Janome 4120QDC, on the other hand, has a total of 120 stitch types. This is still a very impressive number of stitches and should be more than enough to suit most users. In fact, many frequent sewers say that they never even use many of the different stitch options, usually finding a few dozen favories and sticking with them. However, it always helps to have more stitches than less, so for the purposes of this comparison, the Brother model is the winner here.
In the next few lines of categories from our table, we can see that the Janome 4120QDC and the Brother CX155LA actually have quite a few things in common. They both come with a free arm for those bigger projects you might like to take on, and they both offer exactly the same stitch size options of 5mm in length and 7mm in width. So you’ll be getting the same basic experiences from both machines in these aspects.
In terms of buttonhole options, once again, we can see the Brother just about edging the competition. It is able to offer 8 different buttonholes, while the Janome machine can only provide 7. This isn’t a huge difference, but again, it always helps to have more options and many people like to look for the biggest possible numbers when buying sewing machines and trying to find the best sewing machine to meet their needs.
Next, we come to the LCD displays of each model. Both the Janome 4120QDC and the Brother CX155LA come with LCD displays. The LCD display on the Janome model is actually just a little bit larger than its Brother counterpart and provides a bit more information overall. It comes with more buttons to press, which can mean that it takes a little more getting used to and won’t be the best option for total beginners, but advanced sewers will appreciate this functionality.
In terms of weight and warranty, we can see once again that both of these models come with the standard 25-year warranty policy that comes on all Brother and Janome products. The Janome model is the heavier of the two, weighing in at just over 14 lbs, while the Brother model tips the scales at just over 11 lbs instead. They’re both reasonably lightweight and easy to pick up and move around.
So what’s our overall opinion? Well, it’s clear to see that both of these models have their advantages, but the Brother is just slightly better this time around. It’s able to offer more stitch types, a slightly faster speed, more buttonhole options, and a more lightweight chassis too. The Janome does feature a really nice LCD screen and some great options, so it’s tough to choose between them, but if you want to have the most flexibility and stitch types, the Brother is the clear winner.
Now we come to the final comparison on our list, pitting the Janome Arctic Crystal against the Brother CS6000i. Both of these machines are beginner-friendly, designed with new users in mind and coming with some simple to use buttons and dials and relatively basic functionality, offering a fine introduction to the world of sewing for younger or more inexperienced people.
One of the first big differences you can notice when looking at the Janome Arctic Crystal and Brother CS6000i is in terms of their appearance. As the name implies, the Janome Arctic Crystal features a cool blue exterior shell. It’s quite a compact device and the blue color is quite unique when compared to the legions of white and gray sewing machines out there. The Brother CS6000i, meanwhile, also features quite a compact design, with lots of curves around its body in stark opposition to the straight edges of the Janome.
But enough about the looks. How do these machines compare in terms of real usage statistics and features? Let’s take a look at the sewing speeds to find out. Here, once again, we can see some similarities between both the Brother and the Janome model. The Janome Arctic Crystal can achieve a maximum sewing speed of 800 stitches per minute, while the Brother CS6000i can go just a little faster at 850 spm. It’s only a small difference on paper but it can save a lot of time.
The Janome and Brother models might have relatively similar sewing speeds, but one area where we can see a huge difference between them is in terms of the number and variety of built-in stitches. The Janome Arctic Crystal offers a total of just 15 stitch types, while the Brother CS6000i comes with a very impressive 60 built-in stitches.
This means that the Brother model is able to offer four times as many stitch types as the Janome, which really is a huge difference. Since these machines are aimed at beginners, many new users won’t necessarily need dozens and dozens of stitch types, so the Janome is still a good option, but the sheer quantity and variety of the Brother CS6000i is very impressive and helps it win this particular part of the Brother vs Janome battle.
Next, we need to look at the stitch sizes. Here, we can see another key difference between the two models. The Janome Arctic Crystal offers stitches of 4mm in length and 5mm in width, while the Brother goes bigger, offering stitches of 5mm in length and 7mm in width. Many people appreciate the ability to make larger stitches in general, so the Brother is probably the better option of the two machines here.
Both of these sewing machines come with a free arm, but while the Janome offers just one buttonhole design, the Brother comes with 7 of them. Again, this just goes to show how much more variety and options Brother sewing machines tend to offer in general. Having 7 buttonholes is a big advantage, and the Brother excels even further due to the fact that it has an easy to use LCD screen, while the Janome simply has a few dials and switches but no screen.
Interestingly, both the weights and the warranties of these machines are identical, so there’s nothing to compare between them in these categories. This means that overall, the Brother is clearly the better machine for most users. It offers a beginner-friendly LCD screen, a much greater range of stitch types, bigger stitches, and faster speeds as well, proving stronger than the Janome in every important category.
Overall, these comparisons show us that both Janome and Brother sewing machines come with a lot of features and a lot of quality. They’re very well made machines and both brands deserve their status as two of the industry leaders, with fanbases all over the world and many successful sewing machine models.
In the clash of Janome vs Brother, we can see a few key trends emerging. In general, it’s clear to see that Brother tends to make sewing machines with more built-in stitches and more options overall, focusing on giving its users flexibility and choices in terms of how they sew, with lots of buttonholes and stitch types.
Janome, meanwhile, focuses more on the quality and sturdiness of its machines, rather than the quantity of its stitches and the extent of its feature lists. Its machines can’t always compete in terms of options, but they’re still very well-made, highly durable, and very reliable too.