Juki DDL 8700 Review: Power and Reliability in a Sewing Machine

Are you looking for a quality-made sewing machine that can serve you and your family (or small business) for 10, 20 - even 30 years, or more? If so, The Juki DDL 8700 is probably worth some serious consideration.

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While it’s not for everyone, those who settle on the Juki 8700 are by and large satisfied with their purchases.

In fact, one often heard sentiment is that they had they known how positive the experience would be, they probably would have bought it sooner.

Here is the table of content for Juki DDL 8700 review. 

What's The Built Quality?

Best known for its endurance, the Juki DDL-8700 is a single-stitch, single-needle industrial shop quality sewing machine that seems to just keeps going and going. There’s no doubt that it’s a heavy-duty machine.

Its rugged construction features all-metal gears that are built to last, something you just don’t find in those cheaper models.

The 8700 also features a self-lubricating capacity, so regular oiling isn’t something the typical user needs to worry about frequently.

What's The Speed of The Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine?

For straight-stitching, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better machine anywhere. That’s really what the 8700 is designed to do - deliver perfect, straight stitches fast.

At maximum speed - you get 5500 stitches per minute.

Who Can Use This Single Stitch Sewing Machine?

The speed and quality of straight stitch are more than enough for most professional seamstresses, dressmakers, and serious hobbyists. 

For beginners, the DDL 8700 may be too fast initially, until they get used to it. But once a level of comfort is established, most users love the speed with which it delivers straight stitches of a high caliber.

With this kind of durability, it’s no surprise that this particular model is often used in educational environments, including top fashion schools.

It’s also used for industrial purposes. It's a favorite among entrepreneurs starting out from home in a design or sewing related business.

What Do You Get With The Juki DDL 8700?

With the DDL 8700, you get the unit fully assembled and ready to run.

Your machine arrives complete with table, motor, machine head, stand, sewing light, storage drawer and every component necessary to operate it once put in place and plugged in.

By the way, the cord features a standard, 3-prong plug on the end so you can use it on any typical wall outlet.

What Types of Motors Available?

You can order it with the standard industrial motor (a louder, clutch-driven version) or a Servo motor, which is a quieter option that uses less power and has a speed control option.

The Servo motor does come at a slightly higher cost, but those who order it with this configuration seem happy to have done so.

You should compare the price for both (with and without servo motor).

I would recommend going with a servo motor option. The difference in price is not that much as compared to the benefits of having a servo motor machine.

If you’ve used clutch motor industrial machines before, you know that they are noisy, don't have speed control option and used more power than servo motor industrial machines. 

You may be better off spending the extra few dollars and order it with the Servo motor to enjoy more control and quiet operation.  

While the motor is both powerful and durable, potential buyers need not shy away in fear that they may not be able to control such a beast. Like any machine, it takes a little time for new users to get comfortable.

It’s a matter of learning to ease up on the pedal. And that takes practice. It should also be pointed out though that there is a speed control dial located on the servo motor, just below the table.

This enables you to slow down the speed of the machine to a more comfortable level. Better positioning of the foot pedal can also help you gain more speed control.

Is the Juki DDL 8700 Industrial Sewing Machine Expensive?

For what it does, the Juki DDL is fairly priced. Some home sewing machines cost more than this. It doesn’t mean that it’s an inexpensive purchase.

It boils down to what you wish to accomplish with your new device and over what period of time. Those who only sew the occasional hem or patch probably won’t realize enough value to invest in such a powerhouse.

Anyone who regularly sews and works with a variety of fabrics would certainly get plenty of use from their Juki 8700. When you factor in the extended use and consistent reliability - the Juki ddl8700 typically pays for itself over time. 

While it may not be the “perfect” product (does such a thing even exist?) most buyers who take the time to learn more about the Juki 8700 sewing machine are happy with the choice they made.

Understanding the Logistics of Delivery and Set-Up

Before ordering, it’s important to realize that a sewing machine of this quality is both large and heavy. Your shipment arrives as a large box (48 inches by 36 inches by 48 inches).

It requires two strong adults to move it to your chosen location. Set-up can be further complicated when you need to move your machine up one (or several) flights of stairs or fit it in through narrow doorways.

While most late model buildings can often accommodate a shipment of this size in one piece, older buildings may not. That means breaking down the package and disassembling some parts to move it through doorways, down narrow halls of upstairs.

What Materials Can the Juki DDL 8700 Sewing Machine Handle?

According to the manufacturer, the DDL 8700 is ideal for sewing a wide variety of light to medium duty fabrics and wasn’t intended for use with heavy fabrics such as leather and canvas.

However, numerous users have stated that they’ve had no problem at all working with upholstery fabrics, leather, vinyl, and other heavier materials without any problem.

They simply made adjustments in their choices of presser feet and needles used to accommodate such heavier fabrics.

For most moderate to heavy home use, this Juki model seems capable of most any sewing task. ​

What it does not offer is a variety of alternative stitches. Its primary design purpose was for fast, straight stitching for the garment industry. But it’s become a favorite for those who sew at home too.

What People Like Most About The Juki DDL 8700 Sewing Machine?

Buyers love the stability of a heavy duty machine built on a solid platform. While there may be a period of adjustment in stepping up to a machine like the Juki 8700, once you get comfortable with it, you know it’s going to last you a long time.

You may not ever have to replace this machine and go through the learning curve again. That in itself is an advantage.

Users also appreciate that this machine can handle most any fabric when the right steps are taking, like choosing the most appropriate needle and foot. When used correctly, it does the job smoothly and professionally, without any resistance.

Numerous buyers expressed their satisfaction at ordering their Juki DDL machines with the Servo motor, which seems to be better suited for home applications.

On the other hand, the industrial motor option is a better fit for a small shop or clothing designer.

What Didn’t Buyers Like about Juki sewing machine DDL 8700?

As with any purchase, it’s helpful to know the size of the box or crate that contains your shipment before it arrives so that you can plan accordingly.

Heavy sewing machine 

There’s a misprint in the company listing that indicates a total weight of 20 pounds when in fact, this powerhouse weighs a whopping 125 pounds and requires two people to move it around. The weight of the machine head alone is around 62 lbs. 

I can’t imagine it being a fun experience to have to dismantle your sewing machine - just to get it inside the door.

Large size 

The total height is 48 inches when fully assembled.

The overall height of the table without machine installed on it is 36 inches.

48 by 20 inches big table area.

Due to its size, the DDL 8700 requires its own space. This one couldn’t be considered a portable sewing machine by any stretch.

It’s a good idea to make sure you have a designated sewing room or area, so you don’t have to move it more than once.

The large size and weight could also be a factor in “shipping rash.”

As with virtually any product, there are occasional complaints about products arriving with slight damages. In most cases, this shouldn’t be an issue. But if it is, you should always request a full replacement.

The Verdict

 The Juki DDL 8700 is recommended for small shops, designers, tailors and sewing enthusiasts who will put considerable mileage on their machines. If you’re looking for long-term reliability - it looks to me like the Juki 8700 is a perfect fit.

What may seem large and perhaps a bit unwieldy at first can soon become a terrific asset that you use time and time again. Give it time, and I’m sure you’ll come to love your Juki just as much as others love theirs.

It’s a matter of personal preference. For a long-term sewing machine capable of handling most any material easily and reliably, this one’s for you.

8.3

Ease of use

8.0/10

Versatility- Stitch Options

5.0/10

Straight Stitch

10.0/10

Speed

10.0/10

Pros

  • Speed
  • Perfect straight stitch
  • Amazing built quality
  • Sews many different fabrics

Cons

  • Heavy on scale
  • Large size difficult to move around
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